Matthew Perry and the Big Terrible Thing -by Skylerr Byrd

Matthew Perry died at the age of 54. Several News reports say that Mr. Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home in Los Angeles. Like many of you, I primarily knew Matthew Perry from his role in “Friends” as Chandler Bing. Not only is”Friends” my comfort show (I’ve seen it at least 10 times), but Chandler is also my favorite character. He made me laugh, and smile and taught me how to use sarcasm as self-defense. While Chandler Bing wasn’t Perry’s only valuable attribute, it was a huge part of my growing up.

Why am I sharing these quotes with you? Because these moments helped me transition from an awkward teen to an awkward young adult. Chandler Bing shaped how I showed affection towards the ones I love (may this be a formal apology to my husband, but now you get to deal with it.)

As a salute to the many laughs he brought, here are my top 10 Chandler Bing moments:

  1. “I’m hopeless and awkward and desperate for love!”
  2. “If I’m gonna be an old, lonely man, I’m gonna need a thing. You know,  a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So, I figure I’ll be Crazy Snake Man with a snake, y’know? Crazy Snake Man. And I’ll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids won’t walk past my place, they will run. ‘Run away from Crazy Snake Man,’ they’ll shout.”
  3. “Dear God this parachute is a knapsack.” (The rolling over the couch really tied it all together).
  4. “You have to stop the Q-tip when there’s resistance!”
  5. “Like what she saw, huh? Dug my action, did she? Checking out the Chan Chan Man!”
  6. “I mean, sure, I have my bad days, but then I remember what a cute smile I have.”
  7. “When I first meet somebody it’s usually panic, anxiety, and a great deal of sweating.” (Me too, Chandler. Me too.)
  8. “I’m not ‘blah’, I am a hoot!”
  9. “I’m not great with advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?” (Now I know why I deal with conflict the way I do).
  10. “Dehydrated Japanese noodles under fluorescent lights – does it get any better than this?”

These quotes, plus so many more, shaped me into the sarcastic, but still loving, person I am now. When I was going through a great deal of pain in High School, Chandler never failed to make me laugh. I would like to think that Matthew Perry would have considered that a win.

The life of Chandler Bing lives on in “Friends,” but Matthew Perry has taken his final bow. While his roles touched many lives, I urge you to remember this man as more than Chandler Bing. Matthew Perry wanted to be known more than just his role in the show. “I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker, and his paramount thing is that he wants to help people,” Perry said on Q with Tom Power. “That’s what I want.” This may be the theatre side of me speaking, but like many actors who have passed, Matthew Perry was more than the roles he played. He was a human first and foremost. A human who struggled, pushed through, lived, loved, and prayed.


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