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The Mysterious Joker Behind Chandler Bing's Iconic Aussie Grin

The Mysterious Joker Behind Chandler Bing’s Iconic Aussie Grin

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The Darkly Comic Enigma Who Gave Chandler Bing His Perfect Smile

By | The Sydney Morning Herald


On the iconic television sitcom Friends, the late Matthew Perry brought to life the enigmatic character of Chandler Bing. Known for his razor-sharp wit and vulnerable persona, Perry’s portrayal of Chandler was both comedic and heartfelt. One of Chandler’s most defining features was his smile, which radiated from cheek to cheek with a twinkle in his eyes, captivating audiences around the world. This article explores the connection between the actor and the character, delving into the nuances of Perry’s performance and the enduring legacy of Friends.

The Blurring of Actor and Character

It is a well-known phenomenon in the world of comedy, particularly in television sitcoms, that the line between actor and character often becomes blurred. This is a byproduct of the fast-paced nature of the entertainment industry, where there is little time for nuance. The success of a show heavily relies on casting actors who embody the essence of the characters they portray. Matthew Perry and Chandler Bing were not interchangeable, but in Chandler’s most vulnerable moments, Perry’s own sensitivities shone through, giving depth to the character and driving the pace of the show.

The Two Matthew Perrys

Having had the privilege of meeting Matthew Perry on two occasions, I witnessed the stark difference between the young, playful actor on the set of Friends in the mid-1990s and the older, more guarded individual promoting The Odd Couple reboot in 2015. Despite the years that had passed, Perry retained the qualities of his younger self: the infectious smile, the twinkle in his eye, and above all, his ability to engage in honest conversations with an undercurrent of humor. It was evident that Perry’s humor remained intact, even in the face of his well-known personal struggles.

The Power of Generational Comedies

Friends holds a special place in the hearts of many, representing a generational comedy that resonated with audiences around the world. Alongside iconic shows like I Love Lucy and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Friends created a cultural phenomenon that allowed viewers to find familiar roles, punchlines, and moments to hold onto. Chandler Bing, in particular, became the relatable roommate, the trusted coworker, and even the imaginary boyfriend for countless individuals. The enduring popularity of Friends is a testament to the intimate connection that television fosters, bringing fictional worlds into our homes and hearts on a daily basis.

The Immortality of Chandler Bing

Although we mourn the loss of Matthew Perry, there is solace in knowing that his character, Chandler Bing, will live on indefinitely. Through the medium of television, Chandler’s quirks, flaws, and comedic genius will continue to entertain future generations. Friends, with its 236 half-hour episodes across 10 seasons, remains a staple on television reruns, streaming platforms, and DVD collections. In pixels, Chandler Bing will forever exist, replaying his memorable moments and reminding us of the connection between the real and the imaginary.


Matthew Perry’s portrayal of Chandler Bing on Friends left an indelible mark on popular culture. From his perfect smile to his vulnerability and comedic timing, Perry breathed life into a character that will forever be cherished. In the realm of television, where fictional universes become part of our daily lives, the loss of a fictional character can incite genuine feelings of grief and loss. Matthew Perry may be gone, but his legacy lives on through the enduring presence of Chandler Bing, ensuring that his talent and unique spirit will never be forgotten.

is a current affairs commentator for The Sydney Morning Herald, offering insights into the world of entertainment and culture.


The Mysterious Joker Behind Chandler Bing
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