NBC has many hit sitcoms, but none match the popularity of 1994’s Friends. The show was a megahit among the viewers, with ten seasons in the run. But a writer on the show brought to light her unpleasant truth about the series.
In the memoir How I Broke Up with Hollywood, Patty Lin revealed the sitcom’s shining stars vetoed any joke they thought was unfunny in the table reads, per TIME.
“They all knew how to get a laugh, but if they didn’t like a joke, they seemed to deliberately tank it, knowing we’d rewrite it,” she continued.
“Dozens of good jokes would get thrown out just because one of them had mumbled the line through a mouthful of bacon.”
The author also alleged that the showrunners were also ‘content’ with it, “[Friends’ creators] David [Krane] and Marta [Kauffman] never said, ‘This joke is funny. The actor just needs to sell it’.”
Lin also claimed the award-winning show actors were unsatisfied with the lengthy series.
“The actors seemed unhappy to be chained to a tired old show when they could be branching out, and I felt like they were constantly wondering how every given script would specifically serve them.”
Experiencing the alleged downcast environment, the 43-year-old exited the show and the business—before scooping up gigs at the massively hit shows, including Breaking Bad and Desperate Housewives.
“Thinking of all those times I felt invisible in the huddle, I was mortified and indignant,” Lin noted. “I was also a little bit relieved.”
Spanned for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004, the Friends starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry.