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Paul Rudd had a couple of well-known guest appearances on the popular show Friends. Although he enjoyed his time with the cast, when it came time to end the show Rudd felt a bit out of his element.

Paul Rudd only signed on for two episodes of ‘Friends’

Paul Rudd at the 2022 D23 Expo.
Paul Rudd | The Walt Disney Company / Getty Images Paul Rudd

Before and during his rise in Hollywood, Rudd was very much known for his sparse appearances in Friends. The actor played Mike Hannigan in the hit sitcom, who would go on to be in a relationship with Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe Buffay.

But initially, the Ant-Man star wasn’t going to be a continuing presence on the television series. His time on the series was supposed to be even more limited than it ended up being.

“It was never the original idea. I only ever signed on for two episodes but they kept writing more and had more ideas for that character, so it was certainly exciting – but it was a strange phenomenon to work with this very well established and highly regarded group of people known all over the world,” Rudd once said in an interview with Metro.

Speaking with Chris Evans on Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Rudd once again reflected on his brief stint in the show. Despite his appearances still being short, Rudd was grateful for being a part of the show’s history.

“I was only in it for just a blip,” Rudd said. “I felt, ‘I’m like a prop on this show. It’s not about Mike Hannigan.’ But there’s a very interesting feeling to be a part of something that has that kind of profound impact on pop culture.”

Paul Rudd once felt he shouldn’t have been with the ‘Friends’ cast when the show ended

Because Rudd wasn’t a part of the original Friends cast, the Anchorman actor couldn’t help feel out of place when the show ended. He found it difficult to match the feelings of the original cast and crew, who were saying goodbye after years of knowing each other. So much so he wasn’t sure if he should’ve been a part of the finale.

“It was pretty emotional for them. I was honored to be in it but there was a lot of crying even during the read through and the taping. I felt as if I absolutely shouldn’t be there. It felt as if I was watching somebody bathe. It just wasn’t right,” Rudd said according to Contact Music.

Paul Rudd tried to lighten the mood on set by using jokes


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With the Friends co-stars being so vulnerable, Rudd tried to use his charm and humor to support the others. His first attempt at humor was suggesting a potential spin-off show to the Friends writer that would only star him.

“I thought it should just be about me and it should be called Friend,” Rudd quipped. “In the beginning I’d be in a fountain by myself with the old umbrella.”

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Rudd shared he also tried another joke while Aniston and the show writer were trying to have a moment. He acknowledged that the joke didn’t go over too well.

“So, Jennifer [Aniston] and Marta Kaufman, the writer, they were hugging and crying,” Rudd remembered. “And I would just go over and join the embrace and say, ‘Guys, what a ride, huh?'”