Lisa Kudrow: Friends executives worried Monica would be deemed too “slutty”

Lisa Kudrow says NBC executives were nervous about the pilot episode of Friends because they thought audiences would find Monica sleeping with a man after a first date "slutty".   

The actress, 51, who played the Phoebe Buffay in the series, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night where she spoke of how the hit comedy series was considered a racy show 20 years ago. 

"When we were shooting the pilot, the network got really nervous," said Kudrow. "In the episode, [Monica] sleeps with on the first date with the guy…he didn't have a name, he was like, the salesman guy," she continued, referring to Paul 'The Wine Guy' a man who worked in Monica's restaurant. 

"They were really nervous that the audience won't like her because she's sleeping with him on the first date. It's slutty."

Pilot episode of Friends

Monica and Paul 'The wine guy' in the pilot episode of Friends

American television studios were much more reserved when Friends premiered in September 1994. Kudrow explained that to her surprise the studio polled audiences to test the waters with Monica's storyline. 

"They actually made up a survey to give to the audience to ask them questions like, 'So Monica sleeps with this guy, Bob the sales guy on the first date. How does that make you feel? A: I'm fine with it. B… something like that!" said the star.

"It was a survey, and most of them (the audience) were like, 'It's fine!' They seemed a little irritated like, 'Oh, knock it off!'"

Kudrow also spoke of the cast reunion that took place Jimmy Kimmel Live in August, which saw Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow perform Friends fan-fiction in an exact replica of Monica’s kitchen. "That was a little weird," recalled the actress, "but really good". 

The star is to star in the second season of The Comeback where she plays a middle-aged television actress who blindly throws herself into the world of reality TV.

Watch her interview with comedian Jimmy Kimmel below.

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