“I liked the monkey. I like animals. Yeah, the monkey was really cool,” the 51-year-old actor, who portrayed Joey Tribbiani, said during his Wednesday, March 13, appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “[David] Schwimmer? Not so much. He’s the one who had to work with it the most, so he’s like, ‘Again with the monkey?’ But I got along great with the monkey.”
Schwimmer’s character Ross Geller in the Emmy-winning show adopted Marcel during the first season to keep him company after his divorce from Carol Willick (Jane Sibbett).
“I hate the monkey. I wish it were dead,” he told Entertainment Weekly in a 1995 interview, just one year after Friends premiered on NBC. “The trainers won’t let me bond with it. They’re really, really possessive. It’s like, ‘Land on your marks, do your job, don’t touch our bond with the monkey.’ It’s a bummer.”
While speaking to Jimmy Kimmel, LeBlanc admitted that the monkey, whose real name is Katie, had a mind of her own on set. “One time, so we’re shooting this scene, this scene with the monkey, and the monkey just decides to… sound stages are huge. You’ve got the lights hanging from the grid and they go way up on these chains and the ceiling is like, you know, 60 feet or whatever it is,” the Episodes alum explained. “The monkey just [climbs] right up to the ceiling, just disappears up into the blackness of the stage. … So all the actors were like, ‘Well, I guess we’re out at 5 [p.m.], we’ll see you later.’”
Katie also shared the screen with Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay) and Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing). She went on to star in many other TV series and films, including 30 Rock, Outbreak and Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan.
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