Matthew Perry – we all know him as Chandler Bing, the Chan-Chan Man, and Miss Chanandler Bong on the hit sitcom Friends. His role on one of the greatest television shows ever defined him, for better or for worse. Chandler Bing will likely forever remain Matthew Perry's most well-known role since he did portray the character for ten whole seasons, and did an outstanding job at that.
However, throughout his career, Perry has naturally assumed other roles, both on the small and the big screen. Today, we're taking a closer look at Matthew Perry's eight great roles besides the one that made him a star.
8 ALEX WHITMAN (FOOLS RUSH IN)
The year is 1997, Friends is in its third season and it’s really hit its stride, Matthew Perry is already a huge star with a number of nominations and awards under his belt, and he’s got his first starring role in a movie. Alongside Salma Hayek, Perry starred in the romantic comedy Fools Rush In.
Now, this is no award-worthy film by any stretch of the imagination. It’s your run-of-the-mill rom-com with Perry as Alex Whitman, a nightclub builder who has a one-night stand with an aspiring photographer Isabel Fuentes (Hayek) which leads to an unexpected pregnancy. They decide to keep the baby and well… rush in. It’s a fun enough film that has a baby-faced Matthew Perry brandishing his distinct type of charm and humor.
7 MURRAY (SCRUBS)
The critically acclaimed medical comedy series Scrubs featured a lot of interesting guest stars, including Matthew Perry. In 2004, fresh off the set of Friends, Perry made a guest appearance on the fourth season of Scrubs in the episode titled “My Unicorn”. Perry played Murray, the son of one of J.D.’s patients who needed a kidney transplant.
However, because his dad wasn’t around as much as he needed to be and because he gave him “an old man’s name”, Murray was reluctant to help. In the end, it’s revealed that Gregory isn’t his biological father but Murray gives him a kidney anyway since he was a ‘decent father’ nonetheless. The episode was directed by Matthew Perry whose real-life dad, John Bennett Perry, played Gregory.
6 SAM (COUGAR TOWN)
Cougar Town is a 2009 sitcom starring Courtney Cox, aka Monica from Friends, as Jules Cobb – a recently divorced woman in her 40s facing the humorous trials, pitfalls, and rewards in her new life together with her son and friends. The show ran for six seasons and guest-starred three of Cox’s Friends co-stars: Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, and Matthew Perry.
Perry made a guest-star appearance in season five episode “Like a Diamond.” He portrayed Sam, a man whom Jules crashes into while trying to find her wedding ring that had slipped off while driving. In exchange for Sam forgetting the damage to the car, Jules agrees to go on a date with him. Perry is funny and charming – basically Chandler just older and more confident.
5 RYAN KING (GO ON)
In 2012, Matthew Perry returned to television in Go On, a sitcom created by Scott Silveri, who worked as a writer and executive producer on Friends. Aside from Matthew Perry, the series starred Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti, Tyler James Williams, aka Chris from Everybody Hates Chris, and Harold and Kumar’s John Cho – just to name a few.
RELATED: Community: Where Are They Now?
Perry portrayed a sports talk radio host, Ryan King, whose boss (Cho) pressures him to join a support group while trying to move on from his late wife’s death. There he meets a quirky group of people and reluctantly admits that therapy might not be such a bad thing after all. Go On was a heartfelt comedy that thrived on a happy-sad atmosphere with a taste of Community-like absurdity. Sadly, the show was canceled after only one season.
4 MIKE KRESTEVA (THE GOOD WIFE, THE GOOD FIGHT)
Matthew Perry is a funny guy. Most of his roles have been in comedy – either TV or film, and his role on Friends as TV’s Sarcasm King Chandler Bing has pretty much defined him. Bottom line, you see Matthew Perry, you expect him to be funny and likable. That’s just the way it is. Which is why his role on The Good Wife, and its spinoff series The Good Fight, is so refreshing and surprising.
Perry made several guest appearances on both shows, portraying Mike Kresteva, a lawyer and former Republican candidate for governor, working for the US Department of Justice and using all kinds of dirty schemes to get his way. He’s a villain through and through, which means that for the first time you can watch Matthew Perry without seeing Chandler.
3 MATT ALBIE (STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP)
The first TV show Matthew Perry starred on after Friends was Aaron Sorkin’s comedy-drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – the short-run behind-the-scenes look at a fictional sketch-comedy television series a la Saturday Night Live. The show was met with mixed reactions and was especially panned by TV comedians. However, it holds a certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s been nominated for several Emmy Awards.
Studio 60’s stellar cast that included Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, Sarah Paulson, Steve Weber, and Matthew Perry. Perry portrayed Matt Albie, a newly re-hired executive producer and head writer on the fictional show. Matthew Perry received a Satellite Awards nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series.
2 JOE QUINCY (THE WEST WING)
The award-winning political drama The West Wing, created by Aaron Sorkin, is widely regarded as one of the best and most influential television series ever made. According to The Writers Guild of America, The West Wing is the tenth-best-written TV series. The show ran for seven seasons from 1999 to 2006. In 2003, Friends star Matthew Perry made three guest appearances on The West Wing as Joe Quincy.
Joe Quincy was a Republican lawyer who was named Associate White House Counsel to the Democratic Bartlet Administration. Quincy uncovered a scandal involving the Vice President and played an instrumental role in negotiating the retirement of a Supreme Court Justice. For his performance, Matthew Perry received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
1 RON CLARK (THE RON CLARK STORY)
In 2006, Matthew Perry starred in the television film The Ron Clark Story, which is based on the real-life educator Ron Clark. Directed by Ronda Haines, the director of the critically acclaimed film Children of a Lesser God, The Ron Clark Story stars Matthew Perry as the titular teacher who leaves his small hometown to teach at a New York City public school.
He soon finds that the students at the school are segregated according to potential. Though the principal intended to assign him to the honors class, Clark opts to take the most disadvantaged class. Through the various trials and tribulations, Clark manages to get through to his students and prepare them for life. Matthew Perry was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his performance.