[Edition 47] NEW YORK, Tuesday: Former Mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani has thanked the writers and actors of Friends for their decision to deal with the issue of the war on terrorism in a special episode of the glib US sitcom.
The Friends crew – no friends of terrorism
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[Edition 47] NEW YORK, Tuesday: Former Mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani has thanked the writers and actors of Friends for their decision to deal with the issue of the war on terrorism in a special episode of the glib US sitcom. The Friends episode follows several other specials dealing with the horrors of September 11 from shows including The West Wing, Malcolm in the Middle and Blue’s Clues.
The popular character Joey made a particularly big impression on the US public after Matt Le Blanc, who plays Joey, asked to write his own lines for the show.
“I really though September 11 didn’t rock at all,” said Le Blanc, who resolved to write about the tragedy as soon as he heard about it on September 23. In the moving scene he penned himself, Joey inspires the other cast members to fight racism against Arab Americans using a simple, yet evocative, pizza analogy. “The way I see it, we need different races and stuff in America the same way we need different flavours in our pizza toppings,” Joey says. “And that’s why I reckon racism sucks ass.” Even the ever-ready-with-a-witticism Friend Chandler Bing is momentarily silenced by the simple power of Joey’s logic.
The producers of the program were pleased that the half hour special was able to deal with so many touchy issues. “Chandler’s gag about the military-industrial complex really gave the show balance while Ross’s spur-of-the-moment decision to get married to a Muslim woman showed all Americans that we have to live together,” said Producer Marta Kauffman.
Meanwhile Giuliani said he only wished the show had come out earlier.
“I think the tragedy of September 11 hadn’t really hit home until Phoebe related it to her Mother’s suicide,” the Mayor said. “And Rachel’s concerns that some of the best clothes shops in New York had been lost cut us all up.”
Giuliani says the ability of shows such as Friends to deal so powerfully with these issues shows that the terrorists have failed to dent America’s spirit. He praises the nation’s television networks, which he says have been “tireless cheerleaders for New Yorkers’ morale.” “They’ve Central Perked all of us up,” he said in a witty reference to the show’s café. The Mayor believes that, thanks to the Friends crew, Americans will “really be able to pull through this one – at least until Barney the Dinosaur gives his State of the Union Address.”