How I Got To See A Live Taping Of Friends In High School
Everybody's pretty stoked about the Friends reunion coming to HBO Max this summer, and it's got me reminiscing about the time I got to see a taping of the show. Probably the coolest Friday night of my life!
Friends was filmed at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California. I was a huge fan of the show growing up. I found out tickets were free and convinced my mom to make a trip to LA to see a taping of the show. Well, the first time we attempted to see a taping, I had found out the hard way that you had to be 16 to be admitted into a taping of the show. I was totally bummed but we took a trip anyway and got to see The Tonight Show With Jay Leno filmed instead; not quite Friends, but it was fun nonetheless.
Fast forward a couple years when I was 16, we took another trip (by the way, we lived in Vegas so it was just a quick four hour drive) to see Friends. This time we had "standby" tickets, which meant, if they had any room left over from people cancelling, we'd be in. Well, luck have it, there weren't any extra seats.
So when I was 17, as Friends was kicking off their 10th and final season, I decided to hand write a letter to Friends' production company, Bright Kauffman Crane Productions, and tell them how much it would mean to me to get to see a taping of a show. Low and behold, I ACTUALLY got a letter back in the mail from the production company telling me to pick a few dates that would work and they'd try and make it happen.
So I took my mom and we went and saw the season premiere of the 10th and final season. It was a Friday night; the taping started at about 2:30 pm, they had food for us, they had a comedian to keep the audience upbeat between takes, the cast came by the crowd to say hi, it was truly one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. At one point they were giving away t-shirts to people who were excited and waving their arms and dancing and my mom went crazy to get me a shirt. I was humiliated at the time (cause I was a teenager, duh), but also happy she won me a shirt lol.
Then I got to see the episode on TV and it was pretty crazy to see how it looked on screen vs real life. Now Friends has become a classic so it'll be a great bragging point for the rest of my life, certainly a story my kids will tire of hearing quickly.