The Boyfriend of the Week


September 19, 2000

This week's Boyfriend is one I've been considering for a few months now, and finally, at long last, I have decided to run him. Why now? you ask. I'll tell ya why. An extremely persistent reader has finally broken my will. The camel's back is busted -- I can resist no longer.

Here's how she did it (for your own future reference). Said reader has sent me about eighty-thousand (slight exaggeration) email messages that all looked pretty much like this:


I kid you not. Now, lucky for the reader, I actually thought this method was pretty funny (instead of what I think the average reader would've thought -- i.e. that she was a scary stalker-type who would undoubtedly come after me if I did not do as she said). So, I encouraged her to continue pestering me in a showdown of will -- which one of us would give in first?

Obviously, the answer has now become clear.

However, as in the case of Eric Stoltz (You may remember I was bribed to feature him by another reader who, in trade, offered to tell Paul Gross I loved him when she next ran into him at the post office), this is not actually the torturous hell it might seem to be. Why? Because, while I will not admit to watching Friends, EVER, I will admit that I think Matthew Perry is incredibly funny and cute and sweet and nice.

Especially in that one episode of Friends (that I NEVER SAW) wherein he gets his pet ducks. How can you resist a man who has ducks as pets? Answer: ya can't.

Anyway, I'm sure you all know who Matthew Perry is, even if all you know is that he's on that stupid show Meg would never never never ever watch called "Friends." On the show (I hear), Perry plays the majorly goofball character Chandler Bing. Chandler is, without a doubt, the most underdoggy of them all, which is why he's my favorite. Even Ross has a girlfriend most of the time. Chandler seems unable to keep one around for long and the ones he does manage are invariably annoying (and yes, I include Monica) (Not that I know who Monica is, of course). Plus, he's funny. Which means he's maybe just a tad insecure. Which means I love him.

Lucky for me, as I do not watch his show (EVER), Matthew shows up in movies from time to time. I recently rented, for example, the movie "The Whole Nine Yards," which stars MP and ex-Boyfriend Bruce Willis. Willis plays an infamous hit man who moves in next door to schmuck (well, it's true!) Perry and proceeds to scare him to death completely unintentionally. I heartily recommend this movie not only to fans of MP, BW, or fine comedies, but to anyone who has ever ordered a sandwich or burger in a restaurant and requested that the mayo be left off of it -- only to have that request be completely ignored by the waitstaff and/or kitchen.

He's been in a couple of other movies recently as well ("Fools Rush In," "Three to Tango," e.g.) but I haven't had a chance to watch them yet. Don't you worry, though. I'll be renting them ASAP. Thursday nights. Or everyday at 6pm on channel 13. Oh wait. Nevermind.

A little biography: Matty was born August 19, 1969 in Massachusetts ("I've been all around the world, but I love New England best. I might be prejudice. But no, I love New England" -- name that song.). But, he didn't live there long before his parents divorced and he and his mom moved to Canada (woo!). There Matt took up serious tennis-playing (obviously and unfortunately missing his true calling -- to become a Mountie) and by age 13 was ranked the number two player in Ottawa. Gooooo Matt!

In high school, however, he decided to give a little school-play acting a try (starring as Arriba Arriba Geneva in an Ashbury College production of "The Life and Death of Sneaky Fitch." I don't know what it is, but it sounds like something I'd truly appreciate). One role and Matt was bit by the bug. He ditched tennis and decided to pursue pretending full-time instead.

His first major motion picture role was a bit part in the River Phoenix movie "A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon." This is the movie I snuck into with my friends when we were about 13 because we were crazy-in-love with RP and the movie was rated R. It took some serious planning, cunning, lying, and tomfoolerly to do it, too. Don't tell my mom. After that, Matt spend a few years showing up in other small roles in both film and television. In 1993, he and his friend decided they'd write their own sitcom, which was about a bunch of twentysomething friends and was called "Maxwell House." The show was rejected, however, because NBC already had a similar program in the works. So, Matt decided he'd at least see if he could land a role on this other show and it was Friends and he was Chandler and the planets were once again in perfect alignment.

A little trivia on the Mattster for you:

  • MP's father is John Bennett Perry, an actor who's done a lot of TV himself, including a couple of episodes of my old morning favorite, "Little House on the Prairie."

  • Matt dated Julia Roberts once (who hasn't?). I will refrain from commenting on this in case Benjamin Bratt drops by.

  • When he plays in celebrity charity tennis matches, he's often paired with John McEnroe, which tells you a little bit about his skill (because I don't see Johnny putting up with a rookie for long, do you?).

  • In June 1997, Matty had to go into rehab for addiction to vicodin which, as a person who takes vicodin from time to time for chronic pain, is totally weird to me. Stuff makes you feel like crap. But, I can see how some of its effects (like, making your pain go away) might become addictive and I'm withholding judgment because I don't know the details of how he got started (if he was using it to treat pain and got hooked, I totally understand that -- if he was using it at parties for fun, he's an idiot). Anyway, he's since kicked the habit, which in and of itself is pretty admirable.

  • In June 2000, he asked to have his name removed from the Best Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy list because all the stars of Friends have agreed to only allow themselves awards for supporting roles. Also pretty admirable, no?

  • Matty's 6' 1". That's good. His middle name is Langford. That's bad. And the ugly is: nothing new shows up in the list for Perry's future projects. I did hear a rumor recently, however, that he's working on a script for another sitcom he wants to write/produce. We'll have to see how that turns out.

    The point I'm trying to make here is that Matthew Perry is one of those guys you just know would make a great Boyfriend. He's sweet and he makes you laugh. Plus, your mother would love him -- he's probably even a "good eater" (key). I've heard through the entertainment news grapevine that Matt's not dating anyone right now, and I feel this may be a sign. It's rare that one of my Boyfriends is actually single when I take him on for a week. Kismet, people. Kismet. So, if you see Matty around (post office or otherwise -- by the way, he lives in Hollywood Hills now), be sure to tell him to give me a call. Pronto. Like within the next seven days, before he's ousted, tossed into the archives, and replaced. Ouch.

    MacGyver Factor Score: 97.9%. Points off because he drives a Porshe. That's just so tacky.

    Boyfriend-Related Links

    The Complete Matthew Perry Site
    A Web Site about that Show I Never Watch
    Matty's IMDB site

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