Hi guys. My show "The Comeback" is airing on HBO starting on November 9. Here at reddit NYC with Victoria helping me out in person, AMA.



Edit: Thanks everyone for your questions. And I hope you like this next installment of The Comeback.

Comments: 1111 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

Boxscape1633 karma


LisaKudrowHere1760 karma


Frajer742 karma

did you ever find out what they were feeding smelly cat?

LisaKudrowHere731 karma


No. Good question!

DanceExMachina655 karma

Which actor that you've met or worked with has been the most funny off-set?

LisaKudrowHere1597 karma

See, now, 20 people would be insulted... but because I spent 10 years laughing hysterically at Matthew Perry off-set, it's Matthew Perry. And not laughing at him, laughing with him, sorry!

two_off618 karma

What did Ross / David Schwimmer do that made you genuinely laugh the most?

LisaKudrowHere1294 karma

Oh, the bagpipes!

Ross played "Celebrate," the Kool & the Gang song, on bagpipes! And he was SO fully committed!

Best_Zyra_LAN590 karma

How much of Phoebe's musical compositions were adlibbed? Did you have any hand in the song writing?

Also, you were my first celebrity crush! Its been killing me all these years, so I have to know. If a random 12 year old fan had sent you a letter asking you out on a date, would you have said yes?

LisaKudrowHere923 karma


First of all, Phoebe's song lyrics were not ad libbed. The writers wrote them. And I got to come up with the tunes.

Because I play guitar so poorly it would be too hard to learn how to play that badly.

How sweet you wanted to ask me on a date when you were 12! I was either getting married, just married, pregnant, or trying to raise a little boy while working, and didn't have a lot of free time for dates.

analdominator1565 karma

Would you say it has been your day, your week, your month, or even your year?

LisaKudrowHere714 karma

I would. I would have to say that.

jonemillard513 karma

Hey Lisa,

What has been you oddest fan encounter?

LisaKudrowHere1413 karma

Oh my god!

At a restaurant, someone came over to me, very timidly, and said: "Excuse me, I'm sorry, are you...? Are you....Dionne Warwick?"


I responded with: "No."

adamlutz506 karma

Hello Mrs. Kudrow! I have a question for you about the Friends series. Was Janice's voice really that annoying in real life or was that staged? Thanks so much!

LisaKudrowHere950 karma

Janice was played by Maggie Wheeler, and that is not her real voice.

She's actually a gifted songstress.

wilsonmma413 karma

Hey Lisa!! Huge fan! Been waiting for your AMA forever. Phoebe and Ross were my favourite Friends characters. So here are the Friends questions:

  1. Your favourite all time Friends episode?
  2. If you were to do a reunion with the Friends cast, which one would you prefer? Friends Movie, Friends Episode, or an entire season?
  3. You were slightly emotional after the last episode was taped. Were any of the 3 guys like that??
  4. Can you give my cousin Tom a shoutout for his birthday? :)

LisaKudrowHere628 karma

1) Halloween Party. 2) I'll go for it. A whole season, because to spend that much time with those people again would be heaven! 3) We all were. Thanks for saying only slightly. 4) Happy birthday Tom.

tubetacular392 karma

I enjoyed your brief cameo in Neighbors as the school's dean. You were only in a few scenes but they were all hilarious. Do you have any funny stories from your time working with Seth Rogan?

LisaKudrowHere489 karma

It was just fun. I remember that. And I remember feeling like it was okay to ask him if he would be in The Comeback and he said yes, so look for him in episode 3.

lungbong336 karma

Hi Lisa, who did you prefer playing Ursula or Phoebe?

LisaKudrowHere451 karma

Both. But they were both fun for completely different reasons.

ironmoses332 karma

Do you still play the guitar? Have you gotten better or worse?

LisaKudrowHere566 karma

About the same. Haven't picked it up since we finished the show. Hahaha!

helloha312 karma

Don't Romy and Michele have another reunion coming up?

LisaKudrowHere251 karma

No, sorry to say.

jakjg298 karma

My dad is a very serious and stern man. I am an adult now, I can only remember him laughing twice in my life. Once at the fart scene in Blazing Saddles, and the second time at the Smelly cat song. So, my question is, how did that come about? Was it written for you, or did you have any input to it?

LisaKudrowHere357 karma

The writers wrote it, I wrote the tune, and had a little help from Chryssie Hynde. She was amazing.

young-blood-289 karma

Hi Lisa! I am a huge fan of yours. In fact, when I was in the eighth grade in 2004, I wrote you a 3-page letter. I have no recollection of what is was about, but I remember that you mailed me back an autographed picture that I thought was real for about five years, haha. I still have it framed! Anyways, I am just wondering in what ways would you consider yourself similar to Phoebe? In what ways would you say you’re different from her character? Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this!

LisaKudrowHere515 karma

Well, first that picture was real. I signed it.

Similar to Phoebe, mmm... (minutes passing, hahaa)

I try to be as optimistic as she is. And in what was am I different from her? I wish I was as optimistic.

brittnie920281 karma

Do you still have people ask you to sing smelly cat? Do you?

LisaKudrowHere552 karma

I have a LOT of people ask.

I've not done it.

shouldbeworking23268 karma

Why did HBO give Comeback... a comeback?

LisaKudrowHere313 karma


They thought it would be fun to see Valerie again.

TheWonderOfJosh261 karma

Hi Lisa! What is the funniest thing to have happened backstage on Friends?

LisaKudrowHere610 karma

One day we all brought our dogs to work. And I thought I left my dog in my room, with the door closed, I was downstairs on the stage rehearsing, and all of a sudden, my dog, a little poodle, came running and JUMPED onto my lap and stayed on my lap for the rest of the scene - for the rest of the run-through of that scene, in front of the producers and all of the writers!

Last time I brought my dog to work.

seismicor260 karma

What is your favourite animated show?

LisaKudrowHere1245 karma

Right now? Bojack Horseman.

Parmizan246 karma

If you had to pick out one episode of Friends as being your favourite overall, which one would it be?

LisaKudrowHere736 karma

The Halloween party that Sean Penn appeared in. For a lot of reasons. Number one was it was the first show we shot after 9/11. And that whole week, while driving in LA, people would pull up, and give me a very sad look, and a quiet "thank you" for making them laugh.

sportsfan987245 karma

How do you imagine the life of Phoebe and Mike in 2014?

LisaKudrowHere579 karma

Oh yeah! I honestly think Phoebe would be a super-competitive tiger mom. She doesn't do anything by half-measure.

StrangerFromReddit237 karma

Hey I'm a HUGE fan of yours. I think it's so cool that you got a degree in bio before you moved into acting. Do you feel your degree helped you with any aspect of your life now, or was it a waste of time in your eyes looking back?

Also, on the cbs Sunday morning interview you mentioned that you weren't ready to stop making episodes of Friends. Was this the main feelings of the group of you, or was everyone else pretty much ready to move on?


LisaKudrowHere422 karma

Mmm. NOT a waste of time, not even a little bit! It came in handy, when I was studying improvisation. Because what i learned from studying biology is that nature doesn't judge. And when you're improvising, neither should you.

We agreed as a group to move on.

ThreeGreenFart228 karma

Hi! When you were filming the scene in Friends where Pheobe flips out and starts swearing at the Pacman machine, what were you actually saying? Actually swearing or something else?

LisaKudrowHere348 karma

Oh! I don't know if I was allowed to actually swear. We pre-shot that part, and I think I remember Kevin Bright, our executive producer, laughing and saying "I know, but no one should even be able to read it on your lips."I think I remember it happening.

duquesne419213 karma

Matt LeBlanc once talked about having made his 'fuck you money,' as in, he now had enough to say fuck off to just about anything(though he was speaking specifically to choosing roles). How has a fabulous paycheck changed your appetites for work and roles?

Also, thanks for doing this, and have a good one.

LisaKudrowHere396 karma

Matt always says things so simply and clearly.

ranchdepressing183 karma

I remember seeing an In Style photoshoot you did many years ago, and in every picture you had half your face covered. Was this an artistic choice, or did you have an irritated eye or a pimple or something?

LisaKudrowHere312 karma

That is a really interesting question. I don't remember ever needing to cover half my face, so... I am gonna guess that was an editorial decision?!

shouldbeworking23156 karma

Hi Lisa, thanks for doing this AMA! Two quick questions- Do you wish friends would have lasted longer? Why or Why not?

LisaKudrowHere373 karma

I loved doing FRIENDS. I would have been fine if we did it 10 more years, and it was great that we finished when we did, because I've loved everything I've done since.

OhHelloPlease155 karma

What's your favorite moment from being on The Simpsons?

LisaKudrowHere262 karma

Oh, actually BEING at the Simpsons and recording a voice! That was my favorite, of many moments joined together!

Rainingmadness144 karma

Hello Lisa. How hard was it to keep a straight face when your acting partners were Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro in Analyze This and Analyze That?

LisaKudrowHere251 karma

VERY hard. Both hilarious in different ways. And you're forgetting Harold Ramis directed!

shivan21134 karma

How did you prepare for the Friends role? Did you understand the character of Phoebe right away, or did you have to elaborate it for some time?

LisaKudrowHere297 karma

Well, the audition piece was the monologue you see in the pilot. So that told me a lot about the character. And I thought it would be funny if this person didn't think that any of the stuff that happened to her was a big deal, and didn't that stuff happen to everybody?

lemonsole127 karma

Hey Lisa, good to have you here! Who are your greatest inspirations when it comes to acting? The Comeback is great, can't wait for it.

LisaKudrowHere186 karma

Well, of course, Meryl Streep. Dustin Hoffman. You know, these are people I can't stop watching for their total commitment and effortless performances...

ryangillam124 karma

How do you keep your face looking so great? You have not aged a year since Friends.

LisaKudrowHere185 karma

Thank you!

It's a matter of opinion. But I sincerely thank you.

kdk12k2k12113 karma

Hey Lisa! Thanks for doing this AMA!

I told friends and family you were doing this and they jumped at the chance to participate.

As briefly as possible:

From my mom

  1. I was deeply moved by your appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? especially the segment in Europe. Since you had to comply with the timeframe of the program, can you relate how much time you were able to spend with your relatives and a brief summary of what you talked about and/or your experience?

Initially from my friend put forth by me

  1. My online friend is a Friends fanatic. Everything this girl puts forth has Friends associated with it. She’s mental over the show and is relentless when telling us that it’s the best show ever. I’m pretty sure it would make not only her day but her life if you told her “hi.” Her name is Sydney.

From me

  1. I love Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. The character of Michele is very sweet and upbeat. Were there any big changes from the Ladies Room play to the film on character development? Were you able to have a lot of input?

LisaKudrowHere147 karma

1) Mmm, okay. That was a profound experience. I actually got to have dinner with all of them that night. And the grandson Tomek came to visit in LA, and we are still in touch. I'm sorry to report that Bolislaw passed away a few years ago.

2) Hi Sydney.

3) Heehee. There was not a huge difference in the character from the play to the film! Which is a testament to the consistency that was Michelle Weinberger.

escherbach105 karma

Hi Lisa, do you ever wish you'd done further study in science? (or maybe in the future?)

LisaKudrowHere192 karma

I miss science.

I do wish I could've studied it more. I always say: "Yeah, in the future, I will do more."

StellaMaroo102 karma

Hi Ms. Kudrow! Thanks for doing this AMA. I saw an interview where you said you actually don't like to sing. However, if you were forced to do karaoke which song would you choose?

LisaKudrowHere441 karma

I did karaoke once.

And I performed "Hava Nagila" because i thought it would be funny.

And it was funny. For three seconds.

Then it was torture. For 3 minutes.

CrazyDogLady23101 karma

Hi, Lisa! First of all, thank you for Phoebe. Friends has brought me so much joy and kept me laughing when I dealt with cancer as a teenager. My question: You were the only one of the six Friends who had a child during the show's run. Was that difficult? Was it harder for them to relate to you as a mom? ...Thanks!

LisaKudrowHere253 karma

First of all, I'm glad we were able to keep you laughing during a tough time.

Here's what was difficult about having a child: when he visited the set, it was hard to be in character. Because i didn't want him to ever experience me as anything OTHER than his mother.

abitbolgeorges97 karma

Can you draw ?

LisaKudrowHere220 karma


And I hate that I cannot draw!

Scendo88 karma

Hey Lisa! Loved you on Friends! Was just wondering: what was your favorite song to perform on the show?

LisaKudrowHere301 karma


Okay: they all actually make me laugh really hard, somebody put them all together on YouTube, because I'd forgotten all the songs, and every time a new one came on, I laughed out loud, but I really liked the one for the kids, that starts "Oh the cow in the meadow goes moo..."

notarobot4588 karma

Hi Lisa! Any regrets in your career?

LisaKudrowHere236 karma


shivan2187 karma

What is your favorite season of Friends?

LisaKudrowHere214 karma


I think 1. Because it was the first one.

Princess_Consuela_86 karma

I'm really just here to hunt down the person who took my username without the underscores. But since this is an AMA... What is the worst advice you've ever received?

PS, I think you're phenomenal and I love your style of comedy - thanks for answering questions!

LisaKudrowHere170 karma



After The Comeback was cancelled, one person told me "I think your mistake - listen, fine that you wrote it, but you shouldn't have been in it. Too soon after FRIENDS."

I think that's the worst advice, don't you?

wetextacy82 karma

Hello Lisa! Thanks a lot for taking the time and doing this, the Reddit community thanks you :) My question is, how often do you watch re-runs of Friends episodes and reminisce about how you and the rest of the cast influenced a generation? You are the best, thank you!

LisaKudrowHere122 karma

I rarely watch re-runs. And I should watch them, because I never remember what the show was about. And so when we DO get together, shows do come up, we do reminisce about fun and funny things that happened.

Sisiwakanamaru81 karma

What is your favorite dessert?

Thank you

LisaKudrowHere150 karma

Chocolate chip cookies.

yo_soy_tu_rey77 karma

Is there any chance you'll make an appearance in Disney's "Finding Dory" as a relative of Dory's? Please?

LisaKudrowHere390 karma

I don't know what any of that means.

ZioDog66 karma

Do people ever refer to you as Phoebe? And whats been the most awkward moment when they have.

Thanks Phoebe! :)

LisaKudrowHere300 karma

It's only awkward when someone says "Phoebe"... and then adds "because I don't know your real name." And THEN says "I haven't actually seen the show, but my friends say I should say that to you."

And THEN asks for a picture.

MumtyMumty60 karma

Were we ever meant to feel sorry for Valerie? Because I felt bad for her on so many occasions (especially when she brought the cookies to the office) even though I feel it was written that we should have been laughing at her.

LisaKudrowHere77 karma

No, perfectly appropriate to feel bad! Also appropriate to laugh. No one invited her down there to bring them fresh slice & bake "homemade" cookies, so she could get better writing for her character.

jvreeland58 karma

Do you think your time at The Groundlings was time well invested? Also, what was it like working with Conan O'Brian in the early part of your career?

LisaKudrowHere103 karma

The Groundlings was HUGELY important to me.

I think writing sketches is a fantastic writing exercise.

The most fun was working with Conan. Even more fun than working with Conan was watching him onstage, improvising, because he's lightning fast and ridiculously funny. Really inspirational.

frosoaniston58 karma

what were your thoughts when you were walking outside of Monica's apartment for the last scene? btw it's after midnight here and I have a test tomorrow but I'm waiting for you to answer one of my questions so please do so I can go sleep:) Thanks

LisaKudrowHere151 karma

My thoughts - one thought, really: This is too much.

Good night! Good luck on your test!

vriggy56 karma

Hey Lisa! I find your, and David Schwimmer's, goofy antics hilarious, how was it working with him and do you have any particularly funny memories where you two interacted? Take care of yourself! :)

LisaKudrowHere88 karma


It wasn't just Schwimmer but all the guys did this, but Schwimmer made me laugh a lot when he did it...

I would start to speak, he would pump his hand in the air and say "shh shh shh." Still makes me laugh!

AGallagher41056 karma

What's your favorite ride in Disney?

LisaKudrowHere156 karma

Space Mountain!

Theandric55 karma

You are stuck in an airport for three hours before your flight leaves. How do you pass the time?

LisaKudrowHere107 karma

Oh! Listen to an audiobook. And play a game.

BillyHalconeCrawford54 karma

What is your favorite kind of celery?

LisaKudrowHere97 karma

Oh! Cooked and simmered into something else.

lmi651 karma

Hi, Lisa! What's the strangest place you've been recognized? Also, how was your Halloween? Thanks for doing this AMA!

LisaKudrowHere91 karma

Um, strangest place was on a beach in Bali. And completely uneventful.

shivan2149 karma

Hi Lisa! Are you a wacky in real life too?

LisaKudrowHere106 karma

Sorry, but I don't think I am.

MsJessD447 karma

Hi Lisa, what are your favorite tv shows lately?

LisaKudrowHere113 karma


I like Mindy Kaling, the Mindy Project. Oh! The Skip Gates Finding Your Roots show on PBS! (I know, I'm plugging another genealogy show, but...)

I like Getting On, that's on HBO. And GIRLS, I love. The Good Wife, Elementary... The Paradise. And that'll be good for a while.

spcms46 karma

How did you get into character to play Ursula, Phoebe's twin sister?

LisaKudrowHere110 karma

Oh, believe it or not, Ursula felt VERY different to me, from Phoebe!

Um... for Ursula, whatever I had to say was cloaked in not-fully-understanding-what-I-was-responding-to.

ChampaigneShowers44 karma

Hey Liisssaaa!

clooney or jackman?

LisaKudrowHere112 karma



seismicor39 karma

Hi. Do you have a favourite videogame?

LisaKudrowHere90 karma


I have games on my iPad. And right now I'm really having fun with Two Dots. But one of my favorites for all time is Drop 7.

aberry1737 karma

I was at a bit of a low point this year but your Vassar commencement speech made a huge impact (that I saw on YouTube). Thank you. I love my major at college but I know acting is not a choice for me but succumbing to a compulsion. What is your advice to someone who is to get into acting kind of late? (after undergrad) with not a lot of prior experience. I have 2 years left.

LisaKudrowHere56 karma

That's exactly when I started acting. 22, just finished undergraduate studies in biology. But you read my speech, so you know that. It's not kind of late.

seismicor33 karma

What is the last movie you have watched and can you recommend it?

LisaKudrowHere73 karma

Oh jeez.

Last thing I watched was... A FEW GOOD MEN! Cuz if it's on, I watch it.

DominicAddams33 karma

Hey Lisa any funny story of you and Kathy Griffin from The Groundlings days that you could share?

LisaKudrowHere74 karma

That I could share?

Not that Kathy holds back anything... but I do.

scarinaaron33 karma

Hey, Lisa. My mom loved your show so I grew up watching it. I played along with you on episodes you played guitar.

What are your hobbies outside of acting?

Also what's your favorite cereal?

LisaKudrowHere93 karma

Oh my god. I don't have hobbies. I watch TV.

And my favorite cereal: I really like Lucky Charms.

Ayelikemilk30 karma


What is your favorite kind of sandwich?

LisaKudrowHere93 karma

Grilled cheese. Lots of butter, lots of American cheese, on egg bread.

m_schield25 karma

Hi Lisa - massive fan from the UK here. The Comeback - Valerie - holds a special place in my heart and just thinking about her makes me laugh.

Question: Can Valerie please do a reddit AMA?

Question for Valerie: If you could release a charity single, what song would it be, and for what charity..?

Mark x

P.S How do I acquire one of these talking cardboard Cherish's?!

LisaKudrowHere69 karma

Oh my god!! Now I have to be Valerie:

Oh darlin'! You hold a special place in my heart too. All the way over there, cross the lake... POND! Pond, it's pond! And my charity single would be "Something for the Planet" to benefit the Planet. Always liked the song "Stir it up," don't remember who -- Chaka Khan? Well, you know the song.

thatssojamie22 karma

Did Matt LeBlanc smell as good as I imagine he would?

LisaKudrowHere37 karma


glitzyjan21 karma

What can we expect on this season? The show is so hilariously funny. Love it!

LisaKudrowHere40 karma

This season, Valerie gets the wonderful prize of starring in an HBO series. But - she's playing Paulie G's nightmare version of herself.

iheartcrime20 karma

How do you feel that TV has changed now compared to how it was in the 90s?

LisaKudrowHere47 karma

There's so much more to choose from, and so much fantastic stuff to choose from. I really think the quality keep going up and up, as there is more competition. I think it's fantastic, a really exciting time in TV.

hotshotjacko19 karma

Hey Lisa, how's your week going? :)

LisaKudrowHere30 karma

Fine. Busy! Got a show premiering on November 9. You know!

tmos198516 karma

Hi Phoebe.

If Friends never happened, what do you think you would be doing now?

LisaKudrowHere49 karma


Hovering over my son even more than I do.

Itsthes16 karma

Hi Ms. Kudrow! As I'm your self-proclaimed #1 fan, I am super excited for The Comeback Comeback. Since this is a time of miracles for many of us, could we count on the sequels for your other projects, especially my personal favorites: The Opposite of Sex and Easy A? I guess that at least the first one should be doable by Is or Isn't, right...?

Also, although I realize you may not have the control over that, but, considering that you have family in Gdynia, Poland (only 10 miles from where I live!), this should be somewhat personal; could you, please, make sure that we can order Web Therapy (and, hopefully, The Comeback) merchandise from overseas?

Thank you and best wishes Stanisław Konował

LisaKudrowHere27 karma

Hey Stanislaw. I didn't produce those movies. Sorry. Web Therapy, though, should be available in Poland - someone there just bought the format rights, with a fantastic actress playing Fiona Wallice. You can't get merchandise...?!? What?! My partner Dan will be enraged.

Jazigrrl15 karma

I feel like Valerie Cherish's life mirrors Greek Tragedy? Am I just reaching for straws here or us there something to that?

LisaKudrowHere23 karma

I don't think you're reaching for straws.

Denvermax3115 karma

Who would you pick to play you in your Biopic?

LisaKudrowHere36 karma

I have no idea, I've never thought about that. But do you know who played my character Michelle Weinberger in the prequel to Romy & Michele's High School Reunion? Katherine Heigl.

ben564714 karma

Hi, Lisa. I'm a huge FAN of you and have been since Friends. My questions are:

  • What did you like the most about being on Scandal? I really enjoyed you on there as Josie Marcus.

  • Have you seen Dan Bucatinsky's new show, Marry Me? If so, how are you loving it?

  • Do you think anyone who has never seen the first season of The Comeback will love the second season of it or do they have to watch the first one to understand the new season? This question was from my friend, Cynthia and she was your favorite on Friends growing up. :)

  • Isn't Lance Barber an amazing actor?

LisaKudrowHere22 karma

Hmm. I liked...everybody there. The writers are great, the cast is amazing and not just because Dan Bucatinsky is my producing partner, Kerry Washington is extraordinary.

Yes! Of course I watched Marry Me.

I'm not sure you have to watch the first season to enjoy the second season. But I think it helps. And i don't think it's a bad experience to watch the first season, and it's on HBO on demand and HBO Go right now.

Lance Barber is an AMAZING actor. YES. I do think that.

NDaveT7 karma

Lisa, the first episode I ever saw of Friends revolved around all three of the women not knowing how to play poker. Did any of the actresses object to this plot device not being terribly realistic?

(I don't know about you but at least half the women I know understand the rules of poker).

LisaKudrowHere21 karma

Did we really not know how to play poker?

I don't remember that.

And it's funny, because we spent the whole first season playing poker when we weren't rehearsing. Haha. But i have to say the guys were better.

shouldbeworking236 karma

Hi, Lisa! Thanks for doing this AMA. I have a fun question for you if you are up to it. If you had to pick one person to Fuck, one person to Marry, and one person to Kill, out of Ross, Chandler and Joey... who would you pick for each?

LisaKudrowHere47 karma

I got this once before.

What's fun for one person... is awkward for me.

feministcelebasker5 karma

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

LisaKudrowHere15 karma

That's interesting.

I feel like the definition of that word keeps changing.

I'm always concerned about women and especially young women feeling good about themselves, and confident about making choices for themselves.

I don't know if that makes me a feminist or not.

DerKomissar994 karma

Where did "phalange" come from?

LisaKudrowHere9 karma


The hilarious writers.