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Lisa Kudrow Recalls Jerry Seinfeld Taking Credit for ‘Friends’ Success

Stealing the limelight? Lisa Kudrow opened up about running into Jerry Seinfeld at a party in the ‘90s — and being taken aback when the Seinfeld star took partial credit for Friends’ massive success.

“I remember going to some party and Jerry Seinfeld was there, and I said, ‘Hi,’ and he said, ‘You’re welcome,’” Kudrow, 59, told The Daily Beast in an article that was published on Wednesday, August 10. “I said, ‘Why, thank you … what?’”

According to the California native, Seinfeld, now 68, then told her, “You’re on after us in the summer, and you’re welcome.”

Lisa Kudrow Recalls Jerry Seinfeld Taking Credit for ‘Friends’ Success

While Friends — which premiered in 1994 and ran until 2004 — initially followed Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser’s sitcom Mad About You, Kudrow explained that the NBC comedy didn’t “explode” until the following summer when it was placed after reruns of Seinfeld.

“Not to take anything away from the writing on Friends, or the cast, or how good Friends really was,” Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay during all 10 seasons of the series, said. “But the first season our ratings were just fine.”

Friends may have gotten a boost in the ’90s from the fellow NBC sitcoms that came before it, but it continues to live on today. In January, the Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion star revealed that her son, Julian, 24, was surprised by how good the show was after finally watching it himself.

“He called me up and said, ‘So I just watched the first two episodes. It’s really good, Mom,’” she recounted of the conversation during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, which took place when the USC graduate was sick with COVID-19. “I said, ‘Thanks.’ He said, ‘Can I ask you some questions about that?’ I’m like, ‘Yes!’ I almost started crying. I didn’t think that anyone in my family liked that show.”

Kudrow, who referred to the moment as “the most thrilling thing,” went on to reveal that Julian, whom she shares with husband Michael Stern, continued to watch the entire series, surprising her when he revealed why he found the show so humorous.

“He said, ‘It’s actually really funny. I mean, the guys are really funny,” Kudrow told host Meyers, 48. After the Opposite Sex star was clearly offended, however, Julian admitted that her character, Phoebe, “was really funny” too.

“Never in my life have I wanted to tell my own kid, like, ‘F— you!’ I mean, I thought it, I didn’t say it,” she joked, adding, “It’s not required that you’re a fan. You don’t have to like what I do. But don’t … be so demeaning!”

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