‘Friends’: There’s a Funny Story Behind Why Phoebe Had an Identical Twin Sister — It’s Because of Lisa Kudrow’s Waitress Role on ‘Mad About You’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lisa Kudrow

With the exception of Ross and Monica, the deal with Friends
was never
family members
— it was all about friendships amongst twenty-somethings
residing and loving in Manhattan. But as a result of every of the six castmates should have
come from someplace, their on-screen siblings and oldsters confirmed up generally.

Phoebe Buffay had some of the distinctive sibling conditions along with her an identical twin sister Ursula. It seems NBC labored Ursula into the storyline for a really particular cause and all of it needed to do with Kudrow’s different job on Mad About You.

Lisa Kudrow
Lisa Kudrow | David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Lisa Kudrow performed Ursula Buffay on ‘Mad About You’

Originally, the unnamed waitress position in Mad About You wasn’t
meant to be
a recurring half. But Kudrow was decided to interrupt into
performing for actual and introduced her spectacular improv and comedic abilities to the half,
prompting producer Danny Jacobson to develop the position.

As Kudrow explained
to Biography
, “By the top of the week, Danny Jacobson stated, ‘You’re actually
humorous’ and ‘Would you be okay if we wrote you into five more episodes?’”

She continued: “It was like, I don’t should get a day job! I
thought I must discover some job someplace in an workplace as a result of I ended
working for my father.”

Lisa Kudrow on Mad About YouLisa Kudrow on Mad About You
Lisa Kudrow as Ursula Buffay on ‘Mad About You’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal through Getty Images

Her ‘Mad About You’ position helped snag Kudrow a ‘Friends’ audition

Kudrow’s Mad About You efficiency helped safe her an audition
for the brand new comedy Friends. But there was just one downside — since each
exhibits had been on NBC and aired again to again, producers needed to give you a manner
to clarify why they had been seeing the identical particular person with totally different names.

Plus, Kudrow beloved being on Mad About You and didn’t wish to quit the position for Friends, which nobody knew would ultimately turn into some of the beloved comedies of all time.

David Crane helped create the connection between ‘Friends’ and ‘Mad
About You’

Lisa Kudrow as Ursula on FriendsLisa Kudrow as Ursula on Friends
Lisa Kudrow as Ursula Buffay on ‘Friends’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal through Getty Images

Friends co-creator David Crane did some brainstorming along with his husband Jeffrey Klarik, who occurred to be a author on Mad About You. The two got here up with the concept to provide Phoebe an an identical twin sister, Ursula, to clarify the 2 characters with totally different names.

“We needed to go to [Mad About You creators] Danny Jacobson
and Paul Reiser to get their permission, and amazingly due to that relationship…
they had been extremely beneficiant and allow us to do it, which is nuts,” Crane defined
an interview
with Entertainment Weekly. “I wouldn’t let anyone try this
with a personality on our present!”

Kudrow didn’t love filming scenes with Ursula

Lisa Kudrow on FriendsLisa Kudrow on Friends
Lisa Kudrow on ‘Friends’ | Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal through Getty Images

Even although Ursula was written into Friends to assist Kudrow, she allegedly didn’t get pleasure from filming scenes along with her double, who was performed by her sister. “Lisa really did not have a good time doing them,” Friends govt producer Kevin Bright informed EW. “She did not like acting with a double, and in a way, she might have made it more difficult for herself because her double was her actual sister [Helena].”

He continued: “I feel feeling the [stress] she put her sister
into by being the double was extra in her head on the time, so these scenes had been
somewhat bit difficult to shoot. But it ended up being numerous enjoyable while you put
it collectively.”

But as Biography identified, her efforts had been finally well worth the aggravation. Kudrow was the primary actor on Friends to win an Emmy Award in 1998. Maybe it had one thing to do with the Phoebe/Ursula connection.

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