'SNL' pays tribute to Matthew Perry after former host's death

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'SNL' pays tribute to Matthew Perry after former host's death

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Saturday Night Live pays special tribute to Matthew Perry after former host’s death at 54

The “Friends” star hosted on Oct. 4, 1997 with musical guest Oasis.

Published on October 29, 2023

Hours after news broke that Friends star Matthew Perry had died at age 54 on Saturday, a special tribute was made in his honor during Saturday Night Live, a show he once hosted.

Just before goodnights at the end of Saturday night’s episode hosted by comedian Nate Bargatze, the show featured a special tribute card for Perry, who hosted the sketch comedy juggernaut on Oct. 4, 1997 with musical guest Oasis.

‘SNL’ pays tribute to former host Matthew Perry. NBC

Perry’s monologue included the star encouraging NYC residents to help re-create the iconic Friends opening fountain dance. Among the sketches that night was “Sarcasm 101,” in which Perry schooled a group of students — including Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, and Norm Macdonald — on his signature comedic tone.

The episode also featured a Friends parody in which Perry played the character of Joey and objected when cast member Colin Quinn played Chandler too effeminately.

The actor was the fourth star of the hit NBC sitcom to host SNL, following in the footsteps of Courteney Cox and David Schwimmer, who both hosted in 1995, and Lisa Kudrow, who hosted in 1996. Jennifer Aniston, who once revealed she had turned down SNL for Friends, later fronted the show in 1999 and 2004, while Matt LeBlanc has never appeared as a host.

Perry was reportedly found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home where first responders were called for cardiac arrest, according to the Los Angeles Times and TMZ, which cited law enforcement sources who said there were no signs of foul play and no drugs found at the scene.

The Emmy-nominated actor also appeared on the shows Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Go On, and The Odd Couple, as well as films like Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, and 17 Again. He reunited with his former costars in 2021 for a Friends reunion special on HBO Max. He continued making headlines the next year with his revealing memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, opening up about his years-long struggles with drug and alcohol addictions.

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