When the internet was new, we played those “Which Friends character are you?” quizzes. I’d always get Chandler Bing, and I was proud of it. Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer were amazing, but Matthew Perry’s Chandler was the best. So, when we woke up to the news that Matthew Perry had passed away at 54, it was a gut punch.
Celebrities’ deaths can hit you harder than you’d expect. You don’t know them personally, but they’ve been a part of your life. We grew up with “Friends.” Chandler Bing was our sarcasm teacher, our guide to humour, and our role model for using wit as a defence mechanism.
But it’s more than just his on-screen presence. Chandler Bing, the character, and Matthew Perry, the man, taught us that it’s okay for men to be vulnerable. Chandler battled self-doubt, body image issues, and addiction, and he showed us that having flaws is okay—it’s how you deal with them that matters.
Off-screen, Matthew Perry had his own struggles. His battle with addiction was no secret, and his openness about it endeared him to a new generation. We, the ’90s kids, grew up in a world where conformity was rewarded, and talking about mental health and addiction was taboo. Matthew Perry’s openness about his struggles made us realize that it’s okay to talk about these issues.
A new generation of Indian millennials started liking him, not just for his on-screen humour but also for who he was off-screen. For those aware of his struggles and victories over addiction, his sudden death feels incredibly unfair. He fought so hard and was starting a new chapter in life. It feels like a cruel twist of fate, not just for him but for all of us who followed his journey.
In real life, things don’t always have the perfect ending. Matthew Perry’s life was tragically short. He had so much more to achieve. We’ll always wonder about the unfulfilled potential of his immense talent. But let’s remember the good things that made him so beloved. Farewell, Chanandler Bong, there will never be another like you!