FRIENDS’ 25th Anniversary: Looking Back at Jon Lovitz's Hilariously Odd Arc - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRIENDS’ 25th Anniversary: Looking Back at Jon Lovitz’s Hilariously Odd Arc

September 20, 2019 by  

Friends Jon Lovitz

Photo by NBC – © NBC Universal, Inc. – Image courtesy

FRIENDS often had long-running jokes over the course of the show’s decade run—the benefit of 200-plus episode and a core cast that didn’t change—but one of the most insane gags was something the show itself barely acknowledged.

In season 1’s “The One with the Stoned Guy,” Lovitz guest starred as Steve, a massage client of Phoebe’s who was looking to open his own restaurant. Monica, then an aspiring chef, crafted a tasting menu for him…which, since he was stoned, he was unwilling to actually wait for.

Cut to season 9’s “The One with the Blind Dates,” as he reappeared as a former massage client of Phoebe’s (“This guy I used to massage. And by massage, I mean hold down so he wouldn’t flash me.”), whom she set Rachel up with on an intentionally bad date.

The date went as poorly as anticipated—though Rachel got an offensive gag t-shirt as a parting gift—but there was fun in Lovitz’ Steve being a nightmare, again, and the show not hammering it over viewers’ head it was a repeat character. It also plausibly made sense Rachel wouldn’t instantly recognize him given how briefly he crossed into their lives years ago. (This isn’t quite “Ross doesn’t remember Mark”-levels of stretching.)

Even all these years later, the episode feels like a little wink to dedicated fans; the writers just trusted you’d get what they were going for and didn’t beat you over the head with “Remember when he got stoned at your old apartment, and, hey, now you’re out on a date with him?!” While it may bring up some questions about why Phoebe kept him in her life, it was also amusing to see there were actually consequences for him being a mess…


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