Lisa Kudrow Recalls Run-In Where Jerry Seinfeld Told Her 'You're Welcome' for Friends ' Success

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Lisa Kudrow Recalls Run-In Where Jerry Seinfeld Told Her 'You're Welcome' for Friends' Success
Lisa Kudrow Recalls Run-In Where Jerry Seinfeld Told Her 'You're Welcome' for Friends' Success

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When Friends was on its way to becoming one of the biggest shows on the planet, fellow sitcom star Jerry Seinfeld didn't miss an opportunity to tell Lisa Kudrow he had a hand in the show's success.

According to Kudrow, she once found herself at the same event with the Seinfeld star, who teased Kudrow about how his show was boosting Friends' profile.

"I remember going to some party and Jerry Seinfeld was there, and I said, 'Hi,' and he said, 'You're welcome,' the actress told The Daily Beast. "I said, 'Why, thank you … what?'"

According to Kudrow, Seinfeld then told her, "You're on after us in the summer, and you're welcome."

As it happened, in Friends' first season on air it followed the Helen Hunt/Paul Reiser sitcom Mad About You. But the series really "exploded," according to Kudrow, during the summer of 1995 after NBC placed the show's season 1 reruns after re-airings of Seinfeld, which was a certified hit in its sixth season.

FRIENDS -- Season 6 -- Pictured: (l-r) David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani -- (Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Season 6 -- Pictured: (l-r) David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani -- (Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

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Back at the party in the '90s, Kudrow graciously replied to Seinfeld, "That's exactly right. Thank you."

And even as she takes stock today, the 59-year-old actress still acknowledges Seinfeld, 68, had a point.

"Not to take anything away from the writing on Friends, or the cast, or how good Friends really was," she said, "but the first season our ratings were just fine."

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That said, Friends' pop culture longevity is all thanks to the show, which is still finding new fans nearly 30 years after its premiere.

On a recent episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, the Kudrow shared that her 24-year-old son, Julian Murray Stern, finally got around to watching a few episodes of Friends while he was sick with COVID.

Kudrow called the moment "the most thrilling thing" as she recalled their conversation to Meyers, 48.

"He called me up and said, 'So I just watched the first two episodes. It's really good, Mom,'" she recounted. "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."

"He was 5 when we were finished... but he did start watching when his friends at school started watching," she continued. "He watched it and he was impressed."

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Lisa Kudrow
Lisa Kudrow

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Kudrow's only complaint came when her son appeared to be genuinely surprised at why the beloved sitcom is so good.

"He said, 'It's actually really funny,'" Kudrow said with a laugh, quoting her son. "'I mean, the guys are so funny.'"

After pausing for a moment to jokingly frown at Julian's sentiments, Kudrow noted that her son did acknowledge how she was also funny in her role of wacky singer-songwriter Phoebe Buffay.

"He's like, 'No, I mean you're funny too,'" she said, before joking, "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."

"It's not required that you're a fan," she added of her son's relationship to her work. "You don't have to like what I do. But don't … be so demeaning!"