Hank Azaria is paying respect to one of his oldest buddies, Matthew Perry, who died unexpectedly on Saturday.
Azaria, 59, uploaded a video on Instagram on Sunday pondering Perry’s death by suspected drowning the day before at his Los Angeles home.
When he initially got to Los Angeles, Matthew was the first buddy he made. He was 21, Matthew was 16, Azaria began his lengthy homage to his pal, whom he described as “the funniest man ever.”
Matthew and he became really good friends, and for a long time they were more like brothers. They drank a lot together, laughed a lot together, and were there for each other in the beginning of their careers, the Simpsons star remarked.
He truly loved him. A lot of them who were close to him felt like they lost him to drugs and alcohol a long time ago as—as he documented in his autobiography—there was so much suffering, Azaria continued, adding of Perry’s 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, that he had to pick up and put that biography down, like, 11 times since it was so painful for him to read.
As a recovered alcoholic himself, the actor pondered how Perry’s battle with addiction influenced their connection.
Azaria added that he has been clean for 17 years, and he’d like to claim that the night he went to AA, Matthew brought him in. They went to meetings together for the entire first year he was sober. He was very thoughtful, generous, and knowledgeable. And he was a huge help in getting him sober. And he truly wish he had discovered it in himself to stick with the silver life more regularly.
But it’s terrible for those of them who adored and understood him personally. They simply missed him. They simply missed him. One of the most awful aspects of this sickness is that it just takes away the person one love.
In the eulogy, Azaria also commended his late friend’s humorous abilities.
He just lived to laugh, and he did it every night—he was like a genius. He’d weave—he’d start weaving comic strands together while simply hanging out. Here and there, a joke. Here and there, a joke. He’d tie them all together at the end of the night in this crescendo of laughter. By the end of most nights with Matthew, one was crying and laughing.
As an actor, he was so brilliant, he said. He simply wishes the globe—he and the world—could have seen the remainder of his career.
As Azaria pointed out, the Friends actor’s struggle with drinking and addiction was known. Perry stated in a cover story from last year that he wished to share when he was safe from going into the dark side again. He had to wait until he was reasonably sober—and no longer suffering from the active sickness of alcoholism and addiction—before writing it all down. He felt confident that doing so would benefit others.
They’ll be a little surprised as it gets dark, Perry said of his followers’ reaction to his openness. Alcoholics and addicts will find it quite relatable and, perhaps, helpful. From the outside, his life appears to be perfect. It truly does. And it is at moments, but he believes individuals will be astonished at how awful it became at times and how close he came to dying. In the book, he remarks that if he died, it would surprise individuals, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone. And that’s a terrifying thing to live with. So his aim is for individuals to connect to it and realize that this condition affects everyone. The sickness doesn’t care if one is successful or not.
In 2021, Azaria said that he had hoped to acquire a role similar to Perry’s on Friends; however, after auditioning twice for the role of Joey, it eventually went to Matt LeBlanc.
‘Matthew Perry is actually a very dear friend of mine, and so we all read the script,” he said on an episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden. “We didn’t know it was going to be the huge phenomenon it turned into, but we knew it was great, and we were all so desperate to be in it.”
Azaria finally achieved his desire when he appeared as David, the lover of Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), in subsequent seasons.
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