Top 10 must-watch Matthew Perry movies and TV shows apart from Friends

Matthew Perry Friends movies TV shows

Friends actor Matthew Perry’s untimely demise at the age of 54 has left fans around the world at a loss for words. The actor had become synonymous with his iconic role as Chandler Bing from the sitcom, thanks to his signature humor and charm. While he will continue to be remembered as the symbol of ‘sarcasm’, Matthew Perry’s film and television career extended far beyond just Friends. Let’s take a look at the top 10 must-watch movies and TV shows of Matthew Perry (apart from Friends) that showcase his talent as an actor.

While the actor may not have found as much mainstream success as Friends, Matthew Perry was often ready to take on a variety of roles that proved his versatility as a performer. The American-Canadian comedian experimented with different characters and genres that often blended comedy into it. Here is a list of his top 10 essential roles from movies and TV shows apart from Friends in no particular order.

1) The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Rosanna Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Duration: 101 minutes

In this comedy-crime entertainer, Matthew Perry stars as Nicholas “Oz” Oseransky who is an unhappily married dentist. He gets caught up in the world of contract killers and crosses paths with Bruce Willis’ ‘The Tulip’ who is a mob hitman-turned-informant. This high-concept plot doesn’t seem to be fleshed out really well but it sure is a lot of fun to watch casually. 

Matthew Perry has excellent on-screen chemistry with Bruce Willis and this adds to the movie’s overall humor quotient. The movie may be flawed but if you’re a fan of Perry’s signature wit, this is an essential watch. Interestingly, this was the actor’s initial foray into movies after becoming popular on TV through Friends.

2) The West Wing (1999-2006)

Genre: Drama

Cast: Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing, John Spencer, Bradley Whitford

Creator: Aaron Sorkin

Seasons: 7

Aaron Sorkin needs no introduction as one of the best screenwriters in the world. Known for his sharp and impactful dialogue, The West Wing is proof of the writer’s ability to effortlessly switch between mediums like film and TV. While the show ran for seven seasons in total, Matthew Perry appeared in the fourth and fifth seasons.

His stint on The West Wing was a refreshing departure from his usual comedic roles. Matthew Perry played Joe Quincy, a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s office. He proved himself to be more than just a witty comedian with this critically acclaimed political drama. Despite being in an ensemble cast, the actor’s performance stands out from the rest. 

3) Fools Rush In (1997)

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Cast: Matthew Perry, Salma Hayek, Jon Tenney

Director: Andy Tennant

Duration: 108 minutes

If you’re a fan of rom-coms and Chandler Bing, get ready for a great combination in Fools Rush In. Matthew Perry stars opposite Salma Hayek in this 1997 romantic comedy. He plays an uptight New Yorker who falls in love after a one-night stand in Las Vegas

Despite being a casual entertainer, Matthew Perry does an excellent job at portraying a by-the-book man who later becomes a loving husband and father. The movie is far from perfect but it’s still a great story of how opposites attract and end up together.

4) The Odd Couple (2015-2017)

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Matthew Perry, Thomas Lennon, Wendell Pierce, Yvette Nicole Brown, Lindsay Sloane

Creator: Matthew Perry

Seasons: 3

Apart from being one of Matthew Perry’s last on-screen roles, The Odd Couple was also developed by the actor who served as an executive producer. The show is a modern adaptation of Neil Simon’s classic play. Perry played messy-but-lovable sportscaster Oscar Madison alongside Thomas Lennon’s Felix Unger.

The duo had a humorous and memorable dynamic even though the show ended in just three seasons. Despite its many issues in writing and comedy, the show is still worth watching simply for Matthew Perry’s performance and on-screen chemistry with Thomas Lennon. 

5) The Ron Clark Story (2006) 

Genre: Biopic, Drama

Cast: Matthew Perry, Ernie Hudson, Melissa De Sousa, Hannah Hodson

Director: Randa Haines

Duration: 96 minutes

In this biographical drama, Matthew Perry puts a hold on his trademark humor to get into the shoes of Ron Clark. The story of the real-life teacher who made a profound impact on inner-city students is truly inspiring to watch. Perry’s role shows him moving to New York City to teach in a tough urban school while his job is on the line.

6) Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006-2007) 

Genre: Drama

Cast:  Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford, Sarah Paulson

Creator: Aaron Sorkin

Seasons: 1

If Matthew Perry wasn’t doing comedy, he was playing a TV exec who ran a live sketch comedy show. The actor returned to collaborate with Aaron Sorkin after the writer left The West Wing. The show may be just a season long but it still offers a great glimpse into how the entertainment industry works. It also earned Perry critical acclaim for his performance. 

7) 17 Again (2009)

Genre: Teen fantasy comedy

Cast: Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon

Director: Burr Steers

Duration: 102 minutes

While many know 17 Again as the film where Zac Efron’s character transforms into his high school self, they often forget that Matthew Perry played the unhappy adult version. His casting as Mike O’Donnell was a great choice considering how the man gets a second chance at life. Despite being predictable, 17 Again remains a good casual viewing. 

8) Second Chance (1987-1988)

Genre: Sitcom

Cast: Kiel Martin, Matthew Perry, William Gallo

Creators: David W Duclon, Gary Menteer

Seasons: 2

While Matthew Perry’s role as Chandler Bing in Friends was instrumental in changing the face of sitcoms forever, the actor struggled to get parts in the early stages of his career. During this time, he starred in lesser known shows like Second Chance where he played the younger version of a deceased character played by Kiel Martin. 

The show became known as ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ in its second season and ended soon after. Regardless, it paved the way for Matthew Perry’s future roles and made him a recognizable face on American sitcom television. 

9) Numb (2007)

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Cast: Matthew Perry, Lynn Collins, Kevin Pollak

Director: Harris Goldberg

Duration: 94 minutes

While the genre may be humor, Numb has an indie approach with its storytelling. Matthew Perry plays Hudson Milbank, a screenwriter with a depersonalization disorder. It explores themes like mental health really well thanks to the actor’s raw and emotional performance. Numb was not a critical or commercial success, but it’s a decent addition to Perry’s filmography.

10) Mr. Sunshine (2011)

Genre: Sitcom

Cast: Matthew Perry, Allison Janney, Andrea Anders, James Lesure

Creator: Matthew Perry

Seasons: 1

Mr. Sunshine was another one of Matthew Perry’s short-lived sitcom ventures after his massive success with Friends. The actor co-created and starred as Ben Donovan, the manager of the Sunshine Center, a second-rate sports arena. Despite its brief run, the show had some memorable funny misadventures to casually watch. 

What is your favorite Matthew Perry role in a film or TV show apart from his iconic Chandler Bing from Friends?

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