During her opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, Quinta Brunson decided to make fun of Friends’ lack of black characters.
Friends was the most popular comedy in the world when it first aired. Every week, millions of people would tune in, etching each moment into their memories to the point where some people could probably recite every episode from memory.
However, in recent years, comedy has come under fire because some of the jokes haven’t aged well.
Furthermore, some of the representation was handled in such a way that the show’s creators now regret it. As new generations of fans have grown up, they’ve pointed out that certain characters have acted horribly.
On the other hand, Quinta Brunson took aim at something else: the lack of Black characters on Friends.
Quinta Brunson on the show
She joked during her opening monologue that she had always wanted to be on SNL but that the audition process seemed difficult. She made fun of herself, saying she “created my own TV show, made sure it became really popular, won a bunch of Emmys, and then got asked to host.”
The Abbott Elementary creator described her show, drawing comparisons to the popular sitcom Friends, with one notable exception.
She said: “It’s a network sitcom like, say, Friends, except instead of being about a group of friends, it’s about a group of teachers.
“Instead of New York, it’s in Philadelphia, and instead of not having black people, it does!”
As Quinta Brunson continued with her introductory monologue, the SNL audience cheered loudly at the joke. She then praised teachers for their challenging work while emphasizing how they “get taken for granted.”
Considering that there are a whopping 27 characters on Friends, Brunson was technically incorrect when he claimed that the program lacked any Black characters.
The fact that such memorable characters are on that roster, however, such as “Mattress King Delivery Guy,” “Child looking at Chandler,” “Security Guard,” and of course, “Man,” rather proves her argument.
Okay, the majority of the people on the list actually gave names to their characters, and some of them are even allowed to talk, if only for a brief moment.
Aisha Tyler’s Charlie Wheeler, who managed to appear in a full nine episodes out of the Friends roster of 236 episodes, was the longest-running Black character in the program.