Stars from Will & Grace, Cheers, The Big Bang Theory and more paid homage to Burrows.
For starters …
Jennifer Aniston – who fought back tears during the tribute – revealed she “always loved when we would have the flashbacks. I always loved when we would flashback to Fat Monica and Rachel Pre-Nosejob and Ross with his Afro.” (For her part, costar Courteney Cox said she enjoyed the show’s blackout episode, which infamously featured Matthew Perry‘s Chandler “stuck in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre” and David Schwimmer‘s Ross being beset by a feral cat.”)
And the other stars who participated in the tribute also noted their musings on favorites and futures of their characters.
• Rhea Perlman most enjoyed throwing a glass of water in her father’s face when he was an extra on the show.
• The cast of Taxi got far bawdier, with star Danny DeVito claiming, “The thing with Jimmy was, when he really liked a joked, he’d get up and grab his d—.”
• And on a much more emotional note Billy Gardell discussed the end of Mike & Molly, saying, “We’re just trying to get through it because we have that same sense of family. I’m Irish: I’ll cry and then I’ll hit you. … We’re just kind of huddling together like we have since the very beginning.”
As for Burrows himself, he said to his loved ones: “I’m so glad you did this when I’m still around because I wouldn’t want to miss it.”
He pointed to “40 years, 1,000 shows, 5,000 rehearsal days 10,000 rewrites, 500,000 networks notes and a million laughs, and I’ve had so much fun, but I could not have done this alone.”
“Thanks for laughing, embracing and loving the characters for all of those years, and still on occasion, when somebody walks into a bar, hollering, ‘NORM!’ ” he said.
“To my family for laughing most of the time and loving all of the time. To my dad, who when I asked him questions as a kid, he was patient and kind in answering and taught me to be that way with others. I thank you all for this trip down memory lane from the bottom of my comedic heart. And, as my good friend George Strait says, ‘I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time.’ ”
Aniston, who was seated next to Matt LeBlanc, wiped away tears from the audience during his speech.
Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen summed up the iconic director’s career best: “I think the common thread with all of Jim Burrows’ shows is extra-galactic success.”