Lisa Kudrow discusses performing her iconic Friends song "Smelly Cat" alongside Lady Gaga during Friends: The Reunion

By Vanessa Etienne
June 04, 2021 08:53 AM
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Lisa Kudrow needed a little bit of help to remember at least one iconic thing from her turn on Friends.

On Friday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 57-year-old actress spoke about her experience bringing her iconic character back to life for the HBO Max Friends reunion special. During the episode, Kudrow performed Phoebe's signature song, "Smelly Cat," in a surprise duet with Lady Gaga

"Oh, that was great," she told DeGeneres about performing alongside Gaga. "I was really nervous when I first heard that and then I prepared. I realized that I had to learn 'Smelly Cat' again."

"I tuned my guitar and then realized I don't know the chords. But I Googled it. All the chords were there. So, thank you world for posting the chords," Kudrow added.

Lisa Kudrow

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Luckily the "Smelly Cat" performance was spot on, turning out to be one of the many highlights from the reunion, despite Kudrow's nervousness.

"I learned [the song] and then my throat closed. I was so panicked that I couldn't get anything out. I didn't know what was going to happen, but it worked out," she continued, noting that the reunion "turned out well."

Lisa Kudrow makes an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Friends ended in 2004 after 10 seasons, so it's not much of a shock that Kudrow needed a refresher. In the clip, Kudrow revealed she actually never played the instrument after the NBC sitcom concluded. "No, oh no. Absolutely not," she said. "Just for the show — for those 10 years and then I was DONE."

friends reunion
Credit: Terrence Patrick/HBO Max

After the "Smelly Cat" performance with Gaga, the "Born This Way" thanked Kudrow for portraying "the different one" — and the one who was "really herself" — among the Friends characters. Kudrow told DeGeneres that the compliment almost made her cry.

"That blew me away," the actress said. "Also, coming from her, because my son was in grade school and all the kids were listening to Lady Gaga and her whole message was everyone be yourself and be you. That was amazing."

The Friends reunion also featured her beloved costars — Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani), Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing) and David Schwimmer (Ross Geller).

The special included behind-the-scenes tidbits as the six stars reminisced on how much the series meant to them.

Friends: The Reunion is streaming on HBO Max.