Lisa Kudrow Recalls Her Son's Reaction To Watching Friends For The First Time

“He said, ‘It's actually really funny. I mean, the guys are so funny.’”

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Lisa Kudrow’s son may not be a huge fan of “Smelly Cat.” On the July 20 episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Kudrow recalled her 24-year-old son Julian Murray Stern’s reaction to watching Friends for the first time, and it sounds like he loved the rest of the cast more than his mom’s lovable character Phoebe Buffay.

Stern, who Kudrow shares with husband Michel Stern, was only five years old when Friends ended in 2004, but eventually, he watched the show years later when his friends became fans. “You gotta know what everyone’s watching, so he watched it and he was impressed,” she said, before revealing what he thought was the best part of the show. “He said, ‘It's actually really funny. I mean, the guys are so funny’,” she recounted, pausing for dramatic effect. “He's like, ‘No, I mean you're funny too.’”

While Kudrow says being a fan of her work isn’t a requirement for her son, she still had some thoughts about his opinions. “Never in my life have I wanted to tell my own kid, like, ‘F*ck you!’” she joked. “I mean, I thought it, I didn't say it. It's not required that you're a fan. You don't have to like what I do. But don't … be so demeaning!”

However, Stern more than made up for his faux pas when he recently watched his mom’s other famous show, The Comeback, while he was sick in bed. “He called me up and said, ‘So I just watched the first two episodes. It's really good, mom’,” she recalled. “I said, ‘Thanks.’ He said, ‘Can I ask you some questions about that?’ I'm like, ‘Yes!’ I almost started crying. I didn't think that anyone in my family liked that show.”

Stern’s initial response to Friends tracks with his experience on set as a toddler. In May 2021, before the premiere of HBO Max’s Friends: The Reunion, Kudrow told Conan O’Brien that her son formed a special connection to her castmates, and loved Jennifer Aniston so much that he mistook her as his mother. “He got a little confused,” she said. “I know that he really was obsessed with Jen. He’d fly into her lap. Well, she’s a love bug, and that made sense... but then at home, she’d be on TV, and he’d go, ‘Mommy!’”

Naturally, it made the star question her entire life. “I'm kind of analytical so I'm like, ‘Is this wishful thinking? Do they have some kind of higher soul connection that I don't have with him?’” she joked. “I'm happy for both of them.” However, Stern reaffirmed his love for his mom when he was able to attend the Friends reunion taping. “Afterward, he came up to me and he said, ‘Can I say that I'm really proud of you?’” she said. “That was one of the very emotional things that happened to me.”