Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night addressed — more, he marveled at — the online backlash elicited by the Jimmy Kimmel Live! sketch in which he invited Jennifer Aniston to participate in a “surprise” Friends reunion, on a recreation of the hit comedy’s set and opposite former costars Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow.
Throughout the “fan fiction-inspired” bit, which revolved around Kimmel’s “Ross” wanting to make love with “Rachel,” Aniston appeared begrudging and even “pissed” (as well as “totes awky,” per one YouTube commenter Kimmel quotes) — even after Cox and Kudrow show up.
“It’s unbelievable to me,” Kimmel said of the responses the Wednesday-night segment (embedded below) spurred. “She was acting — and apparently very well, too. She should probably get an Emmy.
“I’m puzzled by this,” he continued. “Ninety-nine percent of the time we put something on YouTube, everyone jumps in to say it’s fake. Then we put something that is, I thought obviously, fake on, and people think it’s real.”
(Me, I still maintain that it was an odd acting or directorial choice to maintain throughout the entire “reunion,” as it invited many of the Friends faithful who caught the video the next day and are not necessarily familiar with Kimmel’s “I irk guests” shtick to interpret Aniston’s body language as legit and in turn not enjoy the bit as much as they could or should have. Friends averaged 23 million viewers at the end, Kimmel draws about 2.2 million. There was the potential for a lot of people to not “get” the joke.)