The tribute to director James Burrows aired on NBC Sunday night. The two hour special opened in a comedic fashion with Jim Parsons telephoning Sean Hayes to ask for his help putting together a last minute tribute for Burrows. The sketch continued with other actors who have worked closely with Burrows being asked to attend this event, including Charlie Sheen answering the phone call from Hayes while in confession.
Cohen went on to ask Megan Mullally about her character’s voice to which she responded with, “It kept getting higher and higher. I wanted to do it in the beginning but I felt like I’d get fired.”
Jane Lynch went on to introduce the cast of “Cheers.” The cast mentioned they would shoot spitballs at each other while filming. The cast was certain Burrows had no idea but he confirmed that he cut these scenes during the editing process.
When asked what the key to the success of a show was, Danny DeVito said, “Great writers. And we felt like a family with Jimmy. It wasn’t like going to work, it was like going to fun.”
Patrick Warburton took to the stage to congratulate Burrows on directing his 1,000th episode which happened to be the pilot for the new series “Crowded.”
Kelsey Grammer then introduced the cast of “Frasier” with a pre-recorded video tape. In another pre-recorded clip, the cast discussed the oddness of the theme song. It appeared to be one large joke between the cast mates.
After an hour and a half, the long awaited “Friends” reunion began with Cohen introducing episode clips of some of America’s favorite “Friends” episodes. Matthew Perry, on a pre-recorded tape, apologized that he could not be there due to rehearsals in London for the play “The End of Longing,” and introduced the cast. After playing around on the couch in a very “Friends” fashion, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc took their seats.
Aniston thanked Burrows for “probably the best 10 years of our acting careers” and acknowledged how he “encouraged us all to get along and support one another.”
Kudrow went on to state that Burrows once gave them his dressing room so they could all play poker. An episode was later written and filmed about it.
Cohen then asked what most Friends fanatics have always wondered, “Did you all sign contracts saying that you wouldn’t sleep with each other?”
“I was not asked to sign anything,” said Kudrow in typical Phoebe fashion.
Cox told Cohen the three girls had lunch together every single day for those 10 years. They ate what she affectionately called a “Jennifer salad.”
“I asked [Burrows] if I could watch him and follow him,” said Schwimmer. “He graciously took me under his wings.”
After a touching tribute from previous cast members, Burrows was welcomed to the stage.
“Seany, I’m so glad you did this while I’m still around because I wouldn’t want to miss it,” said Burrows.
He went on to thank the viewers, show-runners, writers, actors, crew and management team.
“I’m not here for a long time,” Burrows said. “I’m here for a good time. Thank you all.”