As the world mourns actor Matthew Perry’s passing, let’s delve into why his most famous character has had a lasting impact on media and culture.

Few characters have left a lasting mark on the realm of humour quite like Chandler Bing. Matthew Perry’s character on ‘Friends’, as the resident funnyman of the ensemble cast, became a symbol of relatable comedy for an entire generation and continues to do so even in 2023, which unfortunately became the year of the actor’s sad demise. Reminiscing on his most beloved role, let’s break down why it has had such an enduring impact on popular culture decades after the show drew the curtains.

Defined by his distinctive wit, Chandler was a crucial ingredient in the success of ‘Friends’. His quick one-liners and mastery of sarcasm quickly became the exact kind of comedy he would go on to be known for. More specifically, the character’s way of finding humour in difficult situations, coupled with Perry’s deadpan delivery, is what made the audience see themselves in him and fundamentally changed the way people appreciate humour.

Sarcasm had long been a powerful force in storytelling, long before the character of Chandler came along. Classic examples include Rick Blaine in ‘Casablanca’, who displayed the strength of humour as a coping mechanism in the face of adversity, or Alex Keaton in the sitcom ‘Family Ties’, whose witty remarks in family settings made him emerge as the hilarious fan favourite.

However, what perhaps differentiated Chandler from similar pursuits of comedy in the past was an added layer of relatability. The use of self-deprecating humour struck a chord with fans as they watched him face insecurities when it comes to both his personal and professional endeavours, and that is something that is inevitably tied to the human experience. Getting through tough times eventually, but laughing at yourself on the way there, proves to be better than sulking throughout. This is what Chandler Bing essentially embodied, and Matthew Perry’s charming portrayal made it look easy.

Another important aspect of Chandler’s likeability was that he portrayed vulnerability and sensitivity in a time when the’macho’ persona was the norm for most male characters. His shy and awkward demeanour made a generation of young men feel like it was okay to not put on a tough exterior all the time.

The sitcom’s success further helped the character reach a wider audience as it continued to gain international fame. For many Indians, ‘Friends’ was their first exposure to Western media. Chandler Bing became a cultural icon, with his most famous dialogues being quoted and referenced often. His influence permeated other sitcoms and characters, and classic meme formats stemmed from his character. His comedic style became and stayed a prevalent element in contemporary media.

However, like anything else, and rightfully so, Chandler Bing was not free from criticism. Given the social atmosphere at the time the show was filmed, various jokes that were made reinforced harmful stereotypes. Newer audiences therefore have a harder time accepting some of the humour used in certain dialogues between the characters and the show in general. Nevertheless, the legacy of Matthew Perry’s beloved character has remained, and his influence is felt everywhere in media and culture.

So today, as you mourn Matthew Perry’s passing, maybe rewatch your favourite ‘Friends’ episodes and let Chandler Bing reiterate the fundamental lesson that laughter has the power to make any situation feel at least a little bit better.

Read also: 5 Best American Sitcoms of the 90s that Still Remain Classics

Featured Image Credits: Medium

Arshiya Pathania
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An account on how Greendale College from the hit series Community is somewhat similar to your DU college.

Out here in India, we can hardly relate to American college movies or shows. Leave that, even their booze drinking, virginity losing high school films seem too edgy for majority of Indian high schoolers who are busy mugging up stuff in their Akash tutorials. The only edginess they experience is perhaps the school farewell and “conti”.

In this context, the cult NBC show “Community” is a different entry in the college sitcom genre. Not only is the six season saga a gem of postmodern humour and a mine of pop culture references, the show is also a vague reflection of majority of DU colleges. Here’s how…


  1. Funding and autonomy issues now and then.


The Greendale College in Community is no architectural masterpiece. The community college often shows signs of cracked walls and washrooms needing repair just like our many “sarkari” colleges of DU.


Image Caption- Greendale , an imperfectly perfect college

Image Credits- Community Wikia


  1. Diversity


A Middle Eastern boy who wants to be a director. A Jew girl who has bouts of anxiety. A single black mother wishing to start her own business. These are some of the few main characters in the show so naturally it has a lot of diversity and casual racist and ethnic jokes. That’s what happens amongst our colleges too. DU is a hub for people from all over India. Getting along with such different people, understanding their culture, joking on each other’s cultures (of course, non offensive humour) and having each other’s back, that’s what Community and DU is about in the end.


Image Caption- Different levels of skin shade, same level of happiness

Image Credits- Community Wikia


  1. Every college has a bunch of Brittas


Britta, one of the female protagonists in the show, is a feminist, atheist and any other -ist that you can think of. She’s one of those who might jump at every protest at Arts Faculty (even if it’s for a trivial reason) and share social awareness related hashtags on her social media stories. Now, sometimes Britta might stand for the charged up social activist friend in your group or a pseudo intellectual from DebSoc; that’s for you to decide.


Image Caption- Britta, the epitome of “edgy”.

Image Credits- Community Wikia


  1. Elections


Elections at Greendale College or a DU college, they both are marked by a sense of pomp, show and ridiculousness. 

For an instance, let’s take up the case of names of the candidates fighting elections. DU election norms specify the scale and limit of campaigning and expenditure for each contesting candidate. Now, often this is not the case and our student netas have figured out a smart strategy to escape charges by the court. The NSUI candidate Rocky Tuseed’s name was often displayed as Rocky Tuseer in posters and pamphlets scattered all over North and South campus. Just a replacement of the letter “d” by a plain “r” has shushed the court, even though we all know it’s the same person!

Coming to Community, one of the students Leonard also pulled a cheap trick to win the votes of all Mexicans in the college. Leonard is an aged student who’s young at heart and always up for pranks and cracking racist jokes. Ethnically speaking, Leonard is a white male but he runs his college elections under the name Leonard “Rodriguez” (and surprisingly he emerges victorious too!

Ah! The election time is always filled with such entertainment.


Image Caption- Electoral campaign or electoral drama?

Image Credits- Community Wikia


  1. The Troy Barnes complex


Many of us might have been our school superstars, the school council president of a topper. But in college, you’re like a new baby in a new world and your school achievements would hardly matter. That has been the exact case with Community’s Troy Barnes (played by a young and fresh Donald Glover) who was a high school jock but at Greendale College, hardly anyone raises a brow seeing him. It’s initially disappointing but eventually Troy finds his weird bunch of friends and enjoys his life of leading the “not so popular” student life in college. This is something which many of us would relate to while joining college as we are to survive in a new campus, a new world. But over time, we learn to blow peacefully with the winds of change and the Troy Barnes complex wanes away (this complex needs to be taught in Philosophy courses!). 


Image Caption- College life is a metamorphosis for which one needs to shed the caterpillar skin back from high school.

Image Credits- Community Wikia


So in the end, Greendale College and your generic DU college might be several miles away but in the end, it’s all about the inhabitants of these “not so high scale architecture” worlds having the best of moments, experiencing cheap thrills and making even the imperfections seem perfect… 


What will you get if you combined “Sex and the City” and “Friends” together? Desperate Housewives! It is a sitcom that ran for 8 seasons covering the lives of 4 female friends and their neighbours at Wisteria Lane in a town called Fairview. Mystery sets in when one of the housewives, Mary Alice commits suicide even though she seemed to be happy in her life. She, as the narrator, unfolds the story of what had happened after she had killed herself. Like any other soap opera, it has the usual characteristics of betrayal, dark secrets, revenge, and manipulation, but combined with the intense bond that Bree, Susan, Lynette and Gabrielle share along with the humour that runs along the show, makes it a completely unique show in itself. If you loved friends, you’ll love this show just as much. Bree Larson is the perfect housewife who will keep her home spic and span and take all measures to hide her family’s secrets. She is very religious and old-fashioned and having a gay son definitely brings about a change in her. By the end of season 4, she learns to trust her friends with her secrets. Susan is a dorky and widowed woman who falls in love with a new neighbour Mike Delfino and ends up marrying him. Lynette is a mother of 4 children who has to leave her success in the workplace to gain success as a mother. Gabrielle, on the other hand, is a runway model-turned-housewife after she married a rich man, Carlos Solis. While the directors and producers might not have a direct progressive ideology, it is subtly liberal and that makes it more consumable. More than housewives, these four women take on the roles of detectives, advisors, organisers, and even hold conventional jobs throughout the show. The enforced stereotypes scattered around the show are funny and parodic commentaries on the concept of traditional households. Moreover, it is relatable to the dis-functionality of a regular Indian household. The humour, sarcasm, and relatability of the show make it a gripping and addictive watch.   Feature Image Credits: The Hollywood Report Varoon Tuteja [email protected]]]>

Episodes end with a simulacrum of a group hug, an acknowledgment that even though they don’t always get along, this ‘modern’ family loves one another. Running on ABC since 2009, this prime-sitcom has not failed to entertain the audience with crisp, farcical, and kind values of the Modern Family. The fun family mockumentary is about the family of Pritchetts and Dunphys. It takes an honest and often hilarious look at the composition and complexity of modern family life of America. The series is presented in mockumentary style, with the fictional characters frequently talking directly into the camera. In the spotlight is Jay Pritchett’s family wherein he is the patriarch of the Pritchett family. He is the father of Claire, Mitchell, and Joe, and is married to a much younger Columbian, Gloria, and is stepfather to Manny. Additionally, he is also a veteran of the Vietnam War and former owner of Pritchett’s Closets & Blinds. Feisty and confident, Gloria thinks Jay is her match, which makes her attracted to him. Jay continually struggles to cope with Gloria’s insistence to preserve their Colombian traditions so they tend to compromise with the rest of the family. Claire is Jay and his former wife, DeDe’s eldest daughter. Claire gets her competitiveness and tough attitude from her father encouraging her into sports and becoming daddy’s girl. She is married to Phil Dunphy and mother of Haley, Alex, and Luke. Though antagonised, Phil always tries really hard to gain approval from Jay. Jay’s son Mitchell is gay and got married to his long-term partner Cameron Tucker and adopted a Vietnamese baby girl, Lily. Life, it seems, is neither tidy, politically correct, or in any way predictable. For these three families, it turns out, are not three but one big, blended family, with Jay, the patriarch and Claire & Mitchell his grown kids. Yet, it’s just such surprises that make things so interesting in this window into the sometimes warm, sometimes twisted embrace of the modern family. As the show started, Phil and Claire, two parents, who wanted to have that open, healthy, honest relationship with their three kids. It’s not always easy, especially with their teenage daughter who was growing up a little fast, a too-smart-for-her-own-good middle daughter and a rambunctious son. Phil wants to be the “cool dad”, while Claire is always trying her best to run a tight ship, determined not to let her kids have the rebellious childhood she had. Gloria is that constantly supportive mother to Manny, who is a hopeless romantic – preferring art and praising poetry. Having Joe at a later age, both Jay and Gloria have a hard time in his upbringing. Both Mitchell and Cameron are constantly working on their parenting skills as their daughter Lily is growing up. From the very first episode titled “Pilot” to the 200th episode last month, along with the kids of this family, the entire sitcom has grown a lot- an extra dose of laughter, affection in a family, and so much more. With such heterogeneity within a family: inter-cultural and homosexual marriages, different preferences of each and every member; be it books for Alex, poetry for Manny or fashion for Haley – a family as the Pritchetts and Dunphys are so accommodating and respectful towards each other. This is what is Modern ‘Family’.   Feature Image Credits: Spoiler TV Radhika Boruah [email protected]]]>