Matthew Perry Remembered by ‘Odd Couple’ Co-Star Thomas Lennon: He ‘Was Always Trying to Get Better’

“Reno 911!” star Thomas Lennon worked closely with Matthew Perry on the CBS remake of “The Odd Couple,” which aired for three seasons and 38 episodes from 2015 and 2017. Perry developed and executive produced the show (with Danny Jacobson and Joe Keenan) and starred as Oscar Madison, opposite Lennon as Felix Unger. Lindsay Sloane, Yvette Nicole Brown and Wendell Pierce also starred in the series, based of course on the Neil Simon play (later made famous as a TV sitcom in the 1970s). It was a reunion for Lennon and Perry, who also worked together on the 2009 film “17 Again.” In that comedy, Perry and Lennon play best friends. Variety asked Lennon to offer his memories of working with Perry over the years; below, he shares this tribute.

Matthew Perry told me a lot of stories—none of which can be printed in Variety.

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Matty lived messy.

Matty had huge feelings and was not afraid to make you a part of those feelings.

A comedy sword-swallower using real swords. The swords hurt.

Matty was a cartoon mascot for anxiety wrapped in the packaging of a matinee idol.

Canadian tennis pro. Heartthrob with a racing heart. Playwright. Accidental superstar.

Matty had a lot of pain. He wore it on his sleeve.

Matty would lend you his jacket which smelled like cigarettes and still had the pain right there on the sleeve.

Matty would lend you cigarettes.

Matty joked when he was worried and he was worried more than you might think.

The butt of Matthew Perry’s best jokes was always Matthew Perry.

Matty admitted when he had messed-up which was constantly.

Matty was easy to forgive.

The world that was in the palm of his hand was in a tug-of-war with the world on his shoulders.

Matty was always trying to get better.

Matty was ready to talk.

Matty didn’t want to be alone.

Matty wanted to make you laugh even if swallowing the swords hurt.

LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 25: "All About Eavesdropping" --Oscar and Felix are so obsessed with eavesdropping on their neighbors upstairs, they try to subtly intervene and help them save their marriage.   Also, Emily and Dani's friendship is tested when they train together to race to the top of the Empire State Building, on the second season premiere of THE ODD COUPLE, Thursday, April 7, 2016 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network.  Pictured L-R: Thomas Lennon as Felix Unger and Matthew Perry as Oscar Madison (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)
Thomas Lennon as Felix Unger and Matthew Perry as Oscar Madison (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)

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