Filming on Friends Reunion Has Been Delayed Due to Coronavirus

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

On February 22, Friends fans finally got the news they've been waiting more than 16 years to hear: Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, and Chandler were reuniting for the first time since Friends aired its series finale on May 6, 2004. But today, less than one month later, the world is in a different place. With the total number of cases of coronavirus rising every day, film and TV production around the world has essentially come to a halt until further notice. Now Deadline is reporting that filming on HBO Max's planned Friends reunion has had to be postponed as well.

Though still relatively little is known about exactly what the special will entail, early reports are that it will be more of a Friends retrospective, where the beloved sitcom's stars—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer—will take a look back at the show that changed the course of their lives, and is still finding new audiences more than a quarter-century after it first debuted on NBC in September of 1994.

According to Deadline:

"Given the severity of the health crisis, which ground all Hollywood production to a halt in a matter of days, it is currently doubtful that any film or TV production could resume by May though the situation is being evaluated week by week and even day by day. Right now, there are strict federal and state guidelines limiting public gatherings to help curb the spread of the virus, which are expected to be in place for weeks."

The good news—at least for now—is that the change in schedule may not affect the special's premiere date. While no official release date has been given, it's believed that the Friends reunion will be available for streaming as soon as HBO Max makes its debut (there's no official date for that either, beyond that it will be in May).

Though filming has reportedly been pushed to May, because the special will be more of an interview format than a scripted series, prepping it in time for HBO Max's launch should not be as daunting a task. Provided it's safe for them to film when May rolls around.

For now, we'll have to wait—and be content to know that we'll see all six Friends together again in the very near future. In the meantime, you can satisfy your craving for never-before-seen Friends content with 25 minutes of bloopers.

[h/t Deadline]

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Wa Wa Wee Wa: The Origin of Borat's Favorite Catchphrase

Wa wa wee wa! Sacha Baron Cohen is back in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020).
Wa wa wee wa! Sacha Baron Cohen is back in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020).
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

When Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was released in 2006, a new audience was exposed to Borat Sagdiyev, a “journalist” portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen who had made frequent appearances on the comedian’s Da Ali G Show.

Soon, in our country there was problem: People mimicked Borat’s catchphrases, "very nice" and “wa wa wee wa,” incessantly. The latter phrase was used to denote surprise or happiness on Borat’s part. While some may have assumed it was made up, it turns out that it actually means something.

Wa wa wee wa is Hebrew, which Cohen speaks throughout the film and which helped make Borat a hit in Israel. (Cohen is himself Jewish.) It was taken from an Israeli comedy show and is the equivalent of the word wow. Reportedly, the expression was popular among Israelis, and they appreciated Cohen’s use of it.

The original Borat also sees Cohen singing a popular Hebrew folk song, “Koom Bachur Atzel,” or “get up lazy boy,” among other Hebrew mentions. It remains to be seen how much of it he’ll be speaking in the sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. It premieres on Amazon Prime Friday, October 23.

[h/t The Los Angeles Times]