'Friends' star Matthew Perry to speak at Penn
Students can purchase $5 tickets on Locust Walk or online
October 25, 2013, 12:00 am·
Matthew Perry, the former “Friends” star, is coming to Penn as the Social Planning and Events Committee’s fall Connaissance speaker. His talk — to be held November 6 at 8 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium — will center around his experience with addiction.
Perry, who played Chandler Bing on “Friends,” struggled on and off with drug and alcohol abuse during his 10 years on the show and entered rehab twice during filming. SPEC coordinators hope that Perry’s story will influence the way Penn students view their own substance usage.
“He definitely will talk about his personal experience with drug use and addiction and sobriety and the things he’s been doing to help and what to do about a problem like this,” SPEC Connaissance co-director and College junior Jason Fernandes said.
This marks the first time that a Connaissance speaker’s talk will have a theme. Fernandes said, in choosing Perry, the committee discussed issues facing the Penn community, noting that college culture tends to encourage excessive drinking.
“One of the issues we think is really important and not talked about a lot on a college campus is binge drinking and alcoholism,” Fernandes said. “They’re often ignored because it’s part of college life.”
Aside from his personal experiences with addiction, Perry will also talk about his career, and a significant portion of the event will be devoted to audience question and answer.
Students are excited not only to listen to Perry’s experiences but to see a beloved television actor.
“I can’t wait to see Chandler Bing in person,” Engineering and Wharton sophomore Monica Wojciechowski said. “‘Friends’ is always my go-to show when I want to laugh.”
“’Friends’ is such a classic show, and [Matthew Perry] was a main reason that I watched the show,” Wharton sophomore Tom Pitt said. “His combination of sarcasm and wit made me laugh more than any other character.”
In the past, SPEC has brought celebrities such as Jason Sudeikis, Arianna Huffington and James Franco to speak at Penn.
Tickets cost $5 and will be available online Friday. Students can also buy tickets on Locust Walk starting on Oct. 28.