The inclusion of Marcel the Monkey on “Friends” remains a memorable part of the show’s early seasons. However, it’s been widely reported that David Schwimmer, who portrayed Ross Geller, had a strained relationship with the monkey who played Marcel on the series.
From Schwimmer’s own statements to incidents highlighted by others involved in the show, it’s clear that there was a less-than-amicable dynamic between Schwimmer and the monkey behind the scenes. Schwimmer expressed his strong dislike for working with the monkey on multiple occasions, once stating that he wished the monkey was dead and later expressing frustration during the “Friends: The Reunion” special about the challenges working with the animal.
Matt LeBlanc, Schwimmer’s co-star on “Friends,” shared insights on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” about Schwimmer’s feelings toward the monkey, suggesting that while LeBlanc himself enjoyed working with the animal, Schwimmer was less enthusiastic. During the reunion special, Schwimmer also complained about how Marcel’s presence would disrupt the cast’s choreographed scenes and blamed the monkey for the need to reshoot certain scenes due to the animal not following cues.
However, Marcel’s trainer, Mike Morris, disputed Schwimmer’s claims about the monkey’s behavior. Morris suggested that Schwimmer may have been jealous of the attention and laughs the monkey received from the audience. He refuted allegations that the monkey attempted to harm Schwimmer or throw feces at him, claiming that Schwimmer’s negativity toward the monkey arose from a sense of jealousy because the monkey received more attention and laughter than Schwimmer did on set.
The disagreement between Schwimmer and the monkey’s trainers over the animal’s behavior and Schwimmer’s attitude toward it has been ongoing. Marcel’s trainers, particularly Mike Morris, have been vocal about defending the monkey’s behavior and criticizing Schwimmer’s negative comments, suggesting that the actor’s discomfort with the animal stemmed more from personal reasons than any actual issues with the monkey’s behavior.
Overall, the conflict between David Schwimmer and Marcel the Monkey remains a controversial and discussed aspect of “Friends,” with differing perspectives on the nature of their working relationship.