Was David Schwimmer Really 'Jealous' Of Marcel The Monkey On 'Friends' — An Investigation

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Was David Schwimmer Really 'Jealous' Of Marcel The Monkey

What’s worse than finding out your favorite TV show couple don’t actually like each other in real life? For many, the answer is: finding out Ross and Marcel weren’t best buds off camera on "Friends."

After the "Friends" Reunion aired on HBO Max, fans were shocked to find out that David Schwimmer, who played Ross Geller on the sitcom, really disliked the monkey who played Marcel.

But did David Schwimmer really hate Marcel the monkey on "Friends"?

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Well, we aren't necessarily convinced.

During the reunion, Schwimmer talked about how it was working with the white-headed capuchin monkey, Katie, who played Marcel.

“Here is my problem. The monkey, obviously, was trained. It had to hit its mark and do its thing right at the perfect time,” Schwimmer continued after reminding the crowd that he’s an animal lover.

“What inevitably began to happen was we would all have choreographed bits kind of timed out, and it would get messed up, because the monkey didn’t do its job right. So we would have to reset, we’d have to go again because the monkey didn’t get it right.” 

Schwimmer also told the crowd how, between takes, the monkey would sit on his shoulder.

While the monkey would sit on him, the monkey’s trainers would bring over food, often live grubs, which ended up all over Schwimmer’s face and shoulders by the time the monkey was done with its snack.

“It was time for Marcel to... to f*** off,” Schwimmer added.

Clearly, Schwimmer had an issue with the monkey, but some of his co-stars felt differently.

On multiple occasions, Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Greene, has said that she “loved” the monkey. Matt LeBlanc, who starred as Joey Tribbiani in the series, said he “got along great” with the monkey on an episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

It’s now obvious that the monkey’s trainer, Mike Morris, was not pleased with Schwimmer’s comments on the HBO Max special.

Morris even accused Schwimmer of being jealous of the monkey’s success. “David was fine with the monkeys for the first couple of episodes and happy to be there,” Morris said.

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“But people would laugh at the monkey, and I think he got jealous because it wasn’t him getting the laughs,” he added. “He seemed to get a little bitter about them being there after that. And, of course, the monkeys didn’t like working with him after he turned on them.” 

Morris also revealed that David refused to rehearse with the monkey, making it much more difficult for the monkey to hit its mark.

Morris said the monkey’s reason for leaving the show was Schwimmer’s fault. He said the actor was responsible for getting the monkey thrown off the show because he could not improvise with the monkey while filming. 

While it seems like Schwimmer always hated the monkey, we aren’t so sure about that, and we definitely aren’t convinced that he was jealous of the monkey.

In 1995, Schwimmer spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the monkey, saying, “I hate the monkey. I wish it were dead.”

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He detailed how difficult it was to work with the monkey after not being allowed to bond with it.

“The trainers won’t let me bond with it. They’re really, really possessive. It’s like, ‘Land on your marks, do your job, don’t touch or bond with the monkey.’ It’s a bummer,” he revealed. 

This makes us think that Schwimmer wasn’t jealous of the monkey, but perhaps jealous of the trainers who had a bond with her.

He clearly didn’t hate the monkey at first, which is corroborated by Morris’ account of the first few episodes. Morris, however, believes that Schwimmer’s problem was with the monkey itself. 

“It got to the point where he just really resented the monkey being there, he obviously had a problem with her, and he’s still talking about it now... It’s kind of bad that he is still talking about the monkey this many years after the show ended,” Morris concluded. 

It seems like Schwimmer was more upset at being unable to form an actual bond with Katie off-screen, which may have made her on-screen performance difficult to film.

One thing is for sure: anyone who missed out on a chance to bond with a monkey would surely be talking about it decades later.

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Livvie Brault is a writer who covers self-love, news and entertainment, and relationship topics.