The legendary NBC comedy focused on six New Yorkers and their romantic entanglements: Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe. Friends actor Lisa Kudrow explains why Phoebe Buffay has a twin sister. Friends would occasionally depict the family life of its core ensemble. Phoebe’s family life was the most sorrowful (but often weird and funny), ebbing and flowing throughout ten years.
Frank left Phoebe alone when she was a child. The lady she assumed was her mother, who committed suicide, lied to her, and it was later uncovered that Phoebe’s birth mother had given her up for adoption. And though Phoebe loves her half-brother Frank Jr., viewers never saw their connection develop since the character stopped making frequent appearances after
Season 4 of Friends. One relative of Phoebe’s in New York was her twin sister Ursula. The two did not get along anytime they shared a scene. Kudrow played Ursula’s waitress in the NBC Mad About You before Friends.
During an interview for the Podcrushed podcast, Lisa Kudrow was asked why Phoebe’s twin, Ursula, was added to the Friends world. The actress said that her recurring role on Mad About You gave her time to try out for other functions, and she soon got the part of Phoebe on Friends. Since the two shows were on simultaneously, Friends “needed to address” Ursula’s appearance on another show. This led to Ursula’s character appearing on both fronts. Read the full quote from Kudrow below.
Kudrow’s answer shows that Ursula’s appearance on Friends was just a scheduling mistake. The actor says in her comments that the co-creators of Friends liked how Kudrow played Ursula. Kudrow says that Friends creators asked the people in charge of Mad About You if their dumb waitress could sometimes be used in Friends. They agreed, which led to memorable storylines in which Phoebe usually had to clean up Ursula’s careless messes. Overall, the twins’ relationship is cold. Some Mad About You viewers had even said that Ursula seemed meaner when she was on Friends.
In the end, Kudrow’s memories show how vital flexibility and luck are in making TV shows. Long-running shows often put a lot of thought into long-term plans and complex build-up. But Kudrow’s story about Mad About You shows that some of the Friends’ most memorable moments came about because two creative teams took advantage of the fact that their shows were on the same network and aired simultaneously. With Phoebe and Ursula, they decided to add a little something extra, even though it wasn’t what they had in mind at first. This made Friends even more memorable.