Let’s be real: George Clooney is a very lucky man. The famous husband of Amal Clooney has one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood and a stellar career to match. On June 7th, Clooney was honored with the 46th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. The AFI gala was a star-studded event, but Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox’s tribute to the actor stole the show.
In a glorious mini Friends reunion, the former co-stars sang the Friends theme song on stage. They also managed to toss in a few hilarious jokes about Clooney’s famous role as Dr. Doug Ross on ER and its post-Friends timeslot on Thursday nights on NBC in the ’90s.
“Let’s just admit it right here and now,” Cox said. “There were millions of people watching Friends that happened to stay there — too lazy to turn the channel. Without us, you’re Chicago Hope, buddy.” (Trust us, that’s a sick ’90s TV burn.)
“Lucky for you, George, we remained on the air on Thursday nights, pretty much paving the way for I’d say every success that you’ve had since then. I mean this, in all seriousness, from the bottom of the both of our hearts,” Aniston continued. “I’m going to be there for you.”
From there, Aniston and Cox traded lyrics of The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You,” the iconic Friends theme.
We bet Phoebe would be proud.
With an average of 75 million viewers watching the Thursday lineup in 1994 and 1995, Friends and ER marked a true golden age of TV for NBC.
While Clooney’s career had been climbing well before his time on ER, it’s clear that he and the cast of Friends are, well, great friends.
If you want to watch Aniston and Cox’s tribute to Clooney, the full AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to George Clooney will air on Thursday, June 21st at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.