Starting today, Friends: The Reunion is streaming on HBO Max. TV fans have been waiting for something like this for a long time, and it turns out the show has a treat for music enthusiasts as well. Of course, the show’s most beloved musical export is Phoebe Buffay’s song “Smelly Cat,” and for the reunion, Lisa Kudrow performed the song alongside Lady Gaga.
On the special, Gaga enters the room to Kudrow strumming her guitar. Gaga, wielding her own axe, joins Kudrow on the couch to sing the song. Eventually, they’re joined by a gospel choir to flesh out the song. Gaga also had a heartfelt message for Kudrow, telling her, “Thank you so much for being the person for all of us on Friends that was… I don’t know if this is the right way to say it, but the different one, or the one that was really herself.” Kudrow responded, “Thank you, and thanks for carrying it along.”
Ben Winston, who directed and produced the reunion, told Variety that Gaga was immediately on board with singing “Smelly Cat” for the special:
“I said to Lisa, ‘Would you be prepared to sing it?’ And she was like, ‘Yeah, that would be fun.’ We went through a few names, and we both agreed that Gaga, if we could get her, would be the ultimate one because she associates with and feels close to Phoebe in so many ways, as Gaga says on the show. That was a really beautiful moment. And Lady Gaga jumped at the chance to do it. We sat there with the two guitars with Lisa and her and worked it out there and then.”
Watch Gaga and Kudrow perform “Smelly Cat” above.