All the main characters on Friends lived fully-charmed lives (this is a post about Friends, you have to make at least one corny ’90s reference). They barely worked or worked out, yet they were never at a loss for money, and always kept in shape, except for Chandler’s “lost years.” But it’s the character who never went to the gym — he barely left his apartment — who had the best life. That would be Ugly Naked Guy, the unfortunately if accurately named nudist who lived across the street from Monica and Rachel. He only appeared in two episodes — season three’s “The One With the Giant Poking Device” and season five’s “The One Where Everybody Finds Out” — but UNG is a fan favorite. We all want to be as confident with our body as he is.
It also helps that he’s a total mystery. How did he let himself go? (We know it happened before 1993, because in a flashback episode that took place that year, Phoebe said he recently put on weight.) Why is he always naked? Who was his Ugly Naked Gal? And most importantly, who is the thespian with “Ugly Naked Guy” on his resume? He was never credited on the show, and according to the Huffington Post’s Todd Van Luling, “the actor (or actors) never came forward in the almost two decades since the 1999 episode.”
Van Luling spent the last year searching for the Naked gun, so to speak. He began, as all manhunts do, on IMDb and the Friends Wiki, which credit Michael G. Hagerty as playing both building superintendent Mr. Treeger and UNG. Only one is correct. “I never played the Ugly Naked Guy,” he said. “IMDb, the information is close, but a lot of times it’s very, very, very wrong. And that said, I’d rather be known as Mr. Treeger than the Ugly Naked Guy anyways.”
Next up was Friends casting director Leslie Litt, who messaged on Facebook, “I bet UNG was an extra but I MIGHT have paperwork in my garage and I can see if it’s there.” A short time later: “I can’t find anything on Ugly Naked Guy, he must have been an extra.” The rabbit hole gets even deeper here, with interviews with someone from Central Casting and even creator David Crane. Nothing. It was dead end after dead end, until nearly 12 months later, when that Central Casting someone, Jennifer Bender, emailed Van Luling to say that “a little while ago, the infamous ‘ugly naked guy’ came in for a visit!”
Even better, Ugly Naked Guy revealed himself (no pun intended?) to be… Jon Haugen, who called his stint on Friends the “best time in my life. I was the man.” He wasn’t actually naked, though. “I was in boxer shorts,” he said.
Ugly Naked Guy is an ugly naked lie. Read more about Hauden at HuffPo.
(Via the Huffington Post)