The time the late ‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry beat up Canada’s prime minister

Justin Trudeau gave his public condolences on the passing of Friends star Matthew Perry and mentioned that he will never forget the schoolyard games they used to play.

The Canadian Prime Minister wrote, “Matthew Perry’s passing is shocking and saddening. I’ll never forget the schoolyard games we used to play,” in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

People often forget that Matthew Perry was Canadian. Perry, who grew up in Ottawa, revealed to late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that he not only went to school with Trudeau, but he once beat up the current sitting Prime Minister of Canada who was a couple of grades behind him at the time. 

Perry was among a long list of Canadian actors and musicians, who describe themselves as “half-and-half,” American and Canadian, like Paul Schafer, a well-known musician and late-night talk show bandleader. Schaffer, who was present for the Perry interview, joked that “between us, we make a full American.”

Trudeau continued, ” … and I know people around the world are never going to forget the joy he brought them. Thanks for all the laughs, Matthew. You were loved – and you will be missed.”

The details of the incident were a bit hazy. Perry said his friend Chris Murray reminded him that they both beat up Trudeau. 

Perry’s character Chandler Bing was known for his sarcastic one-liners. Here are some Chandler Jokes from Friends. 

“I was a couple of years ahead of him,” Perry said, in response to Kimmel’s question. “So, whatever age you are in fifth grade.” Kimmel suggested that he would have been about 10 years old when they were in school together.

When Kimmel asked him if he remembered Trudeau, Perry said “I do. I have a story about him that I’m not proud of.”

“I was reminded this — my friend Chris Murray who was also in the fifth grade in Canada, reminded me that we actually beat up Justin Trudeau.”

The late Matthew Perry was isolated, alone and fighting opioid addiction.

Perry said he didn’t act alone. “We both beat him up. I think he was excelling in a sport that we weren’t as [good at] so it’s pure jealousy.”

Kimmel pointed out that Justin’s dad, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, “was the Prime Minister of Canada” at that time when the incident happened. Was it out of jealousy because of Justin’s dad? asked Kimmel. “I don’t think that’s the reason we beat him up. I think he was the only kid in school that we could beat up.”

How could someone get away with beating up the prime minister’s child? “Don’t they have Secret Service there protecting the children of their prime ministers?” asked Kimmel, who lives in the U.S.

“They didn’t,” replied Perry.

“Wow, ‘cause that would never happen to Barron Trump. You’d be in the stockade right now,” Kimmel joked.

“I’m not bragging about [it]. This is terrible. I was a stupid kid,” admitted Perry. “I didn’t wanna beat him up. In fact, I think at one point I tried to turn it into love play.” 

They both half-jokingly commented on how handsome Trudeau is. Then Perry said, “I think it was rather instrumental in him becoming, you know, going to such great heights and becoming the prime minister. … I think he said, ‘I’m going to rise above this and become prime minister’.” 

Perry said he never did contact Trudeau to talk about the incident, and that he had forgotten it until his friend reminded him of it. He said, “I feel shame. I don’t wanna think about it.”

by Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird

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