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The Friends Set Had Very Different Energy By Season 2 According To One Actor

During the sitcom's 10-season NBC run, "Friends" saw countless guest stars enter through the purple door of Monica Geller's (Courteney Cox) New York City apartment. And while some lasted longer than others, one actor got a chance to appear in two separate episodes during the show's first two seasons, giving him unique firsthand insight into how the show's success changed the energy on set.

Actor Vincent Ventresca made his debut on "Friends" during the series' inaugural season when he played Monica's ex-boyfriend, Fun Bobby. We first meet Fun Bobby in Episode 10, entitled "The One With The Monkey," when Monica invites him to her New Year's Eve party. Bobby — who is historically known for being a good time — shows up depressed after being unable to get a flight to his grandfather's funeral and manages to bring the festivities to a crashing halt.

Ventresca's first appearance on the show occurred when "Friends" was a brand new sitcom. By the time he returned for Season 2, the show was almost unrecognizable. During a 2019 interview with "Today," Ventresca recalled the experience of returning for a Season 2 episode that sees Monica worried about Fun Bobby's relationship with alcohol. He described the on-set environment during Season 2 by saying, "The first season ... it was doing well, growing an audience. And the second season — it was pretty crazy, it was a circus. There were people everywhere. I felt like the stakes were higher because we knew so much more about all of those characters and so much more about all of those actors."

The show's vibe changed, but the cast stayed the same

By Season 2, "Friends" had attracted a loyal audience and created celebrities out of its six leads. But as far as Vincent Ventresca remembers, the cast didn't let the attention get in the way of them handling business. While speaking with "Today" he said, "They were sort of the same, they were just kind of doing their thing." In that same interview, Ventresca said he grew up playing on basketball teams and described the cast's attitudes toward each other as having a similar energy. He explained, "They played it together and they worked together." He remembered being impressed by their perspective, adding, "If they can just sort of stay grounded and level-headed throughout this process, this is going to be a good thing."

Throughout their 10 seasons, the show's cast did manage to hang onto that spirit of camaraderie. Their cast is famous for sticking together during contract negotiations, and in 2002, the group managed to ensure that all six "Friends" leads received $1 million per episode for the show's final two seasons. Now that's teamwork making the dream work.