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What Happened To Marcel From Friends?

You can name the gang from "Friends" off the top of your head, right? There's Monica (Courteney Cox), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Ross (David Schwimmer), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), and ... Marcel. 

Sure, he's Ross's pet monkey — and he only appears as a regular on the NBC series through Season 1 — but he's integral to the friend group. In Episode 10, he's Ross's New Year's Eve date. In Episode 19, he's Rachel's runaway ward. And by Episode 21, he has developed a romantic interest in, well, everything, leading Ross to conclude that it's time to rehome him.

Marcel winds up at the San Diego Zoo and later breaks into Hollywood, starring in a beer commercial and a film with martial artist and movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme. His last appearance on "Friends" comes during Season 2, when he and Ross say their final farewells. The others bonded over eight more seasons until the show wrapped in 2004. We know (spoiler alert) that Ross and Rachel wind up together, and Monica and Chandler move to the suburbs with their twins. Phoebe marries Mike, and Joey's off to Los Angeles. 

But whatever happened to Marcel after the group left Central Perk behind and moved on to the next stage of life? Read on to find out.

Who's that monkey?

First, it's important to point out that Marcel wasn't just monkeying around (bad pun intended) when he appeared on "Friends." This was a bonafide actor — or, rather, pair of primate actors — hired to do a job. Marcel was played by two capuchins, Katie and Monkey, who came on set with trainers to make sure scenes went smoothly. "Katie is more active, and we use her for the more action-oriented themes," said trainer Denise Sanders, per The Telegraph. "Monkey is a little more mellow, so she is used more for sitting on the shoulder or sitting down."

They might have had a long stint on "Friends" if it hadn't been for a contentious relationship with one costar in particular. Marcel's onscreen bestie, David Schwimmer, wasn't an offscreen fan of the pair. Part of the problem was that scenes with the primates didn't always go as planned, despite their handlers' best efforts. Matt LeBlanc told "Today" that Katie once climbed to the ceiling and held up shooting for half an hour while they tried to lure her down with mealworms. 

But the real issue for Schwimmer was the lack of any genuine relationship with Marcel. "The trainers won't let me bond with it," he told Entertainment Weekly. "They're really, really possessive. It's like, 'Land on your marks, do your job, don't touch or bond with the monkey.' It's a bummer." That unhappy feeling spread among the cast and led them to insist: Marcel had to go.

One Marcel monkey had a career beyond 'Friends'

By all accounts, Katie has had an illustrious career since moving on from "Friends." (And, though there's not much news of Monkey, it may be that they've shared some roles, too.) Katie's first few onscreen appearances after "Friends" were cameos on sitcoms, including NBC's "30 Rock" in 2009 and Nickelodeon's "Sam & Cat" in 2013. She also took up side hustles, working with Kendall Jenner on a photoshoot for Allure in 2015 and performing unofficial "rally monkey" duties for the Los Angeles Angels baseball team in 2017.

In 2019, she showed up on FX's "Y: The Last Man," playing Ampersand, a male monkey who has survived a plague. In fact, aside from the main human character, Yorick Brown, Ampersand is the planet's last surviving male mammal, so it's no small role.

By then, Katie was in her mid to late 20s, about middle-aged as monkeys go, and only halfway through her potential career. While TV shows and movies don't often call for a capuchin, when they do, she's uniquely qualified. "Friends" fans shouldn't be surprised if they see her cute face onscreen again soon.