No episode of Friends is complete without the theme song, not even Gabrielle Union’s all-Black table read. Harriet star Cynthia Erivo popped into the Zoom Where It Happens to perform the Rembrandt’s “I’ll Be There for You” ahead of the reading, like the national anthem it is. With flawless runs replacing the need for claps, the cast danced in their respective Zoom tiles, surely imagining themselves running around, jumping into the fountain in Central Park (or, more realistically, a random Hollywood back lot).
Joining narrator Gabrielle Union for the live read of “The One Where No One’s Ready” from season three were real-life spouses Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe as Ross and Rachel, Emmy winner Uzo Aduba as Phoebe, Aisha Hinds as Monica, Kendrick Sampson as Joey, and Jeremy Pope as Chandler. In the “The One Where No One’s Ready,” Ross struggles to get the gang out of the door and to a museum gala as Monica obsesses over her ex and Chandler and Joey bicker over a chair. Since it’s an all-Black cast, you know they had to add a little flavor to the dialogue. At one point, a dejected Ross says, “Oh, great, it’s starting to rain. That’ll make it easier for a Black man to get a cab.” And, per E!, while fighting over the spot, Chandler tells Joey, “In the words of Jordan Peele, ‘Get out.’” Dear White People executive producer and director Stephanie Allain and Salli Richardson-Whitfield produced and directed the table read, respectively, which benefited Michelle Obama’s nonprofit When We All Vote for this year’s National Voter Registration Day (September 22). “This episode is called ‘The One Where No One’s Ready,’” Hinds said at the end of the reading. “I have not been more ready to vote. I will be voting super-duper early, so I can’t wait.”