The Friends reunion special is now streaming on HBO Max, and fans can get a sneak peek of Lady Gaga's appearance, as she performs "Smelly Cat" with Lisa Kudrow. In the special, Kudrow — who played Phoebe Buffay in the series — sits down in a recreation of Central Perk and performs the hit tune, which has long been one of the most recognizable moments to come out of the '90s sitcom. Gaga eventually joins her to deliver her own version of the song.
"It's so weird 'cause I was walking down the street and I just happen to have my guitar," Gaga says as she emerges into the scene. "It's one of my favorite songs." The award-winning pop star then asks, "You mind if I take 'Smelly Cat' for a spin?" Kudrow replies, "Oh please! That would be great!" After Gaga finishes her performance, the two women perform a "Smelly Cat" duet, eventually being joined by a gospel choir for the big finale. When they end, Kudrow exclaims how "great" it was for them to sing together, and then goes into character as Phoebe, quipping, "I still think it's better when it's just me."
smelly cat - lisa kudrow ft lady gaga pic.twitter.com/KpGkGaLkNN— qiqi ✦ FRIENDS REUNION (@pizzasexntrolls) May 27, 2021
Gaga then gets a bit serious, telling Kudrow how big a fan she is of Phoebe and how much the character meant to her as a younger woman. "Can I just say something? Thank you so much for being the person for all of us on Friends that — I don't know if this is the right way to say it — but the different one, or the one that was really herself." Kudrow replied, "Thank you, and thanks for carrying it along."
Friends reunion director Ben Winston previously spoke with Variety about the Gaga-Buffay/Kudrow duet and explained how it came to be. "I said to Lisa, 'Would you be prepared to sing it?' And she was like, 'Yeah, that would be fun,'" he recalled. Winston went on to share that Gaga wasn't necessarily their first or only choice, but she was the one they felt most drawn toward.
"We went through a few names, and we both agreed that Gaga, if we could get her, would be the ultimate one because she associates with and feels close to Phoebe in so many ways, as Gaga says on the show," he said. "That was a really beautiful moment. And Lady Gaga jumped at the chance to do it." HBO Max subscribers can now stream the Friends reunion in full.