A Surprise Guest Joined the ‘Friends’ All-Black Table Read to Sing the Theme Song

·3 min read

Gregg DeGuire; Jamie McCarthy; Maarten de Boer/NBC, Getty Images

Update, September 23rd, 2020, 10:10 a.m.: As if we weren't already stoked enough for the stacked cast of the Friends table read, a special guest joined to sing the theme song. Emmy-, Grammy-, and Tony-winner (and Oscar nominee) Cynthia Erivo surprised viewers by popping on the Zoom Where It Happens to sing "I'll Be There for You" by The Rembrandts.

Gabrielle Union hosted the all-Black cast table read of Friends, which was for When We All Vote. Sterling K. Brown, Uzo Aduba, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Kendrick Sampson, and Jeremy Pope took on the roles to read the Season 3 bottle episode, "The One Where No One's Ready."

Watch Erivo's surprise performance, which was captured by a fan on Twitter, below:

Original post, September 22nd, 2020: Tonight, September 22nd, Gabrielle Union will host a live reading of a Season 3 Friends episode, "The One Where No One's Ready," with an all-Black cast. She'll be joined by fellow actors Sterling K. Brown, Uzo Aduba, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Kendrick Sampson, and Jeremy Pope. The event, directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield, will benefit When We All Vote, the Michelle Obama-led national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a mission to increase participation in every election.

"The One Where No One's Ready" is the second episode in the third season of the '90s sitcom in which Ross attempts to round up the gang to attend a formal event at his museum. Chandler tricks Joey into drinking chicken fat while Monica is perturbed by a voicemail left by her ex Richard, and she can't figure out if he left it on her machine before or after their breakup. This is also the episode in which Ross and Rachel end up sharing a secret kiss with mere seconds to spare before having to leave for the event.

The event will air on "Zoom Where It Happens," a platform that "aims to catalyze voters and amplify the fight for voting rights and electoral justice, through culture and entertainment," according to the website.

Here's who is taking on each iconic Friends role:

Union will host, married couple Brown and Bathe will play Ross and Rachel, Abuda will play Phoebe, Hinds is Monica, Sampson is Joey, and Pope will play Chandler.

In the original series, Aisha Tyler, who played Ross and Joey's girlfriend, Charlie, was the only Black actress to have a major role on Friends during its entire eight-year run. Union actually guest-starred on the show in 2001.

You can sign up to watch tonight's episode of "Zoom Where It Happens" by registering via this link. The episode will begin at 9 p.m. EST.

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