The Racist Friends Spin-off that Never Aired



In 2003, writer and producer David Crane approached me to guest-write a one-off, racist episode of the multi-award winning sitcom Friends. For conflict, we added a towering, blinged-out, streetwise African American called Leeroy to the cast, as Chandler’s adopted brother.

Unfortunately, the network censor would not sanction our footage, branding it gratuitously racist. To this day the reels sit collecting dust in the archives of NBC. Judge for yourself: were we silenced for overshooting the mark? Or was our mirror too uncomfortable for society to gaze into?

INT: CENTRAL PERK — AT THE COUCHES — MORNING

Joey: Hey gang, what’s happening?
Phoebe: Hi Joey.
Chandler: Hiya Joe.
Monica: Hey Joe
Ross: Hi Joe.
Rachel: Hiya Joey.
Leeroy: What up J-dog?

Ross: Hey, anybody hear about the shooting in Park Avenue this morning?
Monica: Park Avenue? No, what happened?
Chandler: Oh, I heard about that. A mugging, right?
Ross: Yeah, and the guy decided to fight back. Mugger takes out a gun and shoots him, point blank.
Rachel: Is he dead?
Ross: Yeah, he died an hour later.
Phoebe: Oh that's awful.
Rachel: Poor man.
Joey: Damn blacks.

Chandler's brother, Leeroy Bing


Leeroy: Say what?
Joey: Huh?
Leeroy: What the f*ck you just say?
Joey: What did I say?
Leeroy: That’s what I’m asking. What did you just say?
Joey: I said, you know, I hope they catch these animals.
Leeroy: That ain’t what you said. Think hard, J-Dog. Think real hard.
Joey: Look Leeroy, I’m not trying to ‘diss’ your people.
Leeroy: Oh hell no. No you didn’t.

Chandler: I think we all need to calm down here for a…
Leeroy: Naw, naw C-Man, ain’t nobody need to calm down. Your boy here needs to explain what the f*ck he talkin about.
Ross: Leeroy, I don’t think he meant…
Leeroy: Naw Ross, he’s a big boy. Let the man speak for himself.
Joey: I’m just saying, statistically, you know, the gunman is probably more likely to be…
Leeroy: To be what?
Joey: …you know?
Leeroy: No. Tell us?
Joey: …a black man.
Leeroy: Mother f*cker, I’m gonna f*ck you up.

(Leeroy lunges at Joey and is restrained by Chandler and Ross).

Gunter: That’s it, you’re all out of here. This is a family establishment. You’re all barred.

INT: CHANDLER’S APARTMENT — AFTERNOON

Leeroy: How can you hang with him, dog?
Chandler: Come on man, he’s my best friend. So he’s a little racist…
Leeroy: A little racist? Dude’s this close to pulling on a white sheet. You hear that knock-knock joke he told yesterday? A little racist? Mother f*ckin joke damn near insulted half the earth.
Chandler: You don’t understand. Where he was brought up, everybody…
Leeroy: Man, don’t tell me that sh*t. That ain’t no excuse. Remember what Mom used to say?
Chandler: I remember.
Leeroy: Do you?
Chandler: I remember. She said racism isn’t hereditary.
Leeroy: That’s right.
Chandler: I’ll talk to him.

INT: JOEY’S APARTMENT — AFTERNOON

Rachel: You’re going to have to apologise.
Joey: I know.
Rachel: Joey, times are different now. You can’t say things like that any more.
Joey: I know.
Rachel: I mean that Knock-knock joke you told yesterday would be deeply offensive to...well...pretty much everybody. Asians in particular, but also Indians, Irish, Jews, pacific islanders, Eskimos…
Joey: It’s just how I was raised Raich.
Rachel:…pygmies, native Americans, Africans, fishermen, Arabs…
Joey: I know. I’ll put this right, I promise.
Rachel: …Muslims, women, hermaphrodites…
Joey: I get it Raich.

INT: CHANDLER’S APARTMENT — AFTERNOON


Phoebe: …where, in pottery barn? Is the sale still on?
Monica: Yeah, but only until Sunday. There's 33% off the stuff on the ground floor, and 50% off the…
Leeroy: Now what you fine ass, white bitches talkin about?
Phoebe: Only furniture.

Monica: Leeroy. How can I put this?
Leeroy: Spit it out Mon. I can dig it.
Monica: With the whole Joey thing that’s going on, don’t you think calling us ‘white bitches’ might be a little…off?
Leeroy: Two different things Mon. I ain’t implying you criminals and sh*t.
Monica: I know, I know. But truthfully? I’m not comfortable with it Leeroy. I’ve been biting my tongue for a while.
Leeroy: Phoebe? You down with this?
Phoebe: A little Leeroy, yeah.

Leeroy: Ok, that’s cool, that’s cool. I’ll drop the ‘white’ sh*t.
Monica: Thanks Leeroy.
Phoebe: We appreciate it.
Leeroy: Ain’t no thang. All right, I’m late for work. I’ll catch you bitches later.

INT: CHANDLER’S APARTMENT — NIGHT

Joey: Leeroy.
Leeroy: Joey.
Joey: Can we talk?
Leeroy: Free country.
Chandler: Eh..Ross, Raich, Phoebe? Could you all give me a hand in the bedroom? I need to move a wardrobe.
Leeroy: Yeah, get the f*ck out. Me and Joey need some privacy.

Joey: I want to apologise for what I said this morning.
Leeroy: You apologisin coz you think you should, or because you know what you said was whack?
Joey: Both?
Leeroy: That ain’t good enough, J - Dog.
Joey: Come on man, I’m trying. My eyes are opening, but I’ve been blind for a long time. It’s not going to happen over night. But I promise I’m going to work on it. I’ll get there Leeroy. With your help, and with God’s help. You're my friend, and I want to make this right. Will you help me?
Leeroy: All right J-Dog. All right. I'm gonna hook you up.

Rachel: Is everybody friends again?
Leeroy: Yeah, come on outta there you bitches. We good.
Monica: Oh, what a relief. We’ve been walking on eggshells around you guys all day.
Phoebe: Yeah, I hate it when we fight.

Ross: New DVD player Chandler?
Chandler: Yeah, I got it yesterday.
Ross: Chitachi? What is that, Japanese?
Chandler: No, I believe it’s Chinese.
Ross: Chinese? What were you thinking? Everybody knows the Chinese can’t manufacture electrical goods worth a damn. Their hands are too small.

(Everybody hovers in awkward silence for several seconds).

Leeroy: Oh well. Here we go again!

(Everybody breaks into convulsions of laughter. The picture freeze frames, and the credits roll over the applause from the live studio audience).

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Rant by www.rant.ie is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2009 Flann O'Coonassa