Here’s Why Paul Rudd Didn’t Make an Appearance in the ‘Friends’ Special

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Paul Rudd and Lisa Kudrow
Paul Rudd and Lisa Kudrow

NBCU Photo Bank, Getty Images

The Friends reunion special had a revolving door of guest stars, including guest stars from the original series. Lady Gaga, Cara Delevingne, and even Justin Bieber showed up, but there was one gaping hole in the reunion: Paul Rudd, aka Mike Hannigan, aka Crap Bag, aka Phoebe Buffay's third husband.

Rudd came into Friends in the tail end of the series as the affable Mike who fell in love with Phoebe. He was the only man able to keep up with her humor and quirkiness, and viewers around the world relished in Phoebe finding a lobster of her own. Alas, Rudd didn't come back for the reunion special, despite being such a large part of the original story. But why?

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Well, it's fairly simple. The show *was* only an hour and 45 minutes and they had a lot to cram in there. Director Ben Winston told The Wrap that his biggest priority was keeping the focus on the six main characters, regardless of bringing in guest stars. "So you can't have too many cameos because of course, there were hundreds of amazing people who were in Friends over the years. Sadly, we couldn't get everybody in," he said.

While Winston didn't mention whether or not Rudd was invited (we can't imagine he wasn't), he did note that for some, life got in the way. "You know, we did invite some people who weren't able to make it. It's a complicated time to be making television now because, you know, some people couldn't fly internationally, some people were on other TV or film shoots, some people are in bubbles on stuff."

This goes for Cole Sprouse, too, who many people were sad didn't make an appearance. The actor originally appeared on the show as Ross's son Ben. But filming the reunion all came down to simple availability. Winston shared that the night they filmed was the *only* night he could gather the six key cast members, so if the guest stars weren't available on that specific night, they unfortunately weren't in the show.

Yeah, yeah, it all makes perfect sense, but that doesn't soothe the Paul Rudd-shaped hole in our hearts! Maybe next time...