I feel sorry for Janice throughout Friends.
Her character really resonates because I think we’ve all had that one person (and former flame) who we just can’t seem to shake. You know the ones, the types that seemingly turn up at every significant moment in your life.
You’re sort of embarrassed you were ever with them in the first place but also you feel like you owe it to them to be courteous. Honestly, I know exactly how Chandler feels.
Anyway, Janice became a staple of the show during its 10 season span, with her bone-chilling laugh and cries of ‘OH MY GOD’ making all of us – and the super six – shudder.
And now, Maggie Wheeler, the actress who played Janice in the show, has shared where the inspiration for that laugh came from.
Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 Live, Maggie said that Flipper and Woody the Woodpecker played big parts in its creation.
“There was a character called Arnold Horshack and he used to laugh and he would say [laughs],” she explained.
“Then I grew up watching Flipper which was a fantastic show about a dolphin, and I was in love with that dolphin and of course the dolphin sounds like a dolphin…
“So I sort of say she’s a combination of Arnold Horshack and Flipper and Woody the Woodpecker.”
There is definite Woody the Woodpecker vibes to it.
“So I don’t know, I think Janice was some kind of conglomeration that I invented on the day.
“That laugh was a really organic life-saver because Matthew Perry was so funny and I had to work with him and I knew he was going to crack me up, and I knew that if Janice couldn’t laugh on set or laugh at that moment, I knew I was going to be in big trouble and that is why that laugh exists.”
So there you have it: the inspiration behind that iconic laugh.
It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?
I’ll just leave you with this gem.
Images via YouTube/NBC