Janice from Friends explains how she mastered her iconic laugh

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  • Janice from Friends. Everyone knows her, whether you watch the show or not, thanks to that pitchy, nasal and loud laugh. Despite only appearing in 19 episodes of the show, she’s a fan favourite thanks to her signature bray (as well as her regular ‘OH MY GOD!’s).

    But actress Maggie Wheeler has opened up about how she developed her character’s iconic laugh.

    Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Maggie once explained that Flipper the dolphin, Woody Woodpecker and Arnold Horshack of Welcome Back, Kotter inspired the infamous chuckle.

    She told Emma Barnett: ‘There was a character called Arnold Horshack and he used to laugh and he would say [laughs].

    ‘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. 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 [Chandler] was so funny and I had to work with him and I knew he was going to crack me up. I knew that if Janice couldn’t laugh on set or laugh at that moment, I was going to be in big trouble and that is why that laugh exists.’

    Add that to the list of things you never knew about Friends.

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