NYTimes: The Call and Matthew Perry’s death

The Call

If you’re fortunate to live long enough, eventually you get The Call. Sometimes it’s an actual call, sometimes a social media post or a conversation on the street. But the message is the same: A friend of your youth has died.

The death of Matthew Perry was sad for all the reasons it is sad when a gifted, nimble, charming performer who has shared his struggles dies too young. But it was deepened by the particular relationship of “Friends” to its audience. If you connected with the show the way the show wanted to connect with you, the weekend’s news was a global version of The Call.