Dr Simone Knox, an Associate Professor in Film & Television at the University of Reading, has debated that while Schwimmer’s depiction as Ross Geller was one of the excellent comedic performances of all time, he was similarly the most underrated in the smash-hit sitcom.
David Schwimmer’s Ross was the most underappreciated Friends character
Sharing her assessment in new book Friends: A Reading of the Sitcom, she wrote: ‘Schwimmer’s performance frequently draws on slapstick, which has often been regarded as one of the more basic forms of humor, but this does not explain its widespread request. ‘This dismissal, by audiences, critics or scholars, neglects to explore and assess the challenges and intricacies of a successful physical comedic performance, and the particular skills and craft involved, which are prevalent in a number of scenes in Friends, especially those involving Schwimmer.’
It’s obvious that show runner Marta Kauffman had written Ross character with Schwimmer in mind – and the character was written to show his strong persona.
Dr Knox enlightened further: ‘Out of the entire cast, Schwimmer, who has a background in the Chicago theatre scene, was perhaps most aware of the full range of performance opportunities and challenges presented by multi-camera filming before going into production and, more significantly, how to engage with them in front of a live audience.
All those humoring flashes of Ross character by Schwimmer in Friends made that character more influential, that vocal delivery and performance proved that he’s a good actor. Schwimmer took prominent position as Ross in friends all over 10 years. How we can overlook his way of dressed up as the holiday armadillo and many other things which made that character more alive.
Knox concluded that Schwimmer’s comedic skill is much unappreciated and that this is reflected in the fact that he only received a handful of award nominations for playing the character.