While the singer never met the actor, Adele — like millions of Friends fans — felt a connection to the hit sitcom, and especially Perry’s character Chandler Bing, who she called “probably the best comedic character of all time.”
“It is always so shocking, especially someone that made you laugh and who brought so much joy to your life that you don’t know,” Adele — dressed as Morticia Addams for the pre-Halloween gig — told the crowd. “This is what I find so strange, I never met him in my life. There is something, you feel so sad about it especially because you don’t necessarily know what was going on.”
She continued, “One of my favorite memories of when I was younger, with my friends, and one of my friends Andrew when I was 12 did the best Chandler impression, and he would do it all the time to make us laugh. And if anyone was having a bad day or feeling low, he would pretend to be Chandler. And I will remember that character for the rest of my life.”
Adele also praised how candid Perry was about his addiction and his efforts to help those who similarly struggled. “He was so open with his struggles with addiction and sobriety, which I think is incredibly, incredibly brave,” Adele said.
“I just wanna say how much I love what he did for us, especially what he did for me… and hopefully now he can rest in peace.” The singer then segued into a rendition of her “When We Were Young.”
Perry died Saturday at the age of 54, law enforcement sources confirmed to Rolling Stone. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department said that police “responded at 4:10 this afternoon to a death investigation for a male in his fifties.” While an official cause of death has not yet been revealed, law enforcement said that Perry died in an apparent drowning at his Los Angeles home.
While Perry was best known for his role in Friends, he appeared in scores of other television shows — including Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Good Wife, and the revived The Odd Couple — and comedic films, including Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, Three to Tango, The Kid, and many more movies.
“Matthew was an incredibly generous actor. There was no single time I stepped onto a stage with him that I did not feel lifted by his brilliance,” Maggie Wheeler, the actress who portrayed Perry’s on-again off-again girlfriend Janice Goralnik on Friends, said in a statement. “Even in his darkest moments, his comedic timing was impeccable. Mathew suffered so terribly as his book revealed to the world. I hope he is at peace beyond that suffering. He died way too soon and he will be missed by all who loved and knew him in life and as the beloved Chandler Bing.”