In the wake of Matthew Perry’s sudden passing, tributes have poured in from fans and from those who knew and loved him. There have been good stories, too. One offers a look into an alternate timeline in which Perry didn’t do Friends but rather another sitcom, one involving alien luggage.
Decider dug up an old Late Night with Seth Meyers clip from 2015, in which Perry recalled the desperate times before he got the gig that would change his life. Still a struggling actor, eking by without a cent to his name, he lucked into a new pilot. It was called LAX 2194, and he described it as being about “about baggage handlers at the LA airport in the year 2194.”
The show required him wear a “futuristic shirt,” he said. “And little people played the aliens in which I had to sort out the aliens’ luggage, and that was basically the show.”
It was around this time that Perry was sent the pilot script for what was then called Friends Like Us. “And there was this part that was perfect for me and it was making me crazy that I couldn’t go up for it because of the baggage handlers show,” he said. “I was losing my mind.”
Luckily, LAX 2194 was apparently so terrible that the powers that be took mercy on him.
“Somebody at Fox at the time said, ‘We’ve seen this, it’s the worst thing we’ve ever seen in our lives. He is available. You can hire him for your little show called Friends Like Us that then became Friends,’” Perry recalled.
Did said Fox exec make the right call? Was the world robbed a hilarious show about Matthew Perry working at a futuristic airport? All that currently exists of it online is a quickie commercial that doesn’t feature him (but does prominently show future Drew Carey Show actor Ryan Stiles). You can watch that below and ask yourself if we were better off with a beloved show that ran for a decade and still plays on the TBS channel at the gym.
You can watch Perry’s old Late Night stint in the video above.