(JTA) – A British teen got more than he bargained for with his virtual “Friends”-themed bar mitzvah – a video visit two months later from one of the hit sitcom’s stars. Naftali Arden invited dozens of family and friends from England, Israel and the United States to attend his virtual rite in March, but some 4,000 fans of the show logged on as well, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported. The bar mitzvah was believed to be the first virtual celebration to come out of the United Kingdom. The response landed Naftali an appearance via video chat on “The Late Late Show” with James Corden, a fellow “Friends” fanatic, on Monday night, May 18. (Naftali says he has seen the entire series seven times.) After Corden recapped the bar mitzvah, he invited a second guest to the video chat, saying “A friend of mine was also impressed by your whole bar mitzvah and she wanted to pop in and say hi, too.” Courteney Cox, who played Monica Geller, then appeared on a split screen. “Oh my gosh, hello!” Naftali said.
Plans for his bar mitzvah had called for tables to be named after each of the six main characters in the series and would have included a foosball table like the one in Joey and Chandler’s apartment. Cox announced that she would be sending Naftali a foosball table as a bar mitzvah gift.
The sitcom ended in May 2004, some two years before Naftali was born.
Main Photo: The British TV host James Corden brought 13-year-old “Friends” fan Naftali Arden and Courteney Cox, a star of the ’90s sitcom, together in honor of Naftali’s bar mitzvah. (Screenshot)