Kauffman and Crane: The Best of 'Friends' - Broadcasting & Cable

Kauffman and Crane: The Best of 'Friends'

It’s been almost 10 years since the 'Friends' finale, but series creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane remain as close as the show’s main character’s always were. At NATPE, the duo hilariously and powerfully covered a huge range of topics with B&C editor-in-chief Melissa Grego as part of NATPE’s Storytellers track.
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Marta Kauffman and David Crane not only created the phenomenon that is Friends, they’ve earned a long list of awards, including the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy series. They also cocreated Veronica’s Closet, The Powers That Be and the pioneering HBO series Dream On. Among the projects they’ve done separately, Kauffman executive produced Call Me Crazy: A Five Film, featuring five scripted shorts on mental illness, which followed 2011’s Five, featuring five short films focused on breast cancer. She also executive produced Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, a documentary that was on the short list for the 2008 Oscars. Crane and Jeffrey Klarik cocreated the Showtime and BBC series Episodes, starring Matt LeBlanc of Friends, as well as the CBS comedy The Class. Years later, the pair is so close, they still finish each other’s sentences.

The success that you had with Friends is truly a Holy Grail in television, for everybody involved—you as the creators, certainly with the cultural impact, the billions of dollars that it’s generated, the careers it’s launched. Incredibly popular, critically popular and people are still trying to emulate it nearly ten years after the finale aired. First, I know you two met a couple of years ago when you were in college. So did you think when you first met that there was any chance you’d create something so huge in your life?

Marta Kauffman: We were doing theater. Honestly, the way we met—we were in a play. I was a whore and he was a street urchin.

David Crane: We sort of fell into writing. I mean, it wasn’t even like we both had these dreams and plans. We were like, ‘Hey we should’—it was really, ‘Let’s write a show together and put it on!’

Kauffman: So we did.

Crane: It started by just doing plays and musicals in college and then in New York. I don’t know that we had specific, like, dreams.

Kauffman: We didn’t. We had a show off-Broadway—Nancy Josephson, who is here, who’s our agent. She’s been our agent since day one. We’ve been together since 1985. Sorry, Nance. She came to the play and said, ‘Why aren’t you guys doing television?’

Crane: And we hadn’t even thought of doing television.

Kauffman: Thank you Nancy. My family thanks you.

Crane: And so it just—at that point we didn’t want to move out of New York. So she’s like, ‘OK, well, just come up with ideas for shows and we’ll see if we can try to sell them.’ It was very, kind of, ad hoc. We didn’t in any way follow the sort of traditional move to L.A., work on somebody’s show, start as a story editor, work your way up. We really fell into it.

Kauffman: I had a baby at the time and didn’t want to work somebody else’s long hours. I knew at some point I’d have to work my own, but honestly I didn’t want to work somebody else’s long hours. And we just thought, ‘Well let’s just see what we can come up with and see if anything happens and we’re still doing theater in New York and working at law firms and whatever.’

So when did Friends come along, or as it was called initially, Insomnia Café?

Kauffman: Oh, it was called four thousand things.

Crane: Yes, Six of One—

Kauffman: Across the Hall. After we went to college, we lived in New York. We were a bunch of friends who lived—we didn’t live across the hall from each other, but we were in that place where your friends become your family. So we lived it. We came to L.A. after Dream On and we were looking for what we were going to do next. One of the things was, Dream On was about one guy. And he was in every scene and it was a lot of pressure on everybody. So we said that’s it, we’ve got to do an ensemble show next.

Crane: It was also—when we were doing it, there was no sense of ‘This is the one.’ I mean, really, we had just had a show on CBS that lasted six episodes and was canceled and it was just disastrous. And it was like, ‘All right, got to get back in the game. Let’s come up with more shows.’ And we sold the thing—

Kauffman: I just want to say, I blocked that show out completely until you said it.

Crane: There you go. And so we—it was a scramble. It was like, that sort of panicky thing of when one thing dies, will you ever be allowed to work again? We came up with two pilots that year. An absolutely terrible thing for Fox and this project for NBC that seemed like it was going well. It was flowing, and it seemed like, ‘Oh, this will be fun.’ And we did both of them that same pilot season and thank God they picked up the—the right one went and the other one didn’t.

You famously had really a vision for this. You say an ensemble, but an ensemble could very easily mean, you know, one more dominant character. But you really stuck to that idea and that vision. I’m curious what made you so sure that that was what you wanted to do. The idea of getting a show picked up at that point wasn’t going to sway you to say, ‘Oh, OK. Well, maybe…’

Kauffman: They tried. I’ll tell you a funny story. NBC was a little concerned that the show would skew too young and they were suggesting that maybe in the coffeehouse we have a cop, someone who owns the coffeehouse, who is older, represents another generation. And for a little while we entertained the idea. We called him Pat the Cop. And we realized it was a terrible idea. And that actually solidified our belief that if the stories are universal enough, if you care about the characters, you don’t need the other generation.

Crane: Probably that was one of the things that made the network the most nervous, more than the fact that there wasn’t a star, per se. It was the idea that we’re just going to—it’s that narrow. It’s just going to be the characters this age.

Where do you think that clarity or that confidence came from?

Crane: There’s no confidence. There is only confidence in hindsight. Like, ‘Of course, that’s what we meant!’ No, I think in the moment, you think you’re right. It seems like a good idea. But—

Kauffman: I think that the confidence builds over time. But one of the ways we were very fortunate is we had each other. So if one of us was getting a little insecure, the other one could, you know, be like, ‘Come on, we’re right. We’re right. We can do this.’

Crane: Well, a lot of ‘I think we’re right. It seems—’ Because we—like for instance, on the pilot script, we started out, we broke it—it was the same basic story about Rachel comes and the wedding, but we started out—we had a completely different, much more traditional story where the parents end up coming to try to take her back and the friends stand up for her. It was much more of a—the kind of sitcom shape of a story that you’d expect. And we just looked at it and went, ‘Eh.’ And so I think one of the sort of the gutsier things that we did was make the decision to structure it in a way that not only is it six characters, none of whom is really the lead, but also you look at that first story, the act break is Ross and Rachel looking out the window at the rain. It’s not a big joke. There is sort of something implied but there is no big plot moment—

Kauffman: And the beginning of the pilot is just quick scenes getting to know these characters. There’s no story in the beginning. I think maybe to sort of speak to what you were asking, part of what happens . . . when you work in collaboration with someone, it has to get past two people before it gets on the page for anybody else to read. Two people who have very, very strong opinions, my guess is, two people who want it to be good. So it gets an extra filter. And that’s an advantage.

It’s interesting, you mentioned in that pilot sort of setting of who each of these people are. What did you do to maintain over the life of the series that equality among the characters? In terms of how you approach breaking the stories.

Crane: That was just always sort of—that was—

Kauffman: Organic. Three stories every episode. Huge whiteboards listing—

Crane: Lots of lists and making sure that all the characters are all served. Once the show got underway, you know, Phoebe doesn’t have a lot to do in the pilot, but Lisa was so funny that it actually seemed like she carried as much weight. But it was very deliberate and very methodical, you know, I think probably over the ten years we told 700 and something stories. Just really making sure that everybody ultimately gets served. Each season—

Kauffman: Different focus on what the arcs were. Like you know Phoebe is going to carry her brother’s babies. That’s going to take you awhile.

Crane: There were definitely days where you’d look and go, ‘OK, Courteney [Cox] in the last weeks has mostly asked questions of other characters. I think we really need to do something about that.’

It was an interesting suggestion, to have an older person at the café. What was the worst, most ridiculous note you got on the show?

Kauffman: One of my favorite notes was—it was an episode about Rachel’s birthday. And the question from the network was, ‘How will we know it’s her birthday?’

Crane: I remember that.

How did you respond?

Kauffman: Is this being recorded? We’ll have to sign.

Crane: Along the lines of terrible notes, probably I would say—and this one isn’t so ridiculous, but it was really infuriating—was on the pilot. The other big issue that the network had—one of the executives at the network, just one—his big issue was the fact that you’re doing a pilot, you want everyone to fall in the love with the characters, and Monica sleeps with a guy on the first date.

Kauffman: Therefore she gets what she deserves.

Crane: That was actually how he got on board with it, because it doesn’t work out well. We’re in the meeting, we’re in the notes meeting after the pilot run-through and we knew this was going to be an issue. And he said, ‘I’m OK with it because she gets what she deserves.’ At which point, Marta—

Kauffman: Fire is coming out of my nose.

Crane: And this is the partnership thing. I just see Marta go, ‘Excuse me for just a second.’ And Marta just—God bless her—I’m like, anyway, but the good news is, you’re on board. We’re fine! Moving on!

Kauffman: They passed out a questionnaire where we did the run-throughs, we did these dress run-throughs. And one of the questions was, ‘For sleeping with a guy on the first date, is Monica a) a whore, b) a slut, c) easy—’

Crane: It’s true! This actually exists! But he got on board because she got what she deserves. And we’re like, ‘All right. Whatever it takes to get this thing made. Fine. Love it.’

Friends actually did very well from the start. I’m curious when you realized it was going to be one of those ‘it’s going to go down in history’ shows.

Crane: I would say there was kind of a—I don’t know if it will go down in history. For the first season, we were very much in our little work bubble.

Kauffman: It was a cave.

Crane: We did crazy long hours. We saw the sun—there was a lot of fear going in. Because when they called us and said, ‘You’re going to be on NBC on Thursday nights.’ Must See TV. That’s like—you’ve been anointed, but there is a huge amount of pressure. We were between Mad About You, which was brilliant, and Seinfeld, which was brilliant. You’re just—we felt so much pressure to live up to where the bar was. And so we worked crazy hard for that first year—well, for all ten years, but that first year. And we sort of—in the summer in between on that first hiatus, it was when we first saw, oh, our cast is on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Kauffman: I remember walking through an airport and every other magazine, one of them was on it. I was like, that’s crazy.

Crane: We knew it, because obviously we didn’t—they tell us these things are going to happen. That was the moment we could take a breath and sort of look at—

Kauffman: When my rabbi asked me if Ross and Rachel were going to get together, I had a feeling it was beyond my little circle.

Was that before or after everyone was getting their Rachel haircut?

Crane: The first moment I had an inkling is—Jeffrey [Klarik] and I were—parents were in from out of town, it was Thanksgiving, so this would be November of the first season. We’re out to dinner and Jeffrey goes, ‘Shh, shh, shh.’ And he goes, ‘Listen.’ And at the other table there were people talking and you could hear them go, ‘Oh, and did you see the one where they’re in the laundromat?’ And I was like, you never hear—people—

And they said it that way? The one—

Crane: Yeah. Did you see the one where—and Jeffrey said, ‘All right. Do remember this moment. Because this is the moment where you’re going to realize everything is going to start to change.’ And even then, I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’

Kauffman: I did have someone come up to me at my neighborhood pharmacy. Two stories. Someone came up to me at my neighborhood pharmacy. I guess I was wearing a Friends hat or jacket, and asked me if Ross and Rachel would get together and promised she wouldn’t tell anybody. I think, though—look, we’re the guys who sit in a room. We’re not visible. We don’t experience what the cast experienced, where they were suddenly on all the covers and everybody knew them and they couldn’t walk through a hotel lobby without being seen. We didn’t experience that. So it’s—we didn’t feel that part of the success. We just knew that we had a great job. We’re having a blast making a show that people watched.

Crane: Just not getting canceled was amazing.

Kauffman: And by the way, the thing that we said to ourselves before this one that we’d never said before was we wanted to create a show that we would watch. And we’d never said that before.

That said, at a certain point, when you see all these things happening and you know this is huge. What’s the pressure like to take into account fan allegiance and things like that? Were you ever surprised at how people reacted to some choices you made?

Kauffman: When we shot in London and we first put Monica and Chandler together, in our minds, that was just going to be a thing. A little thing. And the audience in London—

Crane: Kind of reserved people—

Kauffman: Screamed. Literally screamed. We had to stop and wait for them to stop screaming. And we looked at each other like, ‘Holy shit! What just happened?’

You mean in the audience?

Crane: The studio audience. It was two minutes of solid screaming. And also, we taped the same show three times in London. We did the same—and each time it was that same response. Just suddenly you experience it on that visceral level.

Kauffman: We see people are really going to invest in this. They’re really excited about it. And it made us look at it differently. There was one time—we were shooting on a Tuesday night, it was election night, it was raining and we’d written an episode, ‘What If.’ And it was—and this had never happened before—nobody laughed at anything. The election was not going well, clearly, people were not laughing at anything. It was the only time we didn’t listen to the audience. Because we just felt like, it’s the rain and the election and people just don’t feel like laughing tonight.

Crane: But as far as looking at the larger, like, zeitgeisty fan—like how are they responding to where we are taking the show? We never did. It always was, what’s making the 8, 10, 12 writers in the room laugh? If we liked it, then that’s what we’re doing. It was never reactive writing.

Do you think it would be different today with Twitter? I mean, it takes five seconds to get on Twitter and know how people react—

Kauffman: I don’t know that it’s all that different from a review. If you listen to the good reviews, you have to listen to the bad ones. It’s really hard because everybody has an opinion and they say their opinions, but I don’t know that that opinion is what’s going to shape the future of the piece. It’s just going to be how many people are going to get their eyes on it and are they going to invest in it? I don’t know how different it would be. The phones would be smaller if we did it today.

Do you do the Twitter?

Kauffman: No.

Crane: No.

Kauffman: I don’t tweet or any of those funny words.

One of my favorite topics is the implications of, ‘write what you know.’ And how you find that line of what from your life you put on the screen and shared and opened yourselves. Especially given this show, Friends in particular, it sounds like was quite inspired by your experience. Anything specific that came from your lives that maybe you regretted even?

Kauffman: There’s—no. Regret anything, no. Rachel having a baby and having all those people come in and out of the labor room, that was my experience with my first child. I had five roommates. I was the only one not having a baby. And it was—I mean, I had a woman literally, as they were wheeling her out, the baby comes shooting out at her feet, and I just burst into tears. It just wasn’t fair, they’re all having babies and I’m not having a baby. And that was loosely where we started that. There was one—there were several of them that I can think of. Some more embarrassing than others that I haven’t made public that were based on real life.

Crane: I think inevitably—

Kauffman: The tailor was a true story. That was Michael Borkow, one of the writers. To a tailor, he was describing that he was cupping him. And we were like, that doesn’t sound right.

Crane: I don’t think you can do a show for ten years and not—especially a show—it’s not like we were writing 24. It’s our experience. And you make up a lot and you draw on what you know. I think that’s inevitable and hopefully you filter it through the characters enough that it’s not just, here’s what I did Thursday.

Was there anything off limits?

Kauffman: Nothing was off limits. It’s interesting because it kind of takes us to lawsuit.

Crane: We’re going to the lawsuit?

Kauffman: A little bit, because part of what happens in a room like that is people share their sexual experiences. The show was a fairly sexual show. They’re people in their 20s, they’re having sex. So people would come in and share stories from their pasts that we eventually find a way to use. Stories that we might hear second season, we’d go back to the guy and say, ‘That story you told, you know that might work here if we do the thing and the thing.’ So all of that—the just sitting around a room and sharing about your life comes into play in a show like that when it’s about life. As you said, it’s not a procedural.

Crane: It’s things you—and it’s stuff you would never talk about in a law firm.

Kauffman: A room like this.

Crane: Or what we’re about to talk about. So it was—we’re really going to the lawsuit? It actually created—there was a legal issue raised by a writer’s assistant who was in the room. The question was, if you’re in a room where people are talking about highly sexual material and things that would be considered inappropriate in other professional contexts, but you talk about it in a writers’ room, is that fair game? Or is that sexual harassment? Only in that you’re exposed to it. No one being directly sexually harassed, but by being exposed to it. If you’re in a law firm and someone is talking about something that happened in bed, that’s inappropriate. But in a writers’ room, it’s Thursday. It is! Because that’s—

Kauffman: In a writers’ room, it’s ‘Really, Princess Leia? That’s what you fantasize about?’

Crane: And all that ultimately finds its way, not all of it but a lot of it, into the show as really good, funny stories.

I apologize, though, I don’t remember exactly how that—

Kauffman: It went all the way to the California Supreme Court.

Crane: And it was unanimous decision that said, in a creative environment like that, there is dialogue that is appropriate, and the case was thrown out.

So let’s talk about the post-Friends era and what it’s like to—the kind of success that you two have had, I guess to Marta, not to make this a therapy session, but—it’s a fairly rare experience to have that kind of success of any kind in life. I’m curious how you processed that, how you thought about together what would be the next thing and how quickly you knew you didn’t want to do Joey?

Crane: The Joey thing, immediately.

Kauffman: We always said we were not going to do anything like that. That it couldn’t work. There’s not going to be a movie. There is no movie. There is no reunion. It’s never happening.

Crane: We feel like the show is done. We found the ending that we loved. We put a bow on it exactly like we wanted.

Kauffman: And the bottom line is, it was a show about the time in your life when your friends are your family. Once you start having a family, it’s not that time of your life anymore.

So unequivocally, what percent chance is there that there will ever be a special episode or theatrical movie—?

Crane: As far as we’re concerned, zero.

Kauffman: What they all do is up to them. So that’s that. In terms of processing the success, we didn’t quite experience that. What we experienced was really, really wonderful work for ten years and uh-oh, now what? Now what do you do next? Do you redefine yourself? Do you keep going the same direction? What do you want? And we are both in a position where we don’t have to work and are choosing to because we love what we do. But it also gives you an opportunity to do what you want to do. And you don’t have to grab onto anything or just anything.

As the show was ending, ten years ago—Say it’s ten years ago today and the finale was going to be in May. What kind of conversations were you two having with each other about what’s next? It’s an incredible calling card, obviously.

Kauffman: We had those conversations for about three years. Because there were several times we thought the show was going to end.

Crane: We thought the show was ending at the end of the eighth season, at the end of the ninth season, and finally at the end of the 10th we said that’s the end. That’s it. Don’t—because they were always going—the studio and the network were saying, it’s over. And then they’d go, ‘No it’s not. We found more money.’ And they would do what they needed to do and suddenly we’re back. Which is why if you look at the ends of season eight and season nine, you could stop the show there. That could have worked as a finale, kind of sort of-ish. Wouldn’t have been as good. Then there was a reversal and we’d scramble.

So there’s another show on the air now that is just gigantic, which is The Big Bang Theory. A lot of people say certainly the Friends cast sort of set the template for negotiating. They have a big negotiating situation coming up. I wonder if you have any thoughts that you would share as advice to creators of that show.

Crane: Stay out of it. For the creators? Stay out of it.

Kauffman: Let the people do their jobs.

Is that what you did, essentially?

Kauffman: Our thing was they’ve got to be paid the same amount. Beyond that, bye-bye. You guys figure it out.

Crane: It was a gorgeous, generous pie, everyone had slices. We felt we were so blessed but the nuts and bolts of it, of how they did that, the only time that I think we really put our foot down was, you know—you’ve got a lot of agents and managers and lawyers who were like, ‘Hey, let’s ask for this. Let’s ask for this. Let’s ask for this.’ And the one thing that came to us was, ‘Oh, and they want story approval.’ It’s season eight! And season eight—

Kauffman: It’s very, very collaborative. This was a really collaborative relationship. Our rule was very simple with the actors. We’ll listen to any pitch you have, just do what we wrote once. We just need to hear. And if it’s not good, we’ll be the first ones to say we got to change that.

Crane: And that was the moment that steam comes out of your ears. You go, ‘Story approval? OK, so at four in the morning when we throw out a story and come up with a new story that’s going to shoot in the day. Which actor is going to get that call at four in the morning and say, OK scene one!’ So we were like, ‘No, no, no, no. I think if we’ve earned anything at this point it is that we don’t need to have you approve our stories.’ And that quickly went away. Other than that, money stuff. That’s what the other people are for.

So back to the ‘things have ended’ and you two are still writing together and created a number of other shows. And then at one point you decided to go your separate ways after 27 years writing together and being such good friends. What happened? How did you decide to go different ways?

Kauffman: It wasn’t even—it didn’t even really feel like a parting, because we are such good friends. David is my brother from another life. And we’ll always be that. But professionally, I think we both wanted to explore different things. David doesn’t want to do a documentary about Hannah Senesh.

Crane: I do not.

Kauffman: We wanted to explore different things. I had—you know, David and I had worked together a very long time. He was always the one at the typewriter, by the way. So I almost felt like I wrote out loud. I had to learn to talk to myself and be both people. It’s interesting to watch.

You’ve remained writing on your own, not in a partnership?

Kauffman: I do both. Depends on the project. We just wanted to explore different things and I know David and Jeffrey had really wanted to work together for a long time.

Crane: We had always like, Jeffrey—

In case anybody doesn’t know, Jeffrey Klarik—

Crane: Jeffrey Klarik, my partner, who is in the back hiding. Anyway, and we had always helped each other on everything we’d ever written. We just—this was also an opportunity to do it more formally. We did The Class and now we’re doing Episodes. A very, very different experience in that we write it all ourselves. There’s no writers’ room, there’s no—

Just the two of you.

Crane: Just the two of us.

What’s that like in terms of, you know, the cocreator of Friends and Matt LeBlanc are doing this show. It’s funny. And congratulations on the success of it too.

Crane: We have a wonderful time doing it, because we write it ourselves. We write all the episodes before we shoot them, which is a very different experience. We do nine episodes a season. But yeah, we would never do a network show again. Just that insanity of—

Kauffman: Twenty-four—

Crane: Twenty-four episodes, throwing the tracks in front of the moving train, hoping you don’t run out of tracks.

Kauffman: The production was like Indiana Jones with the ball chasing you. The ball was production and there’s your hat, always back there.

Crane: This has been a very different and in some ways incredibly satisfying experience of doing it, in a chance to write the whole season in advance. You get to look at it all.

So you mentioned you don’t really have interest in a network show again. And you also earlier were talking about being part of Must See TV. Does it make you sad at all? What’s your reaction to the fact that they are sort of struggling with that? They might even have football next year on Thursday night.

Kauffman: Look, the television and computer are merging. They are becoming one thing. People have different watching habits now. Everybody has to adjust, including those of us who are writers. The sitcom has to be reinvented if it’s going to work on network television. People are finding ways to do other comedy in other formats. Does it make me sad? No. It’s just everything is moving forward and we all have to think about a new way to approach it. There are so many ways, there are so many formats now, there are so many options for writers. I think it’s really exciting. I think TV, maybe we need to find a new word for it, but content is changing. There is so much out there. There is so much talent, so many good stories, so I think it’s thrilling.

Crane: I think if anything needs to change it’s the process by how shows are created. I think one of the best things about doing a show that we do on cable and Showtime and the BBC, they’re so hands off. Because ultimately, nobody knows what’s going to work. Really at the end of the day, it’s magical a little bit. Going back to your first question, you don’t know what you’re creating and if it’s going to work and if people are going to like it. So I just don’t think a pile of notes from the network is ever going to make a show better.

Kauffman: And they manage from a place that doesn’t even make a whole lot of dramaturgical sense.

Has it changed, though?

Crane: I don’t think so.

On cable, you were really cable pioneers with Dream On.

Crane: That was HBO’s second scripted comedy.

With Episodes, how is the experience?

Crane: I have to say, Dream On, it’ very similar to what we experience in Dream On, which is they basically leave you alone. It may not work but at least you’ve gone down on your own terms and it’s just so different from friends that we have who are doing network shows now and they are just drowning in notes and suggestions and, ‘we love that character’ one week and the next week, ‘all right, not that character.’ I think so much energy—

Kauffman: So much fear. So much fear behind all those notes that you can’t move forward. It’s awful.

Crane: Everybody is desperately scrambling to find the magic because there is so much money that has been put into it.

So if there is a message that you would give to those executives working to find the next Friends, would it be, hands off?

Crane: I think it is hands off. I think that once you commit to something, hands off and then it will be good or it won’t.

Kauffman: We had one executive who used to say when we were doing table reads, she would always turn to us at the end of the table read and say, ‘What did you think?’ Because we were always harder on a script than they were. They had asked dumb detail-y questions and that was a good thing. That was a good thing!

Care to name her? Do you remember who it was?

Kauffman: Shelley McCrory.

Crane: Yeah. So we have been, on the whole, very, very lucky in terms of our experiences in networks and studios and all that. On the whole. We have had those experiences—like that Fox pilot that I was talking about. The big note was, ‘It’s really funny. But it’s not Fox funny.’ OK.

Kauffman: Or the other note that was—it was a high school show. ‘It was too young.’

Crane: ‘Feeling too high school.’ That was the note. It’s set in high school! ‘It’s feeling too high school.’ And you’re like, ‘I’m out.’

Kauffman: Don’t even know what to do with that.

Crane: I don’t know what to do with these notes.

Last question for you. What’s the one thing you’re most proud of that you’ve each done, separately? It could have been done together, but if you would answer separately.

Kauffman: It has to be career oriented?

No, actually. What you’re most proud of to this point that you’ve done.

Kauffman: My children. I’m most proud of my children.

I hear claps. I like that.

Crane: No pressure there! I don’t have children! Jesus. Wow, with applause too! That’s terrible. Most proud of? I mean, I’m proud of the work. I’m proud of—I mean looking at the shows, the good shows that we talked about, I’m really proud of the work and I’m proud of the relationships that I had in doing it. The process of making those shows with Marta, Jeffrey, I feel like that’s been a really satisfying—it wasn’t like, ‘Yeah, the shows got made.’ You hear a lot people—the shows got made and they had a miserable time. I had a wonderful time and I’m still having it.

Kauffman: You know, people used to call David the nicest man in show business. That is quite a title.

Crane: No! That’s just pandering! Come on! You’re just applauding because I don’t have children!

Let’s just applaud to say thank you so much, David Crane and Marta Kauffman.

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