Friends – Roseanne – ER – tape 1986

First on this tape, a very early episode of Friends. So early, in fact, that we meet Ross’s ex-wife and she’s played by a completely different actor to later in the show’s run, Anita Barone. The episode is The One With the Sonogram At The End.

Ross learns that Carol is pregnant, so there’s discussion about how they’ll work around the new baby. Monica has the parents around, and they are relentlessly critical about her. This is quite painful, but brilliantly written, and played perfectly by Christina Pickles and Elliot Gould.

The next episode is The One with the Thumb. Chandler starts smoking again. This feels like a really mid-90s storyline, the first time when it would be plausible that all his friends would be non-smokers. Extra points for seeing Chandler at work, doing whatever the hell his profession is.

Monica has a new boyfriend, Alan, and is waiting for the inevitable scorn and derision from her friends, because she always dates losers, but the group really love him. What’s interesting is that Alan only appears twice: in the scene where he’s introduced to the gang, and in the scene where Monica dumps him, and he has about two lines. Everything else about him in the episode is the other characters talking about him and how great he is. This is really smart writing because there’s no way anyone could live up to the way the gang love him, so keeping him offscreen is the only way that can play. Plus it allows Alan to have a great final line, even if it’s almost the most obvious joke they could do.

After this, there’s an abrupt recording change, and we drop into an episode of Roseanne. It’s a gimmick episode, as DJ in playing Roseanne as a young woman, visiting a fortune teller who sees her future, cueing a series of clips.

The fortune teller is played by John Goodman.

As well as the fortune teller, there’s also a sequence where an old Jackie (looking frighteningly like her mother) is looking after an older DJ (another John Goodman performance) who appears to have turned into Rain Man. I do like the “They say she’s the same but she’s not the same” line that he keeps repeating, a reference to Becky morphing randomly between Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke.

In another scene, Roseanne finds a lot of women on the kitchen set. It’s the Sitcom Mothers Welcome Wagon, featuring a host of women who played mothers on US sitcoms, most of whom I don’t recognise because those shows never played here. “It’s been seven years, what took you so long?” “We wanted to make sure you’d last.”

At the end of the episode there’s a look at John Goodman’s audition tape.

After this, recording switches, and there’s an episode of ER, Full Moon, Saturday Night. This comes immediately after Love’s Labor Lost. A man goes mad while strapped to a gurney, which isn’t something you see every day.

Dr Green is very depressed, so when Michael Ironside happens to sit next to him at the diner, he’s surly and miserable. Which might be a problem because Ironside is the new chief of ER, replacing William H Macy.

Ming-Na Wen, Agent May off of Agents of Shield, plays another student doctor, competing with Dr Carter.

Twin Peaks’ Kimmy Robertson plays a patient who does Dr Carter’s horoscope.

Dr Green is processing his trauma by playing a Nintendo Arcade beat-em-up.

After this episode, recording continues with a 4-Mations programme Secret Passions talking to animator Paul Vester

Next, recording continues with an episode of Cheers. It’s the second episode of series 5, with Sam going to Cape Cod with a girlfriend, and Diane goes there to make his life miserable.

After this, the recording runs out during an episode of LA Law.


  • Hula Hoops
  • Andrex
  • Acuvue
  • Coca Cola
  • Domestos
  • Vodafone – Dawn French
  • Gino Ginelli – Alistair McGowan
  • Hula Hoops
  • Utterly Butterly
  • Radio Rentals
  • Pizza Hut
  • Sunkist
  • Mercedes
  • trail: Friday on Four
  • Ford Acumen
  • Kodak Fun Camera
  • Lilt
  • Nokia
  • Tetley
  • trail: First Sex
  • trail: Castaway
  • Tesco
  • Alpen
  • TGI Friday’s
  • Comfort Pure
  • Acuvue
  • Peugeot
  • Nurofen
  • TV Licensing
  • AA
  • Volvic
  • Dalton’s Weekly
  • Allders
  • Royal Mail
  • trail: Mystic Pizza
  • Dalton’s Weekly
  • Vision Express
  • Flora
  • 100% Acid Jazz 2
  • McDonalds
  • Kodak Fun Camera
  • Nike
  • trail: Friday on Four
  • trail: Mystic Pizza
  • Peugeot
  • Kenco
  • Cadbury’s Mini Rolls
  • Sharps
  • Dalton’s Weekly
  • Caffrey’s
  • McDonalds
  • Andrex
  • Nurofen
  • Jack & Sarah in cinemas
  • trail: Castaway
  • Prudential
  • Nurofen
  • Bird’s Eye Chicken Marinade
  • Ford Escort
  • Le Shuttle
  • Solero
  • Cooperative Bank
  • Miller Genuine Draft
  • trail: Friday on Four
  • Reggae Massive
  • McVities
  • Sony Handycam
  • Bradford & Bingley
  • Yellow Pages
  • Fiat Punto – Giants
  • The Best of Kirsty MacColl
  • trail: The Trouble With Evan
  • Prudential
  • Tesco
  • Road Tax
  • Wilkinson Sword Lady Protector
  • McDonalds
  • Jack & Sarah in cinemas
  • VW Golf




  1. It’s a pity “The Jeffersons” was never shown in Britain, And a bit strange considering it shares a universe with “All in the Family” and “Maude” which both in the UK (Also, it was a lot better than “The C***** Show”).

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