Anyone who has watched TV in the past 20 years can tell you that NBC’s Friends was, and still is, a widely popular show. There’s a bunch of quizzes online that will tell you if you’re a Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), a Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), a Monica (Courteney Cox), a Chandler (Matthew Perry), a Joey (Matt LeBlanc) or a Ross (David Schwimmer).
Fans of the show also know who some of the recurring characters that pop up constantly during the show, including Janice (Maggie Wheeler), Chandler’s ex-girlfriend, or Gunther (James Michael Tyler), the manager of Central Perk, the coffee shop where the friends hang out.
There’s one recurring character who fans don’t know the actual name of and they don’t even know the name of the actor. However, that all has changed. According to HuffPost Entertainment, Todd Van Luling, a senior staff writer, has found the actor who appeared in two Friends episodes and is only referred to as the Ugly Naked Guy.
His name is Jon Haugen and his identity is finally confirmed.
It took Van Luling a year to figure out the identity of Ugly Naked Guy, as he went through many different people who worked on Friends, both cast members and crew members, to find out who the actor really is. He said he first asked Michael Hagerty, who played the building superintendent Mr. Treeger, if he was Ugly Naked Guy, which Hagerty denied. He even said he’d rather be referred to as Mr. Treeger than Ugly Naked Guy.
From there, Van Luling contacted the casting director, Leslie Litt, for both of the episodes, hoping that she’d be able to help with the mystery, but she didn’t have anything about Ugly Naked Guy. He also reached out to the casting agency but they didn’t have any information either.
Van Luling even contacted David Crane (one of the Friends creators) and Schwimmer, who didn’t have any details about the actor who played Ugly Naked Guy.
Van Luling eventually got ahold of Todd Stevens, a supervising producer on Friends and told him they used an extra as they didn’t want a well-known actor being remembered as an ugly naked guy on one of America’s most popular TV shows.
Nearly a year after reaching out to the casting agency, he tried them again to see they’d figured out who it was. The casting agency said he’d been in recently and would pass along Van Luling’s information to Haugen to see if he would talk to him.
Luckily for Van Luling, and fans of Friends, he did.
Van Luling asked why Haugen never came forward, to which he responded “The reason I never came forward was because I was just keeping it mellow because Warner Brothers was keeping it mellow. They wanted everybody to have a guess who I was.”
Fans of Friends will remember that though Ugly Naked Guy is referenced many times through season five of the comedy, he only appeared on the show twice. His first appearance was in episode eight of season three (“The One With The Giant Poking Device”), where Phoebe thinks that someone close to her is going to die because she went to the dentist, as someone always died when she went to the dentist. While no one really close to her died, Joey thinks that Ugly Naked Guy, who lives in the apartment complex across the street, is dead. Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Ross and Rachel make a giant poking device (hence the episode’s title) and start to poke Ugly Naked Guy to make sure he’s alive, which he is.
The second time he appeared on the show was in episode 14 of season five (“The One Where Everybody Finds Out”). Ugly Naked Guy is moving out of his apartment and Ross goes over, hoping that he’ll be the one to get the apartment. Ross decides the best way to do this is to sit in the apartment with Ugly Naked Guy and be naked together.
While the creators and cast members of Friends have said multiple times there isn’t going to be an official reunion, Haugen said if there was to be one, he would definitely do it.