This Man Spent A Year Searching For The Friends Ugly Naked Guy

Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
One of the best legacies Friends left in its wake was the endless opportunity for true fans to mine the long-running series for trivia. But one man took the search for factoids to a new level when he decided to track down the identity of Ugly Naked Guy (UNG, from here forward) once and for all.

The Huffington Post's senior staff writer Todd Van Luling spent a year investigating who played the part of the neighbor across the way who captured the disgust and attention of the Friends gang in two episodes of the series.

The first time was in Season 3, in the episode titled "The One With the Giant Poking Device," in which — you guessed it — the Friends friends poked UNG with a giant poking device, made from chopsticks. The only part of UNG viewers saw in that episode was his rotund belly. He popped up once more in Season 5, in the episode called "The One Where Everybody Finds Out." Just like the first time around, the camera doesn't reveal his face: just his backside and the fact that he's holding what appears to be a giant soda while conversing with Ross, who is standing in the hallway.

Van Luling was seemingly plagued by the fact that he couldn't find the name of the actor who portrayed UNG in those two episodes. His quest to uncover the truth was long and frustrating — though at no point was he willing to just give up and let his question fade into Friends history. He searched high and low, delved deep into IMDb, tracked down casting directors, contemplated a police sketch methodology, and barely resisted the urge to present his investigation to David Schwimmer while interviewing the actor for another project.

And eventually, all that hard work paid off: Van Luling found the man behind UNG — who, by the way, says he would be happy to get in on a Friends reunion, should the opportunity ever arise.

But while we're sure Van Luling was relieved to finally find the man at the center of his search, it's the journey he took to get there that we found the most rewarding. Dive into the investigation for yourself over on The Huffington Post.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
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