Chandler Bing was the only character in Friends to hold down a real job (outside palaeontology). Unlike Joey he knew how to dress for an office, hoped for a stable monogamous relationship, and found one. Matthew Perry, who played him and died on Saturday aged 54, did not quite manage any of these things. By the end he was lonely, reliant for everyday company on an assistant he hired after meeting her in rehab. He still played pickle ball – and may have drowned in his jacuzzi while relaxing there after a game – but he’d lost the vigour and looks of his youth to a long $7 million cycle of drink, drugs (including OxyContin), therapy and drying out. He admitted in his searing memoir, published last year, that he was desperate for fame even as a teenager and desperate to land every laugh line even when a global star earning $1 million per episode. And land them he did. His above-the-line cast comrades, including Jennifer Aniston, on whom he admitted he had a crush to be managed in his trademark metrosexual fashion, have yet to join the avalanche of tributes to his comic talent, but their people say they plan one. In the meantime, that long sigh yesterday morning as news of his death broke was of a planet weary of war and grateful for a different sort of sadness, reaching for the remote.