I’m feeling ambitious tonight. I want to write another one of my “Friends” watch-a-longs and the next one I have to watch is “The One After the Super Bowl.” It’s season 2 episode 12 (and 13) and is 48 minutes long and so is twice the length of the episodes I’ve done before. This might take a while. It first aired on January, 28, 1996. That’s year that the Cowboys defeated the Steelers. I watched both the game and the episode of “Friends” afterwards. It was probably the first episode a lot of people saw but I watched the show from the beginning so it was just another episode for me. Since I’m a NY Giants fan I’m sure I liked the episode better than the game (The Cowboys won the Super Bowl).

We open with a fake commercial for “Monkey Shine Beer” where the monkey on screen reminds Ross of Marcel (the monkey he had in season one). Plot twist! It is Marcel. I hate that stupid money and most of the plots and jokes involving him so this might not be the episode for me. Lots of monkey jokes in the opening scene. And here comes the theme song. I just might sing along.

Quick set-up. At the coffee shop Joey gets his first fan mail so Joey might have a stalker. Ross is off to San Diego for a conference and to visit his monkey at the zoo. That’s the first plot and it’ll go through both episodes. Then singer and actor Chris Isaak shows up for the Phoebe plot. If I remember correctly this episode has lots of famous guest stars. She’s going to sing to children at the library. That’s plot number two.

Now we’re at the boys’ apartment and Joey’s starker shows up and she’s played by Brooke Shields. I remember her being very good in this roll. The joke is that she’s crazy but she’s so hot that they can’t seem to just brush her off. I just noticed there is glass over the foosball table in their apartment. I don’t remember seeing that there before or after. Joey and Chandler panic and it’s pretty funny. Then they get a look at Brooke’s hotness and all the panic is gone.

Next comes our first scene of Ross looking for his monkey at the zoo and Fred Willard is the guest star. He’s always funny. He tells Ross his monkey died. Its a short scene and then we’re off the library for Chandler to tell the girls about Joey’s stalker and to see Phoebe sing. Some solid if unspectacular stuff. Phoebe’s inappropriate for children songs are the highlight.

Joey is out to diner with his stalker and she thinks he is his character. Brooke Shields really shines in this episode. That scene ends quickly and we’re back to the zoo with Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson, as he tells Ross his monkey is really alive. It’s a quick scene and we’re back at the restaurant with Joey and Brooke. They’re both excellent playing off each other.

Phoebe’s got another song that is full of solid advice for kids but is still inappropriate. Chris Issak is not to fond of her performance but still wants to kiss her. All these scenes are short so we’re back to the zoo with Dan Castellaneta being creepy and Ross being baffled. This is another funny scene.

Back to NYC. We get an establishing shot of the Midtown Library where Phoebe is singing. I take pictures in front of that library during my street photo trips in the summer. It makes me feel a little nostalgic for the summertime. Meanwhile Ross is telling everybody what he found out about his monkey. What is everyone else still doing at the library? Did Ross teleport across the country? I still hate the monkey plots. At least we get another song from Phoebe about how animals get turned into food.

Another quick turnaround and everyone is at Joey’s apartment when Brook Shields shows up. It’s another funny scene. Jennifer Aniston is trying her best not to break up in the background but sometimes she can’t help but grin. Lots of glasses of water being thrown in Joey’s face. Funny gag. They finally get rid of Brooke in an amusing way.

In another quick scene Phoebe gets fired for singing the wrong stuff to children and then we get the continuation of the monkey plot. Marcel is in town filming a movie. Of course they have to go see him. But first Phoebe’s kid fans show up at the coffee shop to her her sing and get more of “The truth.” End of that plot line. Now onto the movie set to see Marcel. I could do without this unfunny part as they sing “Wimoweh” to Marcel to get his attention. I think this is where they split the episode in two for syndication.

The monkey plot continues as they all hang out on the movie set. Lots of movie jokes and Joey is looking for a role from the director. And who makes an appearance? It’s Julia Roberts. She was at the height of her movie star fame at this time so they’re really pulling out the big guest stars for this second half of the episode. This is the new second plot for the second half. Julia Roberts also does an excellent job.

Julia Roberts sees Chandler and it turns out she went to grade school with him. They catch up and plan to go on a date. Now Jean Claude Van Damme shows up and Monica has a crush on him but is shy about it. So Rachel goes up to him and of course then Van Damme has a crush on Rachel. It’s all very junior high. We have our three plots. Monica and Rachel fighting over Jean-Claude, the monkey, and Julia and Chandler.

Back to the coffee shop where Rachel tells everyone about her date and Monica is jealous. More monkey jokes. Chandler tells everyone about his date with Julia. He likes her a lot. Now we get to see another Chandler and Julia date. Lots of kissing on the couch. Cut to a Ross and his monkey on a date. Almost. It gets cancelled. It’s so dumb. Man these scenes go by quickly.

Now we get a big scene back at the apartment with the three women. Monica and Rachel are going at it with Phoebe as the referee. Then it gets physical and funny. Phoebe has to break it up with some ear pulling.

Another date scene with Joey, a girl from the movie, Ross stag, Chandler, and Julia. Julia is coming on strong. This whole plot is about how Chandler can’t believe his good luck and we’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Julia and Chandler go to the bathroom to fool around but then Julia gets her revenge for a fourth grade prank and leaves Chandler in the bathroom wearing nothing but her underpants. Much like Brooke Shields, Julia Roberts was excellent in her guest starring role.

Oh look, it’s Van Damme out on a date with Monica. Except Monica now finds herself invited to a threesome she doesn’t want. That’s the payoff joke and Van Damme makes it work. Back at the apartment and more physical fighting between Monica and Rachel. It escalates to handbag marinara. One of my favorite Friends’ bits. Phoebe has to be the voice of reason.

Back to Chandler in the bathroom stall. Joey comes in and we get some good comedy. Now Ross comes in. This is one of the funniest scenes in the show. Chandler’s walk-by holding the stall door to cover himself is classic.

Coffee shop. Joey got a replacement part in the movie. Now we get more monkey jokes as Marcel shows up. Even a monkey comedy montage that isn’t funny. A classic scene followed by a clunker. A funny Van Damme kissing scene follows that. And a tear jerking monkey goodbye. At least it was supposed to be emotional. I found it cringeworthy.

The final scene is a Joey hamming it up in his movie death scene. And we’re out.

I just checked with http://http://uncutfriendsepisodes.tripod.com to see what was cut out of the episode and there was a bit. Mostly a line here and there but stuff I want to see so I’m glad I watched the old extended DVD copies I have rather then any HD streaming ones. I also checked with the ratings I gave to the episode back in 2013 and I gave it three out of five stars. I stand by that. There was a lot of funny stuff in this double sized episode. Plus some good guest stars. Sure I didn’t like a lot of the monkey jokes but other stuff made up for it. Anyway it just took me a good hour and a half to watch the show and write this so I’m off to bed.