- Friends -How Much Did Gunther Get Paid For 'Friends'? James Michael Tyler Isn't "Buying An Island"
James Michael Tyler played the iconic Central Perk employee Gunther for 10 years on Friends and during the HBO Max reunion, Tyler Zoomed-in to say, well, to pretty much just say hello. The six Friends were paid between $2.25 and $2.5 million to appear on the reunion, but no word on how much Tyler was paid for and extremely brief appearance. But! He was compensated for his time on the series, obviously, so just how much was Gunther paid on Friends?
Celebrity Net Worth reports that Gunther was paid $5,ooo an episode for the first season, $10,000 an episode for the second season, $20,000 per episode in Seasons 3 and 4, $30,000 for Seasons 5 and 6, and Seasons 7 and 8, he earned $40,000 an episode. His supposed total earnings from Friends, when it was on, which is to say, not including residuals, was $4.65 million.
Speaking of residuals, Tyler spoke to a New Zealand publisher and said,"I do get residuals. I wasn't paid a million dollars an episode, of course, that would be a completely different story ... I'm paid for episodes I spoke in and it's a sliding scale, I don't know how it works."
Tyler continued: "I'm fortunate to have a supplement into my income because of Friends, however, I'm still a working actor. I didn't rest on my laurels and say, 'I was Gunther, I'm gonna buy an island!' I couldn't do that anyway."
Screenrant reports that Tyler was in a 185 episodes (IMDb says 150; Uber Facts says 148) and was cast because he was an actor who knew how to work the cappuccino machine ... according to GlassDoor, a Starbucks barista averages an income of $30,000 a year. Tyler really, really made the most of those expensive coffee machine-working skills. And with that many appearances on the show, maybe the residuals will add up to an island-purchasing amount one day. Or at least a Starbucks franchise.