Stephan Lee
April 27, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Joey on Friends wasn’t meant to be so dumb
Joey Tribbiani wasn’t conceived as a stupid character, but while shooting the pilot, someone said, ”Matt [LeBlanc] plays dumb really well.” And the writers ran with it.

Finding Grace was tough
Nicollette Sheridan, Debra Messing, and a Kleenex-commercial star read for Will & Grace. The director’s only (sarcastic) note to Sheridan: ”Wear tighter pants.”

Helen Hunt wasn’t a lock for Mad About You
Hunt and Teri Hatcher vied for the role of Jamie. NBC execs wanted Valerie Bertinelli for the part.

John Lithgow said no to Cheers
He didn’t think twice about turning down Frasier Crane. ”It was like swatting a fly away. I just wasn’t going to do a series.”

Megan Mullally read for Elaine on Seinfeld
Mullally lost out to Julia Louis-Dreyfus — and it wasn’t the first time. Mullally’s first boyfriend broke up with her to date and eventually marry Louis-Dreyfus.

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