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Scientists at the University of Oxford have confirmed what anyone hanging out at Central Perk has long known—having friends is better than some painkillers at making you feel better. According to the new research, published in Scientific Reports, individuals who have lots of close friends have higher pain tolerances than people who don’t, and being around them provides a more-powerful-than-expected endorphin rush. Researchers explained to The Telegraph,

One theory, known as 'the brain opioid theory of social attachment', is that social interactions trigger positive emotions when endorphin binds to opioid receptors in the brain. This gives us that feel-good factor that we get from seeing our friends.

The endorphin effect is so intense, that the team found that being with a friend group is a more effective painkiller than morphine itself. The only other treatment that comes close, is putting The Rembrandts' “I’ll Be There For You” directly into your ears. Discuss

Good grief. The Peanuts gang is headed back to television. A new series of vignettes starring Charlie Brown and his lovable gang of suburban friends will air on the Boomerang network, starting on May 9. The shorts were created by Normaal Animation of France in the lead up to the recent Peanuts movie, and have already aired in Europe. But, unlike the recent film adaptation, the TV series isn’t in the new CGI-style. Instead, they use watercolor renderings that resemble the comic strip’s original look. Discuss

Fans of the real-time action series 24 have reason to be excited. Variety is reporting that Fox has officially placed an order for 24: Legacy, a spin-off of the national security series. Though the new series will play out in the same style as the original, it won’t feature long-time star, Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer. Instead, the new show will center on a character played by Corey Hawkins (Heath in The Walking Dead, Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton), as a war hero who returns home to fight terrorism. The 12-episode season will air next year. Discuss

Thanks to Ellie Kemper’s recently-announced pregnancy (congrats!), Tina Fey is going to have some time to work on that Mean Girls musical we’ve all been waiting for. Fey is the creator of Kemper’s hit Netflix sitcom, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as a producer and writer on the show, which was just picked up for a third season. But, because the series won’t start filming again until the fall, Fey now has a window of time to get working on a musical adaptation of her hit 2004 film, Mean Girls.

She explained at the Tribeca Film Festival, “We’re working on the musical adaptation, and thanks to Ellie Kemper’s pregnancy, we have this whole summer to work on it.”

It’s happening. It’s really happening. Discuss

Saturday night, comedian Tracy Morgan performed a special show in New Brunswick’s State Theatre. This show was special because the theater is just two miles away from the hospital where the former SNL and 30 Rock star received treatment after his nearly fatal accident almost two years ago. The audience, according to PEOPLE, was full of the doctors and nurses who took care of Morgan at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. In large part, the show was for them. And, in addition, Morgan donated all of the show's proceeds back to the hospital. He told PEOPLE:

Last night was one of the most special nights of my life. To be standing on stage with the people that saved my life in the audience was an overwhelming experience. I will never fully be able to thank the doctors, nurses, first responders and everyone else that got me back on that stage enough.

These people are heroes and I love them all from the bottom of my heart. The only good thing that happened on that horrible night was that I was close to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital when the accident happened. God Bless them all.

Very cool, Trey. Discuss

No Laughing Matter

A new generation of comedians is seeking more than just laughs—they’re using their stage to call out injustice. Read More