‘Friends’: What Would Joey Be Doing in 2021?

Friends is a TV series that has broken the mold in more ways than one. The show, which debuted on television in 1994, achieved immediate success, and over the years, it has only become more popular.

It revolutionized the way that viewers watched TV sitcoms, and made stars out of the six leading actors, including Matt LeBlanc, who played the dim, lovable Joey Tribbiani.

With a highly-anticipated reunion special on HBO Max, fans are learning more than ever about the stars’ relationships with the characters that they originated, including what the actors think that their characters would be doing today — and when it comes to his thoughts on Joey Tribbiani’s life path, LeBlanc held nothing back. 

Matt LeBlanc who plays Joey on the hit NBC series "Friends" makes a funny face on the set during one of their last shows on the Warner Bros lot Sept. 12, 2003 in Burbank, CA.
Matt LeBlanc played Joey on the hit NBC series “Friends.” | David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

While many television shows that ran in the ’90s have become products of their time, often featuring dated language and situations, Friends has remained somehow evergreen.

The show told the story of six friends who live in New York City — Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Phoebe Buffay, Chandler Bing, Ross Geller, and Joey Tribbiani. Although the personalities of the friends are all very different, they all share a tight bond, one that gets them through many challenging situations.

Friends quickly rose in the ratings to become one of the biggest TV shows in the world. Fans of all ages and interests found someone to relate to, whether they identified with the scatterbrained and earnest Rachel or the intense and obsessive-compulsive Monica.

Possibly the most hilarious and outrageous character was Joey Tribbiani, a would-be actor who struggles to find success in his chosen profession — but who always remains lighthearted and positive. 

Matt LeBlanc played Joey Tribbiani in ‘Friends’

When LeBlanc was cast as Joey Tribbiani on Friends, the young actor had struggled to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry for years. He had appeared in a number of commercials and had landed some small roles in television shows, but by the early ’90s, he was struggling financially. LeBlanc later admitted that he was down to his last $11 when he booked the part of Joey.

LeBlanc became a star thanks to Friends, along with the rest of his castmates. Fans couldn’t get enough of his portrayal of Joey, and the bumbling, easy charm that he brought to the role. He continued to act as Joey throughout the show’s run until it went off the air in 2004. 

What does Matt LeBlanc think that Joey would be up to today?

In the years since Friends went off the air, LeBlanc has continued acting, even landing a role in a short-lived Friends spinoff series. He remains best known for the character of Joey — and LeBlanc has wholeheartedly embraced the association.

In the HBO reunion special, LeBlanc talked about the magic of finding a character like Joey, and what he thinks that Joey would be doing in 2021. LeBlanc claimed that the food-obsessed actor “would have opened a chain of sandwich shops.” 

LeBlanc’s castmates agreed with his assessment of Joey’s future, with David Schwimmer chiming in to say that Joey would also have “eaten all the sandwiches.” Fans can learn even more about LeBlanc’s journey to becoming Joey Tribbiani when Friends: The Reunion streams on HBO Max on May 27.

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