What You Never Knew About Matt LeBlanc

When you look at Matt LeBlanc, it's nearly impossible not to instantly think of Joey Tribbiani from "Friends". After all, "Friends" was a huge step in his career as an actor, and served as a sort of stepping stone in asserting himself within Hollywood (via Mental Floss). But believe it or not, LeBlanc's career has been full of various other projects that have demonstrated his range as an actor and skill as an entertainer. 

LeBlanc got his start as an actor, as many do, through commercials. His first appearance on the silver screen was in 1987 in a Heinz Ketchup ad, which you can actually still watch on YouTube. From there, he appeared in a variety of ads, including for Coca-Cola, Levi's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Fruitful Bran, per Comedy Central. Perhaps this variety of food-related ads is why he made it very clear that, "Joey doesn't share food." And from here, LeBlanc's career as an actor began to blossom.

Matt LeBlanc was the handsome hunk in a handful of 1990s sitcoms

Before his start on "Friends" in 1994, Matt LeBlanc appeared on a hand full of television shows, solidifying his space within the sitcom genre. In 1988, he was spotted on "TV 101" for just one season, playing Chuck Bender. In 1991, he had a recurring role on the hit sitcom "Married... with Children," a hugely successful show in which LeBlanc played Vinnie Verducci. He had a much more significant role in this show, leading to his next guest starring role in the first season of "Red Shoe Diaries." He would later appear in other shows over the next few years, including "Rebel Highway," via IMDb

After the chapter in his career of semi-regular sitcom appearances came to a close, the Massachusetts-born LeBlanc — who has a stunning net worth — began to appear in a variety of music videos. He can be seen in two Bon Jovi music videos, including "Miracle" and "Say It Isn't So," as well as Alanis Morissette's "Walk Away," and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Into the Great Wide Open," among others (via IMDb).

Friends changed the course of Matt LeBlanc's professional career

Finally, in 1994, Matt LeBlanc was cast in what would end up being the career-changing role of his life: Joey Tribbiani in "Friends." The highly popular, hilarious sitcom ran for 10 seasons, even awarding this 1990s funny-man a handful of awards, including three consecutive Emmy nominations, three Golden Globe nominations, and a Screen Actors Guild Award (via the Emmys).

Due to Joey being such a lovable character, LeBlanc ended up pursuing a "Friends” spin-off called "Joey." According to Variety, the spin-off followed Joey as he navigated moving Los Angeles in order to further his career as an actor. Sources say that "Joey" started off strong, raking in strong viewership numbers. The views, however, quickly sputtered off, leading to the cancellation of the show after only one and a half seasons (via Digital Spy). According to Dr. Simone Knox, who penned the academic book "Friends: A Reading of the Sitcom," the spin-off was ultimately always going to fail. 

"The problem with 'Joey' — as in the spin off — was that they took this character who was so embedded in this ensemble of characters and transplanted him to a very different environment — and that just wasn't going to work," she said, per Express.

This is most likely why you can find every single episode of "Friends" on HBO Max, but unfortunately, not a single episode of LeBlanc's spin-off series, according to Variety. LeBlanc and his fellow co-stars are set to appear on the "Friends" reunion show, available to stream on HBO Max starting May 27, 2021. 

After his spin-off show ended, false accusations were made about Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc didn't only limit himself to the silver screen — indeed, he can be seen in quite a few big movies. According to IMDb, LeBlanc appeared in "Lookin' Italian," "Ed," "Lost in Space," "Charlie's Angels" and its subsequent sequel, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle."

It's true that the "Friends" spin-off show "Joey" wasn't a huge success for LeBlanc, but after it came to an end, some rumors about his mental health and the status of his career began to circulate. The United Kingdom publication Mirror published an article about LeBlanc in 2016, and featured what appeared to be direct quotes from him. As quoted in the article, LeBlanc was credited for saying that after "Joey," he "almost had a nervous breakdown" from burn out. The article also reported that LeBlanc didn't leave his house "for years and years" after the spin-off, and that the actor described the period of his life as "a very dark time." 

Interestingly, however, despite the life that the article in question took on, LeBlanc tweeted that none of it was true, and that he never ever even spoken to the publication. "Hey, to clarify, I never had a nervous breakdown nor did I do an interview with the Mirror in the UK," LeBlanc tweeted. "So don't believe the hype. But thanks."

Did you know that Matt LeBlanc was almost a carpenter?

One of the most common questions that actors get asked is what they would do career-wise if they weren't actors. Some actors really have to ruminate on the question, but in Matt LeBlanc's case, his answer is easy. According to an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, LeBlanc didn't grow up wanting to be an actor and never truly considered it until getting older. 

"Everyone in my family goes to work with some kind of tool in their hands," LeBlanc said, explaining that he even went to a technical vocational high school where he had a specific focus on carpentry. He continued, "I made a complete kitchen and installed it in a house," as noted by The Hollywood Reporter

LeBlanc would go on to Boston College to take a series of carpentry courses, but according to Comedy Central, he ultimately decided to drop out because he already knew how to do all the things that he was learning in school. It was shortly after that he began his acting career, and since has created an incredibly entertaining career.