Matt LeBlanc Says Young Fan Thought He Was Joey Tribbiani's Dad | 22 Words

Friends is one of those rare television shows which just never seems to go down in popularity. Whether it's the universality of the story lines, the ongoing genuine humour of the jokes, the amazing '90s fashion or the fact it remains (we're hoping permanently) on Netflix, it's a good, dependable show. Whether you're re-watching it for the nostalgia factor, or discovering it for the very first time, you have a safe bet when it comes to watching Friends.

But as the show originally aired a whopping twenty-five years ago this year, it's safe to say some of the actors have changed just a bit. While Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer look almost the same, one cast member in particular is almost unrecognisable from his Friends heyday. Matt LeBlanc (who payed lovable ladies man, Joey) shared a rather embarrassing anecdote relating to his... change in appearance.

This is Matt LeBlanc.

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He's an American actor, comedian and TV host, born in 1967. He first rose to fame thanks to a 1987 Heinz Ketchup commercial - but received international recognition thanks to the 1994 sitcom, Friends. 

On the show, LeBlanc portrayed Joey Tribbiani.

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Joey was one of the show's six main characters, as was a slightly dumb but kind-hearted failing actor and successful womaniser.

Friends was hugely successful.

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Here's LeBlanc posing with his five co-stars. From left to right we have David Schwimmer, who played Ross Geller, Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing, Courtney Cox, who played Monica Geller, and Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green.

Joey was pretty much beloved by all.

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Friends ran from 1994 to 2004, spanning ten seasons and a whopping 236 episodes. That's a whole lot of Joey!

After Friends ended, LeBlanc couldn't quite let Joey go.

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He went on to do a Friends spin-off, called Joey. The show did not follow in the success of its parent show, however, and was cancelled in 2006 due to poor ratings.

Almost 25 years after its first broadcast, Friends has retained its popularity.

It seems to air almost constantly on one cable channel or another, and was recently kept on Netflix with a cool $1 million payment.

The show's characters are undeniably a part of its ongoing appeal.

In spite of his somewhat problematic behaviour, Joey remains firmly a fan favourite - likely because of his charmingly relatable ditziness and extreme, heartwarming loyalty.

Whatever it is, Joey is still very much a part of the cultural zeitgeist.

But that has led to one potential downside for LeBlanc. People will always remember him as looking like this thirty-something hottie.

When in fact, he's now a much more distinguished gent.

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LeBlanc is now 51, and although he still looks fantastic, he doesn't look exactly like the Joey we all collectively remember.

See the difference?

Joey has a full head of glossy, brunette hair, and a smooth, wrinkle free complexion, while LeBlanc is giving us more of a silver fox vibe.

Which led to this anecdote.

LeBlanc shared a pretty funny story relating to his change in appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan last week.

He was asked about the legacy of Friends.

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A whole new generation have recently become entranced with the show, thanks to its appearance on Netflix.

But these younger fans may have the wrong idea about LeBlanc.

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He laughed, "I was walking down the street one day, this was a few years ago, this kid, he must have been 13, 14, he's like, 'Oh my God, you're Joey's dad!'"

If you think about it, the story kind of checks out.

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If you think of Joey as a perennial thirty-something bachelor, you could be forgiven for not quite recognising the silver-fox version.

Although we can't imagine that was easy to hear.

It's never nice to hear about the fact of your ageing - especially when it's so extreme you're told you look like your own parent!

Although as the show started in 1994, it's kind of feasible.

If the show were being cast now, 25 years on, it's likely Leblanc would be more considered for a "parent" role. Time sure flies - and now we feel old, too!

We hope LeBlanc is feeling ok in the wake of this news!

Although it sounds like he's doing just fine. His reaction to the comment? "My response was, "Scram!' Like an old guy would say," he laughed.

We guess nothing lasts forever.

At least we have the good times - hours and hours of classic Joey footage, ready to stream at any given moment.

Insider shared the story on Facebook.

And as you may expect, the internet's responses were in equal part brutal and hilarious.

We guess you've got to laugh.

As the Friends theme wisely says, "so no one told you life was gonna be this way."

We can only imagine Joey's reaction.

As a guy who prides himself on being super attractive (particularly to the ladies) we can't think that Joey would be too pleased to be compared to his own father.

His reaction to turning thirty was interesting.

To say the least. In this classic Friends episode, Joey is absolutely distraught when he and his friends hit the big 3-0.

And remember when he showed off his acting range?

Although, we have to say, pretending to be old is quite a big step from being mistaken for your own father!

There was another iconic Friends scene people drew attention to.

In this, now highly ironic, storyline, Joey is cast as a 19-year old. Chandler questions whether the 30-something can pass for so young - but Joey is adamant that he can.

If he thinks he can pass for 19, how would he feel about looking 51?

Although, we have to say, it seems LeBlanc is taking it far better than Joey would. Plus, he looks great! Just... not particularly young.

So don't worry about the haters!

There's nothing wrong with getting older - plus, you're only as old as you feel! As some commenters pointed out, LeBlanc still has a full head of hair and is conventionally handsome - so things could definitely be a lot worse.

Remember - with age comes experience.

Although the "wisdom" found in Joey's eyes may be questionable, there's no denying LeBlanc looks distinguished and still undeniably hot.

Joey has always been known to accept his quirks.

In fact, he was surprisingly body-positive and was always confident in his appearance.

So maybe Joey would be ok after all.

We think it's great that LeBlanc is embracing his age - and his stylish grey hair. When paired with his signature smile, it's a winning combo.

You got this, Joey.

We think you look great - and anyone who doesn't recognise you is simply too young to remember the glory days of Friends.