“Friends” has had major staying power. The show first aired on TV back in 1994, but Netflix has now helped bring it to a whole new generation of viewers. The series continues to be adored by fans who watched it when it originally aired, and, now, it seems like just about everyone is binge-watching it on the streaming platform.
Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey Tribbiani, recently told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on “Live With Ryan and Kelly” that’s he surprised by how many new viewers the show continues to get after all these years.
“It’s unbelievable for me,” he said. “It seems like every year there’s a new generation that watches it.”
Which, of course, means new fans. But, LeBlanc, who is now 51, points out that acquiring new fans isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.
“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, are you — you’re Joey’s dad!'” LeBlanc said.
And instead of having a cool Hollywood response, LeBlanc said he gave a grumpy reply.
“And my response was, ‘Scram,'” he told Ripa and Seacrest, laughing as he recalled the moment. “That’s like what an old guy says!”
See the interview in this video from the “Live With Ryan and Kelly” YouTube channel:
Despite the show’s popularity with fans young and old, LeBlanc admits that he doesn’t actually like watching it anymore. “I have a hard time watching it these days,” he admitted in an interview with Jimmy Fallon.
But he has a good reason for feeling this way. “It makes me feel like I’m 100 years old,” he said. “It’s been off the air for 15 years. It ended 15 years ago.”
See the interview in this clip from “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” YouTube channel:
Admittedly, the fact that the show aired that long ago is pretty hard to believe. It seems like just yesterday!
LeBlanc also said that filming the show was “a blast,” and he still has very fond memories of the show and his cast mates. “I tell ya — we had a good time,” he told Fallon in the interview.
Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe, has also said that the cast had a tradition, a little something they’d do before the start of every show.
“The six of us would do a huddle backstage and just say, ‘All right, have a good show, love you love you love you love you,’” she told People magazine, proving that they really were the best of friends, both on and off screen.
So, even if LeBlanc gets confused for Joey’s dad nowadays, it’s totally worth it because of what they were able to create back then.
Who’s ready to go binge some episodes of “Friends” right about now?