Matt LeBlanc all the rage after ‘Friends’ reunion, ‘Irish uncle’ comparisons dominate online chatter

The much anticipated “Friends” reunion special aired Thursday, May 27, on HBO Max, and by all accounts was a hit.

The special featured the show’s six original stars: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, who appeared on the sitcom’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank.

As for the scuttlebutt after the show, one name dominated the chatter online, that being Matt LeBlanc, who played the beloved character Joey Tribbiani. Now 53 years old, an image of LeBlanc sitting with his arms crossed while rocking a striped shirt was all the rage on the web, with frequent references to an old Irish uncle.

“Every Irish family has at least one of those uncles or great uncles — extreme salt of the Earth characters, full of dry wit and just a drop of cynicism,” a social media user tweeted.

“Matt looks like a typical Irish uncle in the photos from the reunion,” they added, from the way his arms are folded to his facial expressions.

According to Variety, “Friends: The Reunion” was “almost superhero-big” when it comes to ratings, with the magazine comparing numbers to DC’s “Wonder Woman 1984.”

More from Variety:

“Friends: The Reunion” was watched by an estimated 29% of U.S. streaming households on May 27, the first day of its release, as measured by TVision, a connected-TV analytics provider. Viewers of the special on HBO Max were 55.4% female, and more than 50% were in the 35-54 age demo. […]

The one-hour, 43-minute special features celeb appearances including Lady Gaga singing “Smelly Cat,” K-pop phenoms BTS, Tom Selleck, Reese Witherspoon and Justin Bieber. “Friends: The Reunion” currently has a 68% critic’s score on Rotten Tomatoes and an 83% audience score.


But the infatuation with the way LeBlanc was sitting, arms crossed while curiously looking on, captured people’s imaginations.

For what it’s worth, despite the comparisons, LeBlanc is not Irish. He’s Italian and French.

Not that it mattered. Here’s a good sampling of some of the hilarious responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison


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