FRIENDS' 25th Anniversary: Ranking Joey's Acting Roles - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRIENDS’ 25th Anniversary: Ranking Joey’s Acting Roles

September 14, 2019 by  

Friends Joey's Best Roles

(Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank)

[On Thursday, September 22, 1994, NBC debuted the pilot of FRIENDS. The sitcom, about a group of six 20-something friends, went on to become a pop culture touchstone. In honor of the milestone, we’re doing 25 Days of FRIENDS, looking back at the show in big and small ways.]

For a decade on FRIENDS, Joey Tribianni toiled away trying to make it as an actor. He achieved occasional success—most notably with his off-on DAYS OF OUR LIVES gig as Dr. Drake Ramoray—but he also put in a lot of work, with frequently thankless (and/or mortifying) jobs.

To celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary, we ranked his best gigs…but for this list, we excluded auditions (sorry to his magical dancing and, um, wetter moments) and only kept it to things he shot/was on set for.

Here’s what impressed us…

16) Extra in Jean-Claude Van Damme film: Poor Joey, his fake pain was so bad, they made him pretend he was dead instead.

15) Extra in a porn film: Well, he had a line. But unfortunately for Joey, he was mostly blocked by the, um, action.

14) Al Pacino’s butt double: Work is work, but only his family would be able to correct ID his presence in the film.

13) Elf at Christmas time: Not traditional acting, but Joey made the holiday rush work for him.

12) Charlton Heston film: Given how dirty Joey was—and that he used the star’s shower—odds are good if they could have cut his scene, they probably did.

11) LAW & ORDER: Poor Joey got cut and then had to trick his grandmother with a just-shot scene so it wouldn’t break her heart. Here’s hoping his L&O acting was better than the brief scenario he whipped up.

10) Mario on the Free Clinic posters: Look, Joey’s “acting” on the poster was so convincing that his fictional disease got him uninvited from his family’s Thanksgiving. That has to count for something, right?

9) Victor in BOXING DAY: Well, the play ended with Victor boarding a spaceship, ttelling his love interest he wouldn’t be back to earth for centuries—and he’d want to meet her descendants. So…

8) SHUTTERSPEED: Joey’s (potential) big break had quite the twist—”Betsy’s been dead for ten years”—which if they had been able to get funding, could have made it either SIXTH SENSE levels of great or super, super, super cheesy.

7) Kevin in milk spout infomercial: Joey got to work with food…albeit as someone who couldn’t really open a carton of milk.

6) Mac on MAC AND C.H.E.E.S.E.: Long before robots became police side kicks on television, Joey’s big primetime TV break partnered him with a primitive A.I. It…looked like something from 1974.

5) WWI film: Pro: Joey is a lead in a film! That’s a big deal. Con: With acting advice like this—and his co-star’s tendency to get falling-down drunk—it would be a miracle if the film was actually good.

4) Himself in Ichiban, Lipstick for Men: Come for the blue lipstick, stay for the fake musical performance.


2) Dr. Freud in FREUD!: “All you want is a dinkle/What you envy’s a schwang/A thing through which you can tinkle/To play with/Or simply let hang.” Pure. Brilliance. (This also gets stuck in my head at least once a month.)

1) Dr. Drake Ramoray on DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Did Joey do some, um, questionable acting on the show? (Smell the fart!) Sure. But his character survived death—when he fell down an elevator shaft—and a brain transplant. That’s pretty iconic.


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