How you doin,’ Matt LeBlanc? The Friends and Episodes star has been announced as a co-host of BBC AMERICA’s Top Gear alongside Britain’s Chris Evans. A major car and motorcycle enthusiast, LeBlanc has already appeared on Top Gear twice, posting the fastest lap time ever for a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, and he hosted the spin-off Top Gear: The Races.
To celebrate his new gig, let’s get acquainted with him a little bit better from his varied talk show appearances, shall we? Here are 10 things we’ve learned about the Golden Globe-winning star over the years:
1. He was born and raised in Massachusetts.
Some great things have come out of Massachusetts. Basketball, Matt Damon, Dunkin Donuts. And yes, Matt LeBlanc. Here he is teaching fellow Mass man Conan O’Brien some slang from his hometown of Newton.
2. He’s good with his hands.
We don’t mean it in that way, you dirty birds. LeBlanc is a skilled craftsman, going all the way back to his teenage years. Here, he tells Jimmy Kimmel about his adventures in carpentry in high school.
3. He’s up for anything.
We love the games they play on late night shows, but this clip from The Late Late Show with James Corden has everything. Matt LeBlanc hurling breast implants into the live studio audience? Check. Matt LeBlanc launching a sledgehammer right at the host’s head? Check. (Oh, and there’s William H. Macy and Don Cheadle, too.) He’s absolutely fearless and spontaneous, which will come in handy as Top Gear host.
3. He knows the tricks of his trade.
Every actor has his or her little devices to help to produce a certain emotion, and Friends poked fun at that with Joey’s “smell the fart” technique. What is that? Allow Matt to demonstrate on BBC AMERICA’s Graham Norton Show.
4. He’s got pipes.
Listen as he sings as Joey Tribbiani on Graham Norton and in an Austrian accent. Methinks we have our Captain von Trapp in the next Sound of Music revival.
5. He’s a family man.
As he tells Ellen DeGeneres, Matt has a young daughter Marina who’s a budding gearhead. Because the family that ATVs together…
6. He’s a canine lover.
More specifically, a chihuahua lover. On a 2002 episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, LeBlanc was in the middle of a story when he was distracted by some light squealing behind Leno’s desk. What followed was an “awww” moment for the ages.
7. He’s a real smooth talker.
LeBlanc only needs to open his mouth to make someone weak-kneed. Watch (and listen) as he makes BBC Radio 1’s Sara Cox swoon on-air.
9. He’s still friends with his Friends.
When he ran into former castmate Lisa Kudrow on the Emmys red carpet, it was a veritable lovefest. He even asks Kudrow if she’s feeling a bit cold. What a gentleman.
10. He’s down for a Friends reunion.
Only five-sixths of the cast showed up for the recent James Burrows tribute, but LeBlanc seems game for a proper “I’ll be there for you” comeback.
As a bonus, here’s LeBlanc with Friends castmates on OPRAH in 1995.