It turns out Matt LeBlanc is so not the Joey Tribbiani we know and love from Friends. At least that’s the case on the Showtime comedy Episodes where LeBlanc plays himself, the star of the British import-turned-bad American sitcom Pucks. On the show, LeBlanc is rude, egotistical and oblivious to what’s going on around him, constantly interrupting important conversations with an obnoxious cell phone ring tone or having a one-night-stand while staying over someone else’s house. The guy has no shame, and after starring in one of the most popular TV sitcoms of all time, he doesn’t really feel like he needs any. Let’s just hope there’s no truth to this performance.
Winning a Golden Globe for Episodes, LeBlanc may be one of the more successful actors to play himself on TV, but he’s definitely not the first. From totally made-up representations to characters that—whether or not anyone wants to admit it—are a lot more fact than fiction, many celebs have decided to play perhaps their easiest roles ever… themselves. Get ready for the season premiere of Episodes on Sunday, July 1 by checking out some of the funniest TV shows with actors who kept it real.
James Van Der Beek in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23
Teenage girls across the country loved James Van Der Beek as the adorable Dawson Leery on Dawson’s Creek, but no one seems to be a bigger fan of Van Der Beek than the actor himself in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. In the show, Van Der Beek is an actor who hit it big when he was younger, but has since found it hard to escape his Dawson’s Creek past and recapture his former success, especially when he gets caught up in doing such D-list activities as endorsing Beek Jeans or performing some Shakespeare at a coffee shop. This just makes you feel sorry for the poor guy …until he does something so completely self-obsessed like whining about Dean Cain’s dressing room being six inches bigger than his. Van Der Beek may have lost his dignity in Apartment 23, but at least he’s still got his good looks.
Carl Weathers in Arrested Development
He may have been an action star in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but Carl Weathers is way less intimidating on Arrested Development. Weathers agrees to take on Tobias Funke as his acting student, all the while not-so-secretly mooching off of him and his family. Needless to say, Tobias’ acting doesn’t improve, but Weathers comes out of the deal okay, “getting his stew on” with Buster’s girlfriend Lucille Austero. And that’s actually not a euphemism for anything; the man just really likes his stews.
Kirstie Alley in Fat Actress
After her weight made headlines, Kirstie Alley decided to take matters into her own hands and co-created, executive produced, wrote and starred in her own comedy called Fat Actress in 2005. Alley played a fictionalized version of herself, an actress publicly struggling with her weight while still trying to find work among the Knightleys and Lohans of the world. The show didn’t return for a second season, and super-skinny Hollywood didn’t really get any heavier either. Alley didn’t really help her cause by becoming the spokeswoman for Jenny Craig and showing up on what seemed like every talk show to reveal her weight loss. Not a great marketing campaign if you ask me.