It's September 9, which can mean only one thing: it's Joey Day!
In case you've been living under a rock and didn't have the date circled on your calendar, we'll remind you that everybody's favorite Friends spinoff debuted on this day 10 years ago. The show was very quickly a success, with over 18 million people watching its pilot. It was so much of a success, in fact, that NBC renewed it for a second season a couple of months early, a decision the network never regretted.
In honor of Joey Day, here are five things you probably didn't know about Joey.
1) Two of Joey's writers went on to be important writers on 30 Rock
Have you ever been watching a rerun of Joey when you saw the name "Robert Carlock" or "Matt Hubbard" come up in the writing credits, only to wonder where you'd seen those names before?
Well, if you didn't answer that question yourself with the help of Google, we're here to tell you both men were extremely important writers on the Emmy-winning sitcom 30 Rock. In fact, both were nominated for several writing Emmys for their work on the show, with Hubbard winning for his script for "Reunion." Now you know one more thing 30 Rock and Joey have in common!
Need proof? Here's a joke from Joey that later appeared pretty much exactly like this in a much-acclaimed episode of 30 Rock!
2) Eight of Joey's episodes are so good Americans never got to see them
NBC pulled Joey from its schedule midway through its second season for some reason, then brought it back in March against American Idol. At the time, Idol could not be beaten, so Joey suffered a substantial ratings drop (probably because NBC had taken it off the air for several months!). NBC pulled it from the air after that, and the remaining eight episodes never aired in the US, nor have they ever surfaced here via legal means.
That's the official story, at least. Actually, we're probably guessing those episodes were so unfathomably great that to look upon them would have burned people's eyes out of their sockets.
3) Joey actually got pretty good reviews when it debuted
Most publications were kind to Joey in their initial reviews of the project. It got good ink in the New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly critic Gillian Flynn (later the author of Gone Girl) went so far as to proclaim it a "reassurance" that the sitcom was not dead. This is in marked contrast to Joey's parent show, Friends, which received decidedly mixed reviews when it debuted in 1994. (Joey had its share of pans, too, but the reviews skewed much more toward praise than you might expect.)
4) David Schwimmer, who played Ross on Friends, directed two episodes of Joey
Specifically the fifth and 13th episodes of season one. That was something you didn't know about Joey, huh?
The director who helmed the most episodes of Joey was Kevin S. Bright, who also produced Friends and directed many episodes of that show. Bright blamed NBC for the ruination of Joey, telling Australia's The Age:
On Friends Joey was a womaniser but we enjoyed his exploits. He was a solid friend, a guy you knew you could count on. ... Joey was deconstructed to be a guy who couldn't get a job, couldn't ask a girl out. He became a pathetic, mopey character. I felt he was moving in the wrong direction, but I was not heard.
5) If you want to buy the second season of Joey on DVD in Spanish, it will cost you at least $350
At least that's the going rate on Amazon, where someone realizes the true value of Joey.
Please enjoy the best of Joey.