Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Matt Spencer From Avenue 5 Looks So Familiar

"Avenue 5" quickly set itself apart from other HBO comedy series following its debut in 2020. Set almost entirely on an interplanetary cruise ship known as the Avenue 5, the series follows the inhabitants of the ship as they find themselves forced to take a three-year journey back to earth on a ship whose journey was supposed to only last eight weeks. The series proved popular enough upon its premiere in January 2020 that a second season of "Avenue 5" is currently in development.

Among the overall ensemble of "Avenue 5," one particular standout character is Matt Spencer. The kind yet nihilistic head of Customer Relations is shown to work hard at his job in the hopes of earning a promotion upon his return to Earth. If Matt Spencer seems familiar, that is because he is portrayed by actor and comedian Zach Woods, a well-known performer who has amassed a strong list of IMDb credits over the course of his career in Hollywood. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the most notable performances that audience members may recognize Woods from throughout his career.

He portrayed Gabe on The Office

One of the earliest roles that fans may recognize Zach Woods from is his performance as Gabe Lewis in "The Office." A bizarre corporate type with an affinity for horror movies, Gabe is portrayed as one of the more neurotic and self-conscious workers to make their way through the Dunder-Mifflin offices during his tenure on the show. During his time on the series, he has a brief romance with Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper) but is ultimately dumped by her in favor of Ed Helms' Andy Bernard.

Zach Woods was a relatively late addition to the ensemble of "The Office" when compared to many of the other characters who appeared on the show. Introduced in Season 6, he would appear in every season of "The Office" until its ninth and final season. In total, Zach Woods appeared as Gabe Lewis in 51 out of the 201 episodes of "The Office" that aired during the show's run on NBC.

He played Jared in Silicon Valley

While Zach Woods' portrayal of Gabe Lewis on "The Office" often arguably came off as abrasive and sycophantic, his performance on "Silicon Valley" showed a very different side to what could (on paper) be a very similar character. On the hit HBO series, Woods portrayed Jared Dunn, a former Hooli employee inspired to go work for the Pied Piper group during Season 1. Unlike many of his Pied Piper colleagues, Jared has impeccable business sense and often works as the right-hand man of Thomas Middleditch's Richard Hendricks.

Much of the fun of Jared's mild-mannered demeanor stemmed from his very dark backstory and his fear of confrontation. In the show, this would lead to situations such as Jared getting stuck in a self-driving car with no means of escape or frequently misunderstanding the insults sent his way by his colleagues. Like most members of the main cast of "Silicon Valley," Zach Woods appeared in all 53 episodes of the tech company satire series.

He has appeared in multiple Paul Feig projects

A handful of other roles that audiences may recognize Zach Woods from are his various other appearances in films directed by "Bridesmaids" filmmakers Paul Feig. Per IMDb, Woods was directed by Feig for the first time in 2011 when Feig directed Steve Carell's final episode as a main cast member on "The Office," during which time Woods was still a cast member on the series with his portrayal of Gabe.

Following Feig's brief directing stint on "The Office," Zach Woods would go on to collaborate with the filmmaker on a number of different films, often in the form of small, scene-stealing roles. The first of these roles came in 2013 with the Melissa McCarthy/Sandra Bullock buddy cop comedy, "The Heat." From there, Woods would then appear in Feig's 2015 spy comedy (also starring Melissa McCarthy), "Spy." Lastly, Woods appeared in the opening sequence of the 2016 version of "Ghostbusters," otherwise known as "Ghostbusters: Answer the Call."

He joined Will Ferrell in Downhill

The final entry on this list is one of the last major theatrical releases to debut in cinemas before the formal onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Zach Woods starred alongside Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in "Downhill," directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. "Downhill" chronicles the relationship friction between a husband and wife (Ferrell and Dreyfus) following the husband's decision to leave his family behind during an avalanche. In the film, Woods stars alongside Zoe Chao as the two younger friends of Ferrell and Dreyfus' characters. Throughout much of the film, Woods' character is paired up alongside Ferrell's as the two bond and share their relationship woes with one another.

"Downhill" is an American re-telling of the 2014 Swedish film "Force Majeure." The plots are notably similar, though the reviews for the Swedish original (per Rotten Tomatoes) were notably superior to the remake. "Downhill" debuted in theaters on Valentine's Day 2020, releasing alongside films such "Sonic the Hedgehog" and "Fantasy Island."