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The Big Bang Theory Star You Likely Forgot Had A Role On Matt LeBlanc's Joey

"Friends" spent 10 years as a staple of the small screen, thanks in large part to the devoted fanbase that kept it afloat for so long. Naturally, this meant that numerous TV watchers were thoroughly disappointed when the series concluded in 2004, so NBC worked hard to come up with a solution. Ideas such as a Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) spin-off series got tossed around, but this and other proposed titles failed to materialize. Eventually, however, a "Friends" off-shoot came into being: the short-lived "Joey."

Centered on Matt LeBlanc's Joey Tribbiani, "Joey" hit the small screen in September of 2004 — a mere four months after "Friends" left the airwaves (via USA Today). It follows a new chapter of his life that sees him move to Hollywood with hopes of becoming an acting star. Along the way, he makes new friends, reunites with some of his family members, and gets up to all kinds of misadventures. Sadly, though, the experiment failed to reach the same heights as "Friends," so it wrapped up in August of 2006 after just two seasons (via TV Insider).

It's not nearly as fondly remembered as "Friends," but "Joey" isn't totally worth skipping. For instance, if you're a fan of "The Big Bang Theory," you'll want to check it out to see a familiar face from that show in a role that's surprisingly not too different.

Joey featured a pre-Big Bang Theory Simon Helberg

Long before he became the aerospace engineer, astronaut, and creep Howard Wolowitz on all 12 seasons of "The Big Bang Theory," actor Simon Helberg made a handful of appearances throughout the two seasons of "Joey." He played Seth: an engineer and associate of Joey's nephew, Michael Tribbiani (Paulo Costanzo), who factored into four episodes. He debuted in Season 1's "Joey and the Party," followed by "Joey and the Assistant" and the Season 2 installments "Joey and the Big Move" and "Joey and the Wedding" (via IMDb).

All in all, "Joey" was far from a breakout project for Simon Helberg, yet his turn as Seth hasn't gone totally unnoticed by fans. Reddit user zddoodah opened a thread to discuss Helberg's presence on the show. They explain that his performance and some of the details about Seth — primarily his attendance at the California Institute of Technology and his friend Molly's (Jayma Mays) similar voice to Howard Wolowitz's partner, Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch) — make the character resemble a prototype of Helberg's future "Big Bang Theory" role. Coincidence?

"Joey" may not have become the success NBC hoped it would be, but if nothing else, it gave Simon Helberg a platform to show what he could do in front of the camera. Evidently, it may have gone a long way in helping him land a spot on "The Big Bang Theory" years later.