Joseph Alvin "Joey" Gladstone (played by Dave Coulier) is the childhood best friend of Danny Tanner, and adulthood best friend of Jesse Katsopolis. Joey moved in with Danny shortly after the death of Danny's wife, Pam, to help raise D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle. Joey tries to be a stand-up comedian, whose act usually includes imitations of cartoon-character voices such as Popeye, Bullwinkle, Pepe LePew, Elmer Fudd, and many more. Joey initially slept in the alcove of Danny's living room. However, after complaining of not being able to find privacy, Danny reconstructs his basement garage into a bedroom for him. In college, Joey got a degree in education. This way if being a comedian didn't work out he had a solid career to fall back on.
Role in the house
Although Joey is not related to the Tanner family, he mostly acts as an uncle to the kids. There was some tension between Joey and Jesse when they first move in, but they quickly become good friends. He usually handles the day-to-day raising of the kids by doing chores like making meals, driving the kids to school appointments, and after school activities, taking care of Michelle as a baby, and helping the kids with their homework. He also buys D.J. her first car for her 16th birthday.
Only once does he have to play the role of parent. In "Joey Gets Tough" (2.7), D.J. gets home an hour late from karate practice and does not call. He grounds her the weekend of the karate tournament. After a little chat, he moved the punishment to next weekend. In "Easy Rider" (5.13), he teaches Michelle to ride her bicycle without training wheels and reminds her that she has to learn to ride, not only without training wheels, but without a grown-up at her back. In "Driving Miss D.J." (5.20), he reminds Michelle that while she and Stephanie share a room, she must go play elsewhere in the event that Stephanie has her friends over, similar to what Stephanie did when she shared the room with D.J. and D.J. had her friends over. In "The Play's the Thing" (6.8), after he and Jesse give the Yankee Doodle role to Derek Boyd over Michelle, Michelle thought they were being unfair, but he and Jesse think that she was being more unfair by sitting out the practice session after being given another role (that of the Statue of Liberty). He reminds her that they can't play favorites, and even preaches the classic proverb "You can't always get what you want in life", and his example is that he wanted to be Fred Flintstone growing up, but he "had too many toes". In "The Heartbreak Kid" (6.16), he reminds Michelle that married people (in real life) have to move out of their initial home, asking if that's what she really wants.
Jesse asks Joey to be his best man at his wedding. Jesse also insists his children call Joey, "Uncle Joey" as a sign of respect.
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Joey has held various jobs in addition to his work as a stand-up comic. For a while, Joey and Jesse run an advertising business, JJ Advertising. They compose jingles for products and direct TV and Radio commercials. They are also partners in a successful afternoon radio show called, "Rush Hour Renegades" on FM KFLH 95. Joey's most successful job was portraying "Ranger Joe," on an afternoon children's variety TV show. Ranger Joe's sidekick is his wise-cracking woodchuck ventriloquist puppet "Mr. Woodchuck" (first seen in "The Legend of Ranger Joe" and last seen in "Michelle Rides Again").
Joey was something of an "everyman." His hobbies include:
- Ice hockey ("Nice Guys Finish First"; he initially decided against playing in the hockey game because of a horrible moment from 15 years ago with his old nemesis Hershel Stonewall Binkley; in the rematch, he defeats Binkley and is able to put that nightmare behind him at last)
- Makes impressions of cartoon characters
- Playing the harmonica
- Watching old TV shows/cartoons/movies with the girls
- Inline skating
- Flying (episode "The Wedding ")
With the help of Danny, Joey was a contestant on Star Search '90 and receives a rating of 4 stars (highest) by the show's judges. (He goes on to lose the competition to the returning champion because of an audience tie-breaking vote.) Although initially upset with himself for failing to win Star Search, Joey vows to continue with Stand-Up comedy, because he loves to make people laugh. It is also noted that he plays piano (as seen in season 8's "We Got the Beat").
Joey had off-and-on-again relationships. He never stuck with just one. For example, he dates Danny's sister, he dates a woman named Cheryl, Stacy, and many more.
Joey and Danny have been friends since February 23, 1968 in elementary school.
It is revealed in the episode "Fuller Thanksgiving" that Joey had married a magician named Ginger. They have four kids, who are loud and obnoxious:
- Right handed ("A Pox in Our House")
- He and Danny both agree that they have horrible middle names
- His parents are divorced
- In A Pox in Our House Joey caught the chicken pox from Stephanie; however, in Viva Las Joey his father mentions that Joey had the chicken pox when he was three years old
- Is an avid Detroit Red Wings fan, as his room features Red Wings memorabilia (in real life, Dave Coulier is also a Red Wings fan)
After Full House ended, Joey moved to Las Vegas, Nevada as a resident stand-up comedian. Sometime around that point in time, he met and married fellow Vegas performer Ginger, and the two had four children together.
- Main article: Fuller House