Joey Gladstone was born on September 21, 1958, to Mindy and Colonel Gladstone. His dad, who was a lieutenant colonel in World War II, was known to be strict and did not approve of Joey's comedy career, while his mom did, which caused them to get a divorce.
In high school, Danny asked Joey, who he said was an expert on romance, to ask Pamela to go to the senior prom with him because he felt that she did not feel the same about him ("Danny's Very First Date").
In January 1977, Joey faced Stonewall Binkley in hockey but he lost, embarrassing him because his family and Danny Tanner were watching him during the game in his college days ("Nice Guys Finish First").
During his Sophmore Year, he dated Patty Fogerty but she left him for a guy named Michael Winchester, leaving Joey heartbroken because he wanted to spend his life with her ("Blast From the Past").
He finished college in June 1980, along with Danny Tanner and often visited Danny's house on occasion.
After Pamela Tanner died, he moves into the house. 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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Throughout the series, Joey has held various jobs in addition to his work as a stand-up comic at comedy clubs. In seasons two and three, he and Jesse work in advertising together. They end up forming J&J Creative Services, which they use to compose jingles for television and radio ads. In "Joey Goes Hollywood", Joey wins a role in Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello's new sitcom Surf's Up.
Joey's most successful job is as Ranger Joe on an afternoon children's variety TV show. Ranger Joe's sidekick is his wise-cracking ventriloquist puppet Mr. Woodchuck. In "Radio Days", he is fired when he does not work well with his new on-screen partner, Jungle Jenny, who happens to be the boss's wife. Later in that episode, Joey and Jesse become partners again in an afternoon radio show called, "Rush Hour Renegades" on FM KFLH 95.
Joey was something of an "everyman." His hobbies include:
- Ice hockey (in "Nice Guys Finish First", he initially decides against playing in the game because of a horrible moment from 15 years before 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 and Danny have been friends since February 23, 1968, in elementary school.
Joey has off-and-on-again relationships. They do not last long. His dates include Danny's sister, Cheryl, Patty, Stacy, Christine, Roxy, and others.
Joey meets Cheryl on a triple blind date with Jesse and Danny. Whilst the night does not work out for his friends, he begins to date her.
Joey is not known for phrases (except for "Cut it out"), but what he is known for is doing voices of well-known characters and famous people, such as:
- Bullwinkle (4.23, 5.13)
- Jacques Cousteau (3.6)
- Daffy Duck (3.17, 6.12, 7.23)
- Rodney Dangerfield (2.12)
- Elmer Fudd (1.4)
- Pee-wee Herman (1.21)
- George Jetson (and "his boy Elroy") (1.3)
- Kermit the Frog (6.9)
- Robin Leach (4.14)
- Popeye (1.1, 2.14, 3.6, 4.21)
- Olive Oyl (3.6)
- Jay Leno (2.12)
- Joe Pesci (5.1)
- Roger Rabbit (2.1)
- Rod Serling (3.6)
- Scooby-Doo (2.16)
- Bill Murray as Carl Spackler (5.2)
- Scotty from Star Trek (6.6, 8.9)
- Snagglepuss (8.18)
- Tasmanian Devil (Looney Tunes) (5.2)
- Terminator/Arnold Schwarzenegger (the latter in 3.8, the former in 5.2)
- Walter Brennan (as Grandpa Amos McCoy) (4.14)
- All of the main characters in The Wizard of Oz (1.8)
- Yosemite Sam (1.4, 7.5)
- The Godfather (6.1, 7.6)
- Gonzo (7.4)
- 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)
- Main article: Fuller House
After Full House ended, Joey moved to Las Vegas, Nevada as a resident stand-up comedian. Some time around that point in time, he met and married fellow Vegas performer Ginger, and the two had four children together:
- It is assumed that each of his children is named for famous comedians: Phyllis Diller, Jerry Lewis, Joan Rivers, and Jerry Seinfeld
- In "Our Very First Show, Again", Joey states that he is "kicking Carrot Top's butt" in his comedy career in Las Vegas
- At the end of the series, he is the only main character not to be related in some way to the Tanner family