|Stephen Mangan, Matt LeBlanc and Tamsin Greig stare in 'Episodes'.
The question Matt LeBlanc heard most often for many years was, "How you doin?' "
That now has been replaced by, "How much are you really like your character in Episodes?"
"At the end of the day, it's a TV show, it's not a f------ documentary," said LeBlanc, getting a big laugh from reporters gathered around him at the Television Critics Association tour.
"Basically the character I play in the show is like the public's perception of a celebrity, namely me. It's not really based on me. Yeah, we were both on Friends (where the catchphrase for his Joey character was 'How you doin'?) and things like that.
"But we use it in the way that, it's like me when we need it to be, and unlike me when we need it to be."
So which are the moments when Matt LeBlanc the character is totally in sync with Matt LeBlanc the actual person?
"When he's really kind and generous," LeBlanc said.
The second season of Episodes, which originates on Showtime in the United States, currently is airing across Canada on The Movie Network and Movie Central. LeBlanc plays a fictionalized version of himself.
The basic setup is that an award-winning British TV series about a cerebral boarding-school headmaster is being remade in America, and the British creators are horrified as the project spins out of control. The U.S. version is called Pucks, it's about a hockey coach, and the fictionalized Matt LeBlanc is the star.
"I played hockey growing up, I'm from just outside of Boston - Newton, Mass. - so I played hockey my whole childhood, yeah," said LeBlanc, who confirmed he's a Boston Bruins fan.
"What's funny is, at the end of the (episode) that aired last week, we're at the ice skating rink, there was a hockey practice thing. I'm the only one who can skate out of the whole cast, and I don't have to skate. I was like, 'Come on! Put me on the ice!'
"There's one outtake that's great because a boy who plays one of the hockey players just falls out of frame, because he can't skate. Really, really funny. The blooper real's good."
This may seem like an odd thing to say, since LeBlanc was on Friends, one of the most popular shows in the history of television. But in some ways he's actually getting his due now, individually as opposed to one of six.
"I think I got my due on Friends," LeBlanc countered. "That was the greatest 10 years of my life. It was critically successful, financially successful, I slept in my own bed every night, we didn't have to travel (whereas Episodes is shot in London, England).
"But this is fun, too. Different gig."
Certainly playing a fictionalized version of yourself inherently should be fun, because there are no rules of behaviour. But it's also brave.
"If people think that's how I am, then I've done my job," LeBlanc said.
Finally, the oft-repeated question to Matt LeBlanc - "How you doin?'" - has an answer.
He's "doin' " just fine.