Life is all about the laughs. It’s a testament to that phrase that we have so many TV shows dedicated to making you laugh week in and week out. There are specialist TV channels that only feature shows designed to make you laugh. Since the inception of TV, there have been stars that have ventured into the field of comedy for their bread and butter. Stand-up comedians, ventriloquists, skit actors and the list goes on and on. The field of comedy is so vast that there are comedy clubs dedicated to rooting out the new funny blood, reality comedy TV shows where it’s comic vs comic and even prank shows.
But there’s something out there that seemingly trumps all in terms of longevity. Situation comedy. The concept of taking a scene or scenes at large and making light of it. The deal with this is, you can do this indefinitely, meaning this particular genre of comedy has spawned TV series upon series of hilarious content. Viewers tune in to watch their favorite comedians live out their comedic lives in fictional worlds week after week. And thus, Sitcom!
Actors on a whole are a bunch that people deem role models on account of their success and prestige and sitcom actors have made a pretty powerful niche for themselves as well. It has come to be that as much as people pay attention to the big movie stars, they still have time for the TV actors too and in some cases sitcom actors have taken precedence over movies on account of sitcoms connecting to the viewer on a regular basis.
But these actors can’t stay hot property forever. And so we take a look at 15 beloved sitcom stars that have sadly gone from hot to not.
15. Leanna Creel
Featuring in a show that is supposedly as big as Saved By The Bell should get you places. The show was lauded by AOL TV as one of the “20 Best School Shows Of All Time”. Admittedly not a very frequent addition to the show, she was a pretty significant part of it once she was cast and audiences loved her bad girl persona with leather jacket and motorcycle to boot. Besides this show, Leanna Creel appeared in notable TV movies in a couple of the Parent Trap films and even Beverly Hills, 90210, so it’s not so fair to say that she’s a huge unknown. But instead of pursuing this golden path to fame, Leanna Creel instead opted to bow out of the acting scene and start her own business. Following her stint on Saved By The Bell, she attended college and earned herself a bachelor’s degree in history, and then a master’s degree in film and television. This helped her open her own photography business which she treasures.
14. Melissa Joan Hart
Sabrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a childhood crush for most of us that grew up enjoying the show while it ran for 7 seasons from 1996 to 2003. Melissa from Melissa and Joey, not so much. The difference? Melissa Joan Hart, the actress that portrayed the characters, grew up and left her appeal back in 1996. The cutesy girl next door global crush was replaced by suburban mom. Admittedly, she still had her fair share of work and even now is working on minor stuff but her relevance has long since run its course. It may be down to the fact that she’s a conservative mom and hasn’t been involved in Hollywood tabloid scandals. The media love a bad girl and she’s been keeping herself squeaky clean. Something that’s difficult to do when you’re as famous as she is so huge props to her!
13. Matthew Perry
Arguably the most beloved ‘friend’ on the hit TV Sitcom Friends, Matthew Perry played the role of Chandler Muriel Bing on the show for about a decade! While the show ran, it was one of the most popular ever and it’s a testament to that, that the show still airs its reruns on several TV channels; even being relevant today. Matthew Perry played the wise-cracking, sarcastic odd-ball Chandler with such a wonderful and effortless charm that it seemed he was living out the life of the character rather than just acting out the scenes. As one of the main cast of Friends, Perry was one of the most popular celebrities of his time but sadly he’s slipped off the radar since the show ended in 2004. Once a fresh-faced young comedian, Perry struggled with substance abuse for 3 years while filming through seasons 3 to 6 of the show and the effects of it show pretty visibly. He hasn’t had the success he has had as Chandler either and with a role like that defining him, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll break out of that to become the mega-star he could’ve been given his potential.
12. Sarah Chalke
Best known for her role as Dr. Elliot Reid on the comedy series Scrubs, from 2001 to 2010, Sarah Chalke also featured on the more recent Sitcom How I Met Your Mother. It isn’t so much that she hasn’t done well for herself more so that she hasn’t done better for herself. She’s been extremely limited and as such, she’s been largely overlooked in relation to the rest of the leading ladies in the sitcom industry. Not known to be a huge head-turning beauty even then, we can agree that although she has retained much of the charm from her youth, she’s not exactly drool-worthy. Looking somewhat ordinary in comparison to most celebrities or TV stars, Chalke is still finding work within the scope of TV comedy.
11. Nate Richert
What happened to this guy? I mean, seriously?!! Following Sabrina the Teenage Witch co-star Melissa Joan Hart on this list is her on-screen love interest Nate Richert, the man that broke a million hearts as the twinkly eyed Harvey Kinkle for 7 long seasons! He’s done a handful of jobs since the show ended but nothing of note for as long as a decade now. The man has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth since but is apparently living out his days as a folk musician with a solo album on the way. The man has quit acting, with his last on-screen appearance coming in a short film called H-e-n-r-y in 2006 and it doesn’t look like he’ll get back to breaking any more hearts as his looks have all but faded.
10. Courteney Cox
Earlier on this list you met her on-screen Friends hubby Matthew Perry (a.k.a Chandler Bing). Best known for her roles in both Friends and Cougar Town, Courteney Cox has made a neat little niche for herself as a decent comic. To be honest, how can one be a part of the main cast of one of the most iconic sitcoms in TV history and not become a household name, right?! Sadly for Courteney Cox, her neat little niche is all she’s got. Unlike her Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston, who has carved out a hugely successful career for herself since the end of the sitcom, Cox hasn’t had as much success. She starred in the honestly pretty average show Cougar Town and while it ran for 6 seasons, it never really hit a major peak. Cox, a fresh faced youngster during the 90s and early 2000s has definitely lost much of her attractiveness to our dismay.
9. Alfonso Ribeiro
Young master Carlton Banks was something of an archetype for obnoxious snob back in the glorious 90s when he starred alongside Will “the fresh prince” Smith in the NBC Sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He was famous. Not to say that he hasn’t earned his right to stardom. He has and he’s doing well for himself in the ways of reality TV. The man won Dancing With The Stars season 19 in 2014, and is now hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos, replacing Tom Bergeron since 2015. So it is somewhat unfair to say that Alfonso Ribeiro isn’t a star in his own right. But given the platform he had early on and seeing Will Smith take that platform as a trampoline to become bigger than Hollywood itself says something about the lost potential of Mr. Ribeiro. .
8. Brandon Call
Brandon Call? Ahem, who!? We’re sort of wondering too actually. This former child and teenage actor has now apparently given up on acting and hasn’t since featuring in a whopping seven seasons of the CBS Sitcom Step By Step. Surprisingly, before ending his career, he has had a pretty glittering yet short career both on the big screen and in television. The sad thing about this star is that he is now more famous for somehow getting shot in both arms than for his acting. He made a full recovery after being hospitalized and for that we’re truly glad. The show Step By Step wasn’t the biggest hit on TV and was sometimes maligned for being a Brady Bunch clone but that by no means curbed the success of the show which ran for a whopping 160 episodes over 7 seasons. He supposedly hasn’t returned to acting since 2001 and word on the street is he is now working at his dad’s gas station in San Diego.
7. Sarah Jessica Parker
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is apparently a pretty big deal. Or was a big deal. It’s hard to say at this point really. Starring, and even winning awards as a producer and lead female in the romantic comedy TV series Sex And The City, is not what she is currently most famous for. She’s famous for -*cue drum roll*- horse jokes! ”Neigh” we kid you not. She’s become somewhat of an internet sensation as a meme and the masses are loving it. These days you can find a meme for anything and sadly for SJP, she’s a part of that culture norm now. Being physically linked to a horse is rough but internet trolls take no prisoners when it comes to ‘roasting’ the celebrity community. Since her time on SATC from 1998 to 2004, she’s returned to acting again and is starring in the HBO comedy series Divorce, for which she won a Golden Globe Nomination.
6. Angus T. Jones
Once the adorably chubby on-screen nephew of Charlie Sheen, on hit TV Sitcom Two And A Half Men, this young lad has sadly outgrown his cuteness. Playing the clumsy, wise-cracking Jake Harper on the show from 2003 to as long as 2015, earned him a soft spot in all our hearts as well as the title of highest paid child star in television at the age of seventeen. One of the brightest young stars in the entertainment industry, Angus T. Jones took an unexpected turn in 2012 when, at the age of 19, he declared that he had been baptized and no longer wanted to be a part of the cast of the show. He said he was a “paid hypocrite” because his religious beliefs conflicted with his job as an actor in expressing the show’s adult themes. Once a source of cuteness, he then grew out his hair and beard and became completely unrecognizable from the early days of playing Jake Harper. In 2015, he returned to the sitcom to feature in the season finale and has since apologized for slandering the show. He says he may return to acting as he’s missed it but he’s going to take things slow for now.
5. Matt LeBlanc
“How you doin’?” In his prime, that line would have worked on anything with a pulse and that isn’t even an exaggeration. The young Joey Tribbiani he portrayed on the hit NBC sitcom Friends was the quintessential womanizing machine and that stemmed from Matt Le Blanc‘s definite good looks and natural charisma. Though he has still got the charm, much of his looks have fallen victim to the sad pull of age. Some people age gracefully. The grey hair, deep creases in their faces, the look of experience all accentuate their natural beauty. We’re just honestly not sure that this is the case for our beloved Joey. He’s definitely put on some weight in an unflattering way. His much shorter grey hair suits him less than the longer hair he had early on in the 90s. His spin-off show Joey, hit a sad low, being canceled after just 2 years into it showing that Joey had less scope without the rest of his friends in tow.
4. Anneliese Van Der Pol
It’s a pity that such a multi-talented performer ends up on a list like this. Best known for her role as Chelsea Daniels on the hit Disney sitcom That’s So Raven from 2003 to 2006, Anneliese Van Der Pol played Raven’s ditzy best friend. Apparently set to reprise her role this year, as a spin-off of the show is announced, she’s been out of the sitcom business for a while, opting to work on theater projects more frequently. Even the movies in her arsenal are quite small and not very noteworthy ones and that is why she’s considered faded. Being a Disney star of that particular era almost guarantees stardom and a launching pad to greater things and many Disney stars have used that. But this clueless sidekick seems to have preferred to take her chances on stage and out of the mean eye of the media that seem to hawk pretty much every other Disney star to make it big.
3. Charlie Sheen
The playboy of a decade. Charlie Sheen was pretty much the hottest star of Hollywood at a time. Rising to fame after a series of successful films, such as Platoon, Wall Street, Young Guns, Eight Men Out, Major League, Hot Shots! and The Three Musketeers receiving many nominations, Charlie Sheen was set for megastardom. Though he did achieve it to some degree, it’s sad to see the state of the man now. Problems with substance abuse, marital issues, legal issues and health to boot means he has had his stardom severely curtailed! His three failed marriages have since given him many a headache, with him losing custody of his kids whom he had with actress Denise Richards. His further escapades into a form of relationship have come in the form of numerous adult stars and nothing has stuck long enough. In November 2015, Sheen admitted to being HIV positive. Since being booted off the show Two and A Half Men, a decision taken by the show’s producers from respective companies CBS and Warner Brothers, this star has been on the downward spiral and with all due respect, isn’t going to make a comeback!
2. Miley Cyrus
There was a time when people genuinely loved Miley Cyrus. For 4 seasons and 98 episodes between the years 2006 to 2011, she took the world by storm as Hannah Montana. Young girls went psychotic for her. She was the perfect Disney role model. Living life as a real girl with school, homework, bullies and boys, and then transforming herself into a pop sensation with the drop of a wig. She was living the life girls around the world desperately wanted for themselves and she was adored for it. Fast forward to the latter part of her career as Hannah Montana and you find that she becomes increasingly provocative in her private life. Sadly, when you’ve got the whole world watching, when you’ve got millions of adoring pre-teens watching your every move, you’ve got to be on the ball about how you carry yourself. Wild partying, bad dating choices, apparent drug use and even adult themed music went on to destroy any wholesome image Miley had through her Disney days. These days her strange on-stage antics are nothing short of racy and fans of the Disney channel show will feel sorely disappointed in the direction their once favorite star has decided to take. Even her lovely southern belle look has been replaced by a meaner look.
1. Bill Cosby
Sigh. This one is depressing whichever way you look at it. One of the most iconic, if not the most iconic comic in the world. A comedian, an actor, an author and a singer in his own right, he has had his public image marred in recent times by sexual assault allegations with him having to appear in court in June 2017. One of the most beloved celebrities of any generation down to his timeless work in all fields of work he has ventured into, Bill Cosby is well known for his show The Cosby Show which was the number one rated show in America for 5 years running from 1984 through 1989. The show’s reruns have since been pulled off of television. He has a variety of honorary degrees from several colleges and universities but has had a number of them revoked due to the r*pe allegations. He has gone on record to testify that he has given women drugs and/or booze to coerce them into extramarital affairs with him. To have the proverbially known “father of America” slip this far down the drain is a sour pill to swallow for all those that have religiously followed his work.