When it comes to the world of music, there is no shortage of tremendous musicians that happened to only have that one amazing song. Imagine the pressure the musicians must have felt as they tried to dissect why the world couldn’t get enough of “Who Let The Dogs Out” or of course, “Ice Ice Baby”.
But musicians aren’t the only creative field where the talent involved has managed to only succeed once. On our list today we have 15 individuals who as quick as their moment in the spotlight emerged, a shadow started to emerge. And once their time had ended, the incredible heights they once reached may have made the fall all the harder. Especially if their post-career fame includes times in handcuffs or performing in the other style of film industry!
These are the 15 “One-Hit Wonders” Outside Of The Music Industry.
15. Dustin Diamond – Saved By The Bell
There were many fantastic shows that came about during the 1980s/1990s and helped launch the career of many beloved superstars that are still acting. But not everyone survives the wrath of Hollywood and while Saved By The Bell was once a great show, some of the people involved have fallen by the wayside.
Such is the case with Dustin Diamond who infamously played the role of Screech. Sadly for Diamond, the height of his “film” career following the series may have been a film from “the other film industry” he promoted of himself; though he later stated he used a body double for the movie.
14. Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
It’s hard to hate too much on Aaron Paul for the fact that Breaking Bad was such a tremendous “one-hit”. But if you look at his resume outside of his time as Jesse Pinkman, he may definitely find himself wishing the show had stayed around at least a little bit longer.
People do love BoJack Horseman, but we’re sure when Breaking Bad ended fans were hoping that they’d see more of Paul’s physical face in things they enjoy. The fact that he’s taking a gamble and starring in an upcoming film, Welcome Home, with the undeniably beautiful, but an unproven actress in Emily Ratajkowski also does not bode well for him.
13. Peyton Hillis – 2010 Season Lands Him On Madden
Peyton Hillis’ best year in his NFL career came in 2010 when he was playing for the Cleveland Browns. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and ended up being nominated as a potential cover athlete for the upcoming version of Madden.
Hillis didn’t realistically have a shot to win, but Madden allowed fans to vote for the winner and in as fans got behind the idea of perhaps “trolling” the NFL, Hillis was eventually selected. Unfortunately for him, that just made his subsequent fall to earth all the more apparent.
12. Michael Richards – Seinfeld
It’s hard to argue the industry for taking a big step back from Michael Richards. When stepping up on the stage for a stand-up routine in 2006, Richards went off on a racist rant following some hecklers. That moment dried the cement around the career of Richards’ that had been non-existent since Seinfeld was taken off the air.
He had more than enough money to lie back and remain comfortable, but the incident shattered his public image and made studios all the more confident in their belief that the only time Richards’ was excelling, was as Cosmo Kramer. Though to be fair, Jason Alexander’s post-Seinfeld career is also nothing to write home about.
11. Chris Kattan – Saturday Night Live
I’m not going to lie, A Night at the Roxbury is arguably my favorite comedy. But I’m not ignorant enough to know that, that is far from a popular opinion. But perhaps it’s fitting that the only success (at least in my eyes) that Chris Kattan had outside of Saturday Night Live, was the movie version of one of the shows most popular skits.
The downfall of the actual movie, at least as far as many people are concerned was because at least for the original they had the talent of Jim Carrey to help sell the idea, but there was no way he was signing on for a motion picture. While Kattan spent years as a prominent player on the show, he failed in keeping his career going outside of New York; including Corky Romano which released in 2001.
10. Kristin Davis – Sex And The City
Kristin Davis was one of the more outspoken former Sex And The City cast members who was disappointed that the 3rd film is not getting made. But perhaps that’s because outside of her role in the series, Davis’ career has been filled with far more misses than hits.
This includes the festive (but awful) film Deck the Halls and the disappointing comedy Couple’s Retreat which scored only 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. Though if we want to give her some credit, she did have a voice-over role in the animated children’s show Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, but that probably wasn’t what she was hoping for once her career with Sex and the City ended.
9. Dong Nguyen – Creates Flappy Bird
It’s hard to completely explain why the mobile game Flappy Bird ended up becoming the cultural phenomenon that it did. But there was no denying it’s success that ended up allegedly paying the designer, Dong Nguyen, upwards of $50,000 a day in ad revenue at its peak.
Perhaps content to have only caught lightning in the bottle once, Nguyen has seemingly not put forward any other ventures to create an addicting mobile game that realistically led to at least a few smashed iPhones! Let’s hope he was able to save that money or he may have created a more frustrating situation for himself than the game could possibly have imagined.
8. Matthew Perry – FRIENDS
There aren’t many television shows that are as beloved as Friends. But the fact that the series ran for 10 seasons and is arguably still one of the most binge-watched shows on Netflix should hammer home the one-hit note that was the career of Matthew Perry.
That’s not to say he didn’t try other movies, but critics definitely never seemed to take a huge liking to him. Among his worst reviewed movies was the forgettable The Whole 10 Yards and Fools Rush In; the latter of which stars Salma Hayek who may make sitting through the film at least a little more bearable. Perry has also failed at several attempts at creating another sitcom including Go On and Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip.
7. Chyna – Career Thwarted With Backstage Politics
If you want to succeed in the WWE, you need to be able to get along with people behind the scenes as strongly as you do when the cameras are rolling. Chyna had a great working relationship with Paul Levesque; better known as Triple H. In fact, they were even knocking boots. At least until Levesque decided he’d rather be hooking up with the boss’ daughter, Stephanie McMahon.
It ended up being a great decision for him, but for Chyna, it led to her departure from the company before her career ever really got going. She failed to continue as a wrestler in any substantial career and took up a career in the other film industry prior to her passing.
6. Troy Duffy – Boondock Saints Franchise
Troy Duffy thought he was the hottest ticket in town when his film The Boondock Saints was being made. But unfortunately, his alleged pretentious and difficult attitude towards Harvey Weinstein and Miramax saw the film get dropped from their schedule.
What that meant is that even though the film ended up being made, he had effectively black-listed himself from the business. Though when you consider how many talented people are constantly trying to make a name for themselves on Hollywood, perhaps you won’t feel so badly for a man who essentially burned his own bridge.
5. Danielle Fishel – Boy Meets World
If you grew up in the ’90s watching T.G.I.F on ABC, it’d be far from shocking to hear you had a crush on Danielle Fishel. She was great as Topanga throughout the years….and then again as Topanga when the show got rebooted with Girl Meets World.
But outside of that comfortable little bubble, Danielle Fishel has rarely strayed. We can’t blame her for returning to the role, but the cancellation of Girl Meets World also seems to be the cancellation of Fishel’s dreams as an actress. Which makes you wonder did she even love acting? Or did she just enjoy playing the character and couldn’t in good faith let someone else play it.
4. Daniel Myrick And Eduardo Sanchez – The Blair Witch Project
There aren’t many horror movies out there that can be considered as influential as The Blair Witch Project. But the two geniuses who wrote and directed the film, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, didn’t seem too interested in continuing their potential path in Hollywood. Which is astonishing considering there may not be a more profitable (at least in terms of franchise potentials) than a successful horror film franchise. Just look at how many Saw films there are!
Not only did the two not work together again on a feature film, but both took over 5 years to return to the directing chair and didn’t step away with anything else that is notable; including Sanchez working on the film Believers that was direct-to-DVD.
3. Buster Douglas – Beat Mike Tyson
Buster Douglas may be the biggest example in the history of sports of an “underdog”. Going into his fight with Mike Tyson in 1990, nobody thought he had a snowball chance in hell of dethroning Tyson (and in the process, would be giving Tyson his first loss). But miracles can happen, and Douglas managed to pull off the stunning win.
But to say his time in the spotlight was short-lived would be an understatement. Douglas lost his subsequent title defense to Evander Holyfield, and in the process also looked sluggish and overweight. His subsequent retirement following the match hammered home the point that his moment in the sun was a one-time thing.
2. Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
If you went to school in North America, there was probably a pretty high chance that you were going to come across the book To Kill a Mockingbird on at least one occasion. Published in 1960 and written by Harper Lee, the novel won the Pulitzer Prize the following year.
But Lee may be the truest definition of “one-hit wonder” as it was essentially the only book she ever released despite going on to live all the way until 2016. A “sequel” Go Set a Watchman was released in 2015 but instead of being a traditional sequel, was actually the first draft copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.
1. Richard Kelly – Donnie Darko Writer And Director
Richard Kelly is responsible for one of the greatest cult classics of all-time with Donnie Darko. The film was written and directed by Kelly and starred Drew Barrymore, as well as Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
But any film aspirations of Kelly’s ended with that film as his following efforts failed to maintain any real success. This includes the film Southland Tales which failed to earn over $1 million at the box office but cost upwards of $17 million to make.
His last efforts came in 2009 when he directed the film The Box that starred Cameron Diaz and failed to crack 50% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
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