It’s safe to say that anyone worth their weight in salt will remember the legendary television line-up we all looked forward to on a Friday night. Whether we were living and laughing with the Tanners in Full House, or learning life lessons from Larry alongside Balki in Perfect Strangers. Perhaps you joined the TGIF line-up later on and enjoyed watching Salem and Sabrina cover for each other on their countless misadventures in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Maybe you were winding down from the work week or revving up for a 90’s weekend TV binge, complete with original style Dunkaroos and Fruit Roll-ups. After most of these series carried on for more than 6 seasons (and often a movie), often boasting over 100 episodes, we all felt like we grew up alongside them.
But we all grew up, tastes changed and Full House, Family Matters and Perfect Strangers would give way to Fraiser, FRIENDS, and Will and Grace. Time passed and we forgot about the Tanners and the Salems. Have you ever wondered what happened to the stars of your favourite 90’s television line up? Did they fall to the wayside and become forgettable faces, only ever haunting TV movies and Cameos? Maybe they moved on to expansive voice acting careers. Or perhaps they star as themselves in an ultra-meta scenario where the rest of the real life cast of their show has mysteriously vanished and they’re the only recurring character left, forever questioning why he was left behind? Today things get weird when we show you 17 TGIF Stars You Didn’t Even Know Where Still in the Business. If you want to make it really fun, take a shot every time someone shows up in Robot Chicken.
17. Donald Faison
Remember when Donald Faison was the Brace-faced, pager sporting hood rat from Clueless? We certainly do. Faison flexed his comedy chops for 3 seasons and a movie of Clueless, constantly offering his street smarts and insights to the rest of the gang. But after season 3, where did our cast from Clueless go? A lot seemed to have merely melted away into single-episode appearances in small shows, or in at least one case like Elisa Donavon, onto other TGIF shows.
But not Donald Faison. Refusing to simply let his comedic talent vanish like so many nostalgic 90’s toys and series, Donald would go on to almost immediately appear in Clone High for 12 episodes, The Boondocks for 3 episodes, and of course Scrubs for a phenomenal 182 episodes. It’s here that Faison would practically coin the term Bromance with Zach Braff where the iconic friendship would outlast the series itself. But Faison isn’t done yet either. He was in Kick-ass 2, appearing in Robot Chicken 10 times in as many years and has 3 projects in post-production. It’s safe to say Donald Faison is still in the biz
16. Paul Rudd
Alright, we concede that you probably know that Paul Rudd is still in the biz. Unless you have managed to hide under a rock for the last 10 years and missed every Marvel product, you’ve probably seen his handsome face around. But what you probably forgot is that he wasn’t just in Clueless the movie, but appears in the series for an episode titled I Got you Babe as Sonny, the dreamy college guitar player.
“They’re something so truly resplendent about a guy with a guitar. I bet Sonny’s group is going to be enormous.” Says Cher, in an eerie display of the writers of Clueless apparently seeing the future. While Cher and Sonny’s relationship was doomed from the start, it seems his career wasn’t. Paul Rudd would go on to show up in 40 Year Old Virgin, Reno 911, Robot Chicken, Saturday Night Live, Wet Hot American Summer, and of course, Marvel’s Ant-Man.
15. Rachel Blanchard
Speaking of Cher, while Rachel Blanchard’s current acting situation is no multi-movie Marvel mega-franchise, she has definitely kept an interesting and varied career since the end of Clueless. Blanchard has the busy body, traditional housewife vibe that reminds us of Reese Witherspoon. She would leave Clueless to almost immediately be put in the 2000 comedy Roadtrip. After a couple of roles in largely forgettable movies and she shows back up in 7th Heaven for over 40 episodes, and later would be in Flight of the Conchords as Sally, inspiring The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room) and has an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to her character.
But my favourite role she found herself since Clueless was actually in FX’s Fargo, as Kitty Nygaard. She’s the seemingly perfect wife to Chaz Nygaard, unfortunate brother to Martin Freeman playing Lester Nygaard. Far behind is the ditzy blond we came to form a love/hate relationship with in Clueless. She is now a Stepford Wife, with Ritz Carlton level of hospitality when guests come over. She strikes you as the type of person who’s good to a fault. Watching her in Fargo, it’s tough not to wish she had better opportunities. Rachel Blanchard continues her work in the dramedy You Me and Her.
14. Melissa Joan Hart
Who could forget Sabrina the Teenage witch? Well you did, and so did most of the rest of show business. Aside from showing up in Robot Chicken, like so many other TGIF stars, she has mostly been relegated to single-episode appearances and TV movies. However she was in a horror B-Movie called Nine Dead, which is largely underrated. It seemed that she would never find her foothold on her career no matter what she did. And she did everything from self –satire to taking eccentric roles to shake off her typecasting.
These days Hart can be found in a show called Melissa & Joey, a show with a modest audience which focuses on Melissa, a local politician. Okay, so it’s not flattering but we can all applaud the persistence to pursue the craft. After all, Adam West would be typecast as Batman for decades before pivoting to self-aware comedy.
13. Carolina Rhea
Now this is a wholesome lady who’s dedicated to her craft. Carolina Rhea was always the fun Aunt in Sabrina, and it seemed to really be an extension of her personality. Just look at what she would go on to be after being Hilda. Sesame Street almost immediately followed by Christmas with the Kranks, before a short stint in The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and her persistence paid off when she finally landed as Linda Lynn-Fletcher in Phineas and Ferb for over 100 episodes.
Aside from these few points of regular work with well-known television shows, she would fall prey to the ever present TV-Movies we will see so many TGIF stars start to show up in. After Phineas, Carolina Rhea would be in Sordid Lives: The Series for 13 episodes. Her most recent acting credits are for 2 TV-Movies and A Very Sordid Wedding. While she’s at a low point of the rollercoaster which makes her acting career, let’s hold out hope for another high point like Phineas or Sabrina to come along.
12. Darius McCrary
Now we’re getting into some of the old-school original TGIF line ups like Family Matters. While you may not have heard of some of the shows he’s shown up in, or recognized him when he was there, rest assured that Darius McCrary has been doing a consistent line-up of movies and shows throughout his career. The man works on some 2 year calendar of making animal sacrifices to keep his career alive. Check it out.
After Family Matters ended in 1998, he would show up in Freedom in 2000-2001. After Freedom ended, Darius would move on to the television mini-series Kingpin as Truck Thomas for 5 episodes in 2003. Like clockwork McCrary shows back up in 2005 for Committed and that clock keeps ticking as we watch him show up in the first (and only good) Transformers movie in 2007, Saw VI in 2009, and holy heck, this in 2011 he settles down for The Young and the Restless for 86 episodes. Check out his IMDb profile, his last modest appearance was in 2016, so we can expect a 2018 McCrary Comeback.
11. Reginald VelJohnson
While we’re on the Family Matters train, let’s talk about Reginald Veljohnson. Reggie has a really special place on this list because he was part of 2 iconic 1990’s moments: The alternatively stern and loving Carl Winslow in Family Matters and Officer Al Powell in Die Hard. But it’s not as if he showed up in Die Hard and called it quits after a great run on an iconic show. This man has had one of the best comedy pivots I’ve seen an actor do in the twilight of their career. Not to say that Family Matters was missing the Com in Sit-Com, let’s be clear Reginald VelJohnson has always had comedy skills.
What we didn’t expect was to see Officer Powell show up in Funny or Die sketches in self-aware comedy skits, Children’s Hospital and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. More recently VelJohnson had steady work in Hart of Dixie and Clipped and has a movie and pilot in post-production.
10. Mark Linn-Baker
Also known as Larry Appleton in Perfect Strangers, Linn-Baker always offered a near perfect straight-man against Bronson Pinchot’s funny-man Balki. Linn-Baker’s brand of comedy relied on deadpan delivery and perfect timing to almost surprise laughs out of us. While Mark would find himself regular work showing up in different television shows for an episode, often crossing over into other TGIF shows, after being in a 2001 television movie (surprise, surprise) Mark disappeared from show business until 2005.
But if we’re going to talk about his acting career and the work he’s currently doing, we have to talk about his amazing cameo in The Leftovers. If you don’t know, The Leftovers is a show which deals with the eerie situation of 2% of the population vanishing overnight and the related repercussions. In what started out as an offhand joke, Mark Linn-Baker ends up starring as himself, the washed up actor from Perfect Strangers, who is the only member of the set not to have vanished. They flesh him out in what’s probably the coolest TGIF cameo appearance ever.
9. Sam Anderson
You may know him from Perfect Strangers as Mr. Sam Gorpley, Balki’s cold, straight laced boss who constantly schemed to have Balki fired, always to no avail. But Anderson goes on to have one of the most robust careers out of all of the TGIF stars. For that matter his IMDb page has 167 acting credits. He would go on to be in Murder She Wrote and Everybody Loves Raymond. While these roles were largely passive, showing up as a different character each time in Murder She Wrote, Anderson would keep himself busy with all sorts of different work, from Friends and Malcolm in the Middle all the way to The X-Files.
While these were forgettable, here’s a couple of roles Anderson was in that you forgot about (but we didn’t). Remember the creepy scum-bag principal from Forest Gump? That’s Anderson! Remember sweet, sweet rose from Lost? Always lamenting her husband Bernard who she just knew was alive? Yup! That’s Anderson, too.
8. Candi Milo
Okay, okay, so Candi Milo wasn’t exactly a TGIF star but what she went on to do is worth the mention. She appears in a couple episodes of Perfect Strangers as Gina Morelli who is in one of Balki’s classes, causing our 2 protagonists all the mildly awkward scenarios you could imagine by having to temporarily move in.
But what has she done since? Well she appeared in a commercial where her delivery of the catchphrase was so good, it’s used by the department store to this day. But that’s small fry stuff. Remember Dexter’s Laboratory? Or how about Spirited Away, Aladdin, The Mask or Hey Arnold? Because this lady has voice acted in all of them. It’s actually tough to pick and choose which of her work to add because she’s been in just that many recognizable works. Whether you’re a gamer or just someone who watched television in the early 2000’s you’re almost certain to find something you’ve been a fan of hers in, though if you’ve been drinking you’ll be upset to hear she has never been in Robot Chicken.
7. Ernie Sabella
The last Perfect Strangers entry we have on our list. Again, Ernie Sabella wasn’t exactly a star of TGIF but he certainly was a recurring cast member by the name of Mr. Donald “Twinkie” Twinkacetti. And just look at the pictures of the guy, he’s clearly a larger than life New Yorker in more than just his body and voice. He may have one of the most recognizable voices in the industry; we’re talking Patrick Warburton levels of recognition upon hearing it.
And even crazier, you’d only have to type 4 words for you to almost instantly remember who it is (and have a catchy song stuck in your head), are you ready? “It means no worries.” That’s right. Much like Mike Myers didn’t just disappear after Goldmember, Sabella didn’t disappear after Perfect Strangers. In a seemingly identical career move to Myers, Sabella has done almost exclusive Pumba work for decades afterwards.
6. Omar Gooding
Okay, with Perfect Strangers behind us we can rocket forward with Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and to start that list off we’re going with the ever humble Omar Gooding. So this isn’t exactly going to blow your socks off in terms of what Gooding appears in, but in how much. While he only has 73 acting credits, Omar would bounce from series to series for multiple episodes.
And we don’t mean some niche television show no one’s heard of, he was in Batman Beyond, Static Shock, One on One and CSI: Miami. He would even show up for a couple episodes of HBO’s Deadwood. In the early 2010’s, Omar found himself involved in a humble series called Family Time. While it doesn’t have the following of something like Deadwood, he would find work with them for 5 years, from 2012-2017. But that’s not all, because if you go to his IMDB page, he has not one, not two, but 12 credits that are between filming and post-production. Meaning Gooding is arguably more in the business than any other TGIF star.
5. Dawnn Lewis
While Dawnn Lewis was only in 22 episodes of Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper compared to Gooding’s 57, her career following the show’s end would be undeniably more recognizable. First of all, it needs to be mentioned that she helped compose the theme song to A Different World alongside Bill Cosby, so the lady is at the very least a double threat.
After the show ended she found herself bouncing around like so many TGIF characters, but she would land on her own two feet in a couple of years. These days her IMDb has credits underneath it such as Dreamworks’ Inside Out and Monster’s University. But that’s not all. She shows up in Tim and Eric’s Bedroom Stories, Rick and Morty, The Boondocks and The Simpsons. Recognizable career is an understatement. She was also in the most recent season of TNT’s Major Crimes.
Bet you’re not surprised to see her here. We remember Raven-Symoné from her early work on The Cosby Show and would go on to be in Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. But what will probably surprise you was the work that she went into immediately after Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper had ended. Would you guess it was Adult Swim’s Space Ghost Coast to Coast? Yeah, that’s what we thought.
Another extremely recognizable career being fostered after the end of her TGIF series, she would be Charisse Dolittle, daughter of the famous doctor by the same name (can you guess which movie?). Raven-Symoné also has 12 self-titled shorts (Raven’s blank) which is just ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as the fact that she would be in those 12 shorts before she would even appear in That’s So Raven. The rest is history; Ms. Raven-Symoné becomes a Cheetah Girl, appears in their movies and is currently in Raven’s Home.
3. Dave Coulier
Okay, Full House fans. Hold on to your socks because I’m about to blow them off. Did you know that David Coulier of Full House is starring in the Netflix Original series Fuller House? If you need a minute to gather yourself we understand. On a deadly serious note, after Full House, Dave fell on some understandably hard times. It looks like he was just skating by like Omar Gooding for a while there, but drinking readers rejoice, he was in 7 episodes of Robot Chicken between 2005-2016.
He also found himself on the Stand Up circuit, having decent sets and a modest fanbase, though he was quite far from the likes of Carlin and Chapelle. It would seem Netflix and Robot Chicken act as a sort of TGIF star refuge. Just ask Candace Cameron Bure, whose career has consisted almost exclusively of TV movies until Fuller House. But still in the business, is still in the business.
2. John Stamos
Now, we’re not saying that John Stamos is by any means a terrible actor or comedian, but we are saying that he wouldn’t have a career if he wasn’t criminally photogenic. Compared to the rest of the cast of Full House, Stamos had it made. He’s basically the sexy doctor of the collective conscience of an entire generation. While he was in General Hospital before Full House, he would go on to be in 4 years of ER as yet another incredibly sexy doctor.
But there’s a recurring sin that seems to take place in Hollywood where if you’re too attractive you’re not allowed to be funny. Just ask Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill after they lost weight. But comedy legend Don Rickles believed in Stamos’ comedic talent. Stamos has played self-aware, self-satirizing roles in Glee, skits in Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and appeared in Two and a Half Men’s series finale.
1. Bob Saget
There’s a certain irony to Bob Saget being largely recognizable to people only because of the viral YouTuber Tourrette’s Guy who would shout his name almost as an expletive. Bob Saget had one of the most successful comedy careers of any of the TGIF bunch.
But that doesn’t mean it came without sacrifice. The man would be in almost exclusively single-episode appearances and the dreaded mediocre limbo of TV-movies for nearly 10 years before showing up in Madagascar. After that things appeared to just start to click for Saget. He would be in Law and Order before making the large leap to Entourage as himself, Louie in 2011, but most recognizably, he narrated every single episode of How I Met Your Mother, showing up in 206 episodes of the show’s run. At this point you’d be forgiven for expecting Bob Saget to call you “Kids”, upon hearing his voice. But maybe the best result of the TGIF star’s post-TGIF life is the unlikely bromance between Bob Saget and John Stamos. Now that you’ve reached the end of the list, watch the duo on Kimmel pay homage to Don Rickles who loved them both. It’s simply precious.
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