Friday, March 03, 2006

"Other Guy" of the Month(s)

It occured to me today that I sort of dropped the ball on my recurring segment "Other Guy" of the Month. That is where I pay homage to or catch up with some poor guy who had his chance to be a star but was overshadowed by someone else's fame instead. Well, I haven't sung the praises of any "other guys" since Charlie Schlatter in November. Mmmm....Schlatter.

Since I've missed three men, I'm just going to shove them all together in one post. They're "other guys". They're used to not getting special treatment. Coming up with three of them right this second is a bit of a challenge, but one I shall take on.

"Other Guy" of the Month - December

Ted Wass - Depending on how old you are, you'll either remember Ted as the hunky son of weirdo Burt Campbell on Soap or as the slightly less hunky, super-understanding Dad on Blossom. On Soap, he was actually pretty funny as Danny. Since it was an ensemble cast, he was never really overshadowed by other actors and given a decent amout of storylines. Ah, remember when he was forced to marry the mafia daughter (Dinah Manoff, or Marty Maraschino to me) and then he really fell in love with her? And then she died?? Good stuff. Anyway, he may not have seemed like an "other guy" at the time, but I consider him to be one since Billy Crystal, who played his gay brother, ended up having a much more successful career. He got to do Comic Relief. He got to kiss Meg Ryan. Wass got to play Daddy to Mayim Bialik.

No, I was never a Blossom fan. It was just another lame sitcom that tried to depict a "realistic" family but failed miserably. No family talks about their feelings THAT much. (I will say that it wasn't nearly as bad as Full House.) Not all family squabbles are resolved in 30 minutes flat. It's just too bad that Ted couldn't parlay the success of a cult hit like Soap into a bigger or better role than Daddy Blossom. And what's sad is, he became the "other guy" on that show too, playing second, no third, fiddle to a girl with an endless supply of oversized, floppy hats and the Lawrence kid who always says, "whoa".

And now where is Ted? According to the IMDB, he did a bunch more of those forgettable sitcoms and is apparently still acting. He did the Sheena movie with Tanya Roberts. Actors - if you ever find yourself in a movie with Tanya Roberts, you might want to go back to school or look into a day job. She's a black widow. She'll suck your career right out of ya. (Yes, I know she was on That '70s Show. TV is different. And the casting director was being ironic.)

"Other Guy" of the Month - January

Philip Michael Thomas - Hey, I have to come up with three guys here, so I'm shooting for an obvious choice. Detective Ricardo Tubbs, Miami Vice. I just thought to myself, "Gee, I wonder whatever happened to Tubbs" and as the IMDB page loaded, the first thing I read was this: "Trivia - A bank foreclosed on his house in 1998". I don't know why that made me laugh, it just did. I'm rotten. What did Tubbs ever do to me?

I'll tell you though, Tubbs has a surprisingly extensive resume on the IMDB. When you think about it, although Don ("Crockett") Johnson came out of Miami Vice with the huge career, the two really aren't that different. They were both on a supremely stupid show, neither one could act really well and they both made ill-fated attempts at music careers. So why did Don's star rise while Philip's burned out? The only thing I can think of was that Don was shagging Melanie Griffith. She was a big star then. And look at her now. She looks like Norma Desmond on crack, Don Johnson's career is in the toilet, and '80s nostalgia is back with a bang. I think it's time for PM-Thom to make his move.

"Other Guy" of the Month - February
Ilan Mitchell-Smith - Ilan starred (er, appeared) in Weird Science as Wyatt, Gary's (Anthony Michael Hall) best friend. He was much cuter than Hall but very annoying. He had a really nasally voice that kind of made me angry. Rage from watching a classic '80s teen flick? Just a little - his voice was like nails on a chalkboard.

There's not really much to say about this guy. He was in a few other small things and then pretty much gave up acting. I love it when these people accept reality. He's not sitting around whining about how he's not getting good roles and drinking a bottle of Jack a day. So, he used to annoy me but now I kind of have some respect for him. And he probably gets some perverse pleasure that most of the people he was taking a backseat to in that movie are now probably worse off than he is. Anthony Michael Hall has made somewhat of a comeback after his career disappeared for a while, although he kind of looks like a Bruce Banner experiment gone wrong these days. Then there's Kelly LeBrock, who was the "it girl" for about 10 minutes and was last seen on Celebrity Fit Club. And let's not forget Robert Downey, Jr. I think we all know what his various problems are. That just leaves Bill Paxton. He's had a decent career, I suppose. He really isn't a great actor though. Honestly, I think Chet in Weird Science was his best role ever.

Now it's March and I'll have to come up with another of these forgotten men pretty soon. Someone worthy of his own separate post. Someone like...Charlie Schlatter. Could I reuse him? Mmmmm....Schlatter.


blair said...

Soap was one of my favorite shows. I used to watch it with my parents. Remember when Burt used to wave his hands and make himself disappear? I didn't know Danny was Blossom's dad. That show sucked. I only watched it when there was nothing else on. It was painful. Very painful. Didn't Blossom have a friend named Six? I never got that? Why Six? Why not Two?


Happy Villain said...

I LOVED Soap! I had a crush on Danny, though Burt was the funniest thing ever, and loved the whole possessed baby thing with Corinne and the priest. THAT was funny stuff!

How about the DeLuise brothers? I crushed on them both in an older-brother's-best-friend kind of way.

BeckEye said...

Shhhhhhh.....I was gearing up to have Peter D. as Mr. March. ;)


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