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April 17, 2014

The Five: People who have been around longer than we realize

by Joel Keller, posted May 11th 2006 6:07PM
Kathy GriffinThere are some people who pop up on our TV screens who have always seemed to been around in one capacity or another. These people aren't stars, by any means; they're usually skulking around the edges of fame by being featured in reality shows, having supporting roles on sitcoms, hosting game shows, and working in commercials.

But at some point, you look up and realize that these people have been around for a long time, much longer than you ever thought their careers would have lasted, whether they were talented or not. Here are five people that fit that profile perfectly:

Kathy Griffin:
Can you believe that Kathy has been infecting our conciousness for ten years already? We first saw her playing the sassy red-head on Suddenly Susan, which stayed on the air for an inexplicable four years. Then she's done everything she can to keep herself on TV, from doing reality shows like Celebrity Mole to describing her eye sugery debacle on ET to doing the E! red carpet shows. In fact, being a D-lister has her niche, as she mentions over and over on her Bravo stand-up specials.

What's shocking is that she's built a career for herself while the other "sassy red-head" on NBC in that mid-90's time period, NewsRadio's Vicki Lewis, has fallen off the face of the earth.

David Spade: You may need to sit down for this: David Spade has been around for sixteen years. That's right, I said sixteen. He started as a featured player on SNL in 1990. When he left that show in 1996, he was on Just Shoot Me! for seven years. That's right, I said seven. Juuuust when you think his career might have been over then and there, he managed to hang on with a series of Capital One commercials and a supporting role on 8 Simple Rules that was created after John Ritter died. That's right, I said when John RItter died. Now he's on our screens on Comedy Central's The Showbiz Show, which for some reason won't die despite having no premise or seemingly funny jokes.

Seth Green: He's only 32, but he's got an impressively long acting career that stretches back to when he was 10. But most people first became aware of Seth when he played Oz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Considering that show started in 1997, that means Seth's been a known star for at least nine years. Since then, of course, he or his voice have been in a number of shows, from Family Guy to Greg The Bunny to the lamentable Four Kings. And he writes and produces the popular Adult Swim show Robot Chicken. So, it looks like Seth's going to be around for a while, which is a good thing for TV fans.

Chuck Woolery: Some people may know Chuck from Lingo, others from Love Connection. Still others may know him from other cult-classic game shows like Scrabble or Greed. But, outside of Bob and myself, I'm sure very few people remember that Chuck was the original host of the daytime Wheel of Fortune, which premiered in 1975. So that means -- you guessed it -- he's been telling us to come back in "two and two" for 31 years. Along with Bob Barker and Alex Trebek, Woolery is one of the very few of the "classic" game show hosts -- my definition being the ones that came to prominence in the '60s and '70s -- that's still working, mainly because he's still relatively young (65 is young compared to Barker!) and he's a pro's pro. Take a look at Lingo on GSN and see if you don't agree.

Christina Applegate: When I recently saw Christina starring in a Hanes commercial, I realized that she's been on TV for 19 years now, ever since Married... With Children started in 1987. After that show's 11-year run, she had two years on the crapcom Jesse and various guest turns, including two episodes as Jennifer Aniston's sister on Friends. She's stayed with us because she's been able to grow as a comedic actress, but remember what her talents were when she started on Married: she looked hot in a leather skirt and heels. In fact, through a lot of the early '90s, she was more known as a pinup than as an actress (I used to have a poster with her in ripped leather clothes and a hawk; let's just say I wasn't the only pimply college kid that had that up in his dorm room). But, close to two decades later, she's still here; heck, she's close to being a big movie star. Never thought that would happen in 1987.

Who do you think fills this category?  Let me know in the comments.

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ErricZ

The Showbiz Show is lame, there are maybe one or two funny lines in any given episode. *eyeroll*

May 12 2006 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

A lot of people are naming actors who have simply been around for awhile. The key here is to name people who have been around longer than we realize. Everybody knows that Letterman has been in the business for awhile now. Jon Stewart is a good one though. The Daily Show on recently (2000?) became a huge pop culture phenomenon, but he's been around much longer.

May 12 2006 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dina

Kathy Griffin was also on Seinfeld

May 12 2006 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
const

The Showbiz Show with David Spade is must see TV. It is hillarious.

If you like SNL just for the news, this is your show. Only a million times funnier.

May 12 2006 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

I go back and forth on David Spade but you're way off on The Showbiz Show. I think it is VERY funny. Finally, something that ISN'T proclaiming everyone in show biz as God's gift to us "mortals".

May 12 2006 at 8:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Kathy Griffin was in Pulp Fiction, which came out in 1994.

May 12 2006 at 5:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel

Thanks for the correction and the insult, J.D. I fixed the reference in the post.

May 11 2006 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bruce Bromley

Thankfully Vicki Lewis hasn't totally disappeared. From what I gather from listening to the NewsRadio commentaries she seems to doing musical theater. I think a production of Chicago was mentioned.

May 11 2006 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mase

how could you not mention Seth Green as Jennifer Love-Hewitt's sister on "The Byrds of Paradise"?

May 11 2006 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pip

Not only has David Spade been in showbiz for a while, he's basically been doing the Showbiz Show for 10+ years. Anyone remember Spade in America, or the Hollywood Minute from his SNL days? Practically the same thing.

May 11 2006 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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