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October 8, 2015

The nine most terrific television twins

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 5th 2007 10:41AM

Mary-Kate and Ashley OlsenWelcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

In honor of my own twins, Jason and Victoria, who turned the Big One on April Fool's Day (no fooling), here's a not-so-comprehensive list of television's most famous twins.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen -- Oh please, like they wouldn't be at the top of this list! I can't remember a set of television twins who went on to become such huge media moguls. You scoff at me? Well, when is the last time you heard about Christopher and Clayton Griggs, who portrayed Nelson Tibideaux, son to Sondra and Elvin, on The Cosby Show? I rest my case. Anyhowsit, due to some savvy investing and product placement, these two girls are worth something like a kazillion dollars (ballpark estimate -- I lost count after a jazillion). Now, if they could only stay out of the tabloids for five minutes to enjoy all of their success.

Zach and Cody Martin -- Well, they certainly aren't Mary-Kate and Ashley but Dylan and Cole Sprouse, the stars of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, are certainly moving up in the world. Their show is on The Disney Channel so it's promoted out the ying-yang with a webpage all their own featuring downloads and games. The show has also spawned two video games for Nitendo-based systems. By the way, Suite Life is only one of three Disney Channel shows that have gone over the 65-episode limit. I smell Dylan and Cole direct-to-DVD adventures very soon.

The Wonder Twins -- Ah, Zan and Jayna. So much better than the Super Friends former teen sidekicks -- Wendy, Marvin and Wonderdog. If I'm not mistaken, in an early episode of The All-New Super Friends Hour Jayna turned into a dragon and devoured the three alive. Then again, I may have just imagined that one Saturday morning while overdosed on Lucky Charms. I believe that, subconsciously, Jayna was a symbol of the women's equal rights movement of the 70's. Think about it: Jayna could turn into any type of animal she could think of while Zan could turn into, um, water, and had to be carried around in a bucket by their pet space-monkey Gleek. Can anyone say Gloria Steinem?

Brenda and Brandon Walsh -- Probably the coolest pair of fraternal twins on television. They were smart, they were popular, and had just enough of that mid-western charm about them that they weren't totally sucked into the Beverly Hills lifestyle. And then Shannen Doherty, who played Brenda Walsh, left the show in a hissy fit, and Brandon practically became a only child overnight. As the years went by you could hear the other actors on the show mutter 'Brenda who?' under their breaths.

Buffy and Jody Davis -- During their days on Family Affair Johnny Whitaker and Anissa Jones could certainly go mano-a-mano with Mary-Kate and Ashley in the battle to determine who was the cutest. Especially Anissa, who played Buffy on the series. Anyone who claims that their doll speaks to them is either adorable or a bit psychopathic (depending if the doll says 'Peas are blechhy!' or 'Satan says kill them all!'). In real life the lives of Buffy and Jody took very different tracks. After Family Affair Whitaker starred in Sigmund and the Sea Monsters as well as a musical version of Tom Sawyer. In 1976 Jones was found dead of a 'accidental' drug overdose.

Patty and Kathy Lane -- They're cousins! Identical cousins! Well, maybe in looks. But in personality they were two different people. Patty was your typical American teenager who loved boys, ice cream and rock n' roll. Kathy was from Scotland and loved classical music and the ballet. Why were they so identical? Well, it turns out that Patty and Kathy's fathers were identical twin brothers. What type of crazy DNA is working there! Unless, Could the same woman have been impregnated by the fathers of both Patty and Kathy? Sounds like and episode of Law & Order: SVU to me.

Samantha Stevens and Serena -- Talk about polar opposites! Samantha Stevens was the loving mother to Tabitha and Adam and the extremely patient wife to that idiot Darrin. Cousin Serena, on the other hand, was the ultimate example of 1960's free love and hippyness. Plus, she just adored messing with Derwood's mind on numerous occasions. It may be that Serena was the true embodiment of Elizabeth Montgomery, who portrayed both characters. It seems that Montgomery had an affair with a director of the Bewitched during the eighth season.

Steve Urkel and Stefan Urquelle -- Once again DNA gone wild, but in a more controlled, scientific kind of way. Stefan Urquelle was the suave, sophisticated, extremely popular version of uber-nerd Steve Urkel who eventually came to life during one of the Urkman's experiments. Stefan eventually wooed Steve's sweetheart, Laura Winslow. However, through some weird twist of fate, Laura realized that her heart belong to the suspender-wearing Steve and not the Armani-wearing Stefan. Just goes to show you, all you pretty boys, who has the power in this world. Power to the Geek!

Phoebe and Ursula Buffay -- Believe it or not, Phoebe wasn't the first Buffay to be introduced. Several years before Ursala appeared on Mad About You as the ditsy waitress at Paul and Jamie's favorite restaurant. We didn't know then how cunningly evil she was. She stole Phoebe's first boyfriend and then entered her close circle of friends by dating Joey. It was also revealed that she was in the pornography business, which really isn't evil. It's just that society has branded the porn movie as something filthy rather than seeing it as a representation of disintegration of American social values. That's what I heard anyway . . . it's not like I've seen any porn films. Well, not recently. Um, okay, Ursula is totally evil. Let's just move along know, shall we?

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Ah, yes the Segal twins, I loved that show!!! Are they related to Katey Segal???

April 07 2007 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey, my mostly identical twin daughters were born on my middle daughter's 4th birthday - 25 years ago this summer! Cool, huh!

April 07 2007 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Your twins were born on April Fools Day? Cool! My twins were born on Leap Year ;)

April 07 2007 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why not include Brittany and Cynthia Daniel. They are the smokingest most hottest twins on tv!

April 06 2007 at 2:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

And who can forget Jeannie (Barbara Eden) and her scheming sister Jeannie (Barbara Eden). The major difference is that Jeannie was blonde, wore a pink harem outfit and had this innocent sort of high pitched voice while Jeannie was dark haired, wore green, and spoke in this sort of sexy purr. I definitely wanted Green Jeannie and Serena. At least I did when I was old enough to want such things.

April 05 2007 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you for not putting up Tia and Tamara.

April 05 2007 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Babs: Right. But Richard was right, too. As with the Olson twins playing Michelle Tanner on Full House, they had twin babies, the Griggs, play one TV kid. Jalese and Janelle Grays played Winnie. So it took two sets of twins to play one set for Winnie and Nelson. I guess it's so they can swap them out if one of the babies is being moody during filming.

April 05 2007 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A polite clarification. Sondra and Elvin had twins on The Cosby Show. Nelson had a twin sister, Winnie. They were named for the Mandelas.

April 05 2007 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hank & Dean Venture, Data & Lor from Star Trek: The Next Generation (if that counts), Michael & Lindsay Bluth, and Sweet Dee and Dennis from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia come to mind.


April 05 2007 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone remember the Segal twins from the 80s show Double Trouble? They were redhead girls - one smart and conservative, the other wild and crazy. I think it was on just when my hormones kicked in.

April 05 2007 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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