In many ways, the early 1990s was a “golden age” of the television sitcom. Younger TV fans might not remember, but in the early “˜90s the internet had not yet had an effect on the world of entertainment, and most people did not have access to a vast number of television channels. This meant that shows that were popular ““ especially sitcoms ““ were popular in ways that are rare in the modern entertainment landscape. Sitcom stars often became pop culture icons.
However, in the last two decades, some of the biggest “˜90s television stars have managed to hold on to a degree of fame, but some others have dropped almost completely out of the public eye. This is a look at where some of most well-known TV stars of that era are today. You should recognize most of them if you choose the right T.V. service and opted for the luxury of cable or not.
Originally a “Perfect Strangers” spinoff, by 1991 “Family Matters” was on its way to becoming not only a smash hit, but a cultural phenomenon. Although he was not technically part of the core family group of the show, the character of Steve Urkel became a full-fledged icon ““ so much so that even people who had never seen “Family Matters” were familiar with the character, and those that did watch the show would often refer to it as simply “Urkel”.
Jaleel White played a completely different character in the sitcom “Grown Ups”, which debuted in 1999; a year after “Family Matters” ran its final episode. Since then, White has mostly avoided sitcoms but has maintained a robust career in television, including roles on shows such as “House” and “Boston Legal”. These days, you can catch Jaleel White hosting the game show “Black Out” on SyFy.
There are few shows that exemplified the early to mid “˜90s better than “Blossom”. Running from 1991 to 1995, “Blossom” both absorbed and influenced the styles and aesthetics of the time. While Mayim Bialik played the fashionable title character, Joey Lawrence, played his namesake Joey. Although the characters full name was Joseph Russo, the character became famous for being the airheaded “Joey”, with one of the simplest catch phrases in television history: “Whoa”.
Lawrence also struck out as a recording artist at the height of his fame, and his album “Joey Lawrence” was moderately successful. In addition to several film roles, since “Blossom” was canceled Lawrence has made several guest appearances on shows like “CSI: NY” and can now be seen ““ along with Melissa Joan Hart ““ as one of the titular characters on “Melissa and Joey” on ABC Family.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar may have been the main heartthrob of “Saved by the Bell” as Zach, but the character with arguably the most pathos, at least in the main cast, was nerdy Screech played by Dustin Diamond. Screechs unrequited crush on Lisa Tuttle, played by Lark Voorhies, was one of the most compelling ongoing themes of the massively popular series.
Unlike many other sitcom stars of the early “˜90s, Diamond has remained fairly prominent in the public eye, appearing on reality shows such as “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” and “Celebrity Fit Club”. Dustin Diamond is also known for his work as a musician and stand-up comedian.
The best part of having a good cable package is that you can catch all of these stars and more in the roles that made them famous, as well as in newer and sometimes more interesting roles in television and movies.