If there's one thing I like to do for my readers, it's to shamelessly resort to internet stalking to get answers to the hard-hitting questions that are on everyone's minds. Such as, "Whatever happened to the guy who played Kelly in The Bad News Bears"?
You know who I'm talking about. He was the little shit hotshot player who rode around on a motorbike and kept taunting Tatum O'Neal because she was a GIRL. I think he drove a van with an airbrushed desert scene on the side in the sequel. All I really remember about it is the Bears made it all the way to some championship at the Astrodome and there was a "let them play" chant at some point. Didn't Corey Feldman play him in the TV version? Anyway, his real name is Jackie Earle Haley and you may also remember him as Moocher in "Breaking Away," and as the male nymphomaniac that upstaged Tom Cruise in "Losin' It."
So just as I was preparing to post on this all-important topic, I check out the newly announced Oscar noms and guess who is up for Best Supporting Actor: JACKIE EARLE HALEY! Isn't that too weird? I'd say it's a one in a million chance that something like this happens again. It's like saying, "Hey, remember that annoying kid that played the brother on 'Small Wonder'?" then the next day reading that Jerry Supiran has just won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his groundbreaking development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including (but not limited to) the optical frequency comb technique. (And for the record, I looked up his name...my no-lifed-ness does have a limit!) So if Jackie wins, he should totally thank me in his acceptance speech because of this convaluted psychic ability I seem to have.
Turns out Jackie had been doing pretty well even before his award nomination. I looked him up online and found this website for his production company. He's a very successful commercial director and seems to be a very respected personality in the entertainment industry. And good for him. After working with Tatum O'Neal, Tom Cruise and Danny Bonnaduche it would seem that this is one child star that beat the odds.
So now that my heart has been warmed, I have another burning question for you: whatever happened to Danny Cooksey? Remember him as the precocious redheaded moppet on "Dif'rent Strokes" who was quite possibly the number one most annoying person on television ever (with the exception of Scrappy Doo)? Oh, god, I shouldn't have asked because I got curious and looked him up...he's still acting! And his latest star turn is as "Minnesota Drunk Slob" in the fabled blockbuster "Bottoms Up". You may also recognize his legendary voice work as "Pizza Man/Agent Disembodied Head" on "Invader ZIM". I had no idea that was him and I Tivo "Invader ZIM" every day (ha, ha).
Oh yeah, and he's also in a band. How shocking. And they're called Bad 4 Good. I don't think they are anything like Color Me Badd; by the looks of that picture my guess is that they are going for a Blind Melon-meets-Silverchair vibe. And I wouldn't want to see any of those guys shirtless either.
You know what would be really awesome? If Bad 4 Good went on tour with Thruster (fronted by former "Family Ties" brat Brian Bonsall), Elephone (featuring Ryan Lambert of "Kids, Incorporated") and Corey Feldman's band. It could be the Back in the Biz Tour or something like that...my god, that's such a great idea. I think this needs to be a whole separate post.
If you can think of any other former contestents on "Battle of the Network Stars" I can do a "Where are they now?" on, let me know via the comments section. Suddenly my interest has been piqued. What about hunky Tyler Benchfield from "Life Goes On"? Or the kids from "Alf"? Or the guy who played Beans Baxter? And how many more examples of bad television can I admit to watching? So many questions, so few answers.