Saturday, September 21, 2013

Erin Moran

Erin Moran is a former child star best known for her role on the hit 1970s-1980s sitcom, Happy Days.  Moran went from one of the hottest young TV stars in the early 1980s until Happy Days was cancelled, at which point her career completely derailed until she attempted an-ill advised comeback on Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp nearly 25 years later.  [Summaries of the Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp episodes may be found here.]

Erin Moran was born on October 18, 1960 in Burbank, California and broke into the acting business at a young age.  As a 7-year-old child, she had a recurring role on the TV show, Daktari, appearing in 15 episodes during the fourth season of the show about a veterinarian running an animal study center in Africa.  Moran followed up on this initial success with minor roles in several other TV shows, such as Death Valley Days, My Three Sons, Family Affair, Gunsmoke, and The Waltons.  Moran also appeared in several motion pictures such as 80 Steps to Jonah, The Happy Ending, and Watermelon Man.

Moran's star was rising as she was becoming known as a child actress, leading to her being cast in her signature role as Joanie Cunningham on the long-running hit 1950's-era nostalgia sitcom, Happy Days, in 1974.

Happy Days was one of the most popular TV shows during its original airing of 11 seasons between 1974 and 1984.  Moran was a regular on the show as the young teenage daughter of the Cunnginham family for all but the 10th season of the show, at which point she was cast in a lead role in the unsuccessful spin-off show, Joanie Loves Chachi.

Joanie Cunningham was a somewhat annoyed, yet wholesome, young woman on Happy Days and a popular character among American youths.  Erin Moran must have thought that she was on top of the world by the early 1980s as she undoubtedly made millions during her time on Happy Days and became incredibly famous.

However, Moran was in for a rude awakening after Happy Days was cancelled in 1984 as her career quickly derailed.  Moran appeared in two episodes of The Love Boat in 1985 and in an episode of Murder, She Wrote in 1986.  Moran has appeared as herself in TV shows such as Hollywood Squares and in the movie Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.  However, Moran had to wait 12 long years until 1998 until appearing in her next role other than as herself in a single episode of Diagnosis Murder.  Unfortunately, her role in Diagnosis Murder did not reinvigorate her career as she must have thought it would.

With her back up against the wall, Moran made one last-ditch effort to return to the limelight by agreeing to appear in 2008's Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp.  Moran also appeared in a single episode of Scott Baio Is 45... And Single the prior year, in 2007. Moran embarassed herself on Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp, coming across as almost as washed up as the poster child of washed up actors, Dustin Diamond.  Moran was the only contestant on the show who didn't seem to take the show seriously as show lost only 3 pounds, a mere 2.4% of her body weight, during the show.  Her lack of effort completely screwed over her own team, costing them a victory in a competition to lose weight and body fat.  Her lackadaisical effort cost she and her three teammates about $150,000 in prizes, as I discuss in detail in the summary of the last episode of the season on which she appeared.

During Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp, Moran all but admitted that she didn't care about losing weight and claimed that she only came onto the show because she needed the money.

Her appearance on Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp did not reinvigorate her career the way she must have hoped it would.  She did appear in minor roles in the TV movie Mother Goose Parade, the TV show The Bold and Beautiful, and the movie Not Another B Movie, in 2009-10.  However, she has not had any other roles since 2010.  She was rumored to be appearing in the fourth season of Arrested Development in 2013, although she did not end up appearing in the show.

As Moran's career floundered, it appears as though her personal life has also floundered, possibly as a result of burning many bridges while she was at the height of her career.  Moran supposedly appeared on an episode of the Maury Povich Show and claimed that she was "molested" by several male cast members when she was on Happy Days.  However, Moran neglected to corroborate these claims and she disappeared after a return from a commercial break.  Moran later claimed that her own family, not any other actors, abused her

Moran also joined in a lawsuit with several other former Happy Days cast members, claiming that they not been paid for merchandising revenues owed under their contracts.  Moran eventually received a $65,000 settlement.  Unfortunately, however, the windfall did not last long for Moran.

In 2012 it was reported that Moran was broke and lost her California home to foreclosure, forcing her to move in with her husband's mother-in-law in a trailer park in Indiana.  It was also reported in 2012 that Moran flashed her saggy breasts while at a bar in 2012 and apparently nobody knew who she was!  One of the bar's patron's reportedly said, "Who the heck is Erin Moran?"

Moran also supposedly really boozed things up, to the annoyance of her mother-in-law.  The mother-in-law eventually decided that she had enough of Moran's "hard-partying ways" and kicked her out near the end of 2012, rendering Moran homeless, causing her to bounce from hotel-to-hotel.

There is apparently no love lost between Moran and her former Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi co-star Scott Baio.  Baio stated that he knew about Moran's personal troubles, but did not want to help her.  One can only speculate as to what Moran must have done to cause this lack of concern from Baio.

Erin Moran was once one of the most promising young actresses in Hollywood between the mid-1970s and hte mid-1980s.  However, she apparently burned too many bridges and spent her money unwisely, resulting in her being essentially homeless and destitute today.  Accordingly, there can be no doubt that she is one hell of a washed-up celebrity!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dustin Diamond (2008 Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp Appearance - Episode VIII)

Episode VIII - April 27, 2008

I apologize for the belatedness of this recap for the season finale of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp. I missed the episode when it originally aired on VH1 in April and have not yet seen it in a re-run. Luckily, however, VH1 posted video of this episode on its website.

The season finale of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp began with 7 of the 8 contestants riding on the bus toward the boot camp site. Not surprisingly, the missing contestant was Dustin Diamond. About Diamond’s absence, Erin Moran, the second most washed-up celebrity on the show, said, “I really didn’t care that Dustin wasn’t there.

Erin also asked the other cast members whether they thought that her fans would be upset with her for admitted during the previous episode that she only came on the show for a paycheck. The other cast members jumped on Erin for what she had admitted in the previous episode and Tina Yothers essentially told Erin Moran that she let down women for what she had done.

After arriving at the boot camp site, the cast members exited the bus and lined up in front of drill instructor Harvey Walden. Harvey told Erin that he was shocked by her confession in the previous episode, but that he still had faith in her. Tocarra Jones gave Erin a disgusted look while Harvey was talking to her and said in a later interview, “Erin, she frustrates me so bad. Like she is a teammate, 100% when the camera are on. But they turn them [sic] cameras off and she go [sic] home, she doesn’t care.

Harvey then said to the contestants, “Dustin was only here for a paycheck as well. Now he wanted to get paid in advance for this week’s fit camp [episode]. That didn’t happen. So as a result, he’s not here.

About Diamond’s antics, A.J. Benza said, “Dustin makes his own problems. You have to trust people. If they’re gonna pay you, they’re gonn a pay you. .. It’s a professional world. These aren’t loan sharks.

The teams then had separate team meetings. The blue team (i.e., Diamond’s team) went into the mess hall to talk. The team was pissed that Diamond was missing. Brian Dunkelman also mentioned that everyone on his team ate nothing but chicken, drank a gallon of water, and did a lot of cardio during the previous week in an effort to drop body fat.

Erin Moran’s red team convened in the lounge. Her teammate mentioned all of the intense cardio they had done during the previous week and then asked Erin what she had done to lose weight. Erin mentioned that she signed some posters for fans and did short treadmill workouts. Willie Aames and Tocarra were clearly upset with Erin’s lack of effort. Tocarra said that Erin seemed like she didn’t “give a shit.” Her other teammates said that Erin shouldn’t win any grand prize if her team were to win the overall competition; instead, they argued that Tina Yothers deserved Erin’s winning share.

Put on the spot, Erin initially seemed to agree that she didn’t deserve to share in a winning prize. However, when Willie later told the blue team about this plan, Erin said that she hadn’t agreed to it and her teammates eventually dropped the idea. In any event, Tina Yothers said she wouldn't go along with the scheme because she already had her own team.

Diamond eventually showed up at the boot camp and sat by himself in his barracks alone, annoying everyone on the show. Tina Yothers said that Diamond had one episode left to make a mark … “a mark of bullshit.

A.J. went over to the barracks to talk to Diamond in an effort to convince Diamond to participate. Dunkelman said, “A.J. went to see Dustin while he was on the phone with his lawyer who, by the way, is probably ready to kill himself by now.

When Diamond saw A.J. enter the barracks, he said, “This is about business. This is about payment … I got to go with what my lawyer says on this.

A.J. was upset with Diamond and told him that he would get paid. He said, “Let’s just go, it’s a fucking kiddie race … it’s schoolyard shit. Let’s go play … be a man for fucking 25 minutes … come on, man. I’ve got girls running faster than you!” A.J. then stormed out of the barracks, slamming the door on his way out. Diamond eventually wandered over to the lounge where everyone was waiting for him.

In a subsequently filmed interview, Diamond said,

You know, it’s ‘show business,’ not ‘show charity.’ So you’ve got to take care of business first. … Everyone was pissed off at me, but I came back as a professional to honor my obligation. … I always honor my obligations.

The red and blue teams lined up for a fitness challenge involving an obstacle course and a tower to climb.  Each person had to complete each obstacle.  The teams were informed that the team that won the obstacle course would win five "Fit Factor" points. 

The teams had to run over logs, climb a net, climb across monkey bars, perform a mud crawl under rope, run through tires, and climb a tower.  Erin Moran was unable to run up balance beam log and her team was accessed a one minute penalty.  The blue team was accessed 7 minutes in penalties and took 24:13, for a total penalty-adjusted time of 31:13.  The red team was accessed only 1 minute in penalties, but took 30:37 to complete the obstacle course, for a penalty-adjusted time of 31:37.

Tocarra was very upset that the blue team won the 5 Fit Factor points, because she thought it was an unfair advantage.

After the challenge, everyone was served dinner and then Harvey Walden showed up at the dinner and walked everyone outside to the woods for a challenge.  They met a man who walked across a bed of broken glass and also jumped on the glass.  The man challenged everyone to walk across the glass.  AJ Benza went across the glass first, followed by Diamond.  Eventually everyone walked across the glass.

On the final night before the last weigh-in, Willie Aames and AJ were shown exercising.  Erin Moran asked Aames to get off the treadmill so that she could get on the treadmill and was upset when he didn't want to get off.  Aames then got off the treadmill and walked up a hill outside.  When the blue team was informed that Aames was outside walking, Diamond justified his own laziness by saying, "That's overkill, man.  I was tempted to go up the hill with him just 'cause I don't think it would be expected, but that's invading on sleep time and sleep time is very important."

The next morning, a mariachi band woke everyone up so they could do one final workout prior to the final weigh-in.  The final workout started with boxing drills involving punching bags, jogging, jumping rope.  Diamond whined throughout the exercise, claiming "I can't do it."   Next, the contestants had to run while wearing a backpacking contain the exact amount of weight that each individual contest had lost so far in the season.  Finally, Sommore and Diamond each had to climb the tower from a workout in the fourth episode. Both were able to successfully climb the tower.

Finally, everyone showed up for the final weigh-in.  During Willie Aames's weigh-in, Willie was so satisfied with his performance on the show that he thanked the judges and then told Drill Instructor Harvey Walden that he wanted to give him something.  Walden became visibly concerned as Aames took off his pants, but was relieved when he discovered that Willie did so to reveal a creepy tattoo of the drill instruction that Aames had drawn on his leg.

Diamond stepped on the scale and discovered that he weighed 194 lbs and lost 3 pounds.  He closed out the season with a total loss of 23 pounds.  During the show, Diamond lost 10.6% of his body weight and 11.5% of his body fat during the show.

Erin Moran was the last to weigh in.  She gained 1 pound during the final weigh-in, much to the chagrin of her teammates on the red team - her teammates were visibly upset when her poor performance was revealed.   Willie Aames and Tocarra Jones both told Moran that they were pissed off at her performance.  She lost only 3 pounds during the season.  She lost 2.4% of her body weight and 9.2% of her body fat.

After everyone was weighed, Ant revealed the Fit Factor scores for each team, which was calculated by summing the % weight lost and the % body fat lost for each member of each team.  Diamond's blue team had a Fit Factor of 96.8, whereas Erin Moran's red team had a Fit Factor of 100.4.  Ant then added the 5 Fit Factor points that the blue team won during the final challenge and revealed that the blue team won the competition with a total Fit Factor score of 101.8.  When the results were read, the red team appeared to be shocked and it was clear that Toccarra, AJ Benz, and Willie Aames were visibly upset with Erin Moran for costing them the victory, which effectively cost the red team at least $150k in prizes.

After viewing the 2008 Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp show, it is clear that Erin Moran is almost as washed up as Dustin Diamond, the true benchmark of washed-up celebrities!

**Be sure to check out my other Dustin Diamond entries:
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode I
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode II
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode III
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode IV
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode V
Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode VI

Dustin Diamond - Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp - Episode VII

Dustin Diamond - (2007 Celebrity Fit Club Appearance)
Dustin Diamond - The Early Years
Dustin Diamond (2000-Present)

Friday, May 10, 2013

David Garrison

David Garrison is an actor best know for co-starring during the first four seasons of the FOX sitcom Married ... With Children from 1987-1990. Garrison's hubris, however, apparently got the better of him, as he left the show thinking he move move on to bigger and better things, yet his career practically plummeted off the face of the earth.

Garrison was born on June 30, 1952 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and graduated summa cum laude from Boston University's School of Fine Arts. His first acting role with in the 1980 TV movie, A Day with Conrad Green. He subsequently appeared in minor roles in the 1980 Stephen King movie, Creepshow, and appeared in a 1984 episode of Remington Steele. Garrison finally caught his first decent break in 1984 when he was cast in a role in the sitcom, It's Your Move, where he co-starred with Jason Bateman. It's Your Move was cancelled after only one season, but it lasted long enough to catch the eyes of the casting director for Married ... With Children.

Garrison played the role of Steve Rhoades, the next-door-neighbor to the Bundy family on Married ... With Children beginning in 1987 on the then-fledgling Fox Network. The Fox Network was launched in October 1986 as the "fourth network" to compete with the big-three national television networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS. The Fox Network was in desperate need of a hit to allow it to succeed on a nation-wide basis and Married ... With Children was arguably the network's first hit TV show. Married ... With Children was often a raunchy, yet genuinely funny show that offered a warped view of the American family that was not being shown on network TV at the time. The show was known for its frequent use of "toilet humor" and was particularly popular among adolescent boys.

Steve Rhoades and his wife Marcy Rhoades were successful bankers who would frequently stop by the Bundy household practically on a weekly basis. Steve Rhoades was a straight-laced character, although Al Bundy, the patriarch of the Bundy household (played by Ed O'Neill), often got Steve Rhoades to loosen up and left him mixed up in various hijinks.

Although Married ... With Children started weakly, it slowly began to gain nationwide appeal. Ironically, the show became more popular as it became the well-known target of a boycott by a viewer who was offended by a particularly raunchy show where Al Bundy and Steve Rhoades visit an adult store to purchase bras in the episode entitled, "Her Cups Runneth Over." By the end of the 4th season, the Nielson ratings for Married ... With Children had reached #50, up from #142 in its first season.

Despite the increasing popularity and success of Married ... With Children, Garrison abruptly left the show after the fourth season ended in 1990. Rumors circulated at the time that Garrison was sick of the raunchy material and thought that he could do better if he left. He reportedly asked the producers to let him out of his contract so that he could act on Broadway. The producers granted his request and allowed him to leave. However, instead of appearing on Broadway, Garrison's first role after leaving Married ... With Children was a role in another sitcom, entitled Working It Out. Working It Out was an unpopular show which appeared on NBC for only one season.

The producers of Married ... With Children must have been upset with Garrison for appearing on another sitcom right after leaving the show. However, any anger must have quickly dissipated as Married ... With Children continued to improve in popularity when Ted McGinley was added to the cast as Marcy Rhoades's new husband, Jefferson D'Arcy. Garrison certainly could not have predicted that Married ... With Children would air for another 7 seasons and must have made the series regulars millionaires many times over. Garrison's career after leaving Married ... With Children did not exactly turn out as well as Garrison could have predicted. Instead of becoming a star on another sitcom or on Broadway, Garrison's career went into a tailspin as he all but left the public eye. Garrison has had a number of Broadway roles over the last 20+ years, but he is not a star.  He has appeared sporadically in productions such as Silence! The Musical, Wicked, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine, Titanic, Torch Song Trilogy, The Pirates of Penzance, and Bells are Ringing.

Garrison was willing to return to a Married ... With Children spinoff in 1995 when he appeared in the backdoor pilot for Radio Free Trumaine, in which Garrison would have reprised his role of Steve Rhoades as the dean of a fictitious college. Unfortunately for Garrison, however, the show was not picked up.


David Garrison threw away a successful career as an actor on Married ... With Children because he apparently thought he was too good for the show. However, the departure proved to be the worst decision of his professional career as Married ... With Children lasted for seven years after he left, yet his Broadway and subsequent sitcom career have essentially gone nowhere. Accordingly, there should be no doubt that David Garrison is one washed-up celebrity!