Before They Were Stars (2-for-1 Special): Leah Remini and Vivica A. Fox on “Who’s the Boss?”

You may be familiar with the term “back-door pilot”, where an established TV show will spend an entire episode focusing on some secondary characters who are about to get their own spin-off series. In 1989, this episode of Who’s the Boss? put the spotlight on some of Alyssa Milano’s college friends, who soon got a spin-off show, Living Dolls. Two of these characters are played by Leah Remini and Vivica A. Fox in early roles. Living Dolls received mostly negative reviews and was cancelled after only 12 episodes, but the series did contain another historic “Before They Were Stars” moment. After the pilot episode, Vivica A. Fox was replaced by none other than Halle Berry in her very first acting role. Sadly, at the moment, there is no footage of her to be found on Youtube.

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Last Link of the Day: Brian Williams Raps

Jimmy Fallon’s masterful editing team is turning the news into rap, once again.

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The Hong Kong Massacre

I usually have an instant aversion to anything that’s an obvious ripoff, but I’m making exception when it comes to The Hong Kong Massacre. It’s pretty clear that this game takes a lot of its inspiration from Hotline Miami, but it’s added just enough different material to make it interesting and appealing. Non-pixelated graphics, dual wielding (although that feature appears to be coming in Hotline Miami 2), and bullet-time all make this seem like a game full of single-take John Woo action sequences. Which is just fine by me.

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Fixin’ It with Soos

Gravity Falls season two can’t start soon enough, in my opinion, but I love that Alex Hirsch and company are keeping us entertained in the interim with these shorts. First there was the Dipper’s Guide to the Unexplained series, then there was Mabel’s Guide to Life, and now Fixin’ It with Soos. I wonder if Grunkle Stan is going to get a series like this.

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Before They Were Stars: 10-Year Old Elisabeth Moss Does a Voice on “Animaniacs”

During her childhood, Elisabeth Moss was quite a busy voice-over actress, providing her vocals for such diverse animated projects as Frosty Returns and Batman: The Animated Series. In 1993, at the age of 10, she also did an episode of Animaniacs, voicing a young girl who is forced to escape Nazi-occupied Poland.

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Last Link of the Day: Mini Masters

If professional golf was more like this, I would watch it all the time.

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Welcome to the Basement: Sunrise

I know that I’ve been absent for the weekend, but what can I say? I’m a lackadaisical kind of a dude. Anyway, here’s the new Welcome to the Basement, where Matt and Craig review the fantastic film by F. W. Murnau Sunrise. It’s a thing of beauty, I say. Be sure to submit suggestions for what they should watch for their 50th episode!

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Before They Were Stars: 17-Year Old Charlton Heston in a Silent Film

Every year on Easter weekend, it’s an annual tradition for millions of people to tune in to watch Charlton Heston chewing the scenery when The Ten Commandments is shown on television. However, 15 years before he was Moses, Charlton Heston made his acting debut in an experimental silent film called Peer Gynt. Heston was only a 17-year old high school student when he was cast in the title role of this 1941 adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Norwegian play, and it’s a trip seeing him act without any dialogue. Incidentally, the director of Peer Gynt was David Bradley, who would later give Heston his first Hollywood role in the 1950 screen adaptation of Julius Caesar. Heston’s career soon took off while Bradley went on to direct They Saved Hitler’s Brain.

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Before They Were Stars: Alice Cooper Performs as The Spiders

It’s always amusing to find early recordings from famous musicians and discovering that they once performed a different style of music than what they’re known for. During his teen years, before he developed his shock rock persona, the future Alice Cooper was still known by his birth name, Vincent Furnier, and he and some of his future bandmates decided to form a group called The Spiders. The band’s music was mostly inspired by The Beatles and they released a few singles during the 1960s. The Spiders had just graduated from high school when they recorded this 1966 single, “No Price Tag”, which bears very little resemblance to the iconic Alice Cooper music you know and love.

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Before They Were Stars: Christopher Meloni on “Dinosaurs”

I’m sure if you grew up in the early nineties, you’ll probably remember the live-action sitcom, Dinosaurs. One of the recurring supporting characters who appeared on a few episodes of the show was Spike, the delinquent schoolmate of Robbie Sinclair. Imagine my surprise when I recently discovered that Spike was voiced by a then-unknown Christopher Meloni. You’ll probably recognize Meloni’s voice in this scene as he pushes a prehistoric version of steroids.

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