A short history of child stars TIM CARMODY · AUG 27 2013
There's a history here.
*Billy Ray Cyrus enters the office* *browser windows close throughout building* *6 people crowded around an iPad suddenly scatter*— netw3rk (@netw3rk) August 26, 2013
Nobody seems to remember when Shirley Temple celebrated her 19th birthday by twerking on the Jack Benny Goodtime Radio Hour.— Joel Mathis (@joelmmathis) August 26, 2013
It's not only uncanny when performers we first knew as girls age into women; it's awkward when boys become men, too. Molly Shannon used to have the same agent as Gary Coleman (story starts around 2:40).
(Shannon tells a longer/uncensored version of this story on Marc Maron's WTF podcast.)
Clearly, not everyone gets to have Ron Howard's or Judy Garland's career. (And even Judy Garland's life was the opposite of a success story.)
But what about the alternative? What if child stars never changed their acts, and just aged in place? Wouldn't that be equally unsettling? On Comedy Bang Bang, Scott Aukerman, Reggie Watts, Seth Rogen, and the great Bob Odenkirk try to answer that question through the life of champion birdcaller Tommy Chalders.
Actually, maybe that would be beautiful. I wish Judy Garland had lived to sing "Over the Rainbow" at an auto show.
But time never stands still for us to paint its portrait. As Marshall McLuhan would, and, what the hell, very well might have said: "we look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We twerk backwards into the future."