It was not easy to accept, but eventually, the Internet moved on from John Hughes and 80s nostalgia, and turned their attention toward the 90s: The decade in which most savvy Internet users grew up. Check almost any celebrity, television, or movie website, and there’s bound to be scores of lists devoted to 90’s television. “Saved by the Bell” and “Beverly Hills 90210” are popular callbacks, as is “Seinfeld” and “Friends.” We do love to remember the 90s, don’t we?
However, there are those characters who made significant contributions to popular 90’s sitcoms who are nevertheless barely — if ever — remembered among these pop-culture lists. We remember Winnie Coooper. We remember Gunther. We remember Johnny Galecki’s run on “Roseanne,” etc., etc. But how many of you remember Ruth Cohen?
There are characters who are forgotten, who are not fondly remembered, and who never get to be the subject of these 90’s lists. Today, I aim to rectify that with this list of 10 Blind Spots in Our 90’s Sitcom Nostalgia: A Recollection of Characters Past who we really just didn’t care about that much (or, embarrassingly, confused with someone else).
1. Ruth Cohen — “Seinfeld” (Played by Ruth Cohen)
See that woman standing behind James Spader? The cashier. Her name was Ruth Cohen. Besides the four principal characters, Ruth Cohen was on more episodes of “Seinfeld” that anyone else: 102. Cohen died in 2008. RIP.
2. Heidi Keppert — “Home Improvement” (Played by Debbie Dunning)
Inexplicably one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1990s, most of the cast is regularly remembered except for one: Heidi Keppert: The Tool Time Girl. She appeared in 136 episodes.
3. Crystal Connor — “Roseanne” (Played by Natalie West)
Remember her? Barely, right? She was Roseanne’s friend turned Dan’s step-mother. She was in 84 episodes (Additional Fun Fact: Joss Whedon wrote four episodes of “Roseanne”)
4. Nicky and Alex Katsopolis — “Full House” (Played by Blake Tuomy-Wilhoit and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit)
I completely blanked on the fact that Jesse and Rebecca had their own twins. They were on 56 episodes apiece. I don’t remember a one. Here they are then and more recently.
5. Waldo Geraldo Faldo — “Family Matters” (Played by Shawn Harrison).
“Family Matters” was ostensibly a show about the Winslows, but it was Urkel — the nerdy neighbor — who is always remembered most. But who remembers Waldo, the former bully turned idiot. No one, despite the fact he was in 84 episodes.
6. Becky Slater — “Wonder Years” (Played by Crystal McKellar)
Of course we all remember Winnie Cooper. She was our first love, and thanks to her love of Math, Danica McKellar is still seen around the Internets occasionally. But what about poor Becky Slater, the one that Kevin dumped for Winnie. Some of us had a soft spot for her, too. when we could remember her name. (10 episodes)
7. Fran and Lisa — “Mad About You” (Played by Leila Kinzey and Anne Ramsay)
As far as supporting characters go, I remember Ira (John Pankow) and I remember Nat Ostertag (Hank Azaria), even though Azario was only in 14 episodes. I have a vague recollection of Lisa, but almost none of Fran.
8. Beth - “Newsradio” (Played by Vicki Lewis)
I loved “Newsradio,” but I haven’t seen it in years, probably since it originally ran. This is probably a horrible thing to say, but it’s only now that I realize that Beth was not played by Kathy Griffin. I just thought she’d had a lot of plastic surgery since her “Newsadio” days. Just me? I hate myself a little right now. (96 episodes)
9. Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell— “Sister Sister” (Played by Tia and Tamera Mowry)
Tia and Tamera Mowry won a Kid’s Choice Award in 1995, 1996, 1997 and were elevated to Hall of Fame status in 1998. The show was regularly nominated for Best Kids’ Show. I’ve never heard of this show until today. It starred Jackee. (119 episodes)
10. Wanda Plenn — “Doogie Howser, MD” (Played by Lisa Dean Ryan)
I was fond of “Doogie Howser,” and totally remember Max Casella. However, I completely forgot that Doogie had his own Winnie Cooper. (46 episodes)