One of my very favorite early television series was a show on Fox called Parker Lewis Can’t Lose (or simply Parker Lewis in its final year), a show that ran for three seasons. It was basically a Ferris Bueller’s Day’s Off TV series, or a more sophisticated, more clever, and better produced Saved by the Bell that you could appreciate unironically. Also, Milla Jovovich was in the pilot (she played Robin Fecknowitz).
I loved this show, and having revisited the pilot episode recently, it actually holds up remarkabl well. And now, of course, everytime I see an episode of The Bridge, I think about Parker Lewis (for reasons explained below), so I thought I’d check in and see what happened to the cast since the series left the air in 1993.
Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis) — Nemec (a fellow native of Little Rock, Arkansas) has actually had a quiet but decent career, with a significant role in Stargate SG1 and a 2010 run on Supernatural. He’s bounced around in mostly D-movies like Robocroc (and he’s also written and produced quite a few things in the D-movie range), but he’s had a remarkably consistent career (despite that belt buckle).
Billy Jayne (Mikey Randall) — Jayne’s acting career never really took off after Parker Lewis He drifted through with the occasional small role in an episode of television (Walker, Texas Ranger, Charmed Cold Case) before retiring from acting and turning to commercial directing. In fact, he’s directed some of those Dannon Yogurt commercials with John Stamos and a couple of Buckcherry music videos.
Troy W. Slaten (Jerry Steiner) — After starring in another obscure TV series (Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad ), Slaten retired from acting. He’s now a DUI attorney in Southern California. I feel like Jerry Steiner would be disappointed. On the other hand, the “Oh my God, it’s Jerry! Fetch me a soda, freshman!” from the occasional drunk guy has to feel immensely satisfying.
Melanie Chartoff (Principal Musso) — Chartoff has also had a quietly decent post-Parker career, mostly for her voice work as Didi Pickles in the various incarnations of The Rugrats in television and movies. You may also recall her from that episode of Seinfeld, “The Fire,” where George throws everyone aside to save himself.
Maia Brewton (Shelly Lewis) — Brewton basically quit acting after Parker Lewis, but she is now married to a reality-TV producer, Lara Spotts, and they have two kids together. Here’s an older picture of them (Brewton is on the right). Cute! (Incidentally, Lara Spotts brother, Greg, is the creator of the TV series, American Jobs).
Abraham Benrubi (Kubiak) — One of my favorite not-particularly well known actors who still shows up in everything, Benrubi can currently be seen on this season of FX’s The Bridge, although he’s probably best known for his extended run on E.R.. But he will always be Kubiak to me. Of all the actors on Parker Lewis, it’s ironically the rube, Abraham Benrubi, who has maintained the most solid career.
Jennifer Guthrie (Anne Sloan) — Lewis’ love interest, played by Jennifer Guthrie, was one of Seinfeld’s girlfriends (“The Sponge”) and appeared in a 1998 episode of Sex and the City, but she has otherwise left acting.