You may remember the post My Secret Movie Star Life when I revealed I used to be almost famous as a stand-in for bratty actors on bathroom breaks*. But like most real movie stars, my high-flying prolific career started to fizzle and plummet faster than Jenny McCarthy’s breasts in 30 years.
Hey, this gorgeous frying pan I have for a face can only take a person so far in life.
So for years I did what anyone else would do, I drowned my sorrows in Zima and Hot Pockets, then I tried my hand at stand-in jobs on a much smaller scale: The boob tube.
Emphasis on the boob part.
Please join me as I revisit some of my most celebrated TV show stand-in roles from the 1970s, 80s and 90s!
FACTS OF LIFE
You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have me ripping chunks of hair straight out of Blair Warner’s Aqua-Netted head.
It all began when the director insisted I roll around set in Tootie’s roller skates while she took another “cigarette break” and Blair strategically placed dozens of tampons in the doorway of every hallway, hoping I’d crash-land on top of her archenemy, Jo Polniaczek.
In retaliation, Jo and I conspired to sneak a magic ingredient into one of Edna’s Edibles muffins and within hours security was dragging a screaming Blair away as she kept insisting gummy worms were oozing out of Natalies’ dimples.
Yes, her career as a snarky girl in a dark blue tie was officially over before it began thanks to me, her penchant for baked goods, and a sweet little bag of Maui Wowie.
This show brings back so many painful memories. Not the least of which is the fact I was forced to work with the uppity Mrs. “Saggy Girdle” Garrett yet again.
And Gary Coleman? A complete asshole once cameras stopped filming.
Sadly, no amount of pleading on my part convinced the director that my catchphrase ideas were more buzz-worthy, so I was promptly thrown out of the studio after the first week of shooting (and coincidentally, I landed right on top of Jo Polniaczek)
Oh! Now this was a sweet gig! I spent many fond years standing in for Sophia Petrillo due to her constant need to feed her insatiable cigar and malt liquor habit.
Once the season wrapped, I barely kept up with these guys, what with the constant midnight strip poker parties held in Stanley’s trailer, the clouds of suffocating ganja smoke permeating from Rose’s dressing room, and the steady stream of Chippendale dancers filing out of Dorothy’s boudoir. As for Blanche? Total prude.
How I miss these ladies! They were wild. They were saucy. Most of them are now dead. Why? Why mortality? Why not Jenny McCarthy**? It’s just not fair!
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE
Yowza! Another sa-weet gig. I was the stand-in for Willie “Booger-Eater” Oleson. So basically I spent my time inhaling chalkboard dust, running into walls, and cramming my pie hole with Gobstoppers at the Oleson Mercantile.
One fateful day Nellie “Smellie” Oleson and I snuck cayenne pepper into Ma’s morning coffee and she spewed it all over Pa’s perfectly-coiffed mane of glorious hair. Oh was he pissed! I remember vividly how he ripped off his shirt and suspenders to mop up the mess. One thing we could always count on was Michael Landon’s constant need to subject us to his glistening pecs.
During the rare down times when Pa wasn’t stripping, he’d bust out the violin while the cast and crew would gather ’round the fireplace to be entertained by Laura Ingalls’ superior liquor chugging skills. She didn’t get the nickname “Half Pint” for nothing.
Ooh, yeah. Yikes. Not much needs to be said here. Other than two things:
1. The producers refused to listen to my sage advice when I warned the public would be much more receptive to a less obviously perverted nickname for the character who played Mike’s best friend, Richard “Boner” Stabone.
Like maybe Mr. Giggles McSchlonger or Dick Donger.
2. And Mike Seaver? Complete asshole once filming stopped.
Complete asshole during filming.
Complete asshole in general.
Finally, my last paying job, the one where I pulled off a feat never before attempted in the history of Stand-In Acting: I played three roles simultaneously.
Exhausting? Hell yeah! But at least in order to play Kimmie Gibbler I didn’t even need new hair, makeup or clothes as we all marveled at the fact we could have passed for twins. Very odd-looking-bordering-on-dumbass twins.
The Full House crew was like one big happy family. We had Joey Gladstone, who bored us all to tears in between takes with the one good impression he had in his repertoire (and even Jesse could do a better Bullwinkle in his sleep), the ever-present and uber-creepy Danny Tanner (who would go on to do an equally disturbing voice-over for How I Met Your Mother), and my personal fave, Jesse “Bam Bam” Katsopolis.
Sure, Jesse was sexy. But the clincher for me was the biggest jewel he possessed in his ridiculously talented crown:
His musical career with the unparalleled group, The Rippers. Enjoy.
And so this wraps up my secret TV star life! Impressed? I thought so. _______________________________________________________________
**I sincerely hope Jenny and/or her breasts live a long fulfilled life.
40 thoughts on “My Secret TV Star Life”
It’s really quite amazing how your face lends itself so well to so many different situations. We’ve had movies, we’ve had TV, have you considered politics? I’d like to see that next please.
Hmm…I might have a few old photos of me and Bill Clinton somewhere….
you are uber-talented–and I will tell anyone that
Thanks! Can you also tell me what uber means? I didn’t have time to check the dictionary this morning when I wrote this post.
more than super
I’m just disappointed you were born before Howdy Doody and the Lone Ranger…would have loved to see you as a stand-in there, or Sherri Lewis and Lambchop perhaps??
Oh Thank you! This made my day!!
Thanks for revealing this bitter-sweet part of your past. I’m very glad you didn’t follow the tragic life of most child actors, like what’s-his-name and that girl what’s-her-name. I’m also glad “Boner” wasn’t on Different Strokes..
Haha! I just spit out my tea, Ned, thanks.
Consider it payback 😉
Coffee has been spit out here to go with the tea.
I think your headshot has a lotta life left. You could be a stand-in for Julianna Margulies. The Good Wife is known for throwing good looks in the courtroom.
But nothing beats your role in Pretty Woman. The blonde wig and those thigh high boots . . . how did you manage?
See, that’s what I’m talking about . . . you have a way of making everything look effortless.
I KNEW you looked familiar … As for Jenny, I’m hoping that somebody vaccinates those fake boobs of hers. Perhaps just the one…
The main reason I had to take jabs at her is because my husband thinks she’s hot (shaking head)
They often go for the brainless in their imaginations. Fortunately not in real life.
I’d like to think so anyway!
Why do you torture me so? First I’m so envious of your TV star status that I can’t see straight. Getting to work with all of those amazingly talented and famous people. And then you have to show that Jessie and the Rippers video, making me so hot and bothered, I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish my housework this morning. Swoon!
The best part of that video? when he’s cradling the babies in his arms. That part kills me.
And they’re all naked. Eew.
I was sure you were on Welcome back Cotter (or was that Kotter?). Up your nose with a rubber hose! That’s so your line! 😉
You’re just too good! 🙂
OMG, Darla. I so needed this laugh! That face is priceless. 🙂
And how come the tv shows today don’t have fun theme songs? Why did this stop being a thing?
Gabe Kaplan? Really? Wicked awesome.Freakin’ HILARIOUS! and I SO needed to laugh today. Thanks!!!!!!!!!
The Golden Girls one is my fave! Ha! You are one talented lady! It takes a strong woman to work beside Blanche. I have a plant named Rue McClanahan, and even SHE’S fussy!
I grew up watching all of your shows you stared in.. Sure would of been a riot if it happened the way you were telling it. I loved that song back then, now I hear it and think what was I thinking.. Has to be Jessie’s looks that had be blind sided. Thanks for making me think way back in the past, and thankful I never bought his record.
I’m absolutely shocked that you didn’t get a part on The Love Boat o Dukes of Hazzard. And no Cosby Show? Poor you. 😦
Oh Darla Gibbler, how I love you, and not just because you’re a world-famous-stand-in-for-every-hot-actor-on-TV-in-the-80s. Mr. Giggles McSchlonger is my new, favorite name forever and ever, amen.
Thanks for the giggles, Darla. I need a boost going into my last week of work. 🙂
Are you my “Lame Claim to Fame” ?
I’m so jealous that you got to work with the Golden Girls AND the Full House crew. Does Jules know about this? And you haven’t aged a day since the 70’s! What’s your secret?
Wow, I am impressed. So talented, Darla. I can’t believe you were subjected to all these assholes. I thought as much. Ah, this brings back so many memories!
Most TV stars have one good series, and then their careers are over. Given your boundless talent, I’m not surprised by the success and fame you’ve enjoyed.
Haha– love the Golden Girls shot! What about Saved by the Bell? Did you ever star in that glorious 80s sitcom?
Hi, there. Mowie Wowie, huh? I’m got some Sour Diesel for you, girl. 🙂