Sometimes I look at a celebrity and say, “Hey, I thought you were really cool when I was a kid. What are you still doing here?” Some stars just stick around and remain surprisingly relevant for a lot longer than you would expect — and sometimes for longer than they probably deserve. For a lot of those celebs, the reason for their longevity is that people feel nostalgia when they see them. We think, “Aww, that person was on my favorite show as a kid. Let’s keep them around for a while.” But then “a while” happens, and they’ve overstayed their welcome. And they haven’t even necessarily made a name for themselves aside from their most famous roles, as people like Neil Patrick Harris have done.
With that in mind, we present to you nine celebrities who are coasting on nostalgia. It’s like they’re right there on the edge of the earth, so close to falling off completely, but then they plead with us by saying, “Hey, remember me? I was in that thing you liked 20 years ago! Just give me some more time!” And we remember them fondly and pull them away from the edge. But you should ask yourself if they really deserve it. If they hadn’t done those one or two fun things that were popular in the 90s, would we really give a shit?
1. John Stamos
This is a good place to start, because today happens to be his 51st birthday. Who could forget John as Uncle Jesse from Full House? Nobody. But what I can forget is what the hell else John Stamos did after that show. I couldn’t name a single project before going to IMDb, and even then I hardly recognized anything. And yet I feel like I see him on TV once a day, either in those yogurt commercials or being interviewed on a talk show for some unknown reason. I know it’s really impressive that he’s aging backwards and everything, but maybe it’s time to let Uncle Jesse go.
2-3. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Speaking of Full House, let’s talk about these two. They were precocious and adorable as child stars, but then adulthood hit and they stopped acting regularly. And what they did act in… wasn’t so great. Now they focus on dating older men and designing fashion. But would anyone actually care about their $16,000 backpacks if they hadn’t played Michelle Tanner? Probably not. And yet I still see their messy hair being photographed by the paps every week.
4. Mario Lopez
As someone who missed the Saved By the Bell boat in my youth, the only things I really know Mario Lopez for are his dimples, his hot bod, and the fact that he always looks like he’s willing a twinkle to appear in his eye. It’s certainly not my nostalgia that’s keeping him around. So which one of you is it? Fess up or everybody gets in trouble!
5. Rob Lowe
This one is probably quite controversial, but I’m standing by it. Rob’s certainly had more worthwhile projects over the years than a lot of the other celebs on this list, but I still feel like he’s still skating on that 80s/90s charm — which is easy since he looks exactly the same. When he was cast on Parks and Rec, it seemed like a stunt to me, and he ended up being one of the weakest parts of the show. I still see him cast in things and think, “Him?”
6. Melissa Joan Hart
Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch were two of my absolute favorite shows when I was a kid, so Melissa was pretty much my hero. But I see her now on that ABC Family show or promoting her book about how she kissed Ryan Reynolds that one time, and I just think, “No. Just no. Your time is up.”
7. Mark McGrath
This one can barely be explained by nostalgia, because is there anyone in the world who’s nostalgic over Sugar Ray? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? I didn’t think so. So how this guy continues to flaunt his porcupine hair on television is beyond me. FYI, he used to host Extra before Mario Lopez. I think I know who we need to blame for all this.
8. Tori Spelling
Sometimes I close my eyes and think, “When I open them again, Tori Spelling won’t be famous anymore.” But then I open them and find it was all for naught. How many books and reality shows and tabloid scandals has this lady had at this point? We get it, you were on 90210. Have we not rewarded you enough for it?
9. Mel B
Here’s the thing about the Spice Girls. They were awesome. Then three of them sort of fell off the radar, one of them married David Beckham and became famous in her own right for her fashion sense, and then the fifth one just kind of kept popping up on shows. That fifth one is Mel B, aka Scary Spice. It’s not like she broke away and started a flourishing solo career like Justin Timberlake. Every time I see her I think of the Spice Girls. Which is why she’s still around. But should she be? Meh.