What Recession? Actors Who Starred In Two TV Shows At One Time
Sometimes it’s hard to come by a check in Hollywood but these celebs, they had no problem finding not one but two gigs at the same time.
Niecy Nash had us in tears as Deputy Raineesha Williams on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911!” Since then Nash has padded her resume with numerous guest appearances, along with her own reality show. Finding a regular check with TV Land, Nash plays a preacher’s wife opposite Cedric the Entertainer on “The Soul Man.” Nash is once again flexing her comedic acting chops with another show. The married mother of three plays a nurse at a geriatric ward inside of a hospital on HBO’s “Getting On,” based on a British show of the same name.
For seven seasons Alison Janney played C.J. Cregg on NBC’s “The West Wing.” Since the show went off the air in 2006, Janney has stayed relatively quiet. All that changed this year after Janney found herself on not one but two shows. She can be found on the new CBS sitcom “Mom,” opposite Anna Faris. Janney also stars on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.” The show is such a hit, Showtime announced “Masters of Sex” will be renewed for a second season less than a month after it premiered in September.
Comedian Steve Harvey made many laugh as the reluctant and crass teacher with a heart on the sitcom “The Steve Harvey Show.” After that went off the air, the former King of comedy landed his own nationally syndicated radio show. That paved the way for his current talk show on television, which debuted in 2012. Harvey also made history by becoming the first Black host on “Family Feud.” Breathing new life into the game show, Harvey is credited for increasing the ratings on the iconic show.
Coby Bell played NYPD officer Tyrone Davis on NBC’s “Third Watch” for six seasons before it went off the air. Soon after Bell found himself guest starring on the popular sitcom “Girlfriends” for an episode titled “The Game,” which served as the pilot for the show of the same name. Since then he’s been the penny-pinching Jason Pitts, even after the show changed networks. Not one to turn down a check, Bell joined the cast of “Burn Notice” in the fourth season and stayed on as Jesse Porter until the show went off the air this past July.
Fans fell in love with Pooch Hall when he played the San Diego Sabers star player Derwin Davis on “The Game.” Originally on CW, the show was picked up by BET, much to the delight of fans everywhere. However, the former model soon left over a financial dispute but not before he secured a role on Showtime’s new show “Ray Donovan.” Starring opposite the hunky Leiv Schreiber and legendary actor Jon Voight, Hall plays the amateur boxer Darryl “Black Irish” Donovan.
Comedian Martin Lawrence first got his start as part of the cast of “What’s Happening Now!” After a few small movie roles, Lawrence, who cut his teeth in comedy doing stand up across the country, landed his own sitcom. The same year that “Martin” premiered on Fox, Lawrence was tapped to host the first season of “Def Comedy Jam.” Though that gig only lasted for one season, the show helped spur the success of “Martin,” which stayed on the air for five seasons, and helped Lawrence become a household name and a box office heavyweight.
When he was suited up in his blue and white uniform, Michael Strahan was one of the most feared defensive men on the New York Giants. Since hanging up the cleats, Strahan stayed in the field of football by joining the rest of the crew on “Fox NFL Sunday” in 2008. Already comfortable in front of the cameras, Strahan would fill in for the vacationing Regis Philbin on “Live! with Regis and Kelly.” When the legendary television broadcaster decided to retire, Strahan filled his seat in 2012. Strahan can still be found on Fox on Sundays during football season.
Folks have loved him as the devilishly emotionally detached Don Draper on AMC’s “Mad Men since 2007, but Jon Hamm has tacked on several additional roles since then. Showing off his funny bone, Hamm played Tina Fey’s boyfriend on “30 Rock” for several episodes, one of which he received an Emmy nomination for. He also snagged a recurring role on Comedy Central’s “Children’s Hospital.” In 2012, Hamm was tapped for the leading role in the miniseries “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” which was based on a series of short stories from Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov.
Back in the day, Sherri Shepherd worked as a secretary by day but by night she was a comedian/actress with dreams of making it big in Hollywood. In 2006, she finally got her chance. A frequent guest on ABC’s “The View,” Shepherd was offered a seat at the table as one of the daytime talk show’s five co-hosts. The funny woman was still able to flex her comedic skills as Tracy Morgan’s wife Angie Jordan on the hit sitcom “30 Rock.” Shepherd played the recurring character of the dutiful yet hilarious wife until the show went off the air in 2012.
Joel McHale’s background in comedy sure comes in handy these days. Getting his start in an improv group, McHale starred in a sketch comedy show before landing the gig that would ultimately launch his career. Since 2004, McHale has been the host of E!’s “The Soup,” providing quick witted and hilarious commentary on the week’s various pop culture news. He also plays the narcissistic Jeff Winger on NBC’s “Community.” The fifth season of “Community” has been pushed back to January 2014.
Joel McHale isn’t the only one pulling double duty on “Community.” Alison Brie has played Annie, the overachieving, sometimes love interest to McHale’s Jeff Winger since 2009, but this was her second job. Brie also stars on AMC’s “Mad Men” as Trudy Campbell. Brie and her fellow Mad Men castmates earned a Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in 2009.
English actress Ashley Madekwe made her acting debut on film but has made a bigger name for herself on television. After snagging various roles, Madekwe was tapped to play Molly Lucas, a young woman who lived in a haunted condo in the spooky “Bedlam” on BBC in 2011. That same year across the pond, Madekwe started her role as the social climbing, backstabbing friend to Emily Thorne, Ashley Davenport, on ABC’s “Revenge.”
Maulik Pancholy may be used to playing an assistant, but that’s not all he can do. For seven seasons, he played the earnest and clingy assistant to Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy on NBC’s “30 Rock” while he was pulling double duty as the right hand man to Mary Louise Parker’s marijuana-pushing widow on Showtime’s “Weeds.” Both shows aired their final episodes in 2012. However, Pancholy is still gainfully employed. He has provided the voice of neighbor and friend Baljeet Tjinder on the cartoon “Phineas and Ferb” since 2008.
H. Jon Benjamin
You may not know his name but you probably know his voice. Funny man H. Jon Benjamin has been using his pipes to earn a living since Comedy Central’s “Dr. Katz,” where he voiced several characters. After numerous guest appearances on various sitcoms, Benjamin once again found steady work as the voice of Sterling Archer in FX’s “Archer.” He’s also the voice of Bob Belcher from Fox’s “Bob Burgers” but you may also recognize him as the voice of the slow-witted Carl on “Family Guy.”
Fred Armisen has been making people laugh on “Saturday Night Live” for over a decade. Although he took his final bow on the show this past May, Armisen is still a working man. Over at IFC network, Armisen plays double duty. In addition to starring in the cult comedy “Portlandia,” he also serves as the producer for the show. He also provides the voice of Speedy Gonzales on “The Looney Tunes Show” which airs on the Cartoon Network. Armisen still managed to find time to make a guest appearance on Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which costars fellow “SNL” alum Andy Samberg.