10 Actors Haunted By Their Terrible TV Beginnings

Jennifer Lawrence

As we sort through the trash and treasure of this fall's new TV shows, it's funny to think that even the worst of the bunch might one day be remembered as the place where NameofBiggestActoroftheFutureWeDon'tKnowYet got their start. Not many people would have guessed that of, say, The Duck Factory or The Bill Engvall Show

We hope stars like Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Aniston have a good sense of humor about the terrible flops that first brought their faces to the small screen on the regular, because the Internet is going to keep them around until the end of time!


Image via TBS

  • Jim Carrey


    Jim Carrey might want us to think he started on In Living Color, but first there was his 1984 show about an ambitious young animator of a kids' cartoon, NBC's The Duck Factory.

  • Jennifer Lawrence


    Jennifer Lawrence served two whole seasons as the typical teenage girl whose dad (comedian Bill Engvall) just doesn't get her on TBS' The Bill Engvall Show from 2007-2009. Who knew her next stop would be the Academy Awards?

  • River Phoenix


    Aw, even on the supremely cheesy 1982 CBS show Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, in which he played the youngest of the titular seven parentless brothers ranching in California, River Phoenix was absolutely adorable.

  • Christina Hendricks


    When we say "Christina Hendricks Undressed," you may think of every Mad Men character's fantasy, not of the actress' inauspicious start as a college student in the MTV drama in 1999.

  • Bryan Cranston


    Nope, this isn't one of Walter White's aliases, it's just Bryan Cranston as the mullet-sporting uncle to the titular teenage girl in the 1988 CBS show Raising Miranda.

  • Anna Gunn


    Jersey Shore wasn't even a twinkle in MTV's eye in 1992 when Fox tried out Down the Shore, about three guys who rent a beach house with three hot female coworkers, including ice queen (and future long-suffering Breaking Bad wife) Anna Gunn.

  • Jeffrey Tambor


    That's Jeffrey Tambor as a stuffy landlord to the former Three's Company landlords in their failed spinoff, The Ropers, on ABC from 1979-80.

  • Jennifer Aniston


    Before Jennifer Aniston was Rachel (even before she was in Leprechaun!), and before Mayim Bialik was Blossom, they were stepsisters on the short-lived 1990 Fox sitcom Molloy

  • Joel McHale


    Many Seattle viewers have a soft spot for their low-budget sketch show, Almost Live! (It is, after all, where Bill Nye the Science Guy began.) We're happy that Joel McHale, who was in the cast in 1996, eventually got to showcase his humor on a bigger scale.

  • Olivia Wilde


    OK, anyone who saw Olivia Wilde in Skin, the short-lived Romeo-and-Juliet-esque 2003 Fox drama about two teens from warring families (one of whom is a pornographer?), probably could have guessed that we'd eventually see a lot more of her.