If you’re awesome and like several other million people this weekend, then you went out and saw The Hangover. You probably then had two realizations – Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” is still sweet, and Mike Tyson is awesome. It’s okay to say that now because he served his time and hasn’t consumed human flesh in years. Tyson was pretty much the ultimate heavy weight for years, then disappeared (to jail) had a minor comeback, disappeared (to debt), and now is back with Tyson, a documentary, and a critically acclaimed cameo in The Hangover. Which got us to thinking about comebacks. Which actors have sort of disappeared and why and who deserves another shot at the big screen?
In making this list, we wanted to focus on people who were at one time very popular and who then sort of disappeared from view or had their work scaled back. And of course, we also chose people who we’d want to come back – Patrick Renna can stay gone. We didn’t include actors who, though not hugely available, are still working pretty frequently and getting decent exposure, guys like Tom Jane, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Bruce Campbell.
9. Jean-Claude Van Damme
This is a tough one to call because Van Damme might be on the verge of a comeback after the critically acclaimed JCVD. He is missing out on The Expendables though, which is a bad idea. But the Muscles from Brussels deserves the big screen again.
8. Jon Lovitz
When I mentioned putting Lovitz on the list, I got some strange looks, but he is actually pretty hilarious. You remember “The Critic.”.
7. Cuba Gooding, Jr
What happened Cuba? Once you demanded we show you the money, now you politely ask for us to rent your straight to DVD movies from Netflix and wear Hanes underwear. He’s an Academy Award winner, for crying out loud!
6. Christopher Lloyd
Simply because Back to the Future is one of the greatest movies of all time. I need me some more Doc Brown. Give him to me.
5. Pauly Shore
I’m not joking when I say I think Shore is hilarious. Plus, his most recent standup and straight to DVD projects are really, honestly funny. Son in Law 2 anyone?
4. Chuck Norris
I actually find it hard to believe, with his internet fame, that Norris hasn’t been offered a come back. I feel like he might actually be the only one on this list who was offered a big screen movie but may have turned it down because of his religion and political leanings.
3. Val Kilmer
A truly great actor who has managed to gain weight and self-destruct to the point of made for TV specials and roles that amount to little more than cameos in cinema. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang saved Robert Downey Jr. but Val Kilmer stole every scene.
2. Wesley Snipes
Maybe I’ve been watching too much Demolition Man lately, but Snipes is a good martial artist, a great on-screen presences, but a lousy tax-payer. He deserves another shot at freedom and at the movies.
1. Tom Selleck
“Magnum P.I.” may be my favorite TV show of all time. Selleck was almost Indiana Jones, but turned down the role to honor previous commitments. His big screen performances in Quigley Down Under, Mr. Baseball, and Three Men and a Baby are all great. Unfortunately, being an open conservative in Hollywood didn’t help Selleck any, though he has had a pretty good run in the direct to video world of westerns and Jesse Stone installments. He also rocks some awesome voice over in commercials for RVing and Orange Juice. But I won’t rest until Selleck is back on the big screen.
0. People I Forgot
You may have noticed over time but I suck at stopping. This time I could have gone on for 20 or 30 more. Including the cast of Ghost Busters (Bill Murray is doing okay), Skeet Ulrich, Carl Weathers, and Lacey Chabert, even though she won’t return my calls or sign for packages of my facial hair trimmings.
I would like to see any, or all! of these actors return to the big screen. Stallone is on the right track – first he made a comeback with Rocky Balboa and Rambo and now he’s poised to bring back the 80s action stars in force. I applaud you, Sly, for making 93% of my dream come true.
What actors or actresses would you like to see return to the limelight?