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Top 10 Celebs Who Started On Kids Shows

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
These celebs got their moment in the spotlight earlier than you thought!For this list, we’ll be looking at some celebrities who had roles on kids’ television shows in their younger years that you might not have known about, or have completely forgotten. We’ll be excluding more recent stars, like Ariana Grande, or people who are still known for their work on kids shows, like Hilary Duff!
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Top 10 Celebs Who Started On Kids Shows

These celebs got their moment in the spotlight earlier than you thought. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebs Who Started On Kids Shows.
For this list, we’ll be looking at some celebrities who had roles on kids’ television shows in their younger years that you might not have known about, or have completely forgotten. We’ll be excluding more recent stars, like Ariana Grande, or people who are still known for their work on kids shows, like Hilary Duff.

#10: Taran Killam
“The Amanda Show” (1999-2002)

Known these days for being married to Cobie Smulders and his work on Saturday Night Live, Taran Killam first made it big on another variety show – only, this one was aimed at kids and teens. While he also made appearances on “All That,” we wanted to highlight Killam’s role on “The Amanda Show”. This featured him playing a character in a recurring sketch named “Moody’s Point,” which parodied teen dramas like “Dawson’s Creek.” Killam played the title character’s love interest, Spaulding, who is often berated by her and pelted with things off-screen; making for a very funny early part.

#9: Ben Affleck
“The Voyage of the Mimi” (1984-88)

He may be a world-famous actor and director now, but Ben Affleck got his break on kids’ television in this educational show. “The Voyage of the Mimi,” and its sequel series, followed the crew of the eponymous boat as they first researched humpback whales and then the ancient Mayans in various expeditions. Affleck played young C.T. Granville, who joins his grandfather – the Mimi’s captain – on these trips, while learning about science and history in a way that was intended to be accessible to middle schoolers. Still, it’s a little weird seeing the future Dark Knight as a kid.

#8: Elisha Cuthbert
“Popular Mechanics for Kids” (1997-2001)
While we’re on the subject of celebs who started on educational children’s programs, Elisha Cuthbert’s career began with this one. “Popular Mechanics for Kids” featured several teen hosts who would go on to be future stars. Cuthbert, as well as Jay Baruchel and Vanessa Lengies, were shown visiting several locations while the show explores the scientific principles and/or history behind the locales, as well as the structures, products, or devices they encounter. Cuthbert would attain recognition on “24” soon afterwards, but her adventures here are far less intense and much more informative.

#7: Jessica Alba
“The Secret World of Alex Mack” (1994-98)

Prior to making it on the big screen, or going for something more edgy and adult on the small screen with “Dark Angel,” Jessica Alba appeared on this Nickelodeon sci-fi show as the title character’s rival at school. Alba’s character, also named Jessica, is insulting towards Alex and competes with her in basketball, as well as over boys’ affections. However, Jessica doesn’t appear for very long, as Alba departed the show after the first season – hence why it’s easy to forget she was in it to begin with.

#6: Michelle Trachtenberg
“The Adventures of Pete and Pete” (1992-96)

Before she made her mark through teen films and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Michelle Trachtenberg appeared in “The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” a Nickelodeon sitcom about two brothers with the same name. Trachtenberg played the neighbor and best friend of the younger Pete, Nona F. Mecklenberg. Nona is a quirky and precocious young girl who often wears a cast, even though she doesn’t need to. Given that her dad is played by Iggy Pop, there’s probably little chance she was going to be normal, though!

#5: Alanis Morissette
“You Can’t Do That on Television” (1979-90)

Known primarily as a singer and musician, Alanis Morissette has also done her share of acting, and actually began her career on the paradoxically named kids’ variety series, “You Can’t Do That on Television.” Morissette participated in the show’s comedy sketches, and even got hit with its trademark green slime, all while sporting a haircut much shorter than you’re used to seeing on her. While her time on the show may have been as short as her hair, it’s still neat to see a different side to the singer before she truly made her breakthrough.


#4: Kenan Thompson
“All That” (1994-2005)

While plenty of former “All That” cast members have gone on to greater fame, such as Nick Cannon, we had to give our pick to Kenan Thompson. Given how long the actor and comedian has been on “Saturday Night Live,” it can be easy to forget that he started out on a children’s sketch comedy series before graduating to the adult version. Thompson showed an early aptitude for impressions and versatility that would serve him well in the future, and his charisma made him one of the show’s more popular cast members.

#3: Morgan Freeman
“The Electric Company” (1971-77)

The only actor on our list not to have been a kid at the time, Morgan Freeman hit his first big break in children’s TV, on the educational variety show “The Electric Company.” Known these days for his distinctive voice, Freeman experimented with a few unusual ones in his recurring roles, including a parody of “Easy Rider” and a DJ. He also further showed off his vocal chops in the program’s musical segments; including one with another frequent character of his, a “vegetable vampire” named Vincent.

#2: Selena Gomez
“Barney & Friends” (1992-2009)

That’s right: this singer and actress got her start on a show with a big, friendly purple dinosaur! Gomez played one of the ever-changing cast of children who played opposite the titular star on and off for a couple of years, as her introduction to show business and being on camera. Gomez also met her future friend and fellow singer/actress Demi Lovato on the show, who also played one of Barney’s young pals. We can only hope their time there involved much less drama between the two of them.


Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
Felicity Jones
“The Worst Witch” (1998-2001)

Fergie
“Kids Incorporated” (1984-94)

Shia LaBeouf
“Even Stevens” (2000-03)

#1: Justin Timberlake
“The Mickey Mouse Club” (1955-96)

We’re bringing sexy way back! We could have chosen any number of today’s big stars who appeared on “The Mickey Mouse Club” for our list, from Britney Spears, to Christina Aguilera, to Ryan Gosling. But the cast member whose presence slipped our minds the most was Justin Timberlake. The singer and occasional actor, like the others we mentioned, were part of an ensemble of young performers who acted, sang, and danced in this Disney variety show – no doubt preparing Timberlake for his future career paths.
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