Lil Dogg mentioned my Jonathan Silverman fandom in his AWESOME 80’s movie countdown…and it’s true, I’m a big fan.
But, I’m not here to talk about his successful run of 80’s movies. I’m here to talk about what could have, nee, what should have, been.
The dude parlayed some serious 80’s heat, right into his very own mid-90’s sitcom- The Single Guy.
The show was done in from the start, though. It was like Seinfeld, but like, imagine if Jerry was nice to people, George and Elaine were married and not as funny, and Kramer was Ernest Borgnine (and inexplicably a door man). Why does a struggling Jonathan Silverman live in a building with a door man? And if he does, why is his apartment so shitty? And who hangs out with the doorman, who is more than twice their age? Nothing about it makes any sense.
JS was really great in the show, but effectively, its failure (cancelled after 2 seasons), was the end of Jonathan Silverman’s shot at superstardom. He’s gone on to have a successful career, but what would’ve happened if a few little things worked out differently…let’s think about it, shall we????
1994- Little Big League
Kid (played by a nobody) inherits Twins, makes himself the manager…yadda yadda yadda the movie only made 12 Million dollars, and before you read this, you forgot about it. Silverman played reliever, Jake Bowers.
Now…that very same year, another baseball movie came out- Angels in the Outfield. In this one, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, in an unnecessarily convoluted plot, gets angels to help the Angels, so he can be reunited with his father…or something or another. Anyway, you remember this movie.
What you don’t remember is that two of the nameless Angels players, were Matthew McConaughey and Adrien Brody. Two Best Actor winners, were glorified extras in this one. Clearly, Silverman just picked the wrong ridiculous baseball movie to be in that summer. Who knows what could’ve been…..
Maybe he was out filming Little Big League at the time of auditions, but Silverman should definitely have been on Friends. Silverman was a bigger star than any of the Friends were in 1994- and got his own show the next year, on the same network.
I also think, judging by his talent and body of work, he could’ve played BOTH Ross and Chandler…I mean, as one character. Let’s face it, LeBlanc carried those two like Silverman carried Bernie, for the entire run, anyway. Now, imagine what a LeBlanc- Silverman tag team would’ve been like.
Ironically, Matthew Perry was in the ill-conceived Odd Couple TV Reboot, and Silverman was in the movie, Odd Couple II.
Anyway, here is Schwimmer (as Ross) being dominated in a scene by Silverman and Joey Slotnik:
If Silverman were one (or two) of the Friends, the TV landscape of the last 2 decades would be a totally different place. He’d be very relevant to this day, have a decent size production company, and would have had either a hit cable show or at least a CBS sitcom. If the hair-dyed carcass of Kevin James had a show, I think Jon would have faired well.
1999- Office Space
Now, Ron Livingston killed it in Office Space, and I’m a fan of all of his work. But I totally could’ve seen Silverman chatting with the Bob’s, and showing Jennifer Aniston his “O-face”. Silverman certainly had the chops for that role. And if he got it…who knows, maybe Paul Rudd could’ve stolen all of HIS good potential roles for the next 10 years, instead of Livingston’s.*
*Livingston-Rudd theory may or may not be from Simmons or someone else at Grantland, I dont remember and they aren’t in business anymore so I can’t properly research it.
Back to Reality
Unfortunately for Silverman, and your boy here, none of these scenarios played out the way they should have. So, I’m stuck watching terribly confusing McConaughey commercials and full episodes of the Single Guy on youtube. But I know, deep down, Silverman could have….SHOULD HAVE… been a mega-star.