2008 gave us some rather interesting celebrity comebacks. From The New Kids on the Block trying to croon their way back into the hearts of America to Robert Downey Jr. dressing in a big metal suit and forging iron here is your year in review awards for the comebacks we loved and the comebacks we’d rather forget.
Best Comeback of 2008
Last year Robert Downey Jr. was a celebrity that we had written off to be the next Dancing With The Stars Contestant, exiled to being a forever nothing more than a “B” list celebrity. However, with the 2008 release of Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. has earned my vote for the “Best Celebrity Comeback of 2008”.
After loosing 15 pounds of fat and grinding to put on 20 pounds of muscle, Robert Downey Jr. didn’t look half bad in a tank top doing some rather serious blacksmithing. It seemed like the party boy that went to rehab in 2001 came back in a big way adding some very serious CGI and special effects to his utility belt of comeback.
Iron Man has catapulted Downey Jr.’s name from Las Vegas marquees back to tinsel town fame and fortune, and has earned him a spot in the Marvel family to act as Ironman for at least two more feature films. It seems that Mr. Downey Jr. has found his way back onto the “A” list, once again. We love you Rob. Welcome back.
Most Miraculous Comeback of 2008
We had gotten used to Britney’s antics, and it seemed like the entire country was in waiting on pins and needles to see what crazy Britney would do next. It became normal water cooler conversation all around the country, and hearing “did you hear what Britney did now” was as commonplace as “staff meeting at 11:00”. After shaving her head, lack of underwear photo fiascos, and other embarrassing Britney meltdown moments it seemed like it was an event if she wasn’t somehow plastered all over magazine covers, showcasing her latest escapade of down right craziness.
However, throw in a forgiving public, a personal trainer (have you seen her abs), some very serious soul searching (or medication) and musical talent and you’ve got the recipe for a comeback.
No one expected a clean and pristine Britney at the AMA’s but that was exactly what we got. She wowed and audience and the nation with her latest hit “Womanizer” (no doubt directed to someone in particular) by not being completely tanked and incoherent, and looking like the pre-mental meltdown Brit. Healthy, fit and back on top, Britney seems to be climbing back up the ladder of success. Instead of going out and partying like a rock star, this year Britney is celebrating her 27th birthday by appearing on Good Morning America and a release of her new album “Circus” on December 2nd. I have to agree, because it’s been one heck of a carnival ride Brit. Brittany receives my vote for the “You Go Girl” comeback career award of 2008.
The Comeback that Left Us Wanting More Grease for our Axl
Rose that is. Guns and Roses was a famous household name in the 80’s and ruled the hair band kingdom with some great tunes and even better hair. Now the bad boys are back and sporting a new moniker, “GNR”….well sort of. The only problem is that the only real “come back kid” in the band is Axl Rose. The other band members have been replaced by fresh, new faces, which might cause some issues if you’re planning doing a comeback tour. Without Slash or Izzy it seems that GNR might as well be called Axl Rose and company.
Even though the songs trump up 80s nostalgia with “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Live and Let Die” and “Sweet Child of Mine” and while they all sound good enough, it doesn’t sound “great” or at least as great as what we’d expect being die hard Guns and Roses (excuse me GNR) fans. Axl Rose is nominated for my Best Mediocre Comeback Award for 2008.
The “What Were They Thinking” Comeback
New Kids on the Block, what were you thinking? After everything that we endured back in the days when boy bands were popular, who in their right mind thought it would be a good idea to drag us back into the mire that has since seen the rise and fall of your successors from 98 degrees and N’Synch. The New Kids look more like they need geritol and denture cream than they need to be up on stage trying to sell us on 1980’s pop culture nostalgia. You’ve had your day in the sun, it’s time to move on. I shudder to think at how good of a salesperson your publicist was to sell you on this one. This comeback tour has to be one of the biggest throwbacks in all celebrity comeback history. NKOTB receives my nomination for the “What In the World Were They Thinking?” comeback award.
The “Are You Kidding Me” Comeback
I just have to get it over with. Cloris Leachman…really? Dancing With the Stars stooped to a new low in 2008 featuring a “contestant” pushing 80 with one foot in the grave and the other in a pair of heels. This just didn’t work, other than to get fans to tune in wondering if she was going to choke or have a stroke each week. While her crazy ballroom antics were somewhat entertaining, and had the ballroom snobs in a frenzy, this was a comeback that needed a lot more than a pair of support hose. Cloris, combined with DWTS receives my “Are You Kidding Me” comeback award this year.
The “I Wish I Didn’t Know About Your Comeback”…Comeback
Rosie O’Donnell. Love her or hate her, you have to wonder how hard up NBC is for ideas on nighttime television to start up a variety show. This type of programming peaked in the 50s (which is about the same time that I think Ms. O’Donnell peaked as well) and doesn’t need to be repeated.
Executives and O’Donnell seem to believe that with the resurrection of the good old American game show that the time is ripe for variety shows (and Rosie) to make a comeback. No, I have to say, no, it’s not time, and it will never be time at any point in the future. This is the comeback that wins the “I Wish I Didn’t Know About Your Comeback” comeback, because it’s about as entertaining as nails on a chalkboard. While it hasn’t yet aired on national television I can only speculate that this variety show “oops-stravaganza” as well as its host will leave 2008 the same was as it’s coming in…like a train wreck.
Thank you celebs for one heck of a year of entertainment bliss and comebacks I never saw coming. I can’t wait to see what will happen in 2009!