So anyway, I'm sure there's a pic out there of said intergluteal cleft. Let me see if I can find it...
not much, if anything. And that's what I want to explore in this blog. The why? Because he didn't deserve to just disappear. Some of you may recall how he got his start: the old fashioned way. In a commercial. But not just any commercial.
But back to David.
After the Dr. Pepper ads, which went on for quite some time, David landed a sitcom in 1979. It was called Makin' It. Here's the opening credit sequence with it's uber-catchy theme song, sung by David:
Makin' It (the TV show) was released in the spring of '79. It lasted nine episodes. Perhaps that it came out at the very end of the disco era (the show was a thinly veiled rip-off of Saturday Night Fever) spelled its immediate doom. That, and that it was not very good. That summer was the summer they killed disco officially at that "Disco Demolition Night" in Chicago. I guess ABC saw the writing on the wall and killed Makin' It before it could implode on its own. But that failure would free David up to make the werewolf movie.
Around this time ABC had two other sitcoms that launched two other actors who were in the same general ball-park as David Naughton. Around the same age. Same basic type. Dark hair, Roman noses and sparkling eyes. They were these two gentlemen:
John had left his sitcom pretty fast as Stardom was beckoning for him out of the gate. Within two years or so he'd made Saturday Night Fever which became a phenomenon and launched him into true Superstardom. John could do whatever he wanted.
Tom didn't leave his show. It was cancelled after two seasons. But he was able to move over into movies, starting with Splash, which was a big hit and established Tom as a viable leading man. But it wouldn't be until Big that Tom would become as big as John had been. I say "had been" because by 1988, John's career was officially pretty much over after several flops and questions about his personal life. But then he had a comeback in 1989 with Look Who's Talking, the first of many comebacks. In fact, he's had more ups and downs than Stormy Daniels. He's currently on a down-turn; but never count him out. Nobody puts John in a corner.
But back to David:
So, American Werewolf comes out, it's a smash hit at the box-office; then, it becomes even more popular because it's on 'round the clock on HBO and everyone in America has just basically gotten cable TV; so it becomes an instant and instantaneously loved favorite. And then...nothing. Why was a sequel not rushed into production? The same cast, same writer, director (John Landis, btw), etc.? I mean, I know David gets shot at the end of the movie; but it ends so abruptly, we don't know if he's dead or still alive (I mean, he's a werewolf). Was it set up that way intentionally, so that if it was a success the sequel is set up? I mean, if he is "dead"--in the fantasy genre, there's a million ways to bring the character back. Dream sequences. He wasn't killed. He's now one of the walking dead. Whatever. And of course Jenny has to be pregnant with his werebaby. An infinity of story ideas. But nothing.
So, coming off this mega-smash phenom of a movie, why was David Naughton guest starring on The Love Boat a mere two years later?
That's Tommy back in 1980, guesting on The Love Boat. ABC must've had some clause in the contracts for their new hires: Employee herewith agrees to no less than one guest appearance on The Love Boat. Further; employee has zero input into which "vignette" they appear in. Failure to get on board may result in immediate termination.
Isn't he adorable! I have often been told that I look like him. Here's me at around that same time:
But back to David, again.
So, why did he have such a precipitous plunge after An American Werewolf in London? It doesn't make any sense. His follow up to Werewolf was a TV movie called, I Desire, which aired on ABC. Right after that he appeared on The Love Boat. Did he have some contractual obligation to ABC that was somehow connected to Makin' It? That they forced him to fulfill; thus, killing any career momentum he might've had going? Or did he just have incredibly bad representation? An agent or manager who didn't know their ass from their elbow? Or was he a hot-head? Difficult to work with? Nah, you can tell he's a sweet-heart. But maybe he wasn't. People can fool you.
Or, was something more sinister at work? Something like a curse?
Or if not curses; how about plain old luck. David, Tom and John are all excellent entertainers. John and David can also sing and dance. I wonder if Tom can sing? As actors, I would say they were all of equal ability. But David disappeared, more or less. John's career has been wildly erratic. And Tom has steadily risen to the highest plateau of show business. In fact, he's gone beyond that. He's officially become "America's Dad." He plays legends like Mr. Roger's and Walt Disney. In fact, he's in jeopardy of becoming so iconic and irredeemably saintly that he won't be able to play anything but saints from here on out. Which is another way of saying he's in danger of becoming boring. My advice to Tom would be to immediately play a nice juicy villain. Or at least a cad. How about Trump: The Motion Picture? Hey, playing Bill Clinton worked for John; and wasn't that like his ninth come-back?