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6 Beloved TV Shows (That Traumatized Cast Members For Life)

#3.
Grace Under Fire

The Show:

In her 90s sitcom, stand-up comedienne Brett Butler portrayed a wisecracking, recovering alcoholic.

But Behind The Scenes...

On the set of her 90s sitcom, stand-up comedienne Brett Butler was a wisecracking alcoholic.

Grace Under Fire was famous for two things: its blue-collar sensibilities that made Roseanne look like Fellini; and the painkillers-and-booze-fueled escapades of its star, Alabaman comic Brett Butler.

In five years, the show went through five producers, each one quitting or being forced out as Butler drunkenly fought for creative control. Off-set, Butler pulled such stunts as stumbling onto Letterman and claiming Walt Disney's last words were, 'Whatever you do, don't let the Jews get the place." (Mind you, Grace Under Fire aired on ABC, which had recently been purchased by Disney.)

Butler's supporting cast soon grew tired of her expletive-filled rants and on-set breakdowns. Costar Julie White (a.k.a. Sam Witwicky's mom from Transformers) quit the show, and child actor John Paul Steuer reportedly left after he received a firsthand look at Butler's new boob job, which Butler proudly flashed about set.


"Kids love my tits!"

ABC, quickly losing key cast members and unwilling to shoehorn in a gas leak subplot, shitcanned the show midseason in 1998.

#2.
Growing Pains

The Show:

80s middle-class family learns to live and love and finds Leonardo DiCaprio living in a dumpster.

But Behind The Scenes...

Teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron learns to love Jesus and finds sin in all of his costars.

Kirk Cameron's born again Christianity caused more troubles on-set than a scientist at a Scientologist convention. In the later seasons of Growing Pains, Cameron was a holy terror, tut-tutting costars for "immoral" behavior and demanding puritanical script revisions.


All this from a man who dressed like a Thai rent boy.

Although Cameron's definition of immoral was laughable, it was his be-mulleted mug on the cover of Tiger Beat, so ABC put up with the sanctimonious little shit.

Under Cameron's thrall, Growing Pains made Mayberry look like Sodom and Gomorrah. For instance, Cameron called for rewrites when his character, Mike Seaver, laid in bed with a woman, even though Seaver was just acting in a play. Things grew so insane on-set that Cameron once called the president of ABC and accused the network of shilling pornography.

All this pales in comparison to the number Cameron did on costar Julie McCullough's career. McCullough played Mike Seaver's girlfriend, Julie Costello. She had also once appeared nude in Playboy.

Cameron forced ABC to fire McCullough and her sweater puppets--after all, nothing offends the Lord more than a nice pair of pert yams. Once McCullough got the pink slip, the writers scrambled to rejigger the upcoming Mike-Julie wedding episode. Ultimately, Mike Seaver was stood up at the altar, a fitting metaphor for how Cameron had alienated almost everyone he'd worked with. It's hard to stay pissed at Cameron. After all, his career's been in the gutter for a while, and nowadays he spends his time proving God's existence using bananas and disproving evolution using Photoshop.

#1.
Martin

The Show:

Lovable radio DJ warms the hearts of America by verbally abusing his spouse.

But Behind The Scenes...

Lovable stand-up comic terrifies the shit out of everyone in a 10-yard radius.

Tisha Campbell's big break was playing Gina Waters, Martin's wife and recipient of the famous catch phrase, "Damn, Gina!"

Thanks to the on-screen charisma between Gina and Martin, the show became one of Fox's biggest shows not involving police chases.

Sadly, the sitcom's success came at the price of Martin Lawrence's sanity. The star began abusing drugs like pixie sticks, and his behavior on-set went from endearingly manic to full-blown Rick James.

According to a 1997 lawsuit filed by Campbell, Lawrence physically threatened cast and crew, carried a loaded firearm and once attempted to molest her in front of a live studio audience. She finally called it quits after Lawrence threatened to kill his estranged wife. This sort of behavior seems haltingly out of place for a comedian who we've since come to laud for his realistic portrayals of femininity.

Campbell returned to film the series finale with the stipulation that Lawrence and her could never be in the same room together. We presume this arrangement set the template for how every single episode of John & Kate Plus Eight was filmed.




Evan Hoovler wrote his Master's thesis about Cracked.com. He produces the sketch comedy troupe Drunk Nerds and co-wrote the National Lampoon book, Pimp It Yourself.

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To see how television shows frustrated the viewers, check out 7 Badass Cartoon Villains Who Lost to Retarded Heroes and The 5 Most Maddeningly Unresolved TV Plotlines.

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