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Did they really think we wouldn't notice when they switched these actors?
Published July 26, 2011 More Info »
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Published July 26, 2011

Aunt Viv in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Let's just start this list off with the one that's at the forefront of our minds: Aunt Viv from Fresh Prince. I've read some insightful articles from 1993, as well as impassioned message board posts from 2006, all trying to get to the bottom of why she left. Does it matter? Does anything matter? What are we doing on this big spinning marble? At the end of the day, all that's important is they took our beloved Aunt Viv and replaced her with someone else. Someone not as good. Yo holmes, back to the casting office.

Fake Kevin Bacon in Tremors 2

In 1996, Kevin Bacon was a little too busy to reprise the role of Valentine McKee in the direct to video (it took directly 6 years to come out) sequel to Tremors. Fred Ward, on the other hand, had a wide open schedule. Instead of having another actor play Bacon's part, there’s a throwaway line about how Valentine is happy with his love interest from the first film (HUGE PAYOFF FOR FANS OF THE SERIES) and a taxi driver Fred Ward met 5 minutes ago becomes his new sidekick. More than that, this guy just becomes his new Kevin Bacon. They play rock paper scissors together, have a young tremors hunter/old tremors hunter buddy dynamic going- I think there’s even a scene where Earl says, “Didn’t you used to be played by Kevin Bacon?” and his newfound taxi driving sidekick is all, “Don’t worry about it. Let’s go blow up huge worms in a Mexican oil field because this movie makes a ton of sense.”

Dick Sargent and Dick York in Bewitched

There are a lot of jokes that you can make here. Most of them are cheap dick jokes. Some of them are expensive dick jokes. I’ll go with a moderately priced dick joke and say that you can’t swap out a Dick in the middle of things and expect nobody to notice. According to Wikipedia, Dick York (the original Darrin on Bewitched) hurt his back filming a Western. There were delays on set and re-writes (remember that 6 episode arc where he lays in bed complaining about his back?) until one day he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. They replaced him the same month with another actor who was also named Dick. You know who the real dicks are? The people who run Hollywood. This guy from Aurora, IL knows what I'm talking about.

Jennifer in Back to the Future 2

If you went to the future in a flying car, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t notice your high school sweetheart was replaced either. For a trilogy that’s all about continuity, it’s amazing this switcheroo isn’t more glaring. To be fair, Marty’s not the only one distracted by the future. As a viewer, who really cares about Jennifer when there’s flying cars and Jaws 3D? Yes, they’re in love but they are also in high school. Just like Doc tells them at the end of BTTF 3: “Marty! You’re both going to get tired of each other’s shit eventually and want to fuck other people!” or something like that before he takes off in a flying train with his creepy kids.

Ann Veal in Arrested Development

Part of the joy of being an Arrested Development fan is repeat views. Every time I watch the episode where they introduce Ann Veal I find myself saying, "Her?" She doesn’t look like the Egg Ann we've come to know and love, and that’s probably because they changed the actress who played her after just one episode. This might be a genius play by the writers to make us say, "Her?" in our brains every time we re-meet Ms. Veal, but more likely than not it's because the girl who originally played Ann (Alessandra Torresani) was quickly growing up to look like this:



(SERIOUSLY.) and that wasn’t going to fit with the character. Instead, the show would be a bunch of people coming up to Ann and saying, “Him?”
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