What Nickelodeon Stars Look Like Today

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We all know that after finding fame on the Nickelodeon hit show Victorious and the subsequent spin-off, Sam & Cat, Ariana Grande has gone on to become what she dubs, "the hardest-working 23-year-old human being on Earth." And while other former Nickelodeon stars have remained in the spotlight and found fame in their own right, others have vanished into obscurity altogether. 

From the seemingly unstoppable '90s sweetheart Melissa Joan Hart of Clarissa Explains It All, to the enduring fan favorite dynamic duo of Drake & Josh, to the disturbing downward spiral of one-time Nickelodeon "It Girl" Amanda Bynes, these child stars have all taken different paths. Let's take a look at not only what these Nickelodeon stars from the 1990s and early 2000s look like today, but also determine the ones who continued to shine — and the ones whose careers got slimed.

Melissa Joan Hart

From 1991 to 1994, Melissa Joan Hart was giving teenagers everywhere the low-down on how to make it through adolescence — all from the comfort of her bedroom on Clarissa Explains It All. The series made her the first-ever female lead on the network, and surely paved the way for shows like iCarly and Victorious. Clarissa was cancelled after five seasons because, at the age of 17, the network believed Hart was too old to appeal to Nick's target audience. In 1996, after a brief stint at New York University, Hart found another smash hit with Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, for a staggering seven seasons.

After Sabrina, Hart went from America's sweetheart to sweet maker when she opened up her candy and yogurt company, SweetHarts, according to People. However, Hart's dream of owning a candy store ended when it closed after only two years, following a lawsuit by a former employee who accused Hart of discrimination, among many other things. Hart also operated another short-term venture — her King of Harts fashion line — which shut down after three years in 2016. In the midst of her business failures, however, Hart had another impressive small screen run from 2010 to 2015 with the sitcom Melissa & Joey, where she where she played opposite fellow '90s star, Joey Lawrence.

As of 2019, Hart was back in the family-friendly TV game with No Good Nick, her Netflix sitcom about a family dealing with "a young, street-smart grifter [who] shows up on their doorstep, claiming to be a distant relative."

Kenan Thompson

As of this writing, Kenan Thompson has made a name for himself all on his own, but there was a time that fans probably wouldn't  recognize it without it being paired with the name of his former partner in crime. Does a little show called Kenan & Kel ring any bells? In the '90s, you couldn't get Kenan without getting Kel or vice versa — just take a look at All That, Good Burger and, of course, Kenan & Kel. When he wasn't engaging in shenanigans with Kel Mitchell, Thompson cut his teeth as a main cast member of the hit Nick show, All That, for five seasons. Some of his most memorable roles include Pierre Escargot and Superdude.

Following his stint on All That, Thompson went on to guest-star on shows like Pysch, The Steve Harvey Show and Felicity to name a few. But his defining gig, since 2003, has been his record-shattering spot on the cast of Saturday Night Live. As of 2019, Thompson is the longest-running member of the iconic sketch comedy series, and he doesn't plan on making that record any easier to break anytime soon. Speaking with Deadline about the dream job, Thompson said, "If it was possible I'd stay forever and just retire as the one guy that never left, basically." As if that's not impressive enough, Thompson reportedly also holds the record for most celebrity impressions. It's good to see Thompson is still all that.

Kel Mitchell

Although the dynamic duo of Kenan & Kel are no longer glued at the hip in real life, who are we to separate them in our memories — and by memories we mean this list. Kel Mitchell was part of the original All That cast that ruled Nickelodeon from 1994 to 1999. One of his most iconic roles during the course of the show was as a dim-witted fast food worker in the "Good Burger" sketch. In fact, the sketch was so popular, an entire movie of the same name was spun off of it. Mitchell also guest-starred alongside Kenan Thompson on Sister, Sister, The Steve Harvey Show, Cousin Skeeter, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch

Despite the internet trying to kill him off in 2006, Mitchell is alive and well — aside from possibly a wounded ego. In 2003, Mitchell auditioned for a spot on SNL only to be beaten out by his old pal Kenan Thompson — that had to hurt. Mitchell has had a few small guest-starring roles here and there, but he's largely stuck to his Nickelodeon roots and voice work in the years that his former comedy partner went mainstream. However, as part of Mitchell's longtime Nick residency, he logged an impressive four-year run as Double G on Game Shakers. And, of course, who could forget The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2015 when he reunited with Kenan for the famed "Good Burger" sketch.

Larisa Oleynik

The Golden Era of Nickelodeon would not have been complete without everyone's favorite girl-next-door who just so happened to have superpowers — Alex Mack. When Clarissa Explains It All completed its run in 1994, Melissa Joan Hart passed the proverbial torch to Larisa Oleynik who became the reigning Nick teen queen as the star of The Secret World of Alex Mack. The show was pretty much the Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch mash-up we never knew we needed. It seems Nickelodeon was just the beginning for the actress, who achieved teen idol status with roles in The Baby-Sitter's Club and as Julia Stiles' superficial younger sister in the cult classic, 10 Things I Hate About You.

As of this writing, Oleynik is still a small screen regular with a lengthy list of guest-starring roles under her belt. She is easily recognizable to Pretty Little Liars fans as the woman who causes baby mama drama for Ezra Fitz, but she has also appeared on other hit shows such as Mad Men, Hawaii Five-0, and Psych

She may have surrendered her powers after The Secret World of Alex Mack wrapped in 1998, but we think she's still pretty super.

Ross Hull

The show Are You Afraid of the Dark? was a wake-up call for '90s tweens everywhere who realized that they were, in fact, afraid of the dark. And the ringleader of the whole operation? Gary, the founder of the Midnight Society, played by a young Ross Hull. The show terrified kids everywhere from 1991–1996, but since this role makes up the better portion of Hull's acting resume, we're going to go out on a limb and say he probably isn't losing any sleep over his starring role on the show.

In 2004, Hull began a weather career at The Weather Network in Ontario, Canada. After taking on various anchoring gigs, Hull settled down as meteorologist for Global Toronto. But he hasn't shaken the acting bug completely. During a January 2019 Reddit AMA, Hull said that he's "still open" to taking on new roles, but his "main focus is meteorology." Regardless of how that all pans out, if Hull is half as good at delivering the news and he was at telling scary stories, he's got a long and successful career ahead of him.

Meagan Good

Every young star is waiting to catch a big break that will catapult their career and lift them from obscurity. For Meagan Good, that break was playing Nina Jones, the love interest of the main character, on Cousin Skeeter. The show only ran for three seasons, but that was pretty good considering the main character was a puppet.

Although Cousin Skeeter was short-lived, Good's career would not be. In the early 2000s, Good's television career continued to thrive with starring roles on show's like Raising Dad and My Wife and Kids. By the mid-2000s, she earned the reputation of being a "scream queen" due to her work on multiple horror films including Saw VOne Missed Call, and The Unborn. From appearing in popular movie franchises like Think Like a Man and Anchorman to starring in the Fox series Minority Report, Meagan Good definitely made a name for herself in Hollywood.

She also made headlines in 2016 with her book The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding Love of Your Life and the Life You Lovewhich she co-authored with her filmmaker/preacher husband, DeVon Franklin. According to the couple's interview with CBS This Morning, the book details "why saving sex for marriage is the key to success," which is why they both "committed to celibacy" prior to their marriage in 2012.

Danny Tamberelli

If you watched Nickelodeon at all in the '90s, you know it was almost impossible to avoid seeing Danny Tamberelli. His appearance on numerous memorable Nick shows including All That, Figure It Out and, of course, The Adventures of Pete & Pete cemented his place as the the unofficial poster child of '90s Nickelodeon.

Although it's been over 20 years since Pete & Pete wrapped, Tamberelli's most famous role is still as Little Pete on the cult classic. Aside from a little voice work here and there, a few commercials and his appearance in the 2002 indie film, Igby Goes Down, Tamberelli has left the big screen behind in favor of the stage. Since 2006, Tamberelli has been a bassist in the alternative group, Jounce, which makes good use of his degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Hampshire College (via Reddit AMA). He is also the co-creator of the sketch comedy group, ManBoobs. It seems you can take the kid out of All That, but you can't take the All That out of the kid. And in case you weren't already feeling nostalgic enough, in 2013 Tamberelli and his Pete & Pete co-star, Mike Maronna, reunited to create a podcast aptly called The Adventures of Danny & Mike.

Mike Maronna

And, of course, how could you possibly have Little Pete without Big Pete? As the primary narrator of Pete & Pete, Mike Maronna talked us through numerous misadventures we could only dream of being a part of. Although Pete & Pete ended in 1996, Maronna had steady acting gigs through the early 2000s. He appeared as one of the McCallister kids in the first two Home Alone movies and landed roles in the 2000s movies Slackers and 40 Days and 40 Nights.

After studying film at SUNY-Purchase in New York, Maronna stayed out of the spotlight and opted for a more behind the scenes role in the entertainment industry, racking up three times as many production credits as he ever earned as an actor. He has worked as an on-set electrician for shows and movies like Sex and the City, Men in Black 3 and Shades of Blue, to name a few. This man really knows his way around a set! In his spare time, Maronna reminisces about his glory days with former Pete & Pete co-star, Danny Tamberelli, on their aforementioned podcast.

Josh Server

Of all the cast members All That saw over the years, Josh Server was the only one who stood the test of time. Server is credited with being the longest-running cast member of the show. With 10 seasons of improv comedy under his belt, it's quite a surprise he didn't attempt to venture off into the wonderful world of SNL. In fact, it's a wonder Server never really ventured off at all. Through 2014, the majority of his career was primarily made up of sporadic cameos under the Nickelodeon umbrella, including an appearance on Sam & Cat in 2014, then a voice-acting gig on Game Shakers in 2018. Prior to those, he appeared on The Secret World of Alex Mack, The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh and Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide before taking a self-imposed hiatus from the industry. 

Speaking with Bustle in 2014, Server said, "I've been finding my way back to it in smaller doses the last couple of years, but recently I've really made a commitment to go all out and really start doing it [at] a high level and things are really starting to happen." However, the biggest splash he's made since then has been his 2016 Instagram reveal that under all that funny, he's pretty ripped, too. Oh well, Hollywood usually has use for dudes with shredded abs, right? 

Drake Bell

Although he rose to fame as one half of the lovable step-brother duo of Drake and Josh on the Nick show of the same name, Drake Bell got his start on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show, where he quickly became a favorite. In 2004, he was cast alongside his real life BFF Josh Peck and the show Drake & Josh was born. The show ran from 2004 until 2007, and although there were only 57 episodes made, Drake & Josh provided endless quotable and memorable moments.  

In addition to many more cameos as his Drake character on other Nick shows, Bell made a considerable pivot to voice work, including a lengthy stint as Peter Parker aka Spider-Man on the animated series, Ultimate Spider-Man. Oh, and he's also a rockstar, too. Yep, Bell's been busy in the studio and on stage with three studio albums and a couple EPs under his guitar strap, as of this writing. 

However, it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows for the former Nick star who has been convicted for two DUIs since 2009, according to E! Online. Per California's mandatory minimum requirement, he four days in jail for the second one in September 2016. He also famously feuded with Peck over a perceived snub regarding Peck's June 2017 wedding. Thankfully, the whole thing ended with more than one "Hug me brotha" moment, and we could all go back to being undivided Drake & Josh superfans. 

Christine Taylor

It's hard to think about early 90s Nick without remembering the beloved comedy series, Hey Dude, set on the fictional "Bar None Dude Ranch." The show made an entire generation of teens want to trade in their baseball caps for cowboy hats. At the center of all of this western wonder was Melody Hanson, played by the stunning Christine Taylor. When the show wrapped after 65 episodes, Taylor left the ranch in the dust and set her sights on the big screen.

Taylor became a familiar face around Hollywood, taking on memorable roles like Marcia Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel. She has also nabbed roles in hit movies like Zoolander and The Wedding Singer. Over the years, she has made guest appearances on television shows like Arrested Development, My Name Is Earl, and Hannah Montana Forever

In 2000, Taylor married fellow comedy star Ben Stiller, creating a Hollywood power couple that would enjoy one of the industry's longest running marriages. They split in May 2017, but not before Taylor put her career on hold to raise their two kids. "When my husband's working or he's on a film, I tend to not work that time and vice versa," she told the Daily News in 2016, indicating that Stiller's career equally shouldered that burden. However, a quick peek at his lifetime box office receipts versus hers tells a bit of a different tale.   

Josh Peck

Josh Peck had an unconventional start to his Nickelodeon career — and by unconventional we mean he didn't get his start on All That. Peck first appeared in the Nick movie, Snow Day in 2000. Following his big screen debut, he joined future co-star Drake Bell as a cast member on The Amanda Show.

Following Drake & Josh, Peck has enjoyed a steady, successful acting career. Like his former co-star, Peck has done quite a bit of voice work for animated movies such as the Ice Age franchise. He has also gained some indie movie cred with roles in Red Dawn and The Wackness. His biggest post-Nick success was the Fox comedy series, Grandfathered, alongside Uncle Jessie — err, John Stamos, which only lasted one season, but still managed to squeeze in a mini Drake & Josh reunion. From the iconic "Hug, me brotha" line to a sly reference to Peck's character's obsession with Oprah, it was truly a momentous occasion for all involved.

While still pushing for a full cast Drake & Josh reunion — which Bell has also said he'd "do in a heartbeat" — Peck spends his spare time being a social media star, a husband, and a daddy to his first son Max Milo, who was born on December 29, 2018. 

Jamie Lynn Spears

Prior to launching her television career, Jamie Lynn Spears' main claim to fame was being the baby sister of pop icon, Britney Spears. After spending a couple of seasons as an All That cast member, baby Spears was ready to grow her own fan base as Zoey Brooks in the scripted series Zoey 101. In 2007, it was revealed that the then 16-year-old actress was pregnant and the hit show wrapped shortly after. According to show creator Dan Schneider, Zoey 101 wasn't cancelled because of Jamie Lynn's pregnancy but rather because the show had come to a natural end after four seasons. However, with the end of Zoey 101 ultimately came the end of Jamie Lynn's acting career.

Following the birth of her daughter in 2008, Jamie Lynn switched her focus from acting to music. She provided backing vocals for Britney's 2013 album Britney Jean, and released several singles, including one which debuted at number 29 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs. Jamie Lynn even performed some of her songs at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. She welcomed a second daughter in April 2018, but don't think that means she'll be too busy to get back in the booth. "I'm a mom who makes music," her Instagram bio reads. Rock on, mama. 

Nick Cannon

All That launched so much of the comedic talent we see in Hollywood today, and Nick Cannon is no exception. While many All That stars continued their acting careers, Cannon set his sights on hosting from the very beginning. He had The Nick Cannon Show from 2002-2003 which essentially consisted of 27 episodes of Cannon "taking over" various situations. Over two seasons, he took over Hollywood, London, and Nickelodeon just to name a few. Although the show was cancelled over low ratings, the young Nick star was not to be discouraged.

Since his Nick days, Cannon has gone one to host Wild 'N Out, a sketch comedy and improv series on MTV, and, of course, America's Got Talent. But Nickelodeon is clearly still where Cannon's heart is. Forbes revealed in 2017 that not only did Cannon then serve as "chairman of TeenNick for Nickelodeon," but the network also gave him is first official writing gig when he was 17 years old, which made him "the youngest staff writer in TV history for Nickelodeon." 

Cannon famously married Mariah Carey in 2008 only to file for divorce from the diva in 2015. However, according to People, the two remain amicable and put their twins Moroccan and Monroe above all else. As of this writing, the multi-talented Cannon has more acting, producing, and directing credits to list, which makes it even more remarkable that he also found time to go back to school in 2016. 

Kirk Baily

Camp Anawanna was the place to be in the early '90s and what camper's experience would have been complete without the counselor everybody loved to hate, Kevin "Ug" Lee played by Kirk Baily. Although many held the Nick masterpiece that was Salute Your Shorts as close to their hearts as Camp Anawanna, the show was cancelled after two seasons because the cast was not on board with the idea of relocating from Los Angeles to Orlando

Baily eventually ran out of zinc to put on his nose, but luckily found other roles to sustain himself. He has appeared on shows like 7th Heaven, NYPD and Melrose Place, but his career, as of this writing, consists almost entirely of voice work. Among other big name titles, Baily has lent his voice to hits like Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Bumblebee

Amanda Bynes

From her memorable start as an All That kid to starring in her own show, how could we possibly forget the iconic Nickelodeon "it girl" that is Amanda Bynes? You have to be pretty talented to have your own show that's aptly named after you at the age of 13 — it seemed young Bynes was destined for greatness.

After taking her final bow on The Amanda Show, Bynes took her talents to the big screen and became an instant hit in movies like Big Fat Liar, What a Girl Wants and She's the Man. In 2007, she took on the role of Penny Pingleton in the remake of Hairspray co-starring former Disney star, Zac Efron. She quickly became a teen icon and was seemingly unstoppable until her abrupt retirement in 2010

Two years later, Bynes was arrested and charged with a DUI, sparking a downward spiral that she attributes to drug use, not mental health issues, which was widely speculated, in part, because she was placed on a involuntary psychiatric hold in 2014. But with the help of her parents, and four years of sobriety, Bynes made a high-profile comeback in November 2018. Speaking with Paper, she revealed that she earned her Associate's of Art degree in Merchandise Product Development from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She also said she plans on returning to acting "with excitement and hope for the best." We here at Nicki Swift wish her exactly that!