Jamie Kennedy: The Real Reason You Don't Hear From Him Anymore

Jamie Kennedy burst onto the scene (and into our hearts) in 1996 as Randy Meeks, the horror movie geek in Wes Craven's Scream. Without him, how would we ever have known "the rules" of surviving a horror movie? (Never say, "I'll be right back!") After a few small roles, a high-profile romance with his co-star Jennifer Love Hewitt, and some major bombs, Jamie Kennedy has faded from view. Here are the surprising reasons behind his disappearance.

He suffers from a heart condition

Kennedy revealed in an episode of The Doctors in April 2016 that he has been suffering from a heart condition basically his entire life."Ever since I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with a congenital heart block, and then when I was 14, I got a pacemaker put in." The team of physicians seemed shocked by Kennedy's revelation—which came as he was promoting his role on the television drama Heartbeat. Luckily, it seems as if Kennedy's health is good these days, but dealing with such a serious health issue would be exhausting even for those not trying to make a career in Hollywood.

Heartbeat cancellation

The ill-fated NBC medical drama Heartbeat starring Melissa George gave Kennedy a shot to stretch his muscles as a dramatic actor after years of focusing on comedy. On the Today show, Kennedy said that all comedians were capable of "going to the dark side," and that being on the show had taught him a great deal about medicine. Unfortunately, it wasn't to last. Heartbeat was cancelled after just one season, adding to the mounting pile of Kennedy's disappointments.

Randy's exit in Scream was premature

We loved Kennedy's character, Randy, in Scream, and lots of fans were horrified when [spoiler alert] Randy was killed off in Scream 2. It was too early in the franchise! Scream 2 was released just a year after the immense success of the first. Perhaps Wes Craven didn't think the series would go much further. Though Randy appears in a cameo in the third film, it just wasn't enough, and, for many fans, contributed to the lackluster later sequels. Who knows what would have come out of Randy's surviving Mr. Ghostyface for the films and for Kennedy's career?

He freaked out over a woman burping during his stand-up routine

When a woman in a fairly drunk and rowdy crowd at a Connecticut comedy show in which Kennedy was performing burped, Kennedy went off on on her and her friends, telling him their lives were "f—king bulls***." Despite heckling from the crowd, Kennedy kept on, eventually leading to the group being removed from the venue. After a couple of years, Kennedy obviously had little patience for disruptive audience members. He even offered to refund the other audience members' admission.

He held grudges on social media

The fact that Kennedy had hosted the E3 Activision press conference way back in 2007 didn't stop him from defending himself on Twitter. When Gary Whitta asked another Twitter user if another host's gig was "worse than the Jamie Kennedy/Activision trainwreck?" Kennedy chimed in, tweeting, "wow, u dorks can't let that go, You have no idea what really happened, because ur not in the biz, ur a spectator." When another user suggested they all sit down to clear the air, Kennedy continued, "would love to. I can after this move wraps, those guys can do I guess after jerkin off to Zelda!"

Son of the Mask was a dud

In 2005, Son of the Mask, the stand-alone sequel of sorts to Jim Carrey's uber-popular The Mask, arrived in theaters with Jamie Kennedy in the starring role. Unfortunately, critics were quick to pan the film, and it landed on lists of the worst movies of the decade. Kennedy's performance didn't fare much better. It was the most nominated film at that year's Razzie Awards, and at the Stinkers Bad Movie awards Kennedy won Worst Actor. For many, the movie was the nail in the coffin of Kennedy's career.

His documentary, Heckler, was controversial

Jamie Kennedy took his displeasure at his lack of success to task in 2007's Heckler, a documentary about comedians and the people that love to hate them. What could have potentially been a very funny (and revealing take) on how difficult the life of a comedian unfortunately ended up feeling like a cringe-worthy complain-fest. Jim Emerson, at Roger Ebert, summed it up: "Heckler (I accidentally called it "Harangue" just now) is an 80-minute howl of fury and anguish in which Kennedy and a host of other well-known and not-well-known showbiz people tell oft-told tales of triumphant comebacks and humiliating disasters, freely venting their spleens at those who have spoken unkindly of them."

He had a big public break-up

After meeting on the set of The Ghost Whisperer in 2009, Jamie Kennedy and Jennifer Love Hewitt dated for about a year, then broke-up. Though it might have been a typical case of the bloom going off on an on-set romance, the aftermath was a bit embarrassing for Kennedy. On a radio show with Nik Richie in 2013, Richie asked Kennedy if he knew Love Hewitt was engaged to Brian Hallisay.

Kennedy, clearly not wanting to discuss the topic, revealed that he had only found out the day before Love Hewitt was pregnant that another ex-girlfriend, who was also pregnant, had told him the news. "All of your ex-es are getting knocked up!" she said. But Kennedy had a classy response to being ambushed on air with the news. "I'm very happy for her," he said. "Look, I think she's probably at a wonderful place in her life where she's going to have a baby—you know, she's a very maternal person, so if someone should be a mother it's her—she's a very loving person."

His NYE hosting gig was a disaster

To ring in the New Year in 2013, KDOC, a radio station in Los Angeles, wanted to do a live, on-air variety show and hired Jamie Kennedy as host. Certainly all the things that went wrong that night were not Kennedy's fault; live television is, after all, notoriously unforgiving. Kennedy later said he wanted to make something spontaneous. There were lots of slip-ups, probably thanks to alcohol, and the musical performances were strange and, well, bad. Clips from the show went viral on YouTube and the telecast has gone down in history as one of the worst live television broadcasts in history.

He's been labeled as a bad actor

Thanks to the Son of the Mask and other flops, Jamie Kennedy has landed on too many worst actor lists. Complex wrote, "When you're a comedian who can't sell a single joke in any movie, however, a hater's blind eye must open wide." But critics conceded that Kennedy had never claimed to be a great actor, and had high hopes for his documentary Heckler, a movie about why people heckle him so often over Son of the Mask. "Here's the thing," UGO writes, "They said it sucked because it sucked." 

Despite all the negative press, we still believe in Jamie Kennedy. After over 20 years in the business, he's long overdue for a great project to showcase his talents.