Television in the late 90s and early 00s left us with many iconic moments and personages. In some cases, we would see families of actors work together in attempts to be the best family of child actors. We saw Kyle and Christopher Massey kickin’ it, the Olson Twins had a run for their money, the Panabakers had a brief run on Disney, and if you’ve been keeping score, then yes Emily Osment of Hannah Monatna fame is in fact the sister of Haley Joel Osment of “I see dead people fame.”
While this is good and plenty, none of these families seems to quite compare with the Lawrence Brothers. If you don’t know the Lawrence Brothers, then you either didn’t grow up in the same time period as we did, or you just didn’t have the right kind of childhood. So I’ll take you a quick run-through as to how you should have encountered these brothers many times throughout your childhood.
For starters, I’m sure many of you encountered these three icons in their tv show “Brotherly Love.” If you don’t really remember much about the show, I’d definitely suggest going back for a re-watch, it carries that classic 90s family comedy vibe. I mean the mom is alright (most tv moms suck so that’s a plus), Matt Lawrence is a boss in training at this point, Andy makes a hilarious lovable little kid, and then on top of all that Joey Lawrence is arguably one of the ibgger savages of all time. But other than this show, let’s take a look at some individual credentials.
First off, this guy voiced Oliver in Oliver and Company. After that he appeared in a lot of other random movies/shows etc, including of course the Lawrence Brothers hits as Brotherly Love, Horse Sense, and Jumping Ship. (He played the resident savage in each of those films.) But what you may not have known is that he was also a singer. Yup, in 93 he released his self-titled album which actually was #73 on the Billboard charts, not bad, not bad. Recently he has been seen on Dancing with the Stars, coming in third, and co-starring with Clarissa/Sabrina the teenage witch in the ABC Family comedy “Melissa and Joey.” While his successses may seem futile, you have to understand the impact that came along with it. Lawrence dominated all aspects required of being a 90s beast. He had the Uncle Jesse vibe going for him in Brotherly Love, and matched his acting skills with some vocals. Find me a girl that doesn’t love that.
You may have noticed that I skipped Matt and went straight to the younger brother, and yes I did. Anywho, Andy was more or less the black sheep of the Lawrence brothers troupe. Joey, badass. Matt, unreal. Andy……Look that’s not fair to say, just because he didn’t have the dazzling good looks of his older brothers, or the swag to compete with him doesn’t mean that he wasn’t right up there with them. He was right there with them in the aforementioned Lawrence Brothers classics, but he also got some of his own Disney Channel Original movies. He had The Other Me, in which he accidentally clones himself and the new self is a genius (great plot for a movie, I know) and Going To The Mat, in which he shows the success of a struggling blind wrestler, touching movie. Point is, he really didn’t do much with his career past the family stuff, oh wait yes he did! He was the voice of T.J. Detweiler from Recess.
One of the greatest cartoons of our childhood, and he was the voice of the main character. Hows that for independent success?
Arguably my favorite Lawrence brother, as in, absolutely my favorite Lawrence Brother. Unlike his two other brothers, you may very well know him independently of the family-oriented progrums. You may not remember this, but if you go back and re-watch Mrs. Doubtfire, yup that’s him right there. THEN if you want to go re-watch Angels in the
Outfield Endzone, you’ll note that he is the main character (other notable stars in that movie: Doc Brown and Simon Camden). You may at this point be beginning to think that he’s going somewhere, and you’d be correct as in 97, the same year as Angels, he picked up the role of Jack Hunter in Boy Meets World. Whoa. Talk about goldmine, wait there’s more? He starred in H-E-Double Hockeysticks, and dated Regina George in The Hot Chick. I’m not sure what he’s up to today, but whatever it is, I’m sure he’s dating someone really hot.
So there ya have it folks, the Lawrence Brothers. They dominated tv for us, in a sense, more or less. I’d suggest going back and re-watching some of these classics, they really are worth it. We here on the FDAB team are always down for re-watching the classics, because, let’s be honest, it’s generally better than what’s on tv these days, am i right?
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Clip of the Day: (note the hot dog impression)