The 80’s will never be known as television’s finest hour. Sure there were some legendary shows like The Cosby Show, Night Court, and my favorite 80’s show Sledge Hammer. But those were sitcoms. I think the real evil of 80’s TV lay in the crappy hour long shows.
Nostalgia might make you want to forgive some shows like the A-Team and Knight Rider. But the only show that gets a pass is Miami Vice, and that’s because I say so. I loved that show as a kid. Personally I hated shows like The Dukes of Hazard and TJ Hooker (Nothing against Shatner, the man’s a genius and a national treasure). But the show I hated most was the campy, predictable and stupidest show on television, The Fall Guy.
For those who don’t remember, The Fall Guy was Lee Majors comeback to television after The Six Million Dollar Man. The show centered around the life of a stuntman/bounty hunter, which must have sounded fascinating to rednecks around the country. Colt Seavers was his name (feel free to roll your eyes) and he drove around in a piece of crap pickup truck with an eagle painted on the hood for good measure. He also wore a satin jacket that looked like he mugged a roller derby girl. Hell, even Michael Knight wore a leather jacket, even in the desert.
Colt had two sidekicks. First was Heather Thomas (the less hot Heather on television at the time compared to Heather Locklear) who walked around with her shirt half unbuttoned. And he had Douglas Barr, who unfortunately also walked around with his shirt half unbuttoned.
And this brings me to the point of this post. Douglas Barr is the worst actor I have ever seen. I must have been around 11 years old when this show came out, and I can clearly remember thinking that this guy was the worst actor ever. I mean he was really, really bad, even by campy 80’s TV standards. Mr. T was an Emmy winner compared to this guy. Douglas Barr made David Hasselhoff look like James Gandolfini.
Watching Douglas Barr made me actually start thinking about acting. I started noticing which actors were more believable. Obviously there were stand outs even then on television. In comedies I thought John Larroquette reigned supreme on Night Court, and in dramas I was blown away by the cast of St. Elsewhere and The Paper Chase.
I tried to find actors that I thought equated to the acting talent of Douglas Barr. He was about on par with your average walk-on roll from a pro-athlete on The Love Boat. Except for the one with the Harlem Globe Trotters, they easily out acted Barr.
Looking up Mr. Barr’s IMDB page I see he went on to star in other shows. The Wizard, a TV show that was like McGuyver, but with a little person. Yes, it’s was as bad as it sounds. And he was on Designing Women, which I didn’t spend a lot of time watching, primarily because I wasn’t a 40 year old woman. And I was happy to see that he not only did some guest work on The Love Boat, but also Fantasy Island.
It doesn’t look like Mr. Barr has acted much since 1994. I can only assume he went on to be Jessica Simpson’s acting coach.