Brian Dunkleman. Actor? Check. Comedian? Check. Questionable decision maker? Check.
Back in Season 1 of American Idol, Brian teamed up with the highlight-lovin' and as then little-known entertainer Ryan Seacrest only to leave after Idol’s inaugural season. Flash-forward 12 years and 13 Idol seasons later, and we’re guessing Brian might regret that particular choice.
He remained mum on the topic for years until February 2010 when he spoke to TV host Joy Behar and admitted leaving Idol wasn’t the best decision of his life.
“Listen, I’d like to say I was just young and stupid, but the truth is, I really wasn’t that young,” he said via Access Hollywood. “I mean listen, I was a comedian and an actor … What I wanted to do with my life is be an actor and that’s going great [gives a thumbs up].”
He added that, on top of leaving to pursue acting, Brian didn’t like the way the show worked with aspiring singers: “The other thing was I didn’t like watching those kids being brought to tears like that. I didn’t understand why they had to do it. I didn’t get it.”
Speaking of that acting career, Brian has been featured on Celebrity Fit Club and had bit roles on various shows, including a co-hosting gig on radio’s The Idol Re-cap Show.
He’s also managed to make the most of his reputation as Ryan Seacrest’s former co-host. In 2009, he shopped around a web series called American Dunkleman, described as “a scripted comedy series in which the one time Idol host would play a fictional version of himself that is trying to make his way back into the television industry after making ‘the biggest mistake in the history of show business.’”
Cringe much? We know we did. And, it would seem, so did any potential producers pitched American Dunkleman. Although Brian told Zap2it "it’s a great idea for a show” and that he had plenty of material to pull from — “if you’re a guy who passed up one of the biggest shows in the history of the world, these things just happen to you” — we’ve yet to hear of American Dunkleman getting the green light.
Of course, if none of his other ventures pay off, sounds like the people wouldn't mind seeing Brian return to Idol. A whopping 74 percent of Zap2it readers voted in favor of Brian coming back as co-host!
While we don’t see that happening any time soon (read: over Ryan Seacrest’s dead body), don’t worry. Brian does get regular work as a comedian at the Laugh Factory and The Improv in Los Angeles.