'Touch the cornballer'
He's one of the funniest guys in movies and TV these days -- at least he was before Fox cancelled Arrested Development. But in the 80s, Jason Bateman -- who turns 38 years old today -- hadn't quite found his niche.
Bateman first appeared in Little House on the Prairie, playing the role of James Cooper Ingalls in 19 episodes in 1981-82. He had appearances in a slew of other shows, including Silver Spoons, Knight Rider, Mr. Belvedere and St. Elsewhere. From 1986 to 1991, he played David Hogan in TV's The Hogan Family. And in 1987, he starred in Teen Wolf Too, playing the cousin of the werewolf character created by Michael J. Fox. A great movie? Umm, no. But better things were coming in the 90s.
He co-starred in 1991's Necessary Roughness, but I think his best role in the 90s was in 1999's Love Stinks, where he played a minor role as a star in a sit-com written by French Stewart. His signature work -- as Michael Bluth in Arrested Development -- wowed fans in 2003.
These days, Bateman is as busy as ever with three movies in pre- or post-production: The Kingdom, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and Tonight, He Comes.
Top 5 Jason Bateman roles in TV and film:
5. David Hogan, The Hogan Family: No great quotes, but this sit-com is believed to be the first to use the word "condom" on air. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice.
4. Jarvis Edison, Necessary Roughness: "How many timeouts do we have left? (Three.) Can we take 'em all now?"
3. Roger, The Sweetest Thing: "What kind of marketing braniac puts anal leakage on his product?"
2. Pepper Brooks, Dodgeball: "Good toss by the submissive out there!"
1. Michael Bluth, Arrested Development: "Oh sure, Lindsay. You're a much better parent - no borders, no limits, oh go ahead, touch the Cornballer..."