The Surreal Life took the tried-and-true Real World template — strangers living in a house while being filmed — and added a twist: The housemates were all celebrities! Here, though, the word “celebrity” means a person who was once a fairly successful actor or musician but whose most recent claim to fame is the fact they were on The Surreal Life more than 10 years ago. (We’re talking about people like Corey Feldman, Vanilla Ice, Charo, and Bronson Pinchot.) The show ran from 2003 to 2006, spawned approximately 500 spin-offs (actually the number is closer to 13, but that still has to be some sort of record!), and brought us so many beautiful moments, like the time Mini-Me actor Verne Troyer drunkenly urinated all over a carpet while naked. It was the most exquisite guilty pleasure viewing you could ever imagine, and that’s why it needs to return. Immediately! Here’s a nostalgic lineup of celebs who have what it takes to resurrect this groundbreaking show.
Lori Beth Denberg
Surreal Life Archetype: The one who seems too sweet and normal to be on this show (see Gabrielle Carteris and Sherman Hemsley)
Career highlight: Host of “Vital Information for Your Everyday Life” on the ’90s era Nickelodeon sketch show All That.
What she’s doing now: Denberg appeared on an episode of Workaholics in 2012, she’s developing a web series called Peaked, and she officiates weddings.
Why she’s perfect: Two cast members may want to get married and they’re going to need someone to officiate (just like Hammer did for Corey Feldman in season one of the show).
Surreal Life Archetype: The one who doesn’t want to be there (see Marcus Schenkenberg and Dave Coulier)/ The music star (see Hammer, Jordan Knight, Vanilla Ice, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, etc.).
Career highlight: Lead singer (yeah, I said it) of ‘NSYNC.
What he’s doing now: In 2014, he starred in the straight-to-DVD movie Red Sky with Bill Pullman. In 2015, he was featured on the Blues Traveler song “Blow Up the Moon.”
Why he’s perfect: He’d introduce a whole new generation to the pronunciation of “Chasez.” It’s “shaw-zay.” As Lori Beth Denberg would tell you, that’s vital information.
Steven Anthony Lawrence
Surreal Life Archetype: Diminutive former child star (see Gary Coleman and Emmanuel Lewis).
Career highlight: He was bacon-loving Beans on the Disney Channel’s Even Stevens.
What he’s doing now: In 2015, he was spotted at a mall in California, working at Santa’s photo booth.
Why he’s perfect: He’s earned his spot in the pantheon of annoying, seemingly parentless, TV neighbor kids. And so, he’s earned his spot here.
Surreal Life Archetype: The pot-stirrer (see Corey Feldman and Omarosa Manigault).
Career highlight: Dionne in Clueless.
What she’s doing now: Saying weird things on social media and Fox News.
Why she’s perfect: Remember that bizarre moment at the 2016 Oscars when Dash stood on stage and everyone in the audience was really confused and uncomfortable? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a whole season’s worth of moments just like that?
Tiffany “New York” Pollard
Surreal Life Archetype: The reality TV star (see Adrianne Curry, Trishelle Cannatella, and Ryan Starr).
Career highlight: Starring on her own reality dating show, I Love New York.
What she’s doing now: According to Twitter, she has a t-shirt and vest fashion line.
Why’s she perfect: She’d be making history. If she were on the show, she’d be the first reality star to be on a spinoff of a spinoff of a show, a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff of a show, a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff of a show, and a reboot of the original show.
The Six Flags Guy
Surreal Life Archetype: Wise and loving showbiz veteran (see Hammer, Erik Estrada, and Christopher Knight)/ The one you watch the show for (see Corey Feldman, Flavor Flav, and Brigitte Nielsen).
Career highlight: Starring in Six Flags commercials from 2004-2005.
What he’s doing now: Dancing to “dun dun dun dun dun dunna, dun dun dun dun dun dunna.”
Why he’s perfect: He was the ’00s’ number one hype man — the Flavor Flav of amusement park commercials. Just imagine all of the potential dating show spinoffs.
Surreal Life Archetype: The one who’s really serious about his art (see Corey Feldman).
Career highlight: This mural he painted of his friends.
What he’s doing now: What isn’t he doing now?
Why he’s perfect: Really, it was a toss up between Franco and Shia LaBeouf. Both actors are down for anything and everything if it’s done in the name of meta celebdom. Franco, however, has taken a role on a show that some people might say he was overqualified for (in 2009, he guest-starred on the daytime soap opera General Hospital) so he’d probably be more game to hang out with the Surrealies. Seeing Franco in a hot tub with Beans would be genuinely surreal.[Images: Bruce Malone, Imgur, ABC News, Bustle, AOL]
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