In the 1980s and ’90s, Nickelodeon was going hog wild for original, live-action shows. Programs like The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Salute Your Shorts, Clarissa Explains It All and Welcome Freshmen were staples of the network’s programming for years. One of the most fondly remembered was Hey, Dude!, a show about a divorced accountant from New Jersey who buys a ranch in Arizona. It was primarily character-driven, with episodes revolving around both the owner, Benjamin Ernst, and his son acclimating to a new life out west and the ranch’s staff.
The show ran for five seasons, spanning from 1989 to 1991 and is still available on iTunes and Amazon Prime. A lot of time has passed since then, and while the set isn’t looking so great, most of the cast seems to be doing alright.
Christine Taylor – “Melody Hanson”
So, Christine Taylor is arguably the most recognizable cast member from the show these days. She was 18 when she was cast as lifeguard Melody Hanson and, since then, has had a pretty steady career. After bouncing around some TV roles (including a guest spot on Saved By The Bell, because of course she did), she nabbed the role of Marsha Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie and its sequel. She met Ben Stiller on the set of Heat Vision and Jack and the two were married in 2000. She would appear with him in Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. She’ll next appear alongside Stiller in Zoolander 2.
David Brisbin – “Benjamin Ernst, Sr.”
You’ve seen him in dozens of movies and TV shows and you sort of recognize him. About four hours later you sit up and think “Wait a minute… wasn’t he the guy from Hey, Dude!?” Yes, gentle reader, he certainly was.
While he’s had a series of small roles here and there, he’s most known for his recurring role as Dr. Alexander Babcock on ER (where he appeared with his wife, Laura Innes). His last credited appearance was a guest role on Justified earlier this year.
Fun fact: Justified creator Graham Yost wrote for Hey Dude back in the day.
David Lascher – “Ted McGriff”
David Lascher, who played the scheming yet charming Ted on the show, has had a solid post-Hey Dude career with supporting roles on the Clueless TV spinoff and Blossom, and an appearance in the 1996 Ridley Scott film White Squall. In 1999, Lascher took a role alongside fellow Nickelodeon alum Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All) as love interest and coffee-house manager Josh on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch and, in 2014, worked with her again in Melissa and Joey, which also co-stars Joey Lawrence from Blossom. “Whoa!”
Behind the camera, Lascher directed and co-wrote the 2014 indie film, Sister.
Jonathan Galkin – “Jake Decker”
When David Lascher temporarily left the show, Galkin was cast as “Jake Decker” — Ben Ernst’s nephew from Los Angeles — to take his place. Eventually Ted returned and Jake found himself a rival for the affections of Brad.
Galkin, on the other hand, decided not to bother with the affections of Hollywood after Hey, Dude! ended. Instead, he went on to found DFA Records along with James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy. He is still in charge of the label, which counts LCD Soundsystem as one of its signed acts.
Everyone Else From ‘Bar None Dude Ranch’
Not everyone from Hey, Dude! went on to have a career in entertainment. Here’s a quick look at the cast members who decided the limelight wasn’t for them.
Debrah Kalman – “Lucy” — After Hey, Dude!, Lucy continued to act part-time but, for the most part, opted to return to teaching full-time. She currently lives in Palm Harbor, Florida. She did attend the Hey, Dude! reunion at the ATX Festival in Austin in 2014.
Kelly Brown – “Brad Taylor” — Kelly left acting after the show ended.
Joe Torres – “Danny Lightfoot” — Literally, no one has the slightest idea what happened to him.