TV

Where Was The Cast Of ‘Eastbound & Down’ Before Kenny Powers Came Along?

Eastbound & Down came to a (maybe) close last year, and while we might mourn the end of one of the crudest comedies to ever grace the small screen, we’ll always have the GIFs and horribly edited reruns that will eventually make their way to Spike. The show not only helped make Danny McBride a household name — depending who makes up your household — it gave a major boost to the careers of its supporting cast. We already know what its famous recurring cast members Craig Robinson, Will Ferrell, and Don Johnson were doing before the show, but what about the supporting cast? Let’s investigate what Stevie, April, and the rest of the Team Kenny Powers crew were up to before Eastbound & Down came calling.

Steve Little “Stevie Janowski”

Steve Little had a nice resume before joining up with Eastbound & Down as Kenny’s dimwitted sidekick. Like a lot of comic actors, Little got his start at the L.A. sketch theater company The Groundlings and from there he started picking up parts in shows like Reno 911, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office. His first break came when he was spotted performing with the Groundlings and brought on as a voice actor and writer — of which he’s written some 57 episodes — for the kids’ show, Camp Lazlo!. I wasn’t able to find a clip of it, but just before he teamed up with Kenny Powers, Little was in a show called G.I.L.F. which has this IMDB description:

She’s a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a lover, a fashion designer, and a part-time receptionist who’s full-time irresistible!

Katy Mixon “April Buchanon”

Before shotgunning beers and beating up moms at the putt-putt, Katy Mixon was best known for playing the “hot southern girl” in movies and shows like Finding Alabama, Four Christmases, and My Name is Earl. Oddly enough, Mixon’s first professional acting gig was playing Calpurnia in a production of Julius Caesar at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. And it sure as hell isn’t Shakespeare, but she also appeared in a musical with RuPaul called Zombie Prom.

Ben Best “Clegg”

Kenny’s coked-up former Widespread Panic roadie buddy only hangs around season one and a few episodes in season two. It’s a shame we didn’t get more Clegg, he doesn’t really push Kenny’s buttons as much as Stevie, but the dude can huff the hell out of some spray paint. Show co-creator Ben Best remained involved with the show even after Clegg disappeared, and prior to Eastbound & Down he co-wrote The Foot Fist Way with Danny McBride and had small roles in Observe and Report and Superbad. That’s him who calls Jonah Hill out on his blood-stained pants.

Bo Mitchell “Wayne Powers”

I could have sworn that actor Bo Mitchell aka “Wayne Powers” aka “Shrek” was the same kid from Bad Santa, but that’s an actor named Brett Kelly. (It’s good to know there’s plenty of acting work out there for chubby kids with curly hair.) Mitchell’s actually got a pretty great story of how he was discovered, according to his IMDB profile his mother was stopped by a modeling agent in a mall who thought her 9-month-old Bo was a large 2-year-old. From there he was modeling clothes for kids all over the state of North Carolina before moving into an acting role in October Road the TV series. The kid was also killing it as a small business owner starting his own snow cone franchise at 7 and opening up a skateboard park and shop called HIC Skate Shop, all before finishing high school at age 16.

Elizabeth De Razzo “Maria Janowski”

Elizabeth De Razzo was born in Laredo, Texas but grew up mostly in Mexico. She said that as a child she was a huge X-Files fan and that when she first came to Los Angeles was lucky enough to appear as an extra on an episode. Before getting impregnated by Stevie on Eastbound & Down and thus living the “good life,” De Razzo had small roles on ER, Cold Case, and The United States of Tara.

John Hawkes “Dustin Powers”

John Hawkes was the most seasoned actor on the Eastbound & Down cast, having well over 100 credits to his name with roles going back to the mid-1980s. Surely you remember him as Pizza Boy in Johnny Be Good or Crazy in Cool and the Crazy. No? Hawkes also appeared in Rush Hour, Identity, and had a nice stint alongside the great Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood. His career has had quite the upwards trajectory since Eastbound.

Andy Daly “Principal Terrence Cutler”

Daly was a seasoned comedy vet long before stealing April away from Kenny Powers and taking command at Shelby Middle School. Daly started performing at NYC’s Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater with his sketch group The Two Andys and from there became an actor in Late Night With Conan O’Brien sketches. Daly also spent two seasons on Mad TV and made appearances on Reno 911, Entourage, and as stripper Ben Franklin on an episode of The Office. He’s now become even more of an UPROXX favorite thanks to Review.

Jennifer Irwin “Cassie Powers”

Like co-star and fictional husband John Hawkes, Jennifer Irwin started in the movie business in the mid-1980s with her first role being a student in a made for TV version of Anne of Green Gables. From there Irwin landed small parts like on the terrifying Nickelodeon show Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Superstar and the pilot episode of Ellen DeGeneres’ second sitcom, The Ellen Show. Her longest running role before joining Eastbound & Down was an 88 episode run on the CBS sitcom Still Standing.

I think we can all agree that as much as these actors might have accomplished before Eastbound & Down, there is no greater role for an actor than working alongside this master thespian.

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