“Salute Your Shorts” – Where Are They Now?

Salute Your Shorts was a Nickelodeon show about a group of kids at a summer camp called Camp Anawanna, and the camp counselor who loved them very much. It ran for two seasons in 1991 & 92, making it an early part of Nick’s Classic Age (which begins with the debut of Rugrats and ends with the debut of Spongebob).

We’ve all spent most of the last twenty years wondering what became of the actors. Here is my exhaustive research (i.e. what I read on IMDb).

Kirk Baily

(b. 1952) played Ug, the clueless camp counselor. Nick shows often include an adult who is dumb and unaware, allowing the kids to outfox him every episode. While I found that fun as child, now that I am grown up and all the dimwitted adults on Nickelodeon are around my age, I find it hurtful and offensive.

Baily’s credits after Salute Your Shorts include one episode spots on Beverly Hills, 90210The Larry Sanders Show, Melrose Place, NYPD Blue, 7th Heaven, and Felicity as well as the movie 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, definitely the weakest of the 3 Ninjas Trilogy.

I wasn’t able to track down a reliable photo of the actor.  The only Kirk Bailey I could find looked like the doctor who sawed off his foot in the first Saw. But being a nerd, I recognize him from Star Trek: Voyager. He played Seven of Nine’s idiot father who was turned into a Borg several years before the time period the show is set. The character appeared in both human form, via flashbacks, and Borg form in the two-parter “Dark Frontier”. It was a rare good episode of Voyager.

Baily mostly does voice work for animation and video games, as well as finding employment as a sound guy. He has voice credits in Over the Hedge, Open Season 1 & 3, and Yogi Bear. He is also listed as an ADR guy in such films as Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, 3:10 to Yuma, Aliens vs Predator Requiem, Marmaduke, and Rango.

Megan Berwick

(b. 1975) played Z.Z. Ziff, the tree-hugger. She dropped out of acting after Shorts and went for a smart people’s job instead. She earned a Masters in International Political Economy at Stanford University in 2010.

It’s a timely degree, too,  since the international political economy has been in the news lately. It turns out that Greece has only been pretending to be a first world nation for several decades. In reality, they are about as poor as Mexico, but were able to lie on their accounting enough to get into the Eurozone. It was pretty easy for them to fake it. I mean, Greece is a really old civilization, so it’s natural to assume that they would have had their act together a long time ago, but Aristotle must have  used up the very last of his peoples’ brain cells, as it’s been all downhill for Greece since then. The Greeks were pretty good at bluffing that they had money. They claimed all their run down buildings and rusty bridges were just ruins from ancient times.

Anyway, Berwick has a real job, sort of. I mean, it’s for a website, so it’s hard to tell if she was paid. The website is Kiva, which is some hippie organization that grants microloans to people in Third World countries. Pfft…what a stupid business plan. You’ll never make Facebook level money that way, Kiva!

Actually, Kiva would have been her former job. From what her Linkedin profile says, she’s been in Haiti as an aid worker since August of 2011. Wow, what a noble endeavor. Just for the hell of it, let’s just assume she and Sean Penn are lovers.

This would be her Facebook profile, though it’s locked down due to strangers friending her over Salute Your Shorts. Oh well, that’s the price she pays for being part of Millennial generation nostalgia. Hey, now that I think about it, she went down to Haiti soon after the “The ’90s Are All That” block of old Nick shows began airing on TeenNick. Hmm…I hope Sean Penn knows his girlfriend is just using him to escape the notoriety of her forming acting life.

Michael Bower


(b. 1975) played Donkeylips, the fat kid. Mr. Bower, while no longer a kid, is still fat. To me, he looks like a white Gabriel Iglesias.

He had some television work in the late 80s and early 90s, prior to SYS, including minor appearances on Webster, Tales from the Crypt, Empty Nest and Doogie Howser.  He also appeared in three episodes of The Wonder Years, each time playing a different person.

His IMDb profile lists some fairly recent credits, which surprised me. After SYS, he had one episode roles on such shows as The X-Files, Friends, Dark Angel, Becker, Monk, CSI (where he was billed as “Fat Schlub”) and The Riches (where he played the part of “Fat Guy”). He’s also lent his voice to video games such as Red Dead Redemption, Halo 3: ODST, Grand Theft Auto IV, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic.

In 2009, a ten minute short film Dinner with Ralph was released that starred Bower and Dianna Agron, the future Quinn on Glee (she played a girl named “Dianna”). So that was what Ms. Agron did before becoming famous. In Hollywood, it’s all about who you know, so maybe Bower can parlay that connection into a small part on Glee–perhaps a cafeteria worker or janitor or homeless guy who eats out of Rachel’s garbage.

Christine Cavanaugh

(b. 1963) played Mona Tibbs, the postal carrier turned park ranger, and love interest of Ug. Cavanaugh only appeared in three episodes, but if her name and raspy voice seem oddly familiar, it’s because you may have heard her in many 90s cartons. She was Chuckie Finster on Rugrats, Marty Sherman on The Critic, Dexter on Dexter’s Laboratory, the candy cane monster on Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and the titular pig of the 1995 movie, Babe. Her vocal talent was also used in Recess, The Wild Thornberrys and The Powerpuff Girls. The website Behind the Voice Actors has a rundown of her kickass career.

The most recent photo I could find of her comes from the 1996 Academy Awards, as C.C. retired from acting in 2001, passing the baton of Chuckie to Bart Simpson herself, Nancy Cartwright. It’s unfortunate that we do not get to hear her talents in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, because that show is 10 million types of Fuck Yeah Awesome.

Danny Cooksey

(b. 1975) played Bobby Budnick, the mullet sporting bully. Cooksey most likely developed his mullet in his home state of Oklahoma, where he lived until the age of 5, when his mother moved them to Los Angeles in an effort to get him into show business. Cooksey’s story turned out better than expected. Instead of the lack of acting work forcing his mother to turn tricks to pay for food, the young lad managed to succeed. His first role was as an orphan boy in the 1983 Dukes of Hazzard episode “A Boy’s Best Friend”.

A few minor roles later and he was cast as “Sam McKinney” in Diff’rent Strokes, starting in the sixth season. He played that role from 1984 until the final episode in 1986. Man, when I began my research for this piece (looking up Wikipedia) I had no idea this was a thing that occurred. Diff’rent Strokes aired before my time and I never caught it on cable. Still, this was the second biggest blow-my-mind-fact of my extensive investigation (the biggest fact will be revealed at the end of the article). I mean, the different Diff’rent Strokes cast members have had a lot of tragedy and as soon as Todd Bridges dies in a shootout with police, Danny Cooksey is going to be the last surviving member of the cast.

I really looked up to Gary … I’d watch him and learn … We shot in front of a live audience … He took me under his wing … I learned a tremendous amount from him. I would go over to his house and look at his train set. He was really into trains and had a huge room dedicated to his trains, but I couldn’t touch them. They were only for looking – the trains were Gary’s baby … Gary also had the full-on arcade version of ‘Spy Hunter,’ which in 1985 was a big deal.

— Danny Cooksey on Gary Coleman’s death

Gary Coleman was a spoiled rich kid who wouldn’t share his toys. That’s a nice eulogy.

As far as I am concerned, Cooksey’s most famous role was in Terminator 2, as John Connor’s friend. He was the one who told John the cop was looking for him, allowing John time to escape. That cop was, of course, the liquid metal Terminator sent back in time to kill John. Because of his friend’s warning, John lived to fight for the future of humaity. Therefor, Cooksey’s character saved humankind. Though the friend himself most likely died when LA was nuked in T3, which is a bummer.

I had no idea this happened

Montana Max

Currently the CEO of Goldman Sachs

Stoop Kid's afraid to leave his stoop. Spread the word.

Man, Disney Channel cartoons nothing but bitch ass toons. Adventure Time for Life motherfucker!!

I loved when Tim was riding in the back of John's moped. They made such cute little latchkey kids!

 

During the run of SYS, Cooksey was the voice of Montana Max on Tiny Toon Adventures and has continued to work in animation ever since. On the Nick side, he was in a few episodes of Ren & Stimpy and Invader ZIM, and was the infamous “Stoop Kid” on Hey Arnold.  On the Disney side, he was a part of the Little Mermaid and 101 Dalmations TV series (where he worked alongside fellow Shorts actor, Christine Cavanaugh), as well as Pepper Ann, Kim Possible and Dave the Barbarian. His currently getting a paycheck from the Mouse as the older brother character in Kick Buttoswski. The website Behind the Voice Actors has a nice summary of his cartoon career.

Here is his Facebook page. The Epilepsy Therapy Project lists him as a a spokesperson as his hot wife has epilepsy. It sucks because he can never host a rave in his house, which  Bobby Budnick would totally be doing right now. Only by “house” I mean trailer and by “host a rave” I mean dying of a heroin overdoes, leaving behind eleven kids across seven mothers.

Venus DeMilo

(b. 19??) played Telly Radford, the tomgirl. After Shorts, she had a few minor parts on such black sitcoms as Family Matters, Sister Sister, and Smart Guy. Information about her is sparse. Her last on screen credits were a two year stint on the soap The Bold and the Beautiful and a 2003 episode of Judging Amy. Rumor has it she was in a 2011 Pine Sol commercial, but unless she got really fat in the past few years, I think people are thinking of a different black woman.

Ms. DeMilo in My So-Called Life in the role of "the black girl"

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