You’ve seen him on your favorite TV shows without realizing it
Just like Stan Lee manages to pop up in every Marvel Comics movie, David Joyner possesses the mesmerizing superpower of appearing in seemingly every major TV show of the last few decades in various cameo roles. Maybe he works for the Watchers, or maybe he’s a time hopping do-gooder like Dr. Sam Beckett in that ’90s sci-fi series Quantum Leap. But one thing is for sure: Joyner’s face has secretly been playing peekaboo everywhere.
Don’t believe us? Joyner himself has collected the cameo evidence on his YouTube channel, as seen above.
Turns out that right beneath our noses, we’ve seen Joyner on House — playing a cardiac surgeon — standing face-to-face with the misanthropic title character. He was a jazz musician on That ’70s Show, a congress clerk on Veep, an agent on 24, Business Man #2 on Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, voiced a sinister clown in Scooby Doo, and hung out on such soap operas as General Hospital. Probably his most memorable guest appearance was in ER, where he had a recurring role as a dialysis technician. Considering all of these medical show cameos, we wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Joyner was hiding a couple medical degrees and licenses to go along with his engineering, massage therapy, musical, and reiki skills. Seriously, it seems like this guy can do everything.
All those dark rumors are total nonsense
While it was only recently that the public really became aware of Joyner’s true identity, there have always been bizarre conspiracy theories about the previously unknown “guy who played Barney.” This phenomenon isn’t specific to Barney, of course. It happens to every pop culture icon. However, all the dark rumors about Barney are, as one would expect, complete bunk.
The silliest of these rumors, which still pops up from time to time, is that the “actor who played Barney” (who is nameless, in this story) was actually a crazy cocaine addict, supposedly so addicted that he hid his prized cocaine stash up Barney’s purple tail, which eventually got him caught and thrown in jail. This rumor is pretty stupid when you think about the impracticality of it — those tiny little arms on the Barney costume couldn’t reach far enough to scratch the actor’s head, much less pull drugs out of the tail — but the “story” caught on, probably due to its sensationalism. There’s also a weird suicide myth, wherein the “guy who played Barney” supposedly hanged himself in costume. Again, doesn’t sound too realistic.
Anyway, no dice. Joyner’s obviously alive obviously didn’t go to prison, and both dumb rumors were thoroughly debunked by Snopes. Do you want a conspiracy theory that’s halfway believable? If someone claimed Joyner had traveled to Area 51 and received superpowers from aliens, that might be closer.
He became a rapping bear named Hip Hop Harry
Though Joyner’s dinosaur years are long behind him, he never stopped being the man in the costume. In the 21st century, he has swapped out those antiquated purple scales for yellow fur, a sideways cap, and gold bling — thus becoming Hip Hop Harry, an anthropomorphic bear who does educational rap videos. Yeah, you heard that right.
But Hip Hop Harry is no Barney Lite because Joyner’s approach to playing the character is completely different. In an interview with Herald & Review, Joyner describes the rapping, dancing bear as having “more swagger to his walk; he actually has a little bit of street to him.” It helps that Harry’s costume allows much fuller, more expressive, more mobile body language than the stiff old Barney costume did, which must be a relief.
Joyner admitted to being a bit hesitant about taking on another costumed role but couldn’t resist when producers called him “the Michael Jordan of costumed characters.” These days, he seems to love Hip Hop Harry just as much as he loved Barney, posting pictures on his Twitter feed of himself as Harry filling up his car’s gas tank, and proving that even big, fluffy children’s TV characters have to deal with real-life chores.
He’s still earning money from his Barney days
If you’re an aspiring actor, and you’re busy scouring online job postings in search of a sweet gig like playing Barney, what kind of paycheck can you expect to earn? It’s hard not to wonder: Was Joyner’s time as the world’s favorite purple playmate a minimum wage kinda deal, or some sketchy, under-the-table business, or did he earn a decent salary?
As it turns out, playing Barney was actually a really smart financial decision on Joyner’s part. According to Business Insider, the earnings from the residual checks were big enough to make Joyner’s jaw drop to the floor — his real jaw, not the funny purple one — and he managed to put that money to good use. Just the residuals alone were impressive enough to pay for Joyner’s first house, the white stucco home of his dreams, an achievement he’s still proud of.
Take heed, aspiring actors. If your artistic calling leads you to the friendly shores of costumed children’s entertainment, don’t run away out of fear that you might vanish into obscurity or never make a decent wage. Maybe you can follow the example of David Joyner and become a huge part of pop culture history.
View more information: https://doyouremember.com/49582/whatever-happened-man-played-barney/2