Space Jam, Then and Now
The release of Space Jam over two decades ago depicted the battle between the Tune Squad and the Monstars, two teams who du(n)ked it out in a basketball game to determine the fate of the latter. The oft-referenced sports classic and provider of conversation-starting throwback jerseys features a loaded cast and plenty of NBA star cameos (Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, and Patrick Ewing, to name a few). Click through the gallery to see what the cast of Space Jam has been up to since the film’s 1996 release.
Sure, Michael Jordan hasn’t picked up an IMDb credit since Space Jam‘s release in 1996, but we get the feeling that his name still rings a bell. After documenting his failed stint in minor league baseball and return to the NBA in the film, MJ completed his second three-peat between 1996-98. The six-time Finals MVP now profits heavily from the extremely successful Air Jordan brand and is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. And for the record, he’s still the best ever.
Billy West (Bugs Bunny)
Though it’s difficult to provide the voice for a more notable character than Bugs Bunny, Billy West may have managed the next best thing following his work on Space Jam. As one of the most prolific modern voice actors, West voiced Philip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, and Dr. Zoidberg on the long-running TV series, Futurama. West also worked on Jimmy Neutron, CatDog, The Oblongs, and so many more popular animated programs. Recently, West actually appeared in person, playing himself on an episode of Better Things.
If we were to list everything that Bill Murray has held a notable role in prior to and since the release of Space Jam, it may end up looking like a full-length novel. Instead, let’s highlight his Oscar nomination in 2004 for Best Actor in Lost in Translation. He ultimately lost to Sean Penn (Mystic River), and it’s hard to believe that’s his only Oscar nod so far during his illustrious career. A few other small highlights since Space Jam include The Jungle Book, St. Vincent, a roster of Wes Anderson films, an unforgettable cameo in Zombieland, and blessing the world with a wonderful meme to express your feelings of sadness.
Dee Bradley Baker (Daffy Duck)
Like Billy West, Dee Bradley Baker is a bigwig in the voiceover industry, both before and after providing a comic assist as Daffy Duck in 1996’s Space Jam. Perhaps most notably, the actor has held a recurring role on American Dad!, playing the Smith family’s talking goldfish, Klaus. (He even picked up an Emmy nomination in 2017 for the role for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance.) In addition to his work on Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we would be remiss if we went without mentioning his phenomenal work as Olmec on Legends of the Hidden Temple from 1993-1995.
Wayne Knight (Stan Podolak)
After portraying the lovable goober Stan Podolak in Space Jam, Wayne Knight continued his most notable role: Newman on Seinfeld. Since the conclusion of the timeless TV series, Knight has turned in a great deal of voice work, lending help to well-known projects like Toy Story 2, the Kung-Fu Panda series, and American Dad!. However, Knight hasn’t given up his on-camera presence, recently appearing in a few episodes of Narcos, the popular Netflix series focused on Pablo Escobar.
Danny DeVito (Mr. Swackhammer)
In more recent years, DeVito has starred as the ever-interesting Frank Reynolds on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which has been on the air for almost a decade and a half at this point. In Oscar world, he played Sid Hugens in 1997’s L.A. Confidential and produced the 2001 Oscar-nominated Erin Brockovich. Now at 73 years of age, DeVito slows no signs of slowing down, having just made his Broadway debut in 2017’s The Price, continuing voiceover work (with The Lorax), and setting up appearances in the buzzy forthcoming films Dumbo and Triplets.
Kath Soucie (Lola Bunny)
Kath Soucie contributed voiceover work to Space Jam as Lola Bunny, likely the most talented of all the toons on the Tune Squad and the love interest of Bugs Bunny. Before and after her work on the 1996 basketball picture, Soucie spent a great deal of time voicing twins Phil and Lil on Rugrats. Soucie lent her talents to Futurama (like fellow cast member Billy West) as well as Handy Manny, As Told By Ginger, The Replacements, Danny Phantom, The Weekenders, Hey Arnold!, and Dexter’s Laboratory. On the feature front, she recently voiced the role of young Nick i Disney’s Zootopia.
Theresa Randle (Juanita Jordan)
The bulk of Theresa Randle’s notable roles came in the immediate window around Space Jam in 1996. In addition to playing Michael Jordan’s wife, Juanita, in the movie, Randle portrayed Laura in 1992’s Malcolm X and Theresa Burnett in 1995’s Bad Boys; she later reprised that role in 2003’s Bad Boys II. Randle also starred as Cordelia Banks in Lifetime’s short-lived 2007 therapist dramedy, State of Mind.