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Thoughts, information, commentary on Hollywood's former child stars | Joal Ryan, Editor

"From JTT to JB"

Dear Jonas Brothers:

Congratulations on your new album, summer concert tour and Disney Channel movie. If you have a spare moment, I was wondering if you could help answer the following email from gentle reader Michael:

What's Jonathan Taylor Thomas up to these days? He seems to be keeping a low profile.

Yes, he does -- seem to be keeping a low profile, that is. To truly appreciate how low, Jonases, then you'd have to appreciate how high his profile was in the 1990s.

In the 1990s, Thomas' elfin-magic smile adorned so many issues of Bop that you'd have thought he was, well, you in the 2000s. Then, at the tail end of the decade -- his decade -- Thomas, or JTT, as he was known to loyal Bop readers, engineered an early exit from the TV show that had made him a Lion King, Home Improvement.

As you may or may not recall -- Nick, you were only about 6 when this future ancient history was going on -- Thomas wanted out of Home Improvement to attend college, but then made a movie (I'll Be Home for Christmas) that not only bombed, but supposedly irritated TV dad Tim Allen who thought Thomas had, well, wanted out of Home Improvement to attend college.

Anyhoo, that was 10 years ago. Ten years ago. In the last decade, the once white-hot Thomas has kicked around in independent movies and TV guest bits. Most notably, he granted a 2000 magazine interview to The Advocate. But even the news value in that cover story was muted by the fact that, as the magazine put it, "Thomas is not gay." (Oh, curse you, Internet rumor, for always making life more interesting than it actually is!!) According to the Internet Movie Database, Thomas, now 26, is once again seeing to his studies -- no, really, this time -- reportedly as a graduate student at Columbia University.

Well, will you look at that? I guess I answered Michael's question myself.

So, never mind, Jonases. Really. Just never mind. The ride's over way too fast to worry. What will be will be. And if it turns out that you all end up Ivy League schools, that's not too shabby, is it?

On second thought, don't answer when you're in the midst of an album release, concert tour and Disney Channel movie premiere.

(Originally published by Joal Ryan on June 16, 2008.)

c. Joal Ryan