If Britney Spears can survive 2007, Amanda Bynes can survive today. Can we really blame either star for their behavior with all that paparazzi pressure? Let’s step back from the tabloid haters and remember why we fell in love with Miss Bynes to begin with. The girl was born with the gift of comedy, and these vintage pics and videos prove it.
She could always get into character
Amanda Laura Bynes was born on April 3, 1986 in the greater LA area. This demure bride was one of the comedian-to-be’s first characters on Halloween 1995 when she was nine. “I dressed up as a bride because I loved pretending to be a housewife,” she told People mag.
She wowed LA comedy clubs
Amanda started taking stand up classes at age seven at LA’s famous Comedy Store. At ten years old, she took the Laugh Factory’s 1996 comedy camp by storm with this literally laugh-out-loud routine about candy, school and…nose zits?
She was All That
Nickelodeon fell in love with Amanda that same year and invited her to join the cast of All That, the same kids comedy show where SNL’s Kenan Thompson got his break. Her best bit was definitely “Ask Ashley,” a sketch about a passive-aggressive (and sometimes just plain aggressive) advice columnist.
She got her own show
In 1999, The Amanda Show was the best thing to happen to after-school TV since Pokemon. At 13, Amanda took charge of her own comedy show and created tons of memorable characters along the way. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without the sassy Judge Trudy, the obsessive stalker fan Penelope Taynt, or all those dancing lobsters.
She had a Big Fat break
Amanda made her film debut with Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz in Big Fat Liar. The 2002 revenge comedy got two thumbs up from Roger Ebert (R.I.P.) and earned 15-year-old Amanda the trophy for Favorite Movie Actress at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
She nailed her first starring role
At 17, Amanda went back to leading comedy lady with 2003’s What a Girl Wants, a film about a New Yorker who goes to London to find and meet her dad for the first time. Amanda won Favorite Movie Actress again, but I’d say the real prize here is getting to star alongside Colin Firth. *Swoons*
What I like about you
Now 27, Amanda became the queen of comedy remakes with Sydney White (Snow White), Easy A (The Scarlet Letter) and my personal fav, She’s the Man (Twelfth Night)—the best Shakespeare adaptation EVER. With 20 years of comedy experience behind her, I’d say she’s earned her break from acting and deserves a break from the tabloids too.