‘The Amanda Show’: 1 Nickelodeon Star Was a Dancing Lobster

“It’s a small world after all” is a phrase that has earned its fame thanks to Disney, but it also applies to the crisscrossing world of child actors from the Nickelodeon world. Many of today’s biggest stars got their start on the kids’ television network, and several of them unfortunately crashed and burned when they struggled to make the leap from family-friendly fare to a more mature entertainment career. Amanda Bynes was one of those Nickelodeon stars who seemed destined for a lifetime in the spotlight, but her fame burnt out as quickly as it had risen in the first place. 

As we look back on the memories left behind, we’ll find another familiar face — if we can peer behind the lobster costume. 

Amanda Bynes on the set of 'The Amanda Show'
Amanda Bynes | Nickelodeon

Amanda Bynes rose to fame — then crashed

Bynes clearly had a knack for acting, especially comedy. She came onto the cast of All That — Nickelodeon’s sketch comedy that has often been called the “SNL for kids” — and became a central figure right away. In fact, her serious commitment to acting and her domination of the attention caused some tension with other cast members on the set even though Bynes was very young and new to the scene. 

Eventually, Bynes’ dedication paid off with her very own spinoff series called The Amanda Show. Playing an over-the-top and obnoxious version of herself, Bynes became a comedy legend on the children’s network, amassing a following of fans that helped carry her from the kid’s show into other Hollywood projects. 

At first, it looked like Bynes was going to be one of the child actors who successfully navigated the perilous path into adulthood. She got a starring role in What a Girl Wants and a substantial part in the hit Easy A. At the same time, she started trying to change her image from squeaky clean kid to sexy adult. An appearance on the cover of Maxim in 2010 made that transformation apparent, but it was also the start of the end for Bynes’ career. 

Legal trouble thwarted Amanda Bynes’ plans

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Just as Bynes was working to transform her image into a more mature version of her childhood fame, she got caught up in a downward spiral of crime and general misbehavior. She got into legal trouble first for allegedly driving under the influence, and this was quickly followed up with an arrest for marijuana usage. When she was accused of setting fire to a residential driveway, she ended up in a psychiatric facility, and her parents even got court-ordered guardianship for a time. 

Between the negative media coverage and the frustration with being stuck in her former child star image, Bynes made the decision to “retire” from acting at the age of 24. At the time, she explained it this way: “I know 24 is a young age to retire … I’ve never written the movies and TV shows I’ve been a part of. I’ve only acted like the characters the producers or directors wanted me to play.” 

‘The Amanda Show’ lives on with a meme

While Bynes’ acting career may have come to an end, her legacy lives on — at least in the form of a meme. One of the bits on The Amanda Show was “Judge Trudy” — a spoof of the Judge Judy show. Bynes played Trudy, and at the end of each courtroom scene, Trudy would announce “Court dismissed. Bring in the dancing lobsters!” Logically, this line would follow with life-size dancing lobsters prancing down the courtroom aisles.

Interestingly enough, one of the people inside a dancing lobster costume would go on to become a familiar face himself. As E! Online reports, Lobster Number Two was played by none other than Josh Peck, who would later grow to fame on the show Drake and Josh. See? It really is a small world after all!