Aries Spears was a promising young comic when he made his breakthrough on the ’90s sketch comedy series MadTV. The show had all charm and appeal of Saturday Night Live with a lot of the edge and grit of In Living Color. Sporting a diverse and dynamic cast, MadTV had a wildly successful run in its heyday. Along with introducing the world to Aries Spears, MadTV also helped jump-start the careers of Orlando Jones, Phil LaMarr, Nicole Sullivan, Debra Wilson, and Alex Borstein of Family Guy and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fame.
Spears is a New Jersey native who was already bubbling in Hollywood by the time MadTV hit the airwaves. Spears was a buzzing comedian around New York and eventually LA, where he began scoring small roles as an actor in films like Malcolm X and Jerry Maquire and the television series It’s a Different World and South of Sunset. He joined the cast of MadTV in 1997 during their 3rd season. Some of Spears most iconic roles included impressions of Mike Tyson, Bobby Brown, Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, 50 Cent, and many, many more. His other most famous role outside of MadTV would be as the voice of Wizard Kelly on Disney Channel’s The Proud Family.
Spears has had a pretty quiet career since leaving MadTV in 2005. The show would end three years later, and despite all his promises as its breakout actor, Spears did not score many major roles afterward. In addition to this, weight gain and health issues snuffed out his former good looks, and the comic had nothing but his humor to fall back on. In 2019, he took to social media to ask fans for support and advice after an unrecognizable Spears admitted to his poor health and unhealthy appearance. Spears said people had been calling him terrible names and making fun of him for how he’d allowed himself to get into such poor shape.
Unfortunately, this year he took some of that negative energy out on plus-size icon Lizzo, calling her a “poop emoji” following some nude photoshoots released in promotion of her album. While Spears maintains that his humor and charm could still get him women, he felt Lizzo needed to “cover up,” and people who supported her should ask her to stop being naked. This did not bode well with fans, and many slammed Spears for his comments. Lizzo took to the VMA stage and also slammed her critics but did not name Spears specifically.
The karma snowball continued as not even a month later, Spears was back in the news due to a lawsuit stemming from an inappropriate sketch he filmed with Tiffany Haddish several years ago. While Spears believes he’s going to get through this terrible time in his career, some people think this might just be the end for him. He admits to feeling that his career was over before all of this and that maybe he was blackballed. Now he feels “certain that tombstone is written.” Spears says he spent a long time believing that he was just one opportunity away from turning things around, but he’s not so sure anymore. He got emotional as he began to talk about his mother’s faith in him before the clip ended. Check it out below.