Gary Coleman unconsciously channels 50 Cent's "Curtis" cover in mug shot


The phrase "it's like shooting fish in a barrel" comes to mind, here; this is almost too easy. Granted, when a person's in the process of being booked for allegedly beating a spouse, one can't really expect a toothy, beaming smile -- especially when that person is Gary Coleman, who was probably all too aware that his infraction and miserable visage would be splashed all over the tabloid press and Internet within hours. Still, the resemblance between his mug shot and the cover photo of 50 Cent's 2007 stinker Curtis is striking, if not really instructive in any significant way.

I mean, the grimace, you know? That furrowed, beetled brow. The my-tortured-soul-is-being-pricked-by-daggers eyes. The unkempt mustache. The impression conveyed that each subject's world is in the process of falling off of a cliff into a pool of hot, bubbling magma. The humanity.

Since starring on the hit 1980s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, Coleman seemingly embraced the idea of himself as a walking punchline, a has-been deeply in touch with his has-been-ness. He cameoed in a John Cena music video. He guested on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Simpsons, which is kind of awesome -- and Drake & Josh and The Suite Life with Zack and Cody, which is not especially awesome. He was a mall security guard in L.A., which is ridiculous on more levels than I have time to get into here. He filed for bankrupcy, just like Mr. T. He got arrested, now and again, for being an asshole.

(But hey, at least he's not Corey Feldman.)


Curtis is notable for being 50 Cent's least consistent, most lackadasical studio album; it was released on September 11, 2007 in a cynical, media-manufactured "face off" with Kanye West's far superior Graduation, a scenario that would have allowed Fitty to claim that he wasn't trying to succeed anyway, if he was smart. Instead, when West's disc kicked his ass saleswise, he tried to weasel around it.

Some Curtis/Coleman parallels, or anti-parallels, if you like:

Fitty is filthy, filthy rich; dude bought Mike Tyson's old mansion. Gary Coleman? Gary Coleman probably is lucky to be able to afford a manager.

Curtis's hit single, "I Get Money," later became boxer Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.'s theme music. Coleman tried to sue the producers of the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q, which features a song titled "It Sucks to Be Me," wherein "Coleman" sings I was the cutest little black kid on TV/I made a zillion dollars that my parents stole from me/My life was over when I hit puberty/But I'm here, fixing the toilets! On Avenue Q!" Coleman shouldn't have sued; he should've sent them an edible bouquet for stimulating interest in whether or not he was still alive.

Fitty has a sweet Vitamin Water contract and briefly hosted an Apprentice-like reality show. Coleman went on a date on Star Dates. Remember Star Dates? No? Me neither.

Fitty starred in Get Rich or Die Trying, a movie based on his gritty, drug-dealing youth. Coleman starred in straight-to-DVD non-entity Midgets vs. Mascots; if you order it online, you'll get a free box of midget condoms!

For Curtis, Fitty wrote a song called "I Still Kill." Coleman would probably love to kill the guy who snapped his mug shot, or at least whoever leaked it to the press for the price of several extra large orders of Chicken Selects.