ENTERTAINMENT

Brian Dunkleman Fiercely Defends Uber Driving Gig After TMZ Report

The self-described "television history footnote" vented after a TMZ report about his regular job.
Brian Dunkleman shared the spotlight with Ryan Seacrest in the first season of "American Idol," but their careers took drasti
Brian Dunkleman shared the spotlight with Ryan Seacrest in the first season of "American Idol," but their careers took drastically different trajectories.

Former “American Idol” co-host Brian Dunkleman on Thursday defended his job as an Uber driver, saying the work lets him “be there” for his son.

Dunkleman, 47, a fixture on the talent show’s first season more than 16 years ago, spoke out after a TMZ article reported details of his divorce and custody battle. Court documents showed the former showbiz personality has been working for the ride-hailing company since 2016, earning $800 a week, according to the entertainment site.

“I chose to stop doing standup comedy and started driving an Uber so I could be there for my son as much as he needed after our life as we knew it was destroyed,” Dunkleman wrote. “Print that.”

He posted an angrier tweet a few minutes later, declaring that he makes more than $1,000 “on a good week.”

Dunkleman, who refers to himself as a “television history footnote” on his Twitter account, co-hosted the first season of “American Idol” in 2002 with Ryan Seacrest. Dunkleman left the show and sank into relative obscurity. Seacrest went on to TV stardom. (Dunkleman told People in 2016 that while he chose to depart, he heard that he wouldn’t be asked back for Season 2.)

Dunkleman’s girlfriend also chimed in on TMZ’s Uber report, and lobbed a few F-bombs at the entertainment site.

Dunkleman’s re-emergence in the news for having a regular job recalls the job-shaming of Geoffrey Owens, the former “Cosby Show” actor who was photographed working at Trader Joe’s last year.

 
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