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Leif Per Nervik, aka Leif Garrett (b. November 8, 1961) is an American singer, actor and former Teen Idol. Since the age of five he has appeared in numerous productions in many mediums, including television (including his Star-Making Role as Endy Karras on Three For The Road), film, stage and records.

Garrett has had many run-ins with the law, particularly regarding his long-running drug habit. An episode of Behind The Music in 1999 reconciled him with his former best friend who he unintentionally paralysed in a substance-fuelled car accident.

Garrett is now a commentator on The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest, where he often showcases his self-deprecating humour in regards to his life, career and legal troubles. He's also appeared on other reality programs such as Fear Factor and Celebrity Rehab.


Discography:


Filmography:

  • Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
  • Walking Tall (1973)
  • Devil Times Five (1974)
  • Macon County Line (1974)
  • Walking Tall Part 2 (1975)
  • God's Gun (1976)
  • Paper Tigers (1977)
  • Kid Vengeance (1977)
  • Walking Tall: Final Chapter (1977)
  • Skateboard (1978)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
  • Longshot (1981)
  • The Outsiders (1983)
  • Shaker Run (1985)
  • Thunder Alley (1985)
  • Delta Fever (1987)
  • Cheerleader Camp (1987)
  • Party Line (1988)
  • The Banker (1989)
  • The Spirit of '76 (1990)
  • Dominion (1995)
  • The Whispering (1996)
  • The Next Tenant (1998)
  • I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998)
  • The Art of a Bullet (1999)
  • Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003)
  • Popstar (2005)
  • Fish Mich (2009)

Television Work:

  • Nanny and the Professor (1970)
  • Black Noon (1971)
  • Circle of Fear (1973)
  • Strange Homecoming (1974)
  • The Last Survivors (1975)
  • Three for the Road (1975) (cancelled after 13 episodes)
  • Flood! (1976)
  • Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion (1977)
  • Family (1978)
  • Wonder Woman (1978)
  • CHiPs (1979)
  • VH-1's 8-Track Flashback (1995–1996)
  • American Black Beauty (2005)
  • Celebrity Fear Factor (2005)
  • Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge (2007) (cancelled after 6 episodes)
  • The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest... (2008-present)
  • Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (2010)

This actor/musician shows examples of:

  • Abusive Parents / Disappeared Dad: Had an abusive father as a very young child. The father ultimately deserted his family.
    • He alludes to this in the song "Just Like Me".
  • Album Title Drop: The albums Feel The Need, Can't Explain, Same Goes For You and My Movie of You are all named for lines in their songs.
  • Audience Participation: His recent live gigs often involve inviting audience members to sing with him onstage.
    • He's also used "I Was Made For Dancin'" an an Audience Participation Song. At the halfway mark, he invites audience members onstage to dance with him.
  • Awesome McCoolname / Meaningful Name: After his father had left the family, Leif's mother suggested he change his name for his burgeoning acting career. He initially went by 'Leif Per' (Per is his middle name), but found that casting agents had trouble pronouncing it. One day he received a paycheck that was accidentally addressed to a 'Leif Garrett'. After he and his mother discovered that the name 'Garrett' meant 'mountain' and denoted strength, he then decided to adopt that name.
  • Bishonen
  • Bottle Fairy: Was this along with using other substances.
  • Break Up Song: "Borrowed Time", "Alive (Today)"
  • Brother-Sister Team: Was this with his younger sister, Dawn Lyn. They appeared in many television and film spots together, where some of the storylines even resulted in an awkward case of Brother-Sister Incest.
  • Butt Monkey: Is frequently made fun of on World's Dumbest, though always in a lighthearted way.
  • The Cameo: As an actor he's had quite a few of these, but one worthy of note is his self-parodying one on Family Guy.
  • Career Resurrection: Had a brief period of this towards the end of The Nineties after VH-1 broadcasted his episode of Behind The Music.
  • Careful with That Axe: In many of his songs, naturally during his cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
  • Cash Cow Franchise / The Merch / Merchandise-Driven: In the late 1970s, he was this. He appeared in everything from records, television specials and magazines to even notebooks.
  • Contractual Purity: This and the various other pitfalls of fame is said to have contributed to his drug use.
  • Cover Version: Is known for these. He's performed everything from Happy Birthday to Smells Like Teen Spirit. In fact, his Breakthrough Hit was a cover of The Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA".
    • He's also covered "Singin' in the Rain", "Bad to Me", "California Girls", "Put Your Head on My Shoulder", "Johnny B. Goode", "That's All", "Stuck in the Middle With You", the list goes on...
    • Plus he's covered songs like "Lola", "Hot Blooded", "Home Sweet Home", "Sky High", "The Final Countdown" and "Play That Funky Music (White Boy)" for iTunes releases.
    • And that's not even going into the covers he's done live.
  • Creator Backlash: Despite openly saying he doesn't care for "I Was Made For Dancin'", he's still known to frequently perform it live, for the sake of his former teenage fanbase attending his concerts for nostalgia.
  • Creator Breakdown: His legal troubles have unfortunately earned him more airtime than his creative endeavours in the past decade and-a-half.
  • Dream Team: Has collaborated with The Melvins and punk-rock artist Craig Else.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Ironically, he covered the song "Kicks" in 1979 for the album Same Goes For You, around the time he started using.
    • His 2004 collaboration with The Crush-Ups, Betty Ford For X-mas, uses this ironically. It also qualifies as a Stealth Parody.
  • Ear Worm: I! Was made for dancin'! All-all-all-all night long!
  • Former Child Star: Parodied in his role on Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. He even sings a song on the soundtrack with this trope as its very title, and contributes vocals to the song "Child Stars on Your Television".
  • Guyliner: Is almost never seen without wearing eyeliner nowadays.
  • Hair of Gold: One of his defining trademarks during The Seventies.
  • Hazel Eyes: Has a lovely pair of these. They're often incorrectly assumed or remembered as being blue.
  • Hidden Depths: Had been playing the guitar and singing since the age of thirteen. Apparently he's also a decent visual artist, and according to Rachel Uchitel, pretty damn good at baking cookies.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Uses this to full effect on World's Dumbest when criticizing the subjects of the videos for their outlandish, lawbreaking behavior. Of course, it is all Played for Laughs.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": His name is pronounced 'Layf', not 'Leaf' or 'Life'.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: People often comment, in various media and in Real Life, about how cute Garrett was as a teenager.
  • Little Boy Blue Note: Released his debut album at age fifteen, and was playing guitar and singing at least two years before then.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: At the peak of his fame.
  • Love Is a Drug: He also covered the song "Love Is The Drug" by Roxy Music.
  • Love Nostalgia Song: "Still I Wish"
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Are You Satisfied?"
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Symptoms". The song speaks of a dying relationship to an upbeat soundtrack.
  • New Sound Album: Went from a Disco/TeenPop sound during his heyday (though he has acknowledged that this sound was due to Executive Meddling) to an Alternative Rock / Grunge sound in the 1990s.
    • Then again, Feel The Need was this to Leif Garrett. A new disco sound was adopted in favour of the Power Pop, Pop Rock treatment of covers used beforehand. His subsequent Teen Idol catalog had a mixture of both sounds.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his rather troublesome life, he's softly-spoken, always has time for the fans, and is said to be one of the most genuine and sweetest guys in show business. It's also the reason why his subsequent breakdown took many by surprise.
  • Not Christian Rock: He claims the song "Sight Unseen" to be this, despite the fact he performed it with the Christian Metal group Liberty n' Justice.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity / Smarter Than You Look: Is actually an incredibly deep, creative and intelligent man despite his portrayed image.
  • Odd Friendship: Has had a few of these. Some include Tiger Wood's mistress Rachel Uchitel and the late great Heath Ledger.
  • Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Currently employs this in his music.
  • Police Brutality Gambit: Has pulled this in regards to his recent drug arrests.
  • Reclusive Artist: Save for the odd concert or television appearance, he is essentially MIA in the industry.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "I Know"
  • Signature Song: The disco-ready international hit "I Was Made For Dancin'". His covers of "Runaround Sue", "The Wanderer" and "Surfin' USA" also qualify.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Has had his first name frequently misspelt as 'Lief', and his last name misspelt as 'Garret'.
  • Spiritual Successor: In 1978 he was deemed this by the media to David Cassidy, Donny Osmond, Bobby Sherman and other teen idols.
  • Stepford Smiler: A Type 1 during the height of his fame.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Pulls this a lot on World's Dumbest.
  • Teen Idol: A classic, if tragic, example. His fanbase in the late 1970's and, to a lesser extent, the early 1980's and late 1990's rivaled that of Justin Bieber or One Direction today.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "I Know"
  • Vocal Evolution / Harsh Vocals: Went from a polished alto in the late 1970s to a deep, husky growl in his Alternative period.
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