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Whatever Happened To Loonette From The Big Comfy Couch?

Following on the heels of successes like "The Muppet Show," "Fraggle Rock, "Dinosaurs" and other shows that utilized puppets, "The Big Comfy Couch" became a PBS staple for '90s kids. With seven seasons filmed over 14 years, generations of preschool-aged viewers tuned in to clown around the bright and musical city of Clowntown with their favorite characters. 

Led by Loonette (Alyson Court) and her doll Molly, kids were taught valuable life lessons including sharing, table manners, and consent. Although the series had a memorable, eclectic cast of people and puppets alike, freckle-faced Loonette was the guide through this magical realm. Like the show's young audience, Loonette was always learning and growing — and she was there to hold our hand. 

When Court didn't return for the final season and was replaced by Ramona Gilmour-Darling, young fans and parents alike feared it would be impossible to fill those giant clown shoes. Now, nearly twenty years later, let's take a look at what Alyson Court has been doing — and all the household-name franchises of which you never realized she was a part.

Court has become a successful voice actor

Court's career began long before she landed that lead role on "The Big Comfy Couch." The Canadian actress had over two dozen acting and voice credits when she was cast as Loonette, and has added another three dozen or so since the last time she sat on the couch.

Although she initially left the show to focus on raising her son, Court was back in front of the camera — or should we say microphone — almost immediately. She has since become a steadily-working voice actor in multiple animated shows. 

"At the end of Season 5 I was doing so much traveling around, representing the show. It was pre-everyone-having-a-camera-on-their-phone, but that whole trying to control my personal life started to set in," Court told E! in 2022 when reflecting on her mindset as she left the series. "Understandably so, it's a kids' property and you don't want someone to take the wrong photo at the wrong time. But I was 22, 23 and I wanted to live my life and enjoy being a young adult. I was finding it was very oppressive because I'd never experienced that kind of control before. So, I was like, 'I can't do this anymore. I need to go.' And we were done." 

"They weren't expecting to come back," she added,  discussing the final season. "It wasn't until 2002 that we did. I was married by this point, and pregnant. So, I was a responsible adult."

Over the course of her career, Court has voiced Jubilee in "X-Men: The Animated Series," Veronica from the world of Archie Comics, Clifford the Big red Dog's friend Emily Elizabeth and other popular kid-oriented characters. 

She also does video games

When looking over Court's resume, you might not expect to see a Japanese horror game among a sprawling list of children's shows. But Court took a 180-degree-turn when she was cast as Claire Redfield in the "Resident Evil" franchise, becoming a player in some extremely vivid zombie survival games.  

Court joined the franchise in 1998 for the release of "Resident Evil 2," carried a 15+ rating, lots of gore and violence and ... well, hordes of bloodthirsty zombies. She would return to participate in six other projects in the franchise over the next 14 years, even reprising her role in 2008's CGI-powered film "Resident Evil: Degeneration."

Court has also appeared on camera in several shows and movies geared towards an older demo. She had a lead role in 2018's "The Joke Thief," a drama about the world of comedy; she also appeared in "Jerry and Tom," a 1998 Saul Rubinek-directed flick with a solid cast including Joe Mantegna, Sam Rockwell, Charles Durning, William H. Macy and Ted Danson.

Court has become a voice-over director

Many actors find themselves behind the camera at some point, whether it's dabbling in filmmaking or choosing the best angle for their closeup. But such a career transition can also apply to voice actors, and Court has recently been doing as much directing as she has acting.

She worked as voice-over director for "Blues Clues" in 2021 and 2022, and also directed six episodes of the 2018-launched kid-friendly series "Miss Persona." But becoming a director hasn't been easy.

"Moving into voice directing was something of a different beast. In the United States, you have people who voice direct and star in the show. In Canada, there's a lot of, "Stay in your own lane," she told E! recently. "So, I knew that moving into voice directing was going to impact my voice acting career. Thankfully, I have American friends and production companies that ignore all that stuff. So, I still get to play ... the shows that I'm working on right now that I'm directing are so good."

"Getting to be part of the 'Blue's Clues' crew, huge blessing. I get to direct people like Leslie Odom, Jr., Meghan Trainor and Rachel Bloom," she said of her job. "I sit at home, because I'm directing via Zoom, and listen to people like H.E.R. sing and then tell her occasionally what to do for the dialogue. And it's like, 'This is awesome.'"

She was married to a fellow voice-over director

Court's role in the "Resident Evil" franchise wasn't only a significant turning point for her career; it was also where she met her first husband. 

Court married former Capcom voice and video game localization director Erik Suzuki in 2000. He was working as the editorial supervisor for "Resident Evil 2" when Court joined the project, and they began frequently collaborating. The couple became parents in 2003, which is why Court originally left her role on "The Big Comfy Couch," but divorced in 2005.

Court would later remarry via her long-term boyfriend, Z.M. Thomas. She announced the marriage on Twitter in 2019, simultaneously celebrating the event and Canada Day. Thomas is a comic book writer whose books lean more towards satire than superheroes.

She's a mother

Court is known for her roles in children's media, so it is certainly ideal that she would have a child of her own. Court gave birth to son Blaede in 2003 with Suzuki. She told E! News that the birth of her son spurred a desire to pursue more roles in voice acting since it offered a more flexible schedule. Although her son lives a relatively private life, Court recently celebrated his 21st birthday on Twitter.

Blaede Court-Suzuki has made some moves to follow in his mom's footsteps and pursue a Hollywood career. A decade ago, he earned two credits in kid shows "The Adventures of Chuck & Friends" and "Annedroids." More recently, Court seems to have posted a picture of him working with her on a motion capture-related project.

She's an avid sports fan

Court is passionate about the work she has done educating children, but that's not the only thing that takes up space in her heart; she's also a huge Canadian sports fan, perhaps most fervent in her support of the Toronto Blue Jays. 

In 2021, she posted a picture on Twitter of her father with an expansive collection of her Blue Jays hats; once, she even managed to sneak a Blue Jays hat into an episode of "The Big Comfy Couch" to show her support for the Canadian team. When asked about the episode featuring the merch, Court jokingly implied on Twitter that the episode inspired the team to win their back-to-back 1992/1993 World Series Championships.

Although Court's love for baseball is all over her social media, she's also a fan of the other Toronto teams. A true Canadian, she's a hockey enthusiast, and she recently posted a selfie while attending a Toronto Six game while wearing a "Blue's Clues" face mask. Whether they're shooting a goal or hitting a home run, if you're looking for Alyson Court these days, there's a good chance she is in the stands cheering on a Toronto team.