Former ‘American Idol’ Cohost Brian Dunkleman Defends His Job as Uber Driver

No one’s singing the blues here. Brian Dunkleman, who cohosted the first season of American Idol alongside Ryan Seacrest, is firing back after his job as an Uber driver made headlines.

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Brian Dunkleman poses in the pressroom at FOX’s ‘American Idol’ Finale For The Farewell Season Press Room at Dolby Theatre on April 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Todd Williamson/Getty Images

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On Thursday, January 3, TMZ reported that the 47-year-old TV personality said in court documents that he’d been driving for Uber since March 2016 as he divorces Kalea Dunkleman, with whom he shares 5-year-old son Jackson.

Hours later, Dunkleman explained the career change on Twitter. “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,” he wrote. “Print that. @TMZ @HarveyLevinTMZ.”

TMZ also published details about Dunkleman’s finances, noting that he works 45 hours a week and earns around $800 a week. The former Idol cohost addressed that disclosure, too. “And I make over a grand on a good week motherf—kers,” he tweeted. “@TMZ @HarveyLevinTMZ #HumanBarnacles.”

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As Idol wrapped up its run on FOX in 2016, Dunkleman wrote a Variety essay about his experience on the show, including his exit. “I wanted to have an acting career, and I knew that leaving when I did would give me the best shot of accomplishing that,” he wrote at the time. “Still working on it. But the undeniable truth is, I just didn’t have the wisdom at the time to handle what was happening.”

He added: “Do I regret not remaining on the show now that it’s coming to an end? Yes. Especially when I open my bank statements. But without the benefit of hindsight, I would have done the exact same thing.”

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After that exit, Dunkleman guest-starred in the TV shows Ghost Whisperer and Las Vegas and competed on the reality show Celebrity Fit Club. He also returned to the Idol stage in April 2016 for the show’s finale on FOX, congratulating Seacrest on the show’s success.

Cosby Show alum Geoffrey Owens also was job-shamed recently, having been outed as a Trader Joe’s employee in September. Actor and producer Tyler Perry later offered Owens a 10-episode role on the TV show The Haves and Have Nots, which the 57-year-old accepted.

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