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How Lori Loughlin and William H. Macy’s TV shows predicted the school admissions scandal

It would be weird enough if it were just one of them, but nope–it’s both.

How Lori Loughlin and William H. Macy’s TV shows predicted the school admissions scandal
[Photo: Chuck Hodes/Showtime]

Within minutes of actress Lori Loughlin’s arrest on Tuesday, as part of a vast college admissions bribery scam that also ensnared Felicity Huffman, the words “Aunt Becky” began trending on Twitter. The platform’s pop culture-addled masses had a hard time separating Loughlin from the character she played on the ’90s kid show Full House and its latter-day Netflix revival. Apparently, however, anyone making that association might have been on the right track after all.

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As the Los Angeles Times reports, in a 1993 episode of Full House, Loughlin’s Aunt Becky finds herself getting caught up in a school admissions cheating scandal of her own. As her TV husband Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) used to say, in an Elvis impersonation delivered so often it may have been a medical issue: Have mercy!

Granted, there are many differences between the two scandals. Aunt Becky was trying to get her twin boys into pre-school whereas the real-life Loughlin wanted to get her daughters into USC. Aunt Becky merely went along with ringleader Uncle Jesse’s weird lies to the admission’s board before eventually confessing their deception, while Loughlin allegedly paid $500,000 to scam her daughters onto USC’s crew team, even though neither were rowers. Despite the stark differences between the two situations, though, it’s still a rather amazing coincidence that both the character and the actor had an admissions scandal at all. As Uncle Joey (Dave Coulier) used to say in between inexplicable impressions of Bullwinkle the Moose: cut . . . it . . . out!

Neither the coincidence factor, nor the life-imitating-art element ends with Full House, though.

Felicity Huffman’s husband, William H. Macy, who has not been indicted in the bribery scheme (yet), starred in nine seasons of the Showtime series Shameless. On a 2013 episode of the show, the character, Lip (Jeremy Allen White), fraudulently applies to college when his girlfriend Mandy (Emma Greenwell) secretly fills out his application for him. As precocious Full House youngster Stephanie Tanner used to say, sometimes with very little prompting: How rude!

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