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TV's Best Celebrity Cameos

TV's Best Celebrity Cameos

25 Billy Dee Williams on Scrubs

Arguably, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have managed to outgrow Star Wars by becoming respected actors and voice actors in their own right, but Billy Dee Williams seems all-too-content to cameo and endure a barrage of Lando Calrissian jokes, with guest turns on Scrubs, That '70s Show, LOST, and Robot Chicken.

24 Paris Hilton on Supernatural

What was Paris Hilton doing on Supernatural, other than referencing her history opposite Jared Padalecki for House of Wax?

Why, giving the Winchester brothers a chance to take out a shape-shifting demon who feeds off the souls of her fans, and behead the universally reviled socialite, of course.

23 Adam West in EVERYTHING

Oh, please.  There are no depths to which Adam West won't mine his over-the-top delivery and Bat-history for a quick laugh, popping up in everything from 30 Rock, Family Guy, to most DC animation as either a counterpart to Batman, or Gotham city official.

But perhaps most prolific is his absurd recurring role as Family Guy's Quahog Mayor.  After all, nobody messes with Adam We.

22 John Stamos in Clone High

Prior to becoming the Glee-ful media darling and more-respected actor of today, John Stamos made a bizarre cameo in the short-lived MTV series Clone High as a former classmate and show-up of Principle Scudworth, whose celebrity grace while infuriating, eventually saved the day at the prom.

21 Jean-Claude Van Damme on Friends

The post-Superbowl haven of stunt casting saw Jean-Claude Van Damme and Julia Roberts' appearance on Friends providing some of the better cameos of recent memory, with "The Muscles from Brussels" playing himself on the set of Outrbeak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan while Rachel and Monica fought for the right to date him.

20 Sir Ben Kingsley on The Sopranos

Things on The Sopranos took a turn for the bizarre as Christopher made efforts to make it in Hollywood, enlisting respected actor Sir Ben Kingsley to meet with the Jersey mobster for a potential movie role.

Honorable mention goes to Jon Favreau, who played his role as an a**hole movie director just a bit too convincingly.

19 David Duchovny on The Larry Sanders Show

Let's just say that David Duchovny's fairly regular portrayal of sex addicts has...some...basis in reality, but never lampooned so well as with the actor's appearance on The Larry Sanders Show.

Duchovny played himself as a personal friend to Larry Sanders, one the comedian worried was starting to act a bit too personal behind closed doors.

18 Britney Spears on Glee

For a bunch of losers in a run-down Ohio high school, the kids of Glee sure have their fair share of celebrities walking the halls of McKinley high, from Olivia Newton-John to Josh Groban.

At least Britney Spears was intended to a be a hallucination at the dentist's office when Glee devoted an entire episode to the "Hit Me Baby One More Time" songstress.

17 Kevin Smith on Degrassi: The Next Generation

An avid fan of the original series, Kevin Smith with Jason Mewes in tow stopped by a few episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation for a small arc in which Smith came to town to scout locations for his next film Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh!, which sadly never came to be in our universe.

16 Wayne Brady on Chappelle's Show

Perhaps one of the most twisted and hysterical self-parodies any star has brought to light, America saw a whole new side to Wayne Brady on Chappelle's Show after his cameo turn taking up hosting duties became increasingly dark and violent as the pair drove around doing drugs, killing cops and threatening prostitutes. (Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?)

15 Carl Weathers on Arrested Development

The subtle, masterful insanity of actor Carl Weathers knew little bound on Arrested Development, who in between taking Tobias' money for supposed acting lessons continued to get himself kicked off airplanes for more money, and horde discarded food as part of some imaginary stew he'd been amassing.

14 James Woods on Family Guy

Family Guy wasn't the first time James Woods has poked fun at himself in animated form, but certainly the most memorable with his long-standing feud with Peter that nearly always culminates in him being tricked into imprisonment in the Indiana Jones warehouse with a trail of Reese's Pieces.

Of course the character's supposedly dead now, but we wouldn't put it past Seth MacFarlane to go back to the woods again.

13 Alex Trebek on The X-Files

Is anyone surprised that the seemingly ageless Jeopardy host secretly moonlights as a "Man in Black" concealing the existence of aliens for the government of The X-Files universe?

We didn't think so.

12 George Lucas on The O.C.

Seth Cohen wasn't the only one geeking out over George Lucas' cameo on The O.C., as creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak are noted Star Wars fans that take most any excuse to shove in a good nerd reference.

Of course George Lucas didn't need a prom with his bajillions of dollars, but it was nice of him to convince the character to live out a normal life a bit longer before stepping on the trail to Hollywood.

11 Keith Hernandez on Seinfeld

Of Seinfeld's many guest stars appearing as themselves, none gave so memorable a turn as former Mets first-baseman Keith Hernandez, who showed up to date Elaine, share an awkward man-crush with Jerry, and clear up the "magic loogie" theory that had baffled Kramer and Newman for years on how the baseball player had spit on them.

10 The Cast of Star Trek on Futurama

Anything goes with the head-in-a-jar plot device of Futurama, including for those who had already passed on by the time the technology'd been invented.

And while Leonard Nimoy appeared to christen Futurama's pilot, his Star Trek castmates later joined him for the series' most beloved tribute to Trek yet, save for the late DeForrest Kelley and James Doohan, who turned down the opportunity.

9 Sinbad and Rob Thomas on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Who among us has not slipped into a fever dream while imagining ourselves in a mental hospital, hallucinating agressive projections of Sinbad and Rob Thomas as happened to Always Sunny's Dennis during his efforts to gain material for his memoirs?

The pair's manic threats turned out to all be in Dennis' mind, having never gone to the hospital at all...or did he?

8 Katee Sackhoff on The Big Bang Theory

Along with occasional visits from George Takei, life in Wolowitz' conscious mind must be pretty sweet, to take baths with Katee Sackhoff or even just lounge around in her Battlestar Galactica attire whenever encountering a moral dilemma.

Bonus points to to Summer Glau for popping up as herself on a train for an episode of The Big Bang Theory.

7 The Cast of Seinfeld on Curb Your Ethusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm has seen Larry David interacting with a fair amount of celebrities, but none so prolific as when the seventh season found an in-universe way to bring together the entire Seinfeld cast for a supposed reunion, which gave us the closest thing to a real Seinfeld ending since the controversial prison finale.

6 Patrick Stewart on Extras

Between Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom and Daniel Radcliffe, every star that visited Extras proved more bizarre and depraved than the last, but none so much as Patrick Stewart and his Oscar-winning movie pitches. 

See for yourself:

5 George Takei on Will and Grace

Ever the good sport, George Takei takes no issues delivering a cameo that plays off his role as Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, taking comedic turns on The Big Bang Theory, Futurama and Will and Grace.

Even Heroes got in on the action, by giving his character's license plate as "NCC 1701."

4 Johnny Carson on Newhart

Proving what the characters had been claiming for years, the friendship between Johnny Carson and Bob Newhart came to a head when the former dropped by Newhart to prove that he had in fact paid Larry, Darryl and Darryl's gas bill, though the reasoning was never quite explained.

3 Everyone on 30 Rock

30 Rock practically owns the celebrity cameo, but makes its own rules when it comes to addressing star status.  Celebrities and famous movies can be referenced over and over again, but no one will bat an eyelash if Matt Damon suddenly shows up as an airline pilot.

The show has had some great ones over the years, from Jerry Seinfeld shamelessly plugging Bee Movie, to John Lithgow lost in the building to the star-studded "Kidney Now," and shows no signs of stopping, meta or otherwise in the future.

2 Celebrities on The Simpsons

You couldn't pick just one celebrity off The Simpsons, who in 25 years have managed to include just about every star under the sun making an appearance in Springfield, be it as themselves or original characters.

Notable examples would include such geek icons as Mark Hamill, Lucy Lawless, the above musicians, Leonard Nimoy, and even former Simpsons writer Conan O'Brien!

1 Entourage

Entourage being what it is, the show makes an art form out of the celebrity cameo, taking most any excuse to give a celebrity a guest turn.  We've seen Mandy Moore as the female lead of Aquaman, and Bob Saget as an overzealous neighbor begging Vince not to f#ck his daughters.

Perhaps most iconic was the appearance of Marky Mark himself, producer on whom the show was originally based.


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Tags: 30 rock (nbc), arrested development (fox / netflix), britney spears, glee (fox), it's always sunny... (fx), jensen ackles, list, oprah, paris hilton, supernatural (cw), television - abc, television - cw, television - hbo, television - nbc, the big bang theory (cbs), tina fey
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