Do you have a favorite surprise celebrity movie cameo? It can be an incredibly exciting thing to be watching one of your favorite shows or films and have someone that you love make an appearance. Sometimes it will be for a short duration, but their star power outside of the film can add a great deal of quality.
It does not have to be another actor to make the guest cameo exciting. Other times you may see a superstar from another industry, such as music, appear in a film and help add a fantastic performance. One of the best guest spots on How I Met Your Mother was done by Katy Perry, and the character would not have been nearly as funny if not for the excitement that Katy Perry herself brings.
It’s one thing when you expect the superstar to be a focal point, such as in the legendary film Space Jam starring Michael Jordan. It’s another thing entirely when you are watching a fun film like This is The End and you know there is going to be no shortage of great appearances, such as Emma Watson showing up out of the blue, that you would not have been able to predict going in.
Other directors know the power of this “guest appearance” and will often try and hide the reveal until people are watching the film. The Muppets film in 2011, was chock full of guest appearances throughout the film that helped only further add anticipation as the movie builds. When watching Se7en, it was hard not to get absolutely blown away when Kevin Spacey makes an appearance. Spacey, one of the best actors of all time, was held out of commercials and trailers/press appearances to help build the shock of his reveal.
There is no shortage of fantastic cameos throughout the years, but here are 10 of the very best.
10. Michael Jackson (Men In Black 2)
There was a time in the world where Michael Jackson could do absolutely anything that he wanted. Naturally, when the man who conquered the music industry wanted to try out acting, he called up the people behind Men In Black 2. MJ loved the first one, so why not try and land a role in the 2nd? In a further attempt to show that the actor is okay with poking fun at himself, he was cast as an alien. At least if MJ was an alien it would explain how he was so incredibly talented as both a musician and a performer.
9. Bob Barker (Happy Gilmore)
One of the best parts about being sick and staying home from school when you were younger, was that you got to watch The Price is Right. Hosted by Bob Barker, The Price is Right has remained a focal part of television for the last several decades. While Drew Carey does a great job hosting the show, he will never top Bob. And a big part of Bob’s legacy is his appearance in Happy Gilmore. Bob Barker’s appearance is legendary, in an already classic film that reminds you that Adam Sandler actually used to care about films. There may not be a more iconic line on this list then “the price is wrong, bitch!” and that’s not possible without Bob.
8. David Bowie (Zoolander)
I have seen Zoolander more times than I can count. It is one of those films that makes me laugh no matter how many times I have seen it, and while I’m cautiously optimistic for the sequel, I am sure it will have great moments. While there are a few great cameos worth mentioning (such as Fabio), there is no better one in the movie than David Bowie. As if the idea of a “walk-off” between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson was not ridiculous enough, they added the legendary prowess of David Bowie. Bowie has since done other acting projects, such as The Prestige, but his role in Zoolander remains one of my favorite unexpected celebrity cameos.
7. Chuck Norris (Dodgeball)
When I was in high school, Chuck Norris jokes were all the rage. You could not go anywhere on the Internet without finding out another funny and over the top myth about what the Texas Ranger could do or has done. It was all of the enthusiasm behind Chuck that made his appearance in Dodgeball all the better. Appearing at the end of the film as a judge, Norris gives one heck of a defiant thumbs up, but who would expect anything different from the great Chuck Norris? Full disclosure time: I’ve never actually seen an episode of Walker Texas Ranger.
6. Johnny Depp (21 Jump Street)
There were a lot of individuals that were incredibly cautious about 21 Jump Street. Even if you did not like the TV series, the idea of trying to turn it into a movie just seemed silly. Thankfully the writers realized that, and peppered the film with great self-referencing humor, which ended up making it a huge success. One of the most enjoyable parts of the film was the shocking appearance of Johnny Depp, who was playing an undercover gang member at the end of the film. While Depp does not stay on screen long before getting shot, it was still a great shout out to Depp who helped start his career through 21 Jump Street.
5. Stephen Colbert (The Hobbit)
The Colbert Report was one of the funniest, and most informative shows on TV. The success of it helped further the career of Stephen Colbert, who recently took over David Letterman‘s position as the host of The Late Show. Colbert had a chance to show his personality on his show and one of the facets that fans learned about was his in deep knowledge of the Tolkien universe. This made his cameo appearance in The Hobbit all the more fun. Now, let’s not get crazy here, Colbert’s cameo is far from a big role, but he does get to rock a robe and eye patch!
4. Mark Hamill (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)
Jay and Silent Bob is full of some great cameo moments, including Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The best cameo of the film has to go to Mark Hamill, as he appears towards the end of the film parodying Star Wars. Kevin Smith, director and creator of J&SB, is a massive Star Wars fan, and wrote the character of “Cock-Knocker” especially for Hamill. Combine that with the fact that they use something called a bongsaber instead of a lightsaber and you start to realize just how ridiculously awesome the whole thing is. It can be great fun to see legends such as Hamill poke fun at his previous work.
3. Marshawn Lynch (The League)
There might not be a more heartbreaking sports moment than when the Seattle Seahawks lost the Super Bowl in February of 2015. As a diehard Seahawks fan, the moment was devastating when we passed instead of running the ball in from the 1-yard line. This memory was made all the more painful by the absolutely hilarious cameo of Marshawn Lynch on the hit TV series The League. For those unaware, The League is a TV show largely set around fantasy football, and as a result NFL players have made cameos in the past. Marshawn’s appearance is the most tongue in cheek by far, as he makes jokes about why passing a beer to someone when he can just run it over…Why pass indeed, Marshawn :(
2. Mike Tyson (The Hangover)
Mike Tyson has done wonders to change his public image in the last decade. While he was once one of the most feared athletes in the world, and a convicted criminal, Tyson is now one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood. A huge part behind the restart to his career was his incredibly unexpected (but now so well known) cameo in the original Hangover movie. Any scene where the champ gets to knock somebody out is sure to help illicit comedic gold and helped start an acting career for Mike Tyson, which now also includes a comedic series entitled Mike Tyson Mysteries
1. Jim Parsons (The Muppets)
Jim Parsons quickly became a household name after his TV series The Big Bang Theory took off with critics and fans. Whether you are a fan or not, fame like that can come with some really great cameo opportunities. Parsons made the best of it when he was selected to be a cameo in the 2011 Muppet film. Parsons appears in the musical number for “Man or Muppet” as the human personification of Jason Segel‘s best friend, the muppet Walter. Not only is the song catchy, but Parsons kills it in a white suit rocking out on an elegant piano.