When an actor has a cameo in a film and they appear as themselves, the results are often pretty hilarious. We know that the actual character we’re seeing isn’t anything like the person really is in real life, but it doesn’t matter, does it? Simply by using their own name, it appears that we’re getting a glimpse of who they really are, and that’s enough to change the dynamic. We already know a little bit about the character. Because we’re connected to the actor, we are automatically connected to the character they’re playing. We spend so much time pretending that these actors are someone else, it’s sort of refreshing seeing them as regular people, even if they’re only pretending.
There’s been some serious cameos, but it’s rare. I suppose that’s because if it were a serious cameo, the character would almost certainly be closer to the real person than a comedy cameo allows for. Half of a character cameo is the hilarity in seeing them as a real person. In a comedy, Mike Tyson can play an exaggerated version of Mike Tyson or even a subverted version of Mike Tyson; both are hilarious because it either plays to our expectations or goes completely against them. Speaking of Tyson, I’ve avoided celebrity appearances because I like actors more than I like celebrities. For every good celebrity cameo, like Hulk Hogan in Gremlins 2, we get several Paris Hiltons and Kardashians who are already exaggerated versions of themselves; silly and annoying. Here are 15 hilarious times an actor played themselves on film.
15 Al Pacino – Jack & Jill
14 Bruce Campbell – My Name is Bruce
13 Lou Ferrigno – I Love You, Man
12 Arnold Schwarzenegger – The Last Action Hero
11 David Bowie – Zoolander
10 Bob Saget – Half Baked
9 Bruce Willis – Ocean’s 12
8 Chuck Norris – Dodgeball
7 The Entire Cast of This is the End
6 John Malkovich – Being John Malkovich
5 Matt Damon & Ben Affleck – Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
4 Eminem & Ray Romano – Funny People
3 Robert Englund – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
2 Neil Patrick Harris – Harold and Kumar Franchise
1 Bill Murray – Zombieland
Bill Murray’s appearance in Zombieland is another scene that is easily the best scene in their respective movies, or maybe I just really like cameos. Murray has decided to dress up like a zombie so that he can continue his normal life while the world is ravaged by zombies. At first he scares Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson before they find out it’s the real Bill Murray. Once they do, and after Harrelson has gushed over him and his movies, they convince Murray to scare Jesse Eisenberg’s character. As he zombie-walks through the door, Eisenberg shoots him in the chest with a shotgun, instantly killing—nope, just fatally wounding him. As he lay dying, Murray’s asked if he has any regrets, which he answers with “Garfield, maybe.” Then he lets out a last breath, which is hilariously long and ends up not even being his final breath. This gets Emma Stone’s character laughing, as it should. The whole thing is perfect.
Sources: Wikipedia; Rotten Tomatoes; IMDB
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