Oddest cameo in a movie

Today I had “Ski Party” (one of the beach party movies inexplicably set in a ski resort) on the TV, strictly as backing noise. So guess my surprise when a rescue patrol appears…
it’s James Brown and the Fabulous Flames!
So it got me thinking, what really unlikely or out of nowhere cameos have you seen in a movie or TV show?

Greeted by Batgirl, herself.

The year before was Muscle Beach Party, with a brief appearance by Little Stevie Wonder. And listening to a conversation between Luciana Paluzzi (one of the sexiest voices ever) and Buddy Hackett is really going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

There are some odd bit parts in Casino Royale (1967), like Orson Welles and William Holden.

I think my favorite might be how Alfred Hitchcock managed to get his cameo into Lifeboat.

Cannibal Corpse in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Wayne’s World had Charleton Heston as a random gas station attendant, as a joke.

That wasn’t odd. That was wonderful. And quite possibly my favourite Heston role.

David Bowie as “The Shark” in Yellowbeard was definitely a weird one though.

He apparently got tons of letters asking for his weight loss secret. :slight_smile:

Hook (1991) has some odd cameos including Glen Close, Carrie Fisher, David Crosby, George Lucas, Kelly Rowan, etc.

*Back to the Future II *had a Michael J. Fox cameo as his own daughter.

Airplane! has a cameo of Howard Jarvis sitting in a cab waiting for the driver (Hays) to come back.

Howard Jarvis was the leader of the infamous Prop 13 campaign in California.

That’s it. That was all he was known for.

Mine would be from the 2001 sequel 2010. There is one scene at a nursing home where a nurse lays down a magazine with the headline “WAR?” and two pictures on the front page. The pictures are of Stanley Kubrick (director) and Arthur C. Clarke (author).

The Blues Brothers had a trifecta: prison property manager Frank Oz, county tax collector Steven Spielberg, and swimming prisoner Joe Walsh.

Not a movie, but Jimmy Fallon’s appearance in *Band of Brothers *seemed to be the result of winning a bet and nothing more.

Around the World in 80 Days had cameos galore. The one that yanked me out of the picture was Frank Sinatra as the honky-tonk piano player in a San Francisco saloon.

In Airplane!, there’s a shell-shocked war veteran named Lt. Hurwitz who thinks he’s Ethel Merman. He’s played by Ethel Merman.

For totally weird how about The Three Stooges in 4 For Texas? The movie is a lightweight Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin western(?), wherein the Stooges appear for a 2 minutes bit as movers carrying a nude painting of Ursula Andress.

The Stainless Steel Rat, Clarke does another cameo in 2010. There’s a scene where two of the main characters are sitting on a bench in front of the White House. Clarke plays a man who happens to be sitting there too. However, he is out-of-frame in the pan-and-scan version of the film on DVDs or videotapes.

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World did, too. It looks as if they were trying to get every comedian in America into that film.
Arguably the weirdest cameos are in the movie The List of Adrian Messenger. It features five cameos by famous and easily recognizable stars who are so heavily made up that it’s virtually impossible to tell who they are. Their real identities are shown in clips at the end of the film when they peel off the makeup.

Some posters and the video cover have pictures of the actors. You can find out who they are by going to the Wikipedia or imdb page for the film:

Not really a cameo, but the most amusing bit of casting in Muscle Beach Party had to be the personal trainer of all those body builders, played by that well-known athlete and fitness expert, Don Rickles!

Most of the Beach Party series had random cameos by fairly big name stars, starting with Vincent Price as “Big Daddy” in the first Beach Party, and including people like Boris Karloff, Mickey Rooney, Dorothy Lamour, and Buster Keaton (in three movies).

A favorite was one in an episode of Green Acres when they go to Washington, DC. They meet with with their senator.

Lisa: “What Actor are you?”
Senator: “Actor?”
Lisa: "Yes. All senators were actors before. What actor are you?*
Senator (after a pause): “Lyle Talbot.”

He was, of course, played by Lyle Talbot, and dependable character actor of the time. His most visible role these days is an army general in one scene of Plan 9 from Outer Space, and he’s notable as the only competent actor in the film.

*Referring to people like California Senator George Murphy and, of course Ronald Reagan.

It has to Be Oscar the Grouch in the Muppet Movie


Kevin McCarthy is arguably most famous as the hero of Don Seigel’s original version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The film was supposed to end with his character on the California freeway, yelling at all the drivers “You’re next! You’re next!” People treat him like a madman, and there was supposed to be a shot of him taken from inside one of the cars.

It didn’t end up that way. The studio powers-that-be thought the ending was too much of a downer, so the shot of him from inside looking like he’s crazy is out, and they tacked on a more hopeful scene where people start to believe him.

When Philip Kaufman remade the film in 1979 they brought McCarthy back at the very beginning to reprise the scene, this time shot from inside the car, as originally intended. It’s arguably a bit longer than a cameo.

But McCarthy got to reprise it again for the movie Loonie Tunes: Back in Action during the “Area 52” scene. It’s like McCarthy gets to re-do the character every 25 years or so. Maybe they can digitally resurrect him for it in 2028.

The movie, directed by Joe Dante, has cameos by Roger Corman and others. Dante like cameos – his film The Howling is full of cameos by genrte actors and directors (and Forrest J. Ackerman, holding a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland)