Really short tv cameos

Unless my eyes (or brain) are deceiving me, I just spotted a 1- or 2-second cameo by Ray Romano in a *Frasier *episode. The episode is “Roz a-Loan,” and in a scene in the “Café Nervosa,” Romano is briefly entering the café, in the background. Either that, or there’s an actor who looks just like him.

What other tv cameos were that short?

I can’t think of any off the top of my head (though I’m sure I will as soon as I go to bed). Whenever something like that happens (was Ray famous at the time?), I always assumed that just means the person was in the studio for some other reason while they were shooting and the producer/director asked them if they wanted to walk across the set as an ‘extra’.

I’m not sure if you would count this, but Alfred Hitchcock was in every(?) movie he directed for just a few seconds. Usually just walking past the camera in the background, getting on/off a bus, at a newspaper stand or something along those lines.

Yes, it was during his own show’s run. And it was even shorter than Hitchcock’s cameos.

Out of curiosity I found the episode on YouTube. Can you pinpoint the scene you saw him in?

It’s about 3:50 in, and he leaves right near the end. Not him, IMO.

There’s an episode of MTV’s The State with a sketch that was simply titled “And”.

In the sketch, there’s a character who has just learned the word “and” and he is excited about it and wants to use it as much as possible. Elated, he walks down the street saying “AND I’m walking AND I’m talking AND I’m having a ball AND the sun AND the sky AND Alice Cooper AND . . .”

As he is walking forward, the camera is in front of him (the camera has the actor in a medium shot and is moving backward as the actor walks forward). When he says “Alice Cooper” he looks just ahead of himself to his left off camera.

Immediately after he says Alice’s name we see a dark figure come slightly into frame screen right (from where the actor was looking), the figure is walking, and continues to walk, in the opposite direction. He is obscured by the main actor, then comes into frame again over the main actor’s right shoulder. He’s a bit in the distance now but he’s completing a turn of his head over his shoulder to give a confused look at the main character (who is continuing his walk). And . . . it is indeed Alice Cooper.

About 2 seconds screen time- tops.

In general, the point of a cameo is to make sure the person is recognized.

Hitchcock was a special case – it started out because he needed another body to fill out the scene, then it became a good luck charm, and then it became a full cameo because people expected it.

In movies, the closest to what you describe that I can recall was in the movie Mother Night, when the main character looks at people passing by as he walks down the street. There’s about a five-second shot of Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote the original novel.

Ah, I see him now. He does bear a striking resemblance to Ray Romano, but I’d agree that it’s not actually him.

Betty Ford had a quick 5-second appearance on a Mary Tyler Moore episode. Unfortunately, they built the entire show around it.

Speaking of Mary Tyler Moore, Henry Winkler (pre-Fonz) played Rhoda’s date at one of Mary’s disastrous dinner parties. Mary didn’t know Rhoda was bringing a date, no room for him at the table, so he had to sit alone in another part of the room. Hee!

Various Happy Days alumni used to make blink-worthy appearances on one of Scott Baio’s subsequent shows.

Who can forget DeForest Kelly’s brief appearance on the ST:TNG pilot?

Two actors from Cougar Town (Laurie and Travis… forget the actor names) appeared in a crowd scene in Community’s Season 2 finale.

Michael J. Fox had a three word, un-credited, voice-over cameo in the pilot of the short-lived MTV series “Clone High”

Skip ahead to ~2:45. Blink and you’ll miss it.

There’s a brief appearance by Ted Turner in the TV film “Gettysburg” as a confederate soldier being killed (The only good Confederate IMHO)Ted Turner dressed as a Confederate being killed at Gettysburg - YouTube

Michael Phelps did a very missable cameo on Entourage.

In Redd Foxx’s post “Sanford and Son” series “Sanford,” he goes out to a fancy restaurant, and he’s pointing out some of the other guests. He says “There’s Tom Dreesen, and Stymie Beard, and one of the Step Brothers. . . and I don’t know who that is” Camera closes in to show Sammy Davis Jr.

Don’t know if it was really him or not but someone resembling Craig Charles once showed up in “Home Improvement” as part of the studio audience for a Tool Time segment.

There was Elizabeth Taylor’s cameo as the voice of Maggie Simpson; that was only one word.

Likewise, Abed from Community indeed had a brief appearance on Cougar Town.

One of the most famous, and funny, brief cameos was Suzanne Pleshette in the very last couple minutes of the series finale of NEWHART.

Not a TV film. It was released theatrically.

Ken Burns’ (famed documentarian) also cameos as a General’s aide and has one line.

Indeed. And if you knew the back story it was doubly hilarious but seemed longer than what the OP had in mind.

Speaking of Cameos that don’t quite fit. Kelsey Grammer had a one word Audio only cameo in Star Trek: First Contact. It’s a TV star doing a cameo on a movie based on a TV show so I am counting it :slight_smile: