What can be better than getting your weekly fix of your favorite TV show, you ask? Why, getting all that and a bag of chips, i.e. an ultra-special guest star cameo that just leaves you mouth agape. In recent times, there have been plenty of A-list movie stars to appear in TV shows, since everyone’s gotten round to acknowledging that TV has come a long way. Sure, there’s still the occasional bad apple among TV shows, but, for the most part, the medium garners far more respect nowadays than it did two decades ago. That’s why today we’re bringing you a list of the ten best TV show cameos in history. Which one’s your favorite?
1. Oprah on 30 Rock
Over the years during it which it aired, 30 Rock saw so many great TV show cameos that we could’ve filled out the list with this series alone. Tina Fey’s Liz meets up with Oprah on a plane back to NYC and decides to change her life around, following Oprah’s advice. Obviously, at the end of the flight, she realizes she’d been hallucinating throughout the trip…
2. Stephen Hawking on The Big Bang Theory
Want to see someone outsmart The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon? Then you have got to watch out for that one very special episode, which guest stars none other than brilliant mind Stephen Hawking. Hawking doesn’t even appear that often on TV, so this is a big deal right here.
3. Michael Jackson on The Simpsons
No, seriously – you didn’t know that Michael Jackson had a cameo on The Simpsons? Well, that’s okay. The appearance had to be kept a secret for legal reasons – Michael was actually credited as John Jay Smith on the end credits. But that is, indeed, him, voice acting as Leon Kompowsky, the patient of a mental clinic who’s convinced he is Michael Jackson.
4. LL Cool J on House
If you’re a genuine hardcore fan of House MD, then you may remember the first episode of the 2nd season featuring none other than iconic rapper LL Cool J. The performer acted the part of a former rapper turned psycho killer at the hands of schizophrenia. The artist hadn’t done much acting before, yet managed to be thoroughly convincing here.
5. David Copperfield on Scrubs
One time, as Dr. John J.D. Dorian nods off into one of his regular fantasies, suddenly, out of the blue, renowned magician David Copperfield appears. Just like that! J.D, meets Copperfield in a bar, shows him some lame magic trick, which, of course, Copperfield bests with a trick of his own. No wonder!
6. Mark Wahlberg on Entourage
Mark Wahlberg, perhaps one of the most underrated talented actors in Hollywood, actually makes several appearances in Entourage. By far the most memorable one is the one in the pilot – if you never got into Entourage, the cameo in itself is a reason to give the show a chance.
7. Conan O’Brien on The Office (US version)
Blink and you miss the TV talk show host’s cameo on the Valentine’s Day episode in season 2 of the U.S. version of The Office. In the episode, Michael Scott goes to visit Rockefeller Center and ends up chasing after a woman whom he thinks is Tina Fey. While it turns out she’s not, Conan O’Brien inconspicuously passes Scott by – without being noticed, of course.
8. Britney Spears in Glee
Not many would have expected this, but Britney Spears did a great job delivering some (particularly well written zingers) on an episode of Glee. How did this come about? Britney one day asked Murphy if he’d like to use some of her music on the show. Cut to: here’s Britney busting her acting chops. Not bad, Ms. Spears, not bad!
9. George Lucas on The O.C.
During an episode titled “The O. Sea” of the once popular show’s second season, Seth tries to sell George Lucas a graphic novel. That’s right – George Lucas himself, playing himself. The cameo is fun for a load of reasons, not the least of which being the chance to see Lucas acting: doesn’t happen that often, you know?
10. Brad Pitt in Friends
What else could we have picked to top off our list of TV show cameos? Brad Pitt as the special guest star of “The One with the Rumor” was dashing, slightly insane, and a bit of a jerk – and we loved every single second of it. In the episode, he reminds everyone of their strained relationships in high-school, not without causing some serious chuckles along the way.