Cameo. Wikipedia defines a cameo appearance as a brief appearance or voice part of a known person in a work of the performing arts, typically unnamed or appearing as themselves. We define cameo as, “What is ____ doing in this movie?”. As two people that watch way too many movies, myself and Rocky Maxwell give our top picks (and seem to lean towards musicians and comedies) for The Greatest Cameos in Film History (For Now)!
Ken Murray’s (@murraymaker) Picks
Bill Murray – Zombieland: A) It’s Bill Murray B) It’s Bill Murray playing Bill Murray looking like a zombie. Enough said.
Chuck Norris – Dodgeball: I don’t know if Chuck’s appearance in the Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn comedy sparked the Chuck Norris internet meme craze, but even if it didn’t, it’s still a great cameo. Vaughn’s deadpan of “Thank you Chuck Norris” is fantastic.
Matt Damon – Eurotrip: Matt Damon went to Harvard with the writers/directors of the film and he was in Europe shooting The Brothers Grimm when this was being made if I remember right. It’s Matt as a punk singer who’s sleeping with Kristin Kreuk singing “Scotty Doesn’t Know”. Awesome.
DMX – Top Five: I saw the Chris Rock film twice in theaters. The first time I exploded in laughter at the DMX cameo. The second time, already knowing it was going to happen, I still exploded in laughter at the DMX cameo.
Bob Barker – Happy Gilmore: For a generation of kids, you always watched Bob Barker on The Price is Right when you were sick and missing school. Seeing Bob go toe to toe with Adam Sandler simply made me laugh. The price is wrong bitch.
Neil Patrick Harris – the Harold & Kumar movies: He’s great in them, but his cameo developed into more of a character as the films progressed.
Sam J. Jones aka Flash Gordon – Ted: So I might be a bit biased with this one considering I’m in scenes with him and got to talk to Sam in between takes, but only Seth MacFarlane could pull such an obscure reference for the hit Mark Wahlberg comedy. Flash Gordon is a major cult classic and fit perfectly with the John and Ted characters. Too much face time and a re-appearance in the sequel makes it more a character than cameo.
The Backstreet Boys – This is the End: I was so not a fan of the late 90s/early 2000s boy bands, but The Backstreet Boys dance number at the end of the film is glorious.
Vanilla Ice – That’s My Boy: He plays himself, but I think it’s more a character than cameo because of the amount of screen time. But he hands down is the best part of the film. Word to your mother, brother f*cker.
Will Smith – Winter’s Tale: Wearing a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt and earrings in scenes from early 20th Century America. Huh?
Rocky Maxwell’s (@therockymaxwell) Picks
Tom Petty – The Postman: Tom Petty makes a cameo in the Post-Apocalyptic film as the mayor of Bridge City. The best part is, Petty is supposed to be himself as the mayor, a fact hinted at in an exchange of dialogue with The Postman (played by Kevin Costner). The Postman says “I know you, you’re famous” to which the Mayor says “I was once, sorta”. Later, when the Mayor finds out he is talking to The Postman, he says the same thing back to him, with The Postman saying “Yeah, I guess I am”.
Ruggero Deodato – Hostel: Part II: In the sequel to Eli Roth’s controversial film, he has the Italian director of the more controversial film, Cannibal Holocaust, doing a cameo as an Italian Cannibal, eating his victim while playing Carmen in the background. Ruggero Deodato does this quite naturally too.
Tom Waits – The Book Of Eli: The eccentric Tom Waits, plays the eccentric character Engineer, whom Eli trades some wet naps and a lighter to, in order to get his iPod recharged.
Jason Statham – Pink Panther: In the remake of the Peter Sellers classic, Jason Statham has an UNCREDITED role as Yves Glaunt, the coach of the French Soccer team and owner of the titular Pink Panther diamond.
Ministry – AI: Artificial Intelligence: Handpicked by Stanley Kubrick (before his death) to be in the film, Ministry plays their song WHAT ABOUT US? during the flesh fair scene. Supposedly Kubrick had heard Ministry played by a crew member on the set of Eyes Wide Shut and decided he wanted to use them for this film. To me, the flesh fair scene, and the performance of Al Jourgensen and crew during the scene were one of the most memorable things (them, and of course Jude Law as Gigolo Joe).
Ron Perlman – The Punisher: Dirty Laundry fan film: While technically not a movie, this was a Hollywood-quality short fan film, starring Tom Jane and has a nice little cameo by Ron Perlman as handicapped store clerk, Big Mike.
Robby The Robot – In Tons of Movies: He was built for the film Forbidden Planet in the 50’s, and has since made appearances in many films, even being given an IMDB actor page. We even use him as our first logo!
Tom Waits – Mystery Men: Playing another eccentric role as the inventor of non-lethal weapons including the Blame Thrower.
Flea – Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas: The bassist for The Red Hot Chili Peppers is the hippie who licks the LSD off the red flannel shirt of Raoul Duke.
Andy Dick as the Female Masseuse – Zoolander: This one only makes my dishonorable mention because they put so much makeup on Andy Dick, to the point you couldn’t tell it was him, even though he was SUPPOSED to be recognizable (this was actually touched upon in the commentary track for the film).