Feature: Top 10 Cameos in a Comedy

Sometimes a cameo appearance can put a movie over the top. Using this definition of cameo “a minor part played by a prominent performer in a single scene of a motion picture”, I’ve developed a list of the most memorable ones that I’ve seen in a comedy.

My Criteria: Actor can’t play themselves in the role (sorry Harold & Kumar fans)

Not Another Teen Movie

Molly RingwaldNot Another Teen Movie (2001)

Scene: Jake catches Janey as she about to board a plane to France. He pours out the typical crap any guy would say to girl to get her to stay. Ms. Ringwald, who is working as a flight attendant, turns around and begins poking holes through all the lines Jake is laying out. It is a classic scene since she (and John Hughes) is responsible for most of these types movies being made and by her making fun it them, she closes the chapter on them.

Half Baked

Bob SagetHalf Baked (1998)

Scene: Dave Chappelle is confessing his pot addiction at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Out of the audience pops up America’s Mr. Wholesome (recall Saget was in Full House) who brazenly declares, “Marijuana is not a drug. I used to suck dick for coke. Now that’s an addiction. You ever suck some dick for marijuana?” It’s classic because he pokes fun at his clean cut image and because hearing someone admit that they sucked dick for drugs is funny.

Hot Shots! Part Deux

Martin SheenHot Shots! Part Deux (1993)

Scene: Charlie Sheen is on a PT boat recounting the horrors of war. He looks up as another voice drowns his dialogue out. Standing up he sees his dad Martin Sheen (reprising his Apocalypse Now role of Capt. Benjamin L. Willard) approaching. Simultaneously they state, “I loved you in Wall Street” as their boats pass each other in the river. It’s classic because it commemorates the fact that they both starred in Oliver Stone’s ode to greed and having the star of one the most vivid war movies make fun of the genre is cool too.


Matt DamonEuroTrip (2004)

Scene: Damon is the pierced, tattooed, shaven headed lead singer of a punk band that plays at Scotty’s graduation party. What Scotty doesn’t know, is the song being performed titled “Scotty Doesn’t Know” is about the fact that Damon is screwing Scotty’s soon to be ex-girlfriend. It’s a classic scene because Damon is really making fun of his straight-laced image by taking on the role of the out of control punk rocker. Having Kristin Kreuk gyrating next to him on stage doesn’t hurt either.


David DuchovnyZoolander (2001)

Scene: Zoolander and crew, on a search for answers, meet up with a cemetery caretaker who claims he can help them. He turns out to be Duchovny, who looks absolutely disheveled, save for the fact his hand is thermatically sealed in a fish bowl (he was a hand model). It’s classic because like his role on the X-Files, he’s got conspiracies theories on such things as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Did I mention he has his hand in fish bowl and looks absolutely ridiculous?

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

George CarlinJay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

Scene: Jay and Silent Bob run into Carlin as a hitchhiker on the side of the highway. Wondering why they can’t hitch a ride, Carlin explains the Book of the Road to them and proudly holds up a cardboard sign that reads “Will Give Head For A Ride”. He then proceeds to do it after a trucker picks him up. It’s classic because Carlin is Carlin — is another reason really needed?

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Tim RobbinsAnchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Scene: Back alley brawl involving Burgundy’s news team and other rival news channels’ teams. It has memorable cameos involving Luke Wilson and Ben Stiller (como estas bitches) but there was no expecting Tim Robbins to show up as the anchor of the Public News team with a smoking pipe in one hand and bat with a claw on it in the other. It’s classic because there is no rhyme or reason for Tim Robbins to be involved in a outlandish gang fight. Plus watching him hack off Wilson’s arm and immediately take a puff from his pipe is about as cool as it gets.

Young Frankenstein

Gene HackmanYoung Frankenstein (1974)

Scene: Hackman plays a lonely blindman who prays for a visitor. His wish is answered when Frankenstein’s monster barges through his door. Not knowing any better he offers him some soup and pours the scalding liquid into his lap. He then sets the monster’s hand on fire when trying to light a cigar. It’s a classic scene because Hackman was known as a dramatic actor and had just recently won an Oscar — so his cameo was purely out of character. It’s also great to watch him and Peter Boyle try and suppress their laughs as he’s going through the scene.

Wayne's World 2

Charlton HestonWayne’s World 2 (1993)

Scene: After asking for directions from a mechanic and having the guy pontificate, Wayne (Mike Myers) stops the scene in mid-sentence and asks the director for a better actor to read the lines. Out goes Al Hansen and in comes Charlton Heston. “Gordon Street? Ah…yes”, Heston begins, “Gordon Street…” It’s classic because Heston was one of the most accomplished actors ever and having him step out to recite a few lines in a crappy sequel showed he had a great sense of self.

Wedding Crashers

Will FerrellWedding Crashers (2005)

Scene: John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) reeling from his best friend’s engagement visits Chazz Reinhold, the man who wrote the book on wedding crashing. We expect to see a suave cat but after a brief buildup, out slinks Will Ferrell in a polka dot bathrobe holding a pair of nunchaku. What a huge payoff! It’s classic because Ferrell is about as far away from being cool as the fires in hell are. The fact he came up with preying on women at weddings and later at funerals is pure genius.

Yes, I know I didn’t add your favorite one. Chime in, tell me what I’ve missed and why.

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'Feature: Top 10 Cameos in a Comedy' have 14 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 13, 2008 @ 11:18 am LOU

    Your criteria sucks. Some of the all-time great cameos are ones that have people playing themselves. Off the top of my head you’re missing:

    Neil Patrick Harris
    Bob Barker
    David Bowie
    Billy Idol
    Neil Diamond
    David Hasselhoff

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 13, 2008 @ 12:38 pm Shawn

    Here’s a few more for your list.

    Wilt Chamberlain in Airplane!
    Cate Blanchett in Hot Fuzz
    Adam Sandler in The Hot Chick
    David Letterman in Cabin Boy
    Quentin Tarantino in Little Nicky

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 13, 2008 @ 10:51 pm sasori

    Your criteria sucks.

    Disagree but I thank you for not holding back your true feelings.

    Some of the all-time great cameos are ones that have people playing themselves.

    Agreed and worthy of a seperate top 10 listing.

    @ Shawn-

    I had Cate Blanchett and David Letterman on the short list. I don’t recall Quentin Tarantino’s role in Little Nicky…

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 15, 2008 @ 5:23 am Lorne

    How could you miss the cameos in Goldmember? Danny DeVito as Mini Me, Tom Cruise as Austin Powers and Kevin Spacey as Dr. Evil.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 6, 2008 @ 5:25 am Tex

    I know it isn’t from a comedy but my favorite cameo of all time is Christopher Walken as Captain Koons in Pulp Fiction.

    Great quote from it:

    “He’d be damned if any slopes gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy’s birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass.”

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 7, 2008 @ 10:59 am sasori

    How could you miss the cameos in Goldmember? Danny DeVito as Mini Me, Tom Cruise as Austin Powers and Kevin Spacey as Dr. Evil.

    Valid question. They are unexpected cameos.

    I know it isn’t from a comedy but my favorite cameo of all time is Christopher Walken as Captain Koons in Pulp Fiction.

    Walken is awesome in everything he stars in.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 22, 2008 @ 6:27 am Wollack

    James Van Der Beek – Scary Movie

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 16, 2009 @ 6:13 am Liam

    You missed the cameos by Jack Black, Justin Long, Paul Rudd and Jason Schwartzman in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. They were the Beatles and they convince Dewey to drop acid with them.

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 20, 2009 @ 2:24 am Jocko Botzi

    Kurt Vonnegut – Back To School

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 24, 2009 @ 7:10 pm Steve

    My favorite has always been Marcel Marceau in Mel Brooks’ “Silent Movie.” He also had the ONLY spoken line in the film. Pure genius on the part of Mel.

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 27, 2011 @ 2:32 am Steve


    Quentin Tarantino was in multiple scenes in Little Nicky as the blind religious nut screaming out in the streets that the end was near.

    Keep your eye on the ball next time.

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 24, 2012 @ 5:39 am Carion

    List needs updating – Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street should get top honors now.

  13. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 29, 2012 @ 5:13 pm ElephantShoes

    Michael Jackson is an alien trying to join the agency in Men in Black 2. Calls himself Agent “M”.


  14. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 27, 2014 @ 8:16 pm Pete

    Luke Wilson pops up at the end of ‘Rushmore’ and mumbles a line or two about neurosurgery.

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