Forgotten, obscure, and just plain bizarre cameos

Stan Lee did it dozens of times. So did Alfred Hitchcock. And just about every movie or television star you can name started out with non-speaking bit parts. But did you know that one of the Three Stooges appeared briefly in an episode of Batman (1966)? What other cameos can you point out? The more obscure and bizarre, the better! Voiceovers in animated works count, too!

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Joe Besser, a.k.a., “Curly Joe,” appeared in Batman (1966) S02E17 “Hizzonner the Penguin”.

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William Sanderson voiced “Dr. Karl Rossum” in several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1994). The character’s name is lifted directly from R.U.R. (Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti, or "Rossum’s Universal Robots” in English), the play from which we gained the word “robot,” which — naturally — is the subject of the Batman: TAS episodes in question. Just to drive the point home, the license plate number on his character’s car is RUR.

But there’s an excellent reason I consider this to be bizarre, but appropriate, casting. Sanderson earlier portrayed “Sebastian” in Blade Runner (1982)!

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Say whaaat? I’m going to have to dig that episode out for a rewatch now.

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David Letterman made a cameo on the short-lived sitcom “Open All Night” in 1981.

Don’t know about bizarre, but it’s definitely obscure and forgotten.

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Anything I can remember is instantly off topic.

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Cate Blanchet in Hot Fuzz - you have an Oscar winner, for a short scene and cover her face, that’s unusual.

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Master Pancake made a big deal about a really good actor guy having no lines in Deep Blue Sea. He just sat there while Sammy J did all the talking.

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When Jimmy Fallon turned up as a random Jeep driver in Band of Brothers, my friend and I looked at each other and said, “Is that Jimmy Fallon?!?”

Complete randomness.

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How about Dan Aykroyd as the guy who gets them on the baddy’s plane in Temple of Doom?

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I don’t know if this counts as a cameo, but Mike Wallace was the narrator of the dubbed version of The Sword and the Dragon. They riff on it, but he actually is.

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Carol Burnett appears in the SCTV soap opera parody The Days Of The Week, as an observer in a courtroom scene. It might have been her idea, as she’s always been a fan of soaps and parodied them often on her own show.

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Does jewellery count?

Larry Manetti guest-starred in a number of episodes of the rebooted Hawaii Five-0. His character wore the same Cross of Lorraine ring Magnum, Rick, and TC wore in the 1980s Magnum PI series.

One, he still has that ring. Two he got away with wearing it in the new show. (Probably didn’t hurt that Peter Lenkov was a fan of the original Magnum series)

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“As The Stomach Turns”, which took place in “Canoga Falls”. This was a riff on an unfashionable section of the San Fernando Valley called “Canoga Park”. (My daughter has discovered these old shows and just adores this bit.)

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Christian Malcolm, aka Troy from “The Final Sacrifice” was also in Band of Brothers as an MP.

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The Misfits make an appearance in Insane Clown Posse’s Big Money Hustlas. Of course, the Misfits should be best known for writing songs about movies that have been riffed, including Devil Doll, The Crawling Eye, and Astro Zombies.

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I’ve of the most surprising and unexpected I’ve seen is in Stephen Chow’s Legend of the Dragon. It’s a sort of precursor to Shaolin Soccer but featuring snooker instead. At the end his final opponent is none other than legendary snooker player Jimmy White.

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When I watched Matrix Revolutions before watching the new movie, I was shocked to see Dr. Cornel West as Councillor West, since he’s much more famous for his academic and civil rights work.

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Also hearing Julia Child as Dr. Juliet Bleeb in We’re Back! A Dinosaur Story was strange because I don’t think she did any work in animation before or after. I’m wondering if that was the first time I heard Julia Child in anything or not.

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