Movie cameos have been a tried and true tradition for giving audiences a good laugh or just a moment of “Oh, they’re in this?!” during the movie experience.
While not everything may include one, and they can be hard to pull off while not coming across as overly cheesy or obnoxious, some are done perfectly and go down in history as one of the funniest parts of some films. These cameos are both some of the funniest and most unexpected to pop up in films.
Wayne’s World managed two cameo appearances that had audiences first asking “Wait, was that the T-1000” before howling with laughter. Robert Patrick briefly reprised his Terminator 2 villain during a routine traffic stop, making sure Wayne wasn’t John Conner. The added bonus of history savant Alice Cooper was just the cherry on top of a hilarious film.
Deadpool 2 had plenty of blink-and-you-’ll-miss-it cameos, from Brad Pitt being shocked into visibility on an electric, the X-Men: Apocalypse team, and even Alan Tudyk and Matt Damon as a couple of rednecks that were only shown from afar. Also worth noting is cameo king Brad Pitt appearing in Jackass multiple times as a kidnapping victim.
Apparently John Hurt had no idea what to expect when Mel Brooks asked him to cameo for Space Balls. This is great because he also never expected how horrifying the original scene was going to be in Alien. Mel had him re-enact the famous chest-burster scene, but this time with some added music and humor. Hello, my baby! Hello, my honey! Hello, my ragtime gal! Still a bop after all these years.
21 Jump Street
Nobody born after 21 Jump Street will understand the complete one-eighty turn audiences had for this film. Originally it was written off by most audiences as a cash-grab remake, but instead, we got one of the funniest, joke-layered movies to date, only passed by 22 Jump Street. Johnny Depp not only reprised his role from the original show but also got his co-star and friend Peter DeLuise a spot alongside him.
There are even more cameos in 22 Jump Street, with Patton Oswalt playing a college professor who’s far too open, Marc Evan Jackson as a clueless psychiatrist, and even Queen Latifah as Ice Cube’s wife, noting that she was “straight out of Compton” in reference to the famous NWA song.
This is the End
From a movie starring Channing Tatum to a movie with Channing Tatum in one of the funniest cameos he’s made. While he was also a surprise in Tarantino’s Hateful Eight a couple of years later, it was his appearance leashed and masked as Danny McBride’s pet in This Is The End that cemented his great comedic talent. The quiet, monotone “I love him” to the other characters about Danny McBride was delivered fantastically.
Of course, that barely scratches the surface of This is the End, with dozens of actors appearing as themselves in either blink-and-you-miss-it background parts or small speaking roles. Everyone remembers Michael Cera and Rihanna, but there are also plenty of comedy stars like Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, and Aziz Ansari that manage to die in the first moments of the apocalypse. A favorite is Craig Robinson desperately trying to kick Aziz off as he tries to keep from falling into the newly formed lava crater.
Segueing right along into one of This Is the End’s stars cameoing in Tarantino’s 2012 hit, Jonah Hill made a brief appearance as one of the proto-Ku Klux Klan members that were after Django, giving a fantastic spiel about the idea for masks that weren’t quite ready for use yet. Remember kids, making fun of racists is always a great thing to do.
Also of note are both Jamie Fox as Django and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown appearing in Seth McFarlan’s A Million Ways to Die in the West just a couple of years later.
Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers
The most unexpected, out-of-left-field cameo that nobody saw coming. Everyone remembers the fallout from Sonic the Hedgehog’s first trailer, with the blue hedgehog looking like a furry’s worst nightmare. Nobody expected it to make another appearance, but here he was voiced by Tim Robinson and given the moniker of “Ugly Sonic”. Of course, this movie had cameos for almost every minute of screen time. They even acknowledged Kingdom Hearts, and Disney hasn’t done that themselves in years!
Ted was Seth McFarlan’s first attempt at a major live-action film, and it was already stacked with fantastic comedic actors, but the inclusion of Ryan Reynolds as himself was the funniest joke of the movie. “Oh yeah, he’s over there making out with the Van Wilder-looking guy” was an offhand comment earlier in the movie, but nobody expected it to be Ryan Reynolds himself.
Harold and Kumar
Harold and Kumar got a Ryan Reynolds cameo as well, playing a nurse that pulls the unsuspecting stoners into a surgery, mistaking them for doctors. The totally serious reaction without any of Reynold’s signature sarcasm stands out against the haphazard request for the Devil’s Lettuce to sedate the patient. Then Reynolds goes a little wild, infatuated with Kumar as they finish the surgery.
Harold and Kumar also gets a bonus for making a one-time Neil Patrick Harris cameo into the funniest recurring role in the series.
Fanboys didn’t do well at the box office, with mixed reviews by critics and a plot that served mostly as an homage to Star Wars and all the culture around it. The cameos were fast and furious though, with everyone from Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams (as Judge Reinholdt), Kevin Smith, and even William Shatner and Seth Rogan in a hilarious villain turn. That’s only the shortlist of cameos too, with more packed full in a loving, comedic, and real tribute to Star Wars by obvious fans.