This week, Nicki Minaj was a guest judge on the millionth season of America’s Next Top Model. Now don’t get us wrong, we love Nicki, and we even have a soft spot in our hearts for that crazy lady Tyra Banks, but we’re not exactly sure what she was doing there. Aren’t the guest judges usually photographers or people who have anything to do with what’s actually going on in the show, rather than blatant cries for more viewers? Oh, look at us, bemoaning the loss of integrity on ANTM. Silly. Regardless, Nicki’s blonde bobbed cameo got us thinking about the other strange, random or otherwise incongruous guest stars that have popped up on some of our favorite TV shows, whether in integral roles or tiny walk-on parts. Click through for a trip down memory lane of some of the weirdest instances, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite guests in the comments!
Andy Warhol on The Love Boat
On a show famous for its revolving cast of guest stars, not too many choices would surprise us. But we would have thought Andy Warhol, purveyor of hipster taste as he was, would consider himself altogether too cool to set foot on anything as mainstream and corny as The Love Boat. He even looks uncomfortable in the press photos.
Larry David on Hannah Montana
Oh, the joys of having children. We’re willing to bet that Larry David wouldn’t have touched the set of Hannah Montana with a ten foot pole — except for the fact that his two daughters were huge fans of the show. In the clip, the girls complain that he isn’t a big enough star to get them a table at a fancy restaurant, which doubles the fun, because he’s certainly a big enough star to get them bit roles on their favorite TV show, not to mention a chance to stand next to Miley Cyrus. Thanks, Dad!
Norman Mailer on Gilmore Girls
As Mailer himself told NYMag: “They happened to write a script in which a well-known author is visiting Lorelai’s inn and drinking nothing but iced tea and driving the cook crazy. I think they were using the name Norman Mailer, and somebody said, “Let’s try and get him.” Of course I said no. But then they wanted my son Stephen, too, and that made all the difference. He and I had done a reading at the Provincetown Repertory Theater.” Again with the kids getting their super famous parents to stoop to silly television! However, though Mailer doesn’t care for sitcoms, he admitted he finds Gilmore Girls “kind of agreeable.” Strong words.
Madeleine Albright on Gilmore Girls
Man, Gilmore Girls was really on a roll for a while there. In the sixth season, Rory has a dream where Madeleine Albright is her mother, and reportedly, the casting directors called Albright’s office to ask if she would mind if they casted an actress to play her. Already a fan of the show, she responded that she wanted to play herself. “The actress who played Rory (Alexis Bledel) actually looks something like my youngest daughter,” she said. “And when my family saw the episode, they all said, oh you’re not really acting, you’re just playing yourself. I had a great time, though.”
Sammy Davis Jr. on All in the Family
Sammy Davis Jr.’s cameo on All in the Family is by now a well-loved classic, mostly due to that kiss he plants on a horrified Archie Bunker right at the end. Not so weird now, but at the time, the laughter at the kiss from the studio audience was the longest in television history — it had to be cut off in the final print to allow Archie to say his last line without running over time.
David O. Russell on Gossip Girl
Why was the director of The Fighter and I Heart Huckabees in last season’s finale of Gossip Girl? We don’t know. Do most people that watch Gossip Girl know who David O. Russell is (that is, enough to recognize him on TV)? Probably not. But it all turned out okay. As Russell told Vulture, “My first thought was to say no, because I’m afraid I’ll look foolish. Fortunately it did not work out that way, at least in my mind. It was fun, they allowed me to sort of massage the scene a little bit … which is actually a scene I’ve had many times with assistants who haven’t read material they’re supposed to have read.”
Justin Bieber on CSI
At first, we really didn’t buy the baby-faced Bieber as a troubled teen with a grudge against authority. After all, the kid has his own nail polish line. But then we find out he locked one of the producers in a closet on set and was a total “brat”? Maybe he’s more troubled than we thought. Next stop, gunplay with the police? Keep us posted, Biebs.
Mandy Moore on How I Met Your Mother
Though we’ve come to expect pretty much anything from How I Met Your Mother, this cameo left us feeling a little icky. Mandy Moore is a lot of things, many of them wonderful, most of them sugar-related, but she is not a punk. So why cast her this way? And is that little holster for her cell phone? We are confused by many choices to do with this episode.
Liberace on Batman
Sure, the Glitter Man seems pretty weird in most situations not involving a piano, but this one really takes the cake. Liberace plays evil twins in two (very high-rated) 1966 episodes of Batman and manages to turn his sparkly showmanship to the dark side. It just goes to show how fine the line is between over-exuberance and evil.
James Franco on General Hospital
Of course, we have to include James Franco’s now famous turn on General Hospital. We know, we know, it was “performance art.” But no, actually we kind of don’t believe you. It was just really really weird.