It’s enjoyable to see a star you know and love (or love to hate) randomly thrown into a children’s show. The best is when a celebrity shows up when you least expect it. Whether it’s only for a moment or they get their own brief supporting role, celebrities have graced numerous children’s shows with their presence. They may show up as themselves, a parody, or as someone/something totally different. The more musically inclined may even sing a song!
The point of this list is to celebrate some of the most bizarre celebrity cameos, in no particular order. Many of the children’s shows listed have numerous celebrity cameos that could have been included, but to keep one particular show from dominating the list, each show can only be listed once. The same goes for celebrities who have appeared in multiple children’s shows. Here are 15 Insane Cameos On Children’s TV Shows.
15. Patty Hearst in The Adventures of Pete & Pete
Originally a collections of minute-long shorts that ran in-between Nickelodeon shows, The Adventures of Pete & Pete eventually expanded into a regular series. The shorts follow brothers Pete and Pete (referred to as “Big Pete” and “Little Pete”) and their life in Wellsville. The show had a lot of unique characters, which include Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, Pete and Pete’s mom who had a metal plate in her head, and a tattoo Little Pete has on his arm of a woman in a red dress named Petunia. It was one of our picks for Nickelodeon’s 25 Best TV Shows Ever.
The show had celebrity cameos that included the likes of Steve Buscemi and Iggy Pop. But by far the oddest guest appearance had to be that of Patty Hearst. She is the daughter of media mogul William Randolph Hearst who was famously kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. She joined them in their criminal actions before being captured by the FBI after 19 months. She appears in The Adventures of Pete & Pete as Mrs. Krechmar in the episode “35 Hours.” She plays a housewife to whom Little Pete and Big Pete sell her their house while their parents are away.
14. Anthony Bourdain in Yo Gabba Gabba!
Yo Gabba Gabba! stars DJ Lance Rock and his five monster friends Muno, Brobee, Foofa, Toodee, and Plex. These episodes are filled with singing and dancing, encouraging children to get moving and develop a love of music. Part of the show is animated and part of it is live-action. The show has featured a plethora of musician in cameo roles, often performing their songs as part of the show.
In season three of the show, Anthony Bourdain briefly joins the cast as Dr. Tony. Bourdain is an American chef and author. He has also been part of several reality television shows including his food and world-travel show on Food Network called A Cook’s Tour. He also hosted Food Network’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover as well as CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. As Dr. Tony, Bourdain makes a sick Toodee get better and shows her doctors aren’t scary (try telling me that when one has a needle in their hand).
13. Chris Kirkpatrick in Fairly Odd Parents
In the Nickelodeon show Fairly Odd Parents (named one of our 13 Best Old-School Nickelodeon Shows), Timmy Turner is a 10-year-old who wishes his life was different. His parents often neglect him and leave him alone with his awful babysitter Vicky, but can have his wishes granted by his two fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda. If only those wishes went more right than wrong.
Chris Kirkpatrick, singer for ‘N Sync, appeared in four episodes of Fairly Odd Parents. If you remember singing along with “Icky Vicky,” then you probably remember his character, superstar singer Chip Skylark. He first appeared in the episode “Boys in the Band / Hex Games” where he is kidnapped and forced to perform by Vicky. His shiny teeth also sung “My Shiny Teeth and Me” in “Shiny Teeth / Odd Odd West”. He also played Chip’s rival, Skip Sparkpants, who had sparky pants.
12. Christian Slater in Jake and the Never Land Pirates
Jake and the Never Land Pirates is a new take on Peter Pan. The series centers around the Captain Jake and his pirate crew as they race to get treasure before Captain Hook and Smee. The series had a couple of famous regulars including David Arquette as the crew’s parrot Skully and occasional appearances by Sharon Osbourne, who voices Mama Hook. The show is even directed by Grease’s Kelly Ward.
One surprising guest star on the show is Christian Slater. Slater was in Heathers and also played alongside Sean Connery in The Name of a Rose. He now stars on the hit USA show Mr. Robot. He guest stars in the episode “Mystery of the Mighty Colossus” as the Grim Buccaneer. He was Captain Colossus’ first mate until the captain discovered his evil ways and his desire to steal his ship, the Mighty Colossus. He attempts to take back the ship from its new captain, Jake.
11. Dick Van Dyke in The New Scooby Doo Movies
Scooby Doo has been around since 1969. The New Scooby Doo Movies is the sequel series to the first Scooby Doo series, Scooby-Doo Where Are You? The Hanna-Barbera cartoon follows Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, and their talking dog Scooby Doo as they solve mysteries. These “movies” each had guest stars, which included the likes of Sonny & Cher, Josie & the Pussycats, the Addams Family and Batman & Robin.
One particularly odd cameo was that of Dick Van Dyke. Actor, comedian, writer, singer and dancer, Dick Van Dyke starred in the movies Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He also starred in the television shows The Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis: Murder. Scooby and the gang meet him in “The Haunted Carnival.” He voices the owner of the carnival, who tries to convince the gang it isn’t abandoned by posing as various workers. He asks the gang to help him catch the ghost who is scaring away his customers.
10. Larry David in Hannah Montana
You get the best of both worlds in this show! Hannah Montana follows the double life of Miley Stewart, who is secretly the superstar singer Hannah Montana. Her family and friends help hide her secret identity as the show tries to teach kids that fame isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. Miley, the character, is something of the Clark Kent to Hannah’s superhero. In order to be unrecognizable, all she has to do is put on a blonde wig!
Considering this show lists The Rock and Rob Reiner among its celeb cameos, what could be more surprising? Maybe the small cameo made in the second season of the show by Larry David, the man responsible for Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. In the show, he’s waiting for a table at a restaurant with his two daughters and gets passed up when Hannah Montana arrives and jumps the line.
9. Vincent Price in Batman
The live-action Batman TV series in the ’60s was a very cheesy and campy kids show with some pretty big stars playing ongoing roles. The caped crusader Batman and his sidekick Robin team up to stop the forces of evil in Gotham City. Whether it’s the Joker, the Penguin, or the Riddler, the dynamic duo is there to save the day! But what about the antics of the diabolical Egghead? And who better to play him than the master of horror himself, Vincent Price.
Vincent Price was an actor well-known for his foreboding voice and his numerous horror films, including The House on Haunted Hill. He played a villain created just for the Batman television series, Egghead. The villain is known for his bald head and his yellow and white suit. Plus his many egg puns and egg-related gadgets. What could be deadlier than a stinky egg bomb, after all?
8. Michelle Obama in iCarly
After a video of Carly and her best friend Sam at a school talent show goes viral when Freddie posts it online, the webshow “iCarly” is created. This show within a show features talent contests and problem-solving–among other things. The iCarly television show follows the three characters as they learn to handle adolescence and their Internet fame. The show was actually nominated for five Emmys for Outstanding Children’s Program.
First Lady Michelle Obama got involved with the show in the episode “iMeet the First Lady.” According to ABC News, Obama often watched the shows with her daughters and thought this would be a good way to reach a new audience and promote supporting U.S. military families. Obama plays herself and surprises Carly with an unexpected visit. Carly is coping with the fact that her father is deployed in the Air Force overseas and the First Lady tells her how proud she is of Carly.
7. Nicki Minaj in Steve Universe
Steven Universe is the coming-of-age story of a young boy with the same name. He lives with three magical creatures known as the “Crystal Gems”: Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Along with his friends, Steven, a half-gem himself, helps them protect the world from other, harmful gems. It was Cartoon Network’s first series to be completely created by a woman.
Onika Tanya Maraj (referred to professionally as Nicki Minaj) is a famous rapper, singer, and songwriter who released the popular single “Super Bass,” “Starships” and “Anaconda.” She was the first female artist to have four songs in the top 10 hits on the mainstream R&B/hip-hop charts. She has recently broken into acting, with roles in comedy films like The Other Woman and Barbershop: The Next Cut. In the series she voices Sugilite, a fusion of Amethyst and Garnet, who causes a lot of destruction in the episode “Coach Steven.” Sugilite is a giant with four arms and a bad attitude.
6. Joe Biden in Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? was a children’s television game show based on the Carmen Sandiego computer games. The show was produced partly because of a National Geographic survey that revealed Americans geographical skills were severely lacking (1 in 4 couldn’t locate the Soviet Union or the Pacific Ocean). Each episode of the show involved a treasure being stolen from one of Carmen’s associates. The young player had to capture the crook and fin Carmen by solving puzzles and correctly answering questions.
Joe Biden, currently the Vice President of the United States, appeared on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Back then he was a senator and he played himself. He calls Special Agent Greg to tell him he proposed awarding him the “Best Detective of the Year.” The bit ends with Biden saying that after some negotiation, the award was changed to “The Somewhat Notable Detective of the Next Twelve Minutes.” Better luck next time, Greg!
5. Larry King in Gravity Falls
Gravity Falls (named by Screen Rant as one of the 16 Best Animated Science Fiction TV Series of All Time) is a Disney show centered around the mysterious town of Gravity Falls. The twins Dipper and Mabel Pines spend summer with their great-uncle, or “Grunkle” Stan and work in his tourist trap of a store, The Mystery Shack. They try to unearth the secrets of the town and fend off evil forces.
Larry King hosted the nightly interview TV show Larry King Live on CNN from 1985 to 2010. Now he hosts Larry King Now on Hulu. He won two Peabodys and 10 Cable ACE Awards. What his fans may not know is that he voices a wax figure of himself in the Gravity Falls episode, “Headhunters,” where he is reduced to just a talking head. He reprises the role in the series finale, “Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls.”
4. The Backstreet Boys in Arthur
Arthur is about Arthur Read, a young glasses-wearing aardvark, and his friends in Elwood City. The show teaches kids how to deal with personal problems and challenges in their lives, from homework to bullying. The show won an Emmy in 2014 for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program. Several stars have made guest appearances as themselves including Mr. Rogers, Michelle Kwan, Lance Armstrong and Neil Gaiman.
The ’90s boy band Backstreet Boys appear in the hour-long Arthur special “Arthur: It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll.” In the episode, Muffy and Francine watch a Backstreet Boys music video and Muffy imagines herself inside the video, interacting with the animal versions of the Backstreet Boys. Muffy goes to the Backstreet Boys concert and meets Nick from the Backstreet Boys, hoping to become their manager someday. The entire band makes an appearance at the end of a concert for the band U Stink, which Francine formed after calling the Backstreet Boys sellouts.
3. Patrick Stewart in Sesame Street
The PBS show Sesame Street tries to educate its young audience about numbers, letters, and colors with the help of multi-colored puppets like Elmo, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, and Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and the Count (among many others). The show has an impressive list of guests stars that includes Buzz Aldrin, the Backstreet Boys, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro and Mel Gibson.
One notable actor who guest starred in the show was Sir Patrick Stewart. He is famous for his role as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and for his role in the X-Men movies as Professor Charles Xavier. However, according to the actor in his Empire interview, “I think my appearance in The Simpsons and an appearance I did on Sesame Street – in praise of the letter B – were perhaps the two most distinguished bits of work that I’ve done in the United States.” In honor of Shakespeare and the letter B, Stewart combines the two in a parody of Hamlet’s soliloquy, renamed “B or not a B.” He also helps the Count get the number 1 into shape.
2. Gordon Ramsey in Phineas and Ferb
Phineas and Ferb is a Disney Channel show about stepbrothers Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher. The two are determined to have as much fun as they possibly can over summer vacation, which includes building roller coasters and traveling to the past to meet dinosaurs. Their pet, Perry the Platypus, is actually a secret agent who fights the forces of evil.
The show has an assortment of stars, ranging from Tina Fey to Tim Curry, who have lent their voices to the show. Perhaps the most surprising celebrity who turned up was Gordon Ramsey. Ramsey is a Scottish (not just British) chef who hosts and judges several cooking reality television shows, including Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and MasterChef. He plays Chef, a cook who works in a swanky restaurant in the episode “Thanks But No Thanks.” His character appears nice and friendly at first, receiving compliments from several characters in the show for his cooking. He even offers them free dessert! And then excuses himself to go fire someone. Sorry Lincenzo, but your time in the kitchen is done.
1. Johnny Depp in SpongeBob SquarePants
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? The titular star of SpongeBob SquarePants. Taking place at the bottom of the ocean, Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants follows the wacky adventures of the sponge Spongebob and the rest of his community, which includes the likes of Patrick Star, Sandy Cheeks, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward Tentacles. The show’s off-the-wall humor made it a hit with kids in the 2000s.
Johnny Depp, after mentioning he and his kids were fans of the show, appeared in the episode “SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One.” The episode was part of the series’ 10th anniversary special and also featured the vocal talents of The Monkees’ Davy Jones and Bruce Brown as the narrator. Depp plays legendary surfer Jack Kahuna Laguna (JKL). Laguna teaches Spongebob and his friends how to surf so they can ride the wave known only as “The Big One” and get home. He also teaches SpongeBob his other impressive talent: bongos!