Adult Swim’s hit animated sci-fi comedy series Rick and Morty has been blessed with big guest stars since the very beginning. In the first season, series co-creator Dan Harmon could get his old buddies from previous projects like David Cross and John Oliver to come in and play guest roles in what was then a weird new cartoon that could’ve easily been too surreal to succeed in the ratings. Now, the show attracts such famous names as Patton Oswalt and Susan Sarandon to play guest roles. There’s a bunch of stars who have appeared on Rick and Morty. So, here are the 10 Best Rick And Morty Guest Stars, Ranked.
10 Christian Slater As Vance Maximus, Renegade Star Soldier
“Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender,” Rick and Morty’s skewering of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its interchangeable characters, was an interesting one that hit a lot of its targets. Christian Slater’s portrayal of Vance Maximus, Renegade Star Soldier, a thinly veiled parody of characters like Peter Quill and Tony Stark, was a nice touch. He has the suaveness and charisma of the MCU’s scene-stealers, but he hasn’t starred in a movie in years and a lot of Rick and Morty’s millennial viewers won’t recognize him. It’s a statement that in a few years, no one will remember Chris Pratt either.
9 Susan Sarandon As Dr. Wong
Susan Sarandon’s turn as the Smith family’s therapist Dr. Wong in “Pickle Rick” is extra poignant, due to the speech she gives at the end that manages to invalidate Rick’s nihilist views against therapy. This only happened because Dan Harmon himself went through a divorce, just like Jerry and Beth in season 3 of the show, which influenced the episode. He said, “I don’t know if I could’ve written [Dr. Wong’s speech] two years ago... I would’ve made sure Rick got the final word.” As a result of all of that, Dr. Wong became a more memorable guest character. Sarandon’s calm delivery of every line made the words set in deeper, and it’s a very accurate portrayal of therapists.
8 David Cross As Prince Nebulon
Whether it’s in his standup routines or his performance as Tobias on Arrested Development, David Cross always has the perfect inflections in his voice to elevate a line from funny to hilarious. His guest role in Rick and Morty is a prime example of this, from being uncomfortable around nudity to trying to play off his doctor’s appointment about his “discolored b**thole flaps” as part of the simulation. “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” is an interesting episode in itself, with more plot twists than a season of Stranger Things, but Cross elevates it on a comedic level with his hilarious vocal performance.
7 Andy Daly As Krombopulos Michael
The season 2 episode “Mortynight Run” is an interesting study of ethics, as Morty objects to Rick selling a gun to an assassin – played by Eastbound and Down star Andy Daly – and ends up killing that assassin to protect his target, and then kills a bunch of cops and civilians in the quest to save the target, only for the target to turn out to be a genocidal maniac.
Of course, the examination of ethics is hidden under layers of absurdist humor and improvised dialogue. The result is a complex, multifaceted, hysterical, and very memorable episode of Rick and Morty.
6 Danny Trejo As Jaguar
Poor Jaguar. Rick could’ve easily gone into a parallel universe and saved one of Jaguar’s infinite daughters to reunite them. But since it would be a minor inconvenience to him, he decided to tell him he didn’t have any daughters in parallel universes, and Jaguar went on living an angry, vengeful, violent, lonesome existence. “Pickle Rick” began with Rick turning himself into a pickle, so it was difficult to get continuously more exciting after that. But having Danny Trejo play an assassin named Jaguar who comes after him with firepower and ends up joining his side just about did it.
5 Keegan-Michael Key And Jordan Peele As Testicle Monsters #1 and #2
As an episode, the season 2 premiere “A Rickle in Time” isn’t necessarily as brilliant as it could be. It gets too confusing to be entertaining and the stakes are never really raised. Of course, it does end with Rick’s emotional near-death scene, which almost saves it. On the whole, it’s not one of the most memorable Rick and Morty episodes – but that’s a really high standard to be held to. Having said that, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are hilarious in it as the fourth-dimensional beings. They might be the greatest comedy duo working today, and even as Peele becomes an Oscar-winning filmmaker, he hasn’t lost sight of that – the pair have been reunited in Toy Story 4.
4 Christina Hendricks As Unity
The hive mind Unity is, in many ways, the perfect woman for Rick. However, their relationship isn’t sustainable. It’s destructive to both of them and Unity has to be the mature one who realizes it and jumps ship, while Rick is left to be the tragically depressed one.
The end of the episode is one of the saddest, deepest Rick and Morty moments of all time, as Rick attempts suicide and only fails because he passes out drunk. Mad Men star Christina Hendricks does a terrific job of conveying all these emotions through a hive mind with a bunch of different bodies.
3 John Oliver As Dr. Xenon Bloom
Somewhere between breaking into U.S. television with his role as Ian Duncan on Dan Harmon’s NBC sitcom Community and becoming a bona fide star with his late-night HBO series Last Week Tonight, John Oliver left a lasting impression in the Rick and Morty season 1 episode “Anatomy Park.” He played Dr. Xenon Bloom, the guy who collaborated with Rick on a theme park inside a homeless man. Oliver’s distinctive voice made the character so much funnier, while his comic delivery of every line was perfect – “Morty, would you like to ride the bone train?” – meaning what could’ve been a forgettable role became a hilarious and memorable one.
2 Nathan Fillion As Cornvelious Daniel
Nathan Fillion is a favorite of any science fiction fan – he’s the poster boy for cult fame – so he was a perfect fit for Rick and Morty. And there’s no better role for him than that of the Galactic Federation agent who is sent into Rick’s subconscious to steal information from his mind. The tense clash of Fillion’s cool charisma and Justin Roiland’s aggressively intelligent portrayal of Rick makes for a very interesting two-hander in the season 3 premiere “The Rickshank Rickdemption.” It’s hard to imagine the Cornvelious Daniel character being anywhere near as interesting if he was played by someone other than Nathan Fillion.
1 Werner Herzog As Shrimply Pibbles
Somehow, by the grace of God, the producers of Rick and Morty managed to get acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog to play a character in one of their episodes. And not only that, he has a monologue where he distills human culture down to its obsession with penises. They got Werner Herzog to say, “I’ve dwelled among the humans. Their entire culture is built around their penises. It’s funny to say they are small. It’s funny to say they are big. I’ve been at parties where humans have held bottles, pencils, thermoses in front of themselves and called out, ‘Hey, look at me. I’m Mr. So-and-So-D**k. I’ve got such-and-such for a penis.’ I never saw it fail to get a laugh.” It’s mesmerizing. Herzog’s performance was so great that it was in “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate” and he wasn’t overshadowed by the interdimensional cable sequences.