South Park has been on our screens for an incredible 20 seasons, with its 21st arriving this year. There’s no disputing that South Park is huge - it’s got its own movie, several games, and more on the way - even if it divides audiences with its tongue-in-cheek humor and strong views on everything from politics to disability.
The show is known for its satirical look at this bizarre world we live in, and it wouldn’t be a true reflection of the real world without the odd celebrity added to the insanity. Some celebrities have jumped at the chance to appear in South Park, including Robert Smith of the Cure, Ozzy Osbourne, MeatLoaf, Cheech & Chong, Jennifer Aniston, and Elton John.
Most celebrities probably wouldn’t want to provide their own voices to characters that parody and caricature themselves to the degree that South Park does, so some improvisation has to be done, and Matt, Trey and the other creative geniuses (including SNL alum Bill Hader) that work on the show have to provide some celebrity voices.
But there’s no denying these celebrity "appearances" are pivotal to the plots of each episode, and boy has there been plenty, some more memorable than others. It’s hard to forget Kanye West and his fish sticks, or Al Gore and ManBearPig. The less memorable ones were just as hilarious, though.
To prove it, here’s 20 Stars You Forgot ‘Appeared’ In South Park.
20 Natalie Portman
Best known for her role as Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Natalie Portman was portrayed in one episode of South Park. In season 15, episode: 13 “A History Channel Thanksgiving”, after watching a History Channel special on Thanksgiving, the boys come to the conclusion that the first Thanksgiving feast was haunted and aliens were involved.
As it turns out, aliens were involved, as the first Thanksgiving happened after five planets - Earth, Plymouth, Indi, Colthenheim, and Green Lantern World - formed a treaty. Sadly, the 300-year treaty between Plymouth and Indi has ended, and it looked likely that the Indians would plunder the Plymouth stuffing mines.
It’s later revealed that Natalie Portman is in fact the Keeper of the Porthole, and Kyle takes her on a date so she’ll show him her "wormhole." The whole thing plays on her character in Thor, and how apparently unconvincing she is as a physicist.
And of course it wouldn't be South Park if they didn't stick a crass "stuffing" joke into a Thanksgiving episode.
19 Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel (way less cool real name: Mark Sinclair) is best known for his role in the seemingly never-ending Fast and The Furious franchise. Trolled for his sometimes incoherent, deep voice, but still loved by Hollywood, it was only a matter of time before he appeared on South Park.
He appeared in season 19, episode 5: “Safe Space”, as Butters starts filtering celebrity social media accounts of their negative, hurtful comments, and Vin becomes one of his many clients. He sings the song "In My Safe Space", along with Demi Lovato and Steven Seagal.
In the same episode he appears at Randy's charity event for Shameless America. He also tries, unsuccessfully, to save Randy from being pressured into donating money at the Whole Foods Market. He ends up leaving in a flood of tears, after the cashier references Diesel's role in Fast and Furious, saying "this little piggy was in Fast and The Furious".
18 Leonardo DiCaprio
Despite being nominated for winning two Golden Globes and an Oscar, Leonardo DiCaprio has only appeared in one episode of South Park. He’s been mentioned several times throughout the show, but is seen only once, as his character from sci-fi thriller Inception, in season 14, episode 10 "Insheeption". He ventures into into Mr. Mackey's dream to save him, Stan Marsh, and Mr. Yelman.
As it turned out, Matt and Trey hadn’t even seen the summer blockbuster Inception before making their episode spoofing it.
As well as this appearance, DiCaprio has one cameo (as a photo above Mr. Twigs' bed in season 2, episode 14 "Chef Aid") and is referenced four times throughout the series, as Cartman’s Vietnamese alter-ego’s lover, for being apparently less attractive than Matt Lauer and for being a better actor than Tom Cruise.
17 Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck is another celebrity whose real face appears in the show, as well as having full animated appearances in a couple of episodes.
In "How to Eat with Your Butt" (season 5, episode 10), we’re introduced to the Thompsons, who have a rare condition of having butts on their faces, aka torsonic polarity syndrome. They think they’ve found their missing son, but it’s just Kenny pulling a prank. It turns out their long lost child is Ben Affleck. Mr. Garrison notes the similarities between the butt-faced parents and their actor son, as we see an actual photo of Affleck.
He then appears, full animation, in "Fat Butt and Pancake Head" (season 7, episode 5), where he falls in love with Cartman’s hand, which is made up to resemble Jennifer Lopez. They have a whirlwind romance, Cartman does unmentionable things to Affleck, but it turns out his new love was con artist Mitch Connor all along. Affleck becomes heartbroken when Mitch "dies."
In "Wing" (season 9, episode 3), Affleck is seen listening to Wing Han Tsang at Sylvester Stallone's son's wedding; and he and his ex lover Mitch/Jennifer appear in “200”, as part of the mob suing the town and seeking immunity from ridicule through the Prophet Muhammad’s anti-ridicule goo.
16 Alec Baldwin
Comedian, actor, director, and producer, Alec Baldwin can also add ‘"appeared' in South Park" to his portfolio, and he didn't even have to do anything.
Appearing in season 17, episode 1: "Let Go, Let Gov", Baldwin endorsed social media platform "Sh*tter." He used the site to post his thoughts directly from his mind, as he’d cut his thumbs off because it was them that were posting homophobic content. Obviously.
It turns out that only Baldwin and Cartman are using Sh*tter. Being as tongue-in-cheek as South Park can be, Alec is also the host of a talk show on the MSNBC network called Free Pass with Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin also appeared in the South Park movie, Bigger, Longer & Uncut, along with his brothers. The Baldwin family (and the Arquette family) were bombed in their backyard by the Canadian military, in retaliation for the imprisonment of Terrance and Phillip. The attack started the American-Canadian War over censorship.
15 Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen has been lucky enough to have three appearances in the show, throughout season 14.
He first appeared in episode 1 "Sexual Healing", where we learn that many of South Park’s children, including our boys Kyle, Kenny, and Butters, have a sex addiction. After another of Kenny’s tragic demises (auto-erotic asphyxiation in a Batman costume), Kenny and Butters check themselves into the Karne Institute for Sex Addiction. That’s where they meet Charlie Sheen, along with other celebrities like Michael Douglas, Bill Clinton, and Tiger Woods.
He’s then in “200”, the 5th episode of season 14, as part of the angry celebrity mob who file a class action lawsuit against the town of South Park.
His final appearance to date, comes in episode 8, “Poor And Stupid”, as Cartman watches an episode of Two And A Half Men, in which he sees an ad for Vagisil, stating a side effect is memory loss. As Cartman is trying to make it big in the NASCAR world, he eats a ton of Vagisil, saying it makes him "feel stupid."
14 William Shatner
William Shatner is best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise. Another celebrity to have his actual, human face in amid the animation, Shatner first appeared in the very weird season 2, episode 15: “Spookyfish”. He was randomly amongst the photos of missing people shown to Sharon March by Officer Buttbaby - sorry - Barbrady.
He also appeared in “Cartoon Wars Part One” (season 10, episode 3), as part of the Family Guy episode that started the whole world-threatening chaos over the Prophet Muhammed. Shatner reprises his part of Captain Kirk in the episode-within-an-episode, where Peter Griffin tries to sell him pancakes. Instead, the two dressed as '70s husband & wife pop duo Captain and Tenille, and sang "Love Will Keep Us Together".
13 Winona Ryder
Known for weird and wonderful (or should that be strange and unusual?) movies like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, as well as a major role in Stranger Things, Winona Ryder has a reputation for being a little bit kooky.
Her appearance in South Park is definitely different to the roles that made her a household name. She appeared in the South Park movie: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, entertaining the troops at the USO show. She performed her "famous ping-pong ball trick" to the shocked and impressed soldiers, seemingly projecting ping-pong balls out of her lady parts, into the crowd.
It turned out to be a little bit of camera-angle trickery though, as she was just hitting them with a ping-pong paddle into the crowd.
She also appeared in episode “201”, as part of the angry celebrity mob wanting to sue South Park for defamation, but didn’t have any lines.
12 Conan O'Brien
Conan has appeared four times in South Park, and died in two of those appearances. He first appeared in the movie Bigger, Longer & Uncut, interviewing Terrance and Philip before tricking them into their capture. He jumped out of a window because of the guilt. He then appears briefly in Hell, in season 4, episode 9: "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?"
His third appearance sees him resurrected, introducing Carlos Mencia on his show, in "Fishsticks" (season 13, episode 5) before getting murdered by Kanye West. His fourth and final appearance is during “Funnybot”, season 15, episode 2. He is one of the out of work comedians who storm the school, trying to stop Funnybot stealing their jobs.
Conan isn’t the only late-night host, or evening talk show host, to appear on the the show. Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jay Leno (providing his own voice) have also shown up in episodes.
11 John Travolta
Hollywood superstar John Travolta has a whopping five appearances in South Park, from season 5 through to season 14. This isn’t that surprising considering his religious stance: Scientology. And we all know how Matt and Trey feel about Scientology.
His first appearance was in “Entity” (season 5, episode 1) as a celebrity endorser of Mr. Garrison’s unique transportation idea, saying it "beats dealing with the airline companies." Travolta then appears in "Trapped in the Closet" (season 9, episode 12), as he tries to coax fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise out of the closet, only to end up in the closet with him.
He also appeared in a short made for the MTV Movie Awards, The Gauntlet - a parody of Gladiator. He appeared as his character, Terl, from the film Battlefield Earth.
He then appears in episodes “200” and “201” as one of the many angry celebs suing the town for making them look bad for all these years.
10 Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey only has one appearance in the show, during the brilliant, relatable, and thought-provoking episode, “You’re Getting Old” (season 15, episode 7).
In the episode, it’s Stan’s 10th birthday, and his opinions start to change. It first appears that it’s just his taste evolving, but as he starts to see and hear everything as literal crap, he’s called a "cynical a**hole", and even his best friend doesn’t want to hang out with him anymore.
Carrey is seen as his character in the idiotic Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Stan watches in confusion, as the penguins are replaced with feces. He dances around with the penguin-shaped pieces of poop.
Poop and fart jokes aside, this episode is a pretty emotional ride that many fans didn’t see coming, and didn’t realize the creators were capable of.
9 David Hasselhoff
David Hasselhoff is another of the rare celebrities who've had their actual faces shown in South Park.
In “Tom’s Rhinoplasty” (season 1, episode 11) Mr. Garrison gets a nose job from the town’s cosmetic surgery specialist, Tom’s Rhinoplasty, and the result gives him the appearance of The Hoff. This makes Mr Garrison the most attractive man in the town, so he quits his job at South Park Elementary to spend his time hanging out and sleeping with women. But the female attention becomes too much for Garrison, and he ends up happily getting his old face back.
In The Stick Of Truth game, players can also get the cosmetic surgery Garrison had, and change their appearance to look like David Hasselhoff.
The Hoff also appeared in the Family Guy episode in the infamous season 10, episode 3: “Cartoon Wars Part One”, when the South Park-ified Peter Griffin tells the story of when he auditioned for the role of KITT in Knight Rider.
8 Johnny Knoxville
In season 4, episode 15: “Fat Camp”, Cartman gets sent to Fat Camp by his caring mother Liane, much to his dismay. Meanwhile Kenny starts doing disgusting things - starting off by eating a Manatee spleen, throwing it up, and re-eating it - for money.
Jesus calls Kenny a prostitute, and he becomes famous, with his own TV show - the Krazy Kenny Show.
Kenny then goes on the Howard Stern show, promoting his biggest stunt yet: climbing into a fat bus driver's uterus and stay there for six hours, where he is interviewed along with Tom Green and Johnny Knoxville.
Stern says all three of them are prostitutes, and does an experiment to see who is the biggest prostitute, asking which of the three would take $50,000 in exchange for oral sex. They all agree to it, so a reverse auction ensues. Kenny wins, saying he’ll do it for $10. He gets sent to jail for prostitution.
7 Jeff Goldblum
With a beginning very reminiscent of the first South Park episode, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", season 7, episode 1: “Cancelled”, sees Cartman get probed by aliens yet again. This time, the whole gang gets abducted, as it turns out Earth is just an intergalactic reality TV show on the verge of getting cancelled. The boys must do what they can to stop the show getting cancelled, thus saving humanity.
Jeff Goldblum appears in this episode as a scientist researching the alien life forms, which parodies his role in the 1996 thriller, Independence Day. He is the one to reverse the polarity and decipher the message sent from the aliens using an absolutely ridiculous word association method.
Jeff also had a came in "Britney's New Look", standing right behind Gerald and Sheila Broflovski as they make their way into the front of the crowd of photographers in the shocking scene in which Britney meets her maker.
6 Liza Minnelli
A celebrity so flamboyantly ridiculous as Liza Minnelli is in real life was bound to make it into South Park some day, and of course when she did it would be part of a "Freak’s Union".
Butters appears on the Maury Povich Show with some fake testicles on his chin, to try and win a prize. People believe his disguise, and he is welcomed into the Freak Union, and is later asked to join them in their strike against having the lime-light taken away from them. Nurse Gollum of "Conjoined Fetus Lady", the Thompsons from the episode "How to Eat with Your Butt", and Dr. Mephesto’s odd assistant, Kevin, are members of the Union, along with - you guessed it - Liza Minnelli.
Before her appearance in this episode, Liza was referenced in the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut movie, when Satan asks his lover Saddam Hussein if he fantasizes making love to someone else, to which Hussein replies, "Your ass is gigantic and red. Who am I going to pretend you are, Liza Minnelli?".
5 Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell is perhaps best known for playing Alex DeLarge, the lead role in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic A Clockwork Orange; as well as Dr. Samuel Loomis in the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween, and its sequel. He’s done plenty of voice acting in his career, but has not been a narrator that often. South Park helped him achieve that goal, though, with him narrating season 4, episode 14: “Pip”.
Appearing as himself/"a British Person", he opens the episode, explaining that Matt and Trey have decided to tell the origin story of Pip Pirrup. The book he holds is Great Expectations, and the episode follows that plot loosely, before reaching its own South Park style conclusion.
“Pip” is renowned as being the most hated episode of South Park by its loyal fans, and even Matt and Trey have said they quickly disliked the character of Pip.
4 Tim Burton
Tim Burton is another celebrity known for being strange and unusual, another one that was bound to get the South Park treatment.
Burton appears as one of the many disgruntled celebrities in season 14, episode 5: “200”, when Tom Cruise is gathering soldiers for his army against South Park, and is offering them immunity from insult if they can get to meet the Prophet Muhammad.
Tim Burton is ridiculed for having Johnny Depp play main characters in all of his movies, and for using "the same crappy music" (meaning Danny Elfman) in all of his films.
Tom Cruise also insinuates that Burton is having a homosexual relationship with Johnny Depp, saying “if you're that in love with Johnny Depp, then you should just have sex with him already".
3 The US Presidents
Nine real life presidents, as well as two fictitious ones, have appeared in South Park over the years.
Though referenced several times throughout the series, 16th President Abraham Lincoln appears in only one episode. In season 11, episode 14: “The List”, Kyle finds out he is considered the ugliest boy in school by the girls, and becomes very self-conscious about his appearance. The ghost of Abraham Lincoln appears and teaches Kyle that appearance isn’t everything.
35th President John F. Kennedy was seen, along with his son, as a resident of Hell during the song, "Christmas Time in Hell", in "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics". He’s another celebrity to appear in his real life form, instead of animation.
Current and 45th President, Donald Trump appeared in the show before becoming POTUS. He was seen in season 5, episode 11: “The Entity”, as one of the rich and famous people first shown Mr. Garrison’s new transport, IT. Trump seemed impressed with the idea.
The other presidents in the show are: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the two fictitious ones: Duck President and Mr. Garrison.
2 The Kardashians
You don’t get to be as famous as the Kardashians, for no apparent reason, without getting the South Park treatment.
Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney appear in season 14, episode 2: "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs". Butter’s author career is ended abruptly after his second book is interpreted by a crazy person as saying “kill all the phonies,” which he takes as "kill the Kardashians." And he does.
Kim K is resurrected in season 17, episode 10 “The Hobbit”, when Wendy tries to prove a point about the unrealistic body images celebrities create for young girls to aspire to. Wendy gets called "jelly" after saying Kim K has the body of a hobbit, and Kim’s fiancé, Kanye West, speaks before Mr. Garrison's class to explain that Kim is not a hobbit. But, the more he tries to argue for her, the more he realizes she has a lot of similarities with hobbits, and ends up calling her to clarify that she definitely isn’t a hobbit.
And of course, the sisters appear in “200” seeking revenge on the town for their years of mocking celebrities.
1 George Clooney
Everyone knows George Clooney. What you might not know about him though is that he has been a South Park fan and supporter since day one - he shared the very first South Park short, "The Spirit of Christmas", with his friends way back in 1995, helping it become one of the first "viral videos" on the web, and helping the show get picked up for series.
Two years later, the show debuted on Comedy Central and George Clooney made his first appearance, in season 1, episode 4. Yep, he actually provided his own voice. He played Sparky the gay dog that ran away from home and joined Big Gay Al's Big Gay Animal Sanctuary.
Clooney then got a speaking role in the South Park movie: Bigger, Longer & Uncut as Dr. Gouache. The doctor has appeared in several episodes, but is only voiced by Clooney in the movie.
He also had a small cameo in "Smug Alert!", where a recording of his acceptance speech at the 78th Academy Awards was put into a dark "Smug Cloud" that took over the West Coast.
South Park Season 21 premieres September 13 on Comedy Central. Can you think of any celebrity appearances we missed?