21. Hugh Jackman in X-Men: First Class
This is one of the shortest cameos ever. Who would think Hugh Jackman appearing in an X-Men film is a cameo? This film was not about his generation of the X-Men, rather the forming of the hero squad with the initial meeting between Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto/Eric Lensherr (Michael Fassbender).
Jackman’s scene comes as the duo are recruiting for assistance in the forming of the group. They approach him in a bar and before they can say anything other than introducing themselves, Jackman utters the line “Go F%^k yourself!” The two leave and move on to others. Although brief, it is a humorous moment in the film. As an interesting side note, Stan Lee was not able to appear in “First Class” because he said they “shot it too far away”.
22. Bruce Campbell in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films
One must assume actor Bruce Campbell and director Sam Raimi must be good friends after they had worked on the “Evil Dead” films together. He actually does cameos in all three Tobey Maguire films, first appearing as a wrestling referee who decides not to use Peter Parker’s wrestling name “The Human Spider” and instead introduces him as “The Amazing Spider-Man” first the first time.
In Spider-Man 2, Campbell plays a theatre usher who will not let a late Parker in the theatre to see his girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), perform, and in Spider-Man 3 a Maitre D’ at a French restaurant who discusses Parker’s plans to “pop the question” during their dinner together. These scenes are not really essential; however, Campbell brings such a presence to his characters he is always a delight.
23. Charlton Heston in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes
Honorable Mention: Charleton Heston in Wayne’s World 2
Tim Burton’s 2001 adaptation of “Planet of the Apes” is an aberration of the film series in that it was very successful earning over $180 million at the U.S. box office but never having a sequel. The film’s ambiguous alternate timeline ending left many puzzled and annoyed and a sequel idea was scrapped after its poor critical reception. Heston’s appearance in this version was great for many reasons, but the fact he played an ape in this version made it even better being able to play both species.
In this film he plays dying father to Thade (Tim Roth), ruler of the apes. Linda Harrison who played “Nova” in the original film also has a cameo at the beginning of the film. It is ironic (or maybe it was planned) his character was the only ape to carry a gun since Heston was also the president of the National Rifle Association.
24. Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche in Coming to America
While walking along the water with his girlfriend, Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy encounters a pair of homeless men sleeping amongst newspapers and paper boxes. He gives them a small wad of cash saying “I just gave them some pocket change”.
It turns out, the two bums were actually Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Bellamy and Ameche) who were still down on the luck since the events of “Trading Places” five years earlier in 1983 which was also directed by John Landis. Maybe the small amount of money they received will be enough to put them back on top? The scene was so unexpected it was amazingly funny.
25. Chuck Norris in Dodgeball
When the dodgeball team makes it to Las Vegas, they make it all the way to the finals. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the “Average Joes” do not have enough members to play. There is a loophole in the rules which will allow a judges majority to allow it.
With an enthusiastic “thumbs up”, Chuck Norris casts the deciding vote allowing them to play and eventually win the tournament. Norris has always had a sense of humor about himself and this cameo is no exception.
26. Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction
Honorable Mention: Christopher Walken in True Romance
Christopher Walken is one of those actors who is usually better in smaller roles so he can really make an impact in the scenes he appears in. Not more so than in Quentin Tarantino’s classic coming out film of 1994. “Pulp Fiction” currently holds the #7 most highly rated film on IMDb (8.9 out of 10) and a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The speech Captain Koons (Walken) gives to young Butch about his father’s watch and how he had to stick it “up his ass” is Tarantino at his very best. The combination of Tarantino’s words and Walken’s delivery make the scene unforgettable.
27. Everyone in Hollywood in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
When director Stanley Kramer asks a favor of his many Hollywood friends, they deliver in droves. The amount of cameos in this film rivals no other. Is there such thing as an “epic comedy?” If so, this film would fit the bill clocking in at almost 3 ½ hours in length.
Every famous comedian of the time period made an appearance in the film ranging from just a few seconds to those lasting several minutes. During the race cross country the group encounters the likes of Jack Benny, The Three Stooges, Don Knotts, Buster Keaton, Jerry Lewis and Carl Reiner amongst many others. The result is a one-of-a-kind cross-country comedy extravaganza.
28. Sean Connery and Patrick Stewart in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Robin Hood: Men in Tights
Say what you want about Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Yes Kevin Costner’s accent was awful; however, the film really found an audience in 1991 and the film did well at the box office. The Bryan Adams song “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)” spent 14 weeks at #1 on the billboard charts and the film played well as a romance piece when Costner was hot off “Dances With Wolves” which had come out one year earlier. Not appearing until the end of the film, Sean Connery plays King Richard.
Connery had played Robin Hood himself in the 1976 film “Robin and Marian”. Connery was fantastic in his small role. Soon to follow, Mel Brooks did his own parody version with “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” which came out two years later in 1993. This time, the role of King Richard was played by Patrick Stewart. While not ranking up in the top tier of Brooks films, “Men in Tights” is humorous at times especially due to lead Cary Elwes.
29. Brett Favre in There’s Something About Mary
Throughout the entire film, Mary (Cameron Diaz) makes several references to her former boyfriend “Brett”; however, he is never seen until the end of the film. He is called “Pacman” at one point, a clue given the fact he had played for the Green Bay Packers at the time.
The role was originally offered to both fellow NFL quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe and Steve Young who both declined. Favre’s role was so unexpected and put a final funny stamp at the end of a very unexpectedly funny film.
30. Steven Spielberg in The Blues Brothers
There are a lot of great music artists that appear in the 1980 comedy classic starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi including James Brown, Ray Charles Aretha Franklin; however, the “Jaws” director also appears near the end of the film as the office clerk who works at the Cook County Assessor’s Office.
Behind a sign that reads “Back in 5 minutes”, Spielberg opens the office door and asks “Can I help you?” The duo grab him, escort him to his desk and force him to process the $5,000 payment to save the orphanage in which they had begun their quest in the first place. The film also has cameos by director Frank Oz and Carrie Fisher as the “Mystery Woman”.
Honorable mentions for this include:
Emma Watson in This Is the End, Kurt Vonnegut in Back to School, Orson Welles in The Muppet Movie, Matt Damon in Eurotrip, Michael Jackson in Men in Black II, Steve Buscemi in The Wedding Singer, Glenn Close in Hook, Cate Blanchett in Hot Fuzz, Merv Griffin in The Man With Two Brains, Dan Aykroyd in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Bruce Springsteen in High Fidelity, Charlie Sheen in Being John Malkovich, Marcel Marceau in Silent Movie, Martin Sheen in Hot Shots! Part Deux, Quentin Tarantino in Desperado, Arnold Scwarzenegger in The Expendables, David Hasselhoff in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
Author Bio: Andy Kubica is a life-long cinephile. Having spend time as a video store manager, movie theater manager and the first DVD buyer for a former rental chain he now spends every waking moment reducing his film “bucket list”.