ByTrevor Norkey, writer at
Writer, filmmaker, actor and film enthusiast.
Trevor Norkey

Comedy movies love to surprise us in new and funny ways to add the shock factor to an already funny situation. One of the ways they do this is by throwing in well known celebrities for quick, surprise cameos! These situations are almost always hilarious, especially when the audience doesn't know about this cameo beforehand.

Usually these celebrities are fellow actors, but sometimes they are singers or even part of some other category, such as directors, politicians or other public figures. Here are the Top 10 most shocking and memorable surprise cameos in comedy movies.

10. Christopher Lloyd in A Million Ways to Die in the West

"Great Scott!!"
"Great Scott!!"

What A Million Ways to Die in the West lacked in quality (according to many critics), it had in celebrity appearances. This movie featured all sorts of hidden celebrities, including Ewan McGregor, Patrick Stewart, Jamie Foxx, Ryan Reynolds and, quite possibly the best appearance of all, Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown from Back to the Future.

It was a quick appearance, featuring the protagonist Albert (Seth MacFarlane) checking out a mysterious glowing light coming from a barn. Inside the barn, he finds Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) working on the DeLorean, who claimed it was a "weather experiment". It was a very brief, but very hilarious cameo, which of course was a reference to Back to the Future Part III.

9. Chuck Norris in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

"Thank you, Chuck Norris"
"Thank you, Chuck Norris"

Dodgeball needed another joke. So what did they do? They called in Chuck Norris for no apparent reason to be one of the judges. It was a random selection, but it is now considered gold. This cameo definitely brought forward the shock factor while also serving a major plot point.

At the end of the final game, the third judge of three, Chuck Norris, holds the fate of the dodgeball team. He smiles and gives a now famous thumbs up, giving the team their victory. Peter (Vince Vaughn) replies with a fitting "Thank you, Chuck Norris" to complete the cameo.


8. Sam Jones in Ted


After being referenced earlier in the film, it was not an enormous surprise to see Sam Jones appear during Ted, bringing with him plenty of Flash Gordon references. It was a truly magnificent moment that was easily the highlight of the film.

After being established earlier in the movie as the idol of John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (Seth MacFarlane), Sam Jones appeared at one of their parties and taught them how to really party. This, of course, was after multiple Flash Gordon montages.


7. Alice Cooper in Wayne's World

As huge rock fans, it was only a matter of time before Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) actually met a famous rocker. This rocker just so happened to be the artist of songs like School's Out and Poison, Alice Cooper.

During the scene, Wayne and Garth go to meet the rocker, who ends up giving them a lesson on the city of Milwaukee, including its origin, its political history and its correct pronunciation. After that, Cooper invited the comedic pair to hang out with him, to which they bowed and chanted "We're not worthy!"


6. Norman Reedus in Vacation

This is the most recent cameo on the list. During Vacation, the family was consistently being followed by a mysterious semi with a Teddy Bear on the front. It isn't until much later in the film that the driver of the semi is revealed to be played by Norman Reedus, better known as Daryl in The Walking Dead.

The reason this cameo is so high (or technically, low) on this list is because of how well it was handled. Instead of just throwing the celebrity in at a random place, Vacation added plenty of suspense to who this mysterious character could be. It tripled the surprise factor and made the audience laugh a whole lot more than they would have had Reedus simply been thrown in at random.

Note: the clip below is not of Norman's appearance, but of one of the encounters with the semi itself. Unfortunately, no footage of Norman Reedus in Vacation has (legally) hit the web yet.


5. Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall

"Boy, if life were only like this"
"Boy, if life were only like this"

In one of the most memorable cameos of all time, Woody Allen brought communication and media expert Marshall McLuhan into the film not because of his fame, but because of his intellect and credibility. All of this was done while breaking the fourth wall.

The scene takes place in the line for a movie theater, where the man behind Alvy (Woody Allen) can't stop talking about his unsupported and completely ridiculous movie and media "knowledge." In response to this, Alvy grabs Marshall McLuhan (who the man claimed to know everything about) from behind a wall. McLuhan patronizes the man by saying, "I heard what you were saying. You know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing." Alvy then turns to the camera and says, "Boy, if life were only like this."


4. Emma Watson in This is the End

Emma Watson actually appeared twice in this film: once during the party at the beginning, then a second time in the middle of the movie during the apocalypse. I will focus on her second appearance, which was much more memorable and had a larger shock factor.

During the scene, Emma Watson comes to the group of guys for shelter. When she leaves the room, the guys start arguing over what to do, until Jay Baruchel points out that they should not rape her. The actors then become defensive and point at each other saying who is most likely to rape the Harry Potter star. Overhearing them arguing and thinking they were all planning on raping her, Emma Watson storms into the room with an axe, starts cussing in her beloved 'Hermione' accent, knocks Seth Rogen in the head, robs the group, and leaves. It was very shocking and quite hilarious to see Emma Watson act in this new manor as herself. Hermione can get violent.


3. Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore

"The price is wrong, bitch."
"The price is wrong, bitch."

During one of Adam Sandler's early movies, the comedian teams up with Price is Right host Bob Barker for a scene. It was a lot of fun to see this celebrity come on down to a new style of entertainment while showing his true, violent side during a fight with Adam Sandler.

In the scene, Happy (Adam Sandler) and Bob Barker work together in a golf tournament which goes horrifically wrong when Happy keeps missing the shots. The pair start arguing, which ends in an extended fight between the two, including both of them calling each other a "bitch." Bob Barker, appropriately, ends up winning the fight.


2. Bill Murray in Zombieland

"It's Bill f***ing Murray!"
"It's Bill f***ing Murray!"

During the second half of this horror comedy, the group takes shelter in the home of none other Bill Murray. Murray had disguised himself as a zombie so that the other zombies would not try to kill him. It was a great addition to the film, but it was unfortunately brief when Jesse Eisenberg's character confused him for an actual zombie and accidentally killed him.

The group before that point does have a lot of fun with the legendary actor. They reenact Ghostbusters, talk about other celebrities and even pull a prank on Columbus (Eisenberg) which, as mentioned earlier, ends up being fatal for the Ghostbusters star.


1. The Fight Scene in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

This enormous scene from the Anchorman sequel features tons of well known celebrities in one epic fight scene. This was a follow up to the fight scene that appeared during the first Anchorman, but the sequel featured many more celebrities with much bigger names, making it much more memorable and more, for lack of a better word, magnificent.

The fight scene starts with a stand off between the two main news teams (Burgundy vs. Lime), but immediately after, more news teams from different channels arrive to join the fight. It is a ridiculous, yet comedic, fight. Though it is unrealistic, it is still amazing when you note how many different celebrities were included, many from different genres (action films, comedy films, drama films, music, etc.).

The celebrity cameos in this scene include Sacha Baron Cohen, Kanye West, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Jim Carrey, Marion Cotillard, Will Smith, Liam Neeson, John C. Reilly, Vince Vaughn, Kirsten Dunst and Harrison Ford as a werewolf for some reason.


Honorable Mentions:

  • Jamie Foxx in A Million Ways to Die in the West

  • Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder

  • Jack Black in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

  • Zach Galifinakis in The Muppets

  • Eminem in The Interview

  • David Hasselhoff in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

  • Dale Earnheardt Jr. in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

  • The Fight Scene in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

  • Lance Armstrong in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

This comedy trick has been used so much, it is sometimes hard to keep track of all the cameos that are out there. These comedy movies have proven time and time again that surprise cameos not only work, but can actually erupt the audience in enormous amounts of laughter if done perfectly. Some of these strategies have been using a lot of build up (like in Vacation), bringing in a celebrity that doesn't even act (like Happy Gilmore and Anne Hall) or even throwing in multiple big-name actors at once just to have them all slaughter each other (both Anchorman movies). These cameos are always fun and can add an unexpected, yet hilarious, twist to any comedy film.

What is your favorite celebrity cameo in a comedy movie? Let me know in the comments, or create your own post about it! Thanks for reading!
Create a post

Latest from our Creators