OMG, You're Tony Randall!
May 31, 2012 8:42 AM   Subscribe

SNL filter: Please list for me the Saturday Night Live skits where guests unexpectedly show up.

I'm looking for the sketches where a famous person suddenly shows up in a skit (unknown to either the audience and/or the actors), and then may or may not participate in the rest of the evening's show. (Sometimes it's a former cast member.)

Looking in particular for the sketches where the audience goes apeshit in delight over seeing said celebrity, and/or the regular cast didn't know that the celebrity was going to be there; i.e., where the surprise element is the greatest.

I'm sure there are many of these. The ones I have are:

Barbra Streisand in "Coffee Talk"
Paul Simon, Elliot Gould, et. al in the first "Five Timer's Club" sketch
Steve Martin, etc. in "Platinum Club"
Cast of Cheers in Kirstie Allie's monologue
Tina Fey as Sarah Palin
Dan Ackroyd as Bob Dole (I think he did this a few times)
Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro
Art Garfunkel once showed up and found that Paul Simon didn't recognize him
Didn't Obama show up once?

Please tell me the others. Thank you!
posted by Melismata to Society & Culture (33 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Janet Reno crashed (literally) the final segment of "Janet Reno's Dance Party." I'm not sure if it was a surprise to Will Ferrell, but it certainly was for the audience.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:49 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Steve Martin in "The Californians"
posted by Cosine at 8:49 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Steve Martin, during David Spade's "review" of "Leap of Faith." (The review: "Missed it -- I wasn't feeling good that week...")
posted by Infinity_8 at 8:50 AM on May 31, 2012

Hilary Clinton during Amy's imitation
Mark Zuckerberg during Jesse Eisenberg's monologue
Mark Wahlberg after Samberg's imitation
Mike Myers (backstage after Kanye West's Katrina telethon rant)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:52 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Does the musical act part of the show count? Elvis Costello, who was banned from SNL for playing "Radio, Radio" instead of "Less Than Zero" crashed the Beastie Boys' set to play "Radio Radio." It was obviously pre-scripted, but the audience didn't know that.
posted by griphus at 8:52 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

A few recent ones that I can think of had to do with the impersonated celebrity showing up alongside the impersonator

- Nic Cage showing up during Andy Samberg's Nic Cage impression

- Mark Zuckerberg showing up when Jesse Isenberg was hosting alongside Samberg-as-Zuckerberg

- Steven Spielberg during Laser Cats

This is one of those annoying clickbait articles but you might like Lorne Michaels' 25 favorite cameos (about his own cameos on the show). I'm surprised there isn't a better list of these someplace.
posted by jessamyn at 8:53 AM on May 31, 2012

Response by poster: Yes, music counts. Fantastic answers, keep 'em up!
posted by Melismata at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2012

As did Norm Macdonald in the 2009 sketch.

Well, he was in a bunch of them, but that was his only surprise appearance.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2012

One of my favorite meta-cameos was when Gene Frenkle came on stage during Queens of the Stone Age's performance of Little Sister.
posted by usonian at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ana Gasteyer reprised her role as Bobbi Mohan-Culp in the recent episode hosted by Will Ferrell.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:02 AM on May 31, 2012

Judge Judy showed up to a sketch with Cheri Oteri playing Judge Judy. Here's a crappy youtube video from 1998.
posted by ftm at 9:05 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Along the lines of the Gene Frenkle meta-cameo, how about John Belushi appearing unexpectedly during Joe Cocker's performance in character and dressed as Joe Cocker? (Apparently he consulted wardrobe ahead of time so they'd be wearing the exact same outfit)
posted by gohabsgo at 9:12 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wasn't there one where they introduced expected host musician Paul Simon, and both he and Sen. Paul Simon came out to have an awkward moment?
posted by Occula at 9:12 AM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

Paul Simon (the former US Senator) showed up during one of the Paul Simon (the musician) monolgues.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:15 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

George Bush once showed up via video to comment on Dana Carvey's impression of him.

"I have never once said 'na ga dah.'"
posted by bondcliff at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

There was an episode in the fall of 2008 where Sarah Palin, Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg ("Say hello to you mother for me") all showed up.
posted by jenny76 at 9:18 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Come to think of it, the real Bob Dole once showed up when Norm McDonald was imitating him.

"That's not something Bob Dole does."
posted by bondcliff at 9:18 AM on May 31, 2012

There was a "Wayne's World" one where Madonna showed up.
posted by dotgirl at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

There is also a long tradition of the night's musical guest(s) showing up in a skit. Some of my favorites are:

Mick Jagger in a point/counterpoint. The beauty here is Mike Meyer's (I think it was him) was playing Mick Jagger and Mick Jagger was playing Keith Richards. They were discussing the Ice-T/Bodycount song Cop Killer.

Dave Mathews playing Ozzy Osborne.

Many bands playing themselves. Aerosmith and Phish, for example.

Neil Young showing up as a stoner/hippie. I think it was in one of the Appalachian ER skits. he flubbed his lines or missed his cue so he didn't get too much in the way of applause.

Lady Gaga in a skit with Justin Timberlake
posted by bondcliff at 9:28 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Whoops! Too slow, I guess. I thought of some other possibilities to make up for it:

Obama did show up once
NY Gov Paterson coming on while Armisen was doing an impression of him for WU
Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto rehashing Shatner's Trek bit, then being upstaged by Leonard Nimoy
Justin Timberlake in the Beyonce sketch

And if we're counting Digital Shorts:
Justin Timberlake, again, in "Dick in a Box"
Blake Lively and Jessica Alba in "I Just Had Sex"
Ryan Reynolds and Elijah Wood in "Threw it on the Ground"
posted by zombieflanders at 9:28 AM on May 31, 2012

They must keep John Hamm in a closet back stage, because he seems to be on that show about every two weeks lately. Most recently, I recall he was the "stand-in" for Lindsey Lohan, in case she crashed and burned and they needed a new host.

The 100th digital short also had a lot of cameos, including Beiber, Hamm, Justin Timberlake, and a few others I'm sure I'm forgetting.
posted by Gilbert at 9:30 AM on May 31, 2012

Jessica Biel showed up dressed up as Jessica Rabbit to seduce away Cathy's comic-strip boyfriend Irving, played by Biel's real-life boyfriend Justin Timberlake in 2009
posted by deanc at 9:47 AM on May 31, 2012

Brian Dennehy showed up, as himself, at the end of a Superfans skit with John Goodman, George Wendt and Chris Farley. He said something like, "They told me this is where all the fat guys are," or something like that. At the end of the skit, they printed on the screen the total weight of all the actors on stage.
posted by hwyengr at 9:58 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Jack Nicholson showed up during Helen Hunt's opening monologue, in response to several of the cast members (Jim Bruer, Darrell Hammond, Colin Quinn, Cheri Oteri, Tim Meadows) doing imitations of him.
posted by dithmer at 10:16 AM on May 31, 2012

John Hamm

Actually his most recent surprise appearance was on the season finale. The opening skit was another iteration of the Laurence Welk show singing sisters with the one sister who is deformed (played by Kristen Wigg) and Hamm played the guy.

At this point they should just put him in the cast listing.
posted by Bonzai at 10:31 AM on May 31, 2012

I seem to recall John MacLaughlin coming on during one of the Dana Carvey impressions of him, possibly during a Halloween episode.

(I can never hear the name Elanor without immediately following up with Carvey-as-MacLaughlin saying "Gee, I think you're Swell-anor!")
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

In 1976, Lorne Michaels offered the Beatles $3,000 to reunite on the show, then upped it the next month to $3,200.

The week after that, George Harrison showed up to collect, and Lorne had to explain that it was only for the whole group. Harrison then performed as the musical act with host Paul Simon.
posted by I am the Walrus at 11:23 AM on May 31, 2012

Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci showed up to a taping of "The Joe Pesci Show".

I also remember De Niro and Martin Scorsese doing a cameo 20 years ago when Ellen Cleghorne's NBC page character was pestering Joe Pesci backstage when he hosted.
posted by fso at 1:20 PM on May 31, 2012

Significant others will often show up in episodes. For example, Justin Long did one when Drew Barrymore was on.
posted by drezdn at 1:51 PM on May 31, 2012

The real Lindsey Buckingham once showed up on "What's Up With That?".
posted by klausness at 2:33 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Significant others will often show up in episodes. For example, Justin Long did one when Drew Barrymore was on.

...and Drew Barrymore was there (infamously?) when Tom Green hosted.
posted by getawaysticks at 8:57 AM on June 1, 2012

Wasn't the Madonna dream sequence on Wayne's World a surprise to the audience? Delta Burke was the host and Chris Isaak was the musical guest, no mention beforehand that Madonna was going to be involved at all.
posted by Fuego at 2:24 PM on June 2, 2012

« Older Rest Pause Strength Training   |   Where can I find the Chicago youth culture in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.