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The 15 Funniest Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

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Directors have long used videos to play around and experiment, and it’s not surprising that celebrities want to get in on that action as well. Before you catch Carly Rae Jepsen on this week’s all-new Comedy Bang! Bang!, check out 15 videos where famous people took the opportunity to get loose for laughs.

15. Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart and Brie Larson in Jenny Lewis’ “Just One of the Guys”

Hathaway, K-Stew, and recent Comedy Bang! Bang! guest Brie Larson spoof dudes in former Rilo Kiley member Jenny Lewis’ video for “Just One of the Guys.” How is this line-up not in that terrible looking Jem movie?


14. Dan Aykroyd, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Whoopi Goldberg and pretty much every ’80s star in Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl”

At the height of his ’80s Bad-era fame, Michael Jackson called in some favors for a celeb-studded video that he barely appears in. It’s basically every star you loved during the ’80s hanging out on a set and it is glorious.


13. Sacha Baron Cohen in Madonna’s “Music”

Before he broke big in the U.S., Borat star played his Ali G character in this 2000 Madonna video. Naturally he makes a joke about her “babylons.” Wait, does this mean that Madonna was hip to Ali G before we were??


12. Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Elijah Wood, Will Ferrell and many more in Beastie Boys’ “Make Some Noise”

Rogen, McBride and Wood channel old-school Beasties in what is sadly looking to be group’s music video swan song.


11. Ben Stiller in P. Diddy’s “Bad Boy for Life” and Jack Johnson’s “Taylor”

Stiller turns up in a funny cameo as Diddy’s uptight neighbor in this classic hip hop video.

Meanwhile, Stiller’s appearance in beach bum folkie Jack Johnson’s “Taylor” video fails into the oft-repeated music video trope of “famous person directs music video and causes mischief in the process.”


10. Zach Galifianakis in Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothin” and Fiona Apple’s “Not About Love”

Say what you will about Kanye West, he knows talent when he sees it. So when the time came to make a video for the lead track off of Graduation, West went to a very unexpected place: the farm of beardo comedian Zach Galifianakis, who had impressed Kanye at a Los Angeles stand-up show. The resultant video, which also stars folkie Will Oldham, is a balls-out exercise in surreal comedy.

A couple years before the “Can’t Tell Me Nothin'” video, Galifianakis did the lip-sync thing in Fiona Apple’s “Not About Love.” Did Kanye steal from Fiona??


9. Chevy Chase in Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”

This might be the original celebrity music video cameo, as Paul Simon brings in Chevy Chase (fresh off of Three Amigos) to lip-synch all of his lyrics in a Pepto-Bismol pink room. Chase’s exaggerated mugging and horrible faux-trumpet playing seem to perplex Simon, who keeps himself busy by providing the instrumentation for the track.


8. Tony McHale in Lady Antebellum’s “Bartender”

The video for Lady Antebellum’s 2014 track also features Kate Upton, but really what form of media that year didn’t? No, this video gets our nod for featuring Arrested Development and Veep star Tony Hale as a bartender with some incredible ideas for how to get you plastered.


7. Michael Cera in Islands’ “No You Don’t”

This track from Montreal indie-rockers Islands is all about bad comedowns. The video casts America’s quirkiest quirk-ster Michael Cera as a young fellow who pops some pills and goes on a journey to the center of his mind courtesy of some gloriously cheesy ’80s special effects.


6. Justin Timberlake in Elton John’s “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore”

It’s not uncommon to see Justin Timberlake in music videos – he was a member of *NSYNC, after all – but his role in Elton John’s clip for “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore” from 2001 is one of a kind. Justin plays a ’70s-era Elton, dressed as flamboyantly as you’d expect, and there’s a double shot of cameo juice as Paul “Pee-wee Herman” Reubens plays John’s manager John Reid.


5. Jack McBrayer in Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body”

Pairing the pop goddess Mariah Carey with Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock was a touch of inspired genius. The lead single from Carey’s 2008 album was overflowing with sexuality, so director Brett Ratner tweaked the concept by casting McBrayer as a Geek Squad-esque tech who gets overcome with Mariah’s mojo on a house call.


4. Jason Sudekis, Ed Helms, Will Forte and Jason Bateman in Mumford & Sons’ “Hopeless Wanderer”

Insufferably twee British band Mumford & Sons earned at least a few cool points by tapping a quartet of very funny guys to impersonate them for the “Hopeless Wanderer” video. The guys do a remarkably inept job actually looking like they can play instruments, but it doesn’t matter that much in the long run. Best thing with the name Mumford & Sons attached to it.


3. Jake Gyllenhaal in Vampire Weekend’s “Giving Up The Gun”

The Wes Anderson-esque clip for this track from the second Vampire Weekend album takes place at a bizarre tennis tournament where a young woman coached by Wu-Tang mastermind RZA must face off against a samurai, Joe Jonas and Gyllenhaal. It’s definitely a strange one.


2. Tom Hanks in Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You”

Carly Rae Jepsen is such a sweetheart that it’s not a surprise that she could shanghai one of America’s best-loved actors for a video. Tom Hanks shows up in the clip for “I Really Like You” lip-synching the tune before getting into a dance number with Jepsen in the streets of New York. It’s an unconventional appearance but one that works very well.


1. Christopher Walken in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon Of Choice”

Electronic music really opens the doors for video directors to get crazy, because there’s no “band” to show in the video. Spike Jonze directed the 2001 video for English big beat producer Fatboy Slim and had the genius idea to cast legendary character actor Christopher Walken as a businessman dancing through the lobby of the Los Angeles Marriott.

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Very NSFW

The Brockmire Premiere Is All Truth

Watch The First Episode of Brockmire Right Now for Free

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At long last, the Brockmire pre-premiere has arrived. Which means you can watch it right now—on IFC.com, at Funny Or Die, on IFC’s Apple TV and mobile apps, on Youtube, on Facebook, on the AMC apps, and right here. So grab some headphones and get watching.

No seriously, get headphones.

Because whether he’s giving a play-by-play or ruminating on the world around him, Jim Brockmire calls it like he sees it. And how he sees it is very NSFW. His take on life is actually quite refreshing, even to the point of being profoundly sage. For proof just look at these pearls of unconventional wisdom from the premiere…

Brockmire On The Internet

“If I need porn I just buy a nudie mag, like my father and his father before him.”

Brockmire On Sex-Ed

“Kids, a strap-on is a belt with d— on it that mommies use to f— daddies.”
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Brockmire On The Perfect High

“Somewhere between 10 cups of coffee and very low-grade cocaine.”
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Brockmire On The Tardiness of Spring

“Old man winter’s reaching his hand inside your coat to give that thing one more squeeze.”

Brockmire On Keeping Perspective

“I thought I hit rock bottom in a handicap restroom in Bangkok where a Thai lady-boy snorted crank off my johnson while a sunburnt German watched us on the toilet”
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Brockmire On Humanity

“If you want to look directly into the gaping maw of oblivion, don’t look up to the heavens. Just look in the mirror.”
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See these nuggets and more in the first episode of Brockmire, and see the whole season beginning April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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