Celebrities do it better

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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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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