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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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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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