The characters of a TV show encounter a celebrity...who is offscreen at all times. They're pointed out at the other side of the room, referenced as having just left, something like that; or we see AnInsert of a hand or an elbow or the edge of a back of a head, which could essentially belong to anyone. Basically, they couldn't get the star to appear, or the bit was too minor to bother, or they're doing a subversion of the typical CelebrityStar episode.

Less common in animation, where you can pretty much draw whoever you want and impersonate the voice.

See also InvisiblePresident.


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/MonkeyBusiness'', the Creator/MarxBrothers, stowed away on a cruise liner, need a way to sneak off. Zeppo reveals that he ran into Creator/MauriceChevalier -- and stole his passport.
* In the Edie Sedgwick biopic ''Film/FactoryGirl'', Mick Jagger arrives at one of Creator/AndyWarhol's parties, filmed briefly and entirely from the back of his head while everyone coos about him being there.
--> '''[[ Agony Booth]]:''' Look, everyone! The back of Mick Jagger's head has arrived!
* In the film ''Garbo Talks'' a man tries to find notoriously ReclusiveArtist Greta Garbo and have her visit his mother, who is a big fan and is dying. Near the end of the film he finds and talks to the back of a stand-in's head.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* For obvious reasons this doesn't happen very often in books, but there is at least one example: in the Literature/ThursdayNext book ''First Among Sequels'' the two chapters before a big meeting are filled with people discussing a rumor that Franchise/HarryPotter may put in an appearance. Once the meeting starts, the first announcement is that Harry couldn't make it due to [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall copyright issues]].


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' had at least two fake cameos, by Uma Thurman and John Kennedy Jr., not to mention the innumerable back-of-the-head 'appearances' by George Steinbrenner.
* ''TheSingleGuy'' had an episode where Sam unearthed an old recording which, ridiculous and bad as it was, he thought was a lost Beatles track. At the end of the episode the tape was bought back by Paul [=McCartney=] himself -- which is to say, a faceless man in the back of a car, doing a bad Paul [=McCartney=] impression.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' special ''The End of Time'', President Obama is shown giving a speech, but only the back of his head is shown. [[ItMakesSenseInContext Then he turns into the Master.]]
* ''Series/JustShootMe'':
** Maya and Finch attend a party where Robert [=DeNiro=] spills a drink on Maya and Finch gets his photo taken with Madonna, yet strangely enough the only people we see there are total nobodies.
** In another episode, Nina was covering an awards show on TV. She announced various arrivals such as Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, but the camera only cut away from her when she announced the name of the actor who would become important to the plot and who only existed in-universe.
* The pilot of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' has Cordelia pointing out celebrities in a party -- none of whom are seen.
* On ''Series/MadAboutYou'' Paul gets magician David Copperfield's suit by mistake. He later returns it to him -- or rather, a stand-in seen only from behind.
* Ex-president Gerald Ford's appearance on ''Series/That70sShow''.
* One episode of the short-lived live-action ''Series/TheTick2001'' series featured Jimmy Carter. His face was never seen, though we did get to see the back of his head.
* Being a famous popstar, Series/HannahMontana will frequently reference other celebrities that she knows. Most of them are never actually shown, but there have been exceptions.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' recently had a flashback to when the gang met Slash...who is never seen except for a glimpse of black hair and his CoolHat.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheBigBangTheory''. The guys are psyched that Creator/StanLee is coming to town. They talk constantly about him and his visit. Cut to us hearing about the aftermath of their experience with him. But then, during TheStinger, guess who makes an appearance?
** The same subversion happened in a later episode with Creator/StephenHawking. Hawking as a recurring character plays it straight.
* Happened on a few episodes of ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'', most notably when then-President George H. W. Bush came to Miami and the ladies were chosen as the household he would actually visit. Each of the four women got to shake his hand through the open front door (his arm being the only part seen) while an impersonator provided his voice.
** Subverted on one episode where the ladies are set to attend a gala function and spend the entire episode talking about the celebrities who will be there. None of them are ever seen, because only Sophia gets to the party. But as the others are accusing her of making up everything she tells them about the event, Burt Reynolds shows up to invite Sophia for lunch.
* On ''Series/MurphyBrown'' Frank was going to be on ''Late Night with Creator/DavidLetterman'' but he got bumped. He came in to the studio and waved. They used the footage of actor Joe Regalbuto actually doing that from a time when he was bumped on the real ''Late Show'', but just his shot with Dave saying "sorry" heard in the background. This was the first "appearance" of David Letterman on CBS very shortly after he had signed the contract to move his show there from NBC.
* A long-running gag on ''Series/TheMaryTylerMooreShow'' involved Mary's inability to throw a good party. In one late-season episode, she is promised an appearance by Johnny Carson at her latest party. After the usual run of disasters, the apartment plunges into total blackout - which is, of course, when Johnny Carson appears--or at least his voice!
** Played with and then subverted in the Washington, D.C.-set episode where Lou claims to have palled around with a number of important people before Mary showed up, including President Ford (who even left his pipe behind, though Mary doesn't believe it). We assume we won't see President Ford, and we don't--but then Betty Ford phones up, shown on camera and everything.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'', Joe Biden is doing a tour of Colorado community colleges. Only the back of his head is ever seen.
* In ''Series/VeronicaMars'' a party is held for Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger but he is never seen.
* ''The Late Show with Creator/DavidLetterman'': as the United States was transitioning from classic 4:3 aspect ratio for TV to the now-common widescreen, Dave had a recurring sketch involving a celebrity cameo who could only be seen by those with widescreen [=TVs=], the rest just see the celebrity's hand as he shakes Dave's hand.
* In the first episode of ''Series/KnowingMeKnowingYouWithAlanPartridge'', Alan promised an appearance by Roger Moore - who, of course, didn't show up. This had repercussions, as Alan angrily insulted him on air the next week's show (calling him a "towel thief")... and the week after ''that'', following a (fictional) injunction by Moore's lawyers, was forced to apologise on air.
* Lampshaded on ''The Cheap Show,'' a syndicated game show from the late 70s. There were three celebrity guest podiums, and one of them was a guaranteed no-show.


[[folder: Music ]]

* At the end of M.C. Hammer's "Too Legit to Quit" video, a producer turns to someone off-screen and asks what they think of the video. [[Music/MichaelJackson A white-gloved hand]] raises up and performs the hands signs for "Too legit to quit."


[[folder: Radio ]]

* One notorious segment on the radio show ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'' had the host repeatedly mention that they had a celebrity guest, who would be playing Mornington Crescent with the rest of the panel. When the game in question rolled around, one of the regulars won on their first turn by saying "Mornington Crescent". For some reason, listeners accused the show of mistreating Alec Guinness, even though the "celebrity" never spoke and was never named (and likely didn't exist).
** In fact, although Humphrey Lyttleton claimed in later years that the celebrity was never named, he did address him as "Sir Alec".


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' had both Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks.... with buckets on their heads.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Bonkers}}'' dealt with a kidnapped Mickey Mouse, who spent the entire episode locked in a box and was referred to only as "the Mouse". This was especially unusual since we clearly hear his voice, and the show being produced by Disney seems to make this unnecessary.
* [[WesternAnimation/XMen The 1990s X-Men cartoon]] featured a brief cameo of Spider-Man during the Phoenix Saga. However, all we see of him is his arm and a shadow on a wall.