" I wonder if Prince felt bad about writing songs for the Joker after all this was over. The one who lives in the universe of the
Batman movie, I mean. Iím sure the
real Prince was just fine with it."
—Chris Sims on Batman
There are all kinds of fun ways to cast and credit celebrities.
We've seen cases where a very famous actor plays an impossibly small part
in a movie, either as themselves or as a character. We've seen cases when a fictional character is listed in the credits as Himself/Herself.
We've seen an actor playing a character with the same name
as themselves. We've seen a real celebrity appear as themselves on a show for a quick laugh
or maybe they take over the entire episode.
And we've seen a beloved actor parody themselves
by playing the flanderized version of themselves or their most well-known character
This trope is when a real-life celebrity or famous figure is playing a fictionalized version of themselves, as a main character or recurring character
. This is mostly a television trope, but there are film examples. For shows that take place in an alternate Hollywood
, such as Curb Your Enthusiasm
and The Larry Sanders Show
, this is the norm. It would be hard to believe
it's Hollywood if you'd never heard of any of the "stars", would it?
This real celebrity is playing themselves, but they are inserted into fictional circumstances, play alongside clearly fictitious characters and sometimes have fictional backstories in relation to those fictional characters. This differs from an Autobiographical Role
, where the celebrity is playing themselves in the actual story of their life
As Himself is usually credited as, well
: Report Siht as Herself
. Though occasionally you will see Report Siht as "Report Siht"
. An actor might request the latter if they want it to be clearer that this is a purely fictionalized version of themselves.
Occasionally, there will be an example of this with a deceased star/famous figure. This will often be done using archive footage, but the trope still applies because they are still playing themselves in fictional circumstances (Forrest Gump
didn't actually meet John F. Kennedy
or Lyndon Johnson
Remember, if it's just a short gag, or one episode, that's either a Special Guest
or a straight Cameo
What's the difference between this and The Danza
? Ask yourself this... is Alice playing a character who just happens to be named Alice as well? Or is she actually playing Alice? The first one is The Danza
. The latter is As Himself.
Compare Celebrity Star
, Character as Himself
, Special Guest
and Adam Westing
. Not to be confused with For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself
Supertrope of Newscaster Cameo
(newsreader As Himself) and Leno Device
(talk-show host As Himself).
open/close all folders
- In the audiobook version of World War Z, which is performed by a full cast with different actors reading each of the characters interviewed for the book, the character of "The Interviewer" is specifically identified as Max Brooks (actual author of the book) and his part is performed by Brooks himself.
- Dan Choi, known for his activism in the effort to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, appears in issue #4 of Batwoman's run in Detective Comics. He is attending West Point with Kate Kane and speaks to her just before she is outed and "separated" from the military. He was consulted for the story in that issue and receives "special thanks to 1LT Daniel Choi (USMA 2003) for his generous assistance in research for this issue" on the cover page.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared in an issue of Superman, in which he reveals to Supes that he has managed to work out which star is Rao (the star Krypton orbited).
- Howard Stern plays himself in the film version of his autobiography, Private Parts. Robin Quivers and Jackie Martling also play themselves.
- Peter Falk plays himself in Wings of Desire (to the point where children call him "Columbo").
- Jean-Claude Van Damme in JCVD.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as both the main character and (briefly) himself in Last Action Hero.
- Al Pacino plays himself in the Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill.
- A posthumous example with Good Night, and Good Luck., where Senator Joe McCarthy is played by himself by way of archive footage. His performance was deemed quite "over the top" by test audiences who didn't read all the promo material provided.
- A dramatic example: Derek Jacobi plays himself in Hereafter as both the voice of a Charles Dickens audiobook and as a speaker at a literary festival.
- Neil Patrick Harris as "Neil Patrick Harris" in the three Harold and Kumar movies. He requested not to be credited "as Himself", to make it clear he's not a drug-sniffing, car-stealing womanizer in Real Life (he is in fact, the complete opposite — an upstanding gentleman and in a stable relationship with David Burtka; i.e. no drugs, no stealing cars, and one guy, not many women).
- Easily mistaken for this trope, but really The Danza: John Malkovich as the title character in Being John Malkovich, who the actor has said bears "only the faintest resemblance" to himself. It's worth noting that the fictional John Malkovich has a different middle name (Horatio) from the actor playing him (Gavin). He has also never played a jewel thief.
- Also a near miss is Charlie Sheen's part in the same movie, which is more a case of intentional self-parody; but that role is too small to be a straight example of this trope.
- Forrest Gump meets many famous figures throughout his travels, some played by actors, but others played by archive footage. Both times he meets the president, it's done using archive footage. Obviously fictional circumstances, since Forrest Gump didn't really exist.
- Paul Giamatti plays Paul Giamatti in Cold Souls
- Bill Murray's appearance in Zombieland was widely promoted as a Cameo, but it actually falls into this territory, since he's in the movie for quite a bit of time (playing himself) and is actually the only other non-flashback speaking character outside of the main four, before Columbus shoots him.
- Ditto for his role in Space Jam, wherein he eventually fills out the ranks of the Tune Squad to avert a forfeiture of the game. (In fact, the trope applies for pretty much all the live-action stars of the movie, aside from Wayne Knight and a few others.)
- The Beatles were playing themselves, but obviously inserted into fictional circumstances in A Hard Days Night and Help!!
- Hamlet 2 had 'Elizabeth Shue as Elizabeth Shue'.
- Bruce Campbell as Bruce Campbell in My Nameis Bruce, though this example may skirt into Adam Westing territory.
- In Sunset Boulevard, film director Cecil B. DeMille plays himself.
- Gloria Swanson, the star of Sunset Boulevard appeared as herself in Airport 1975.
- The Blues Brothers plays with this, featuring the band members playing themselves. The majority of them were part of the original backing band, and are well known blues and R&B legends, including Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn (both of whom played for Otis Redding, amongst others), and Matt "Guitar" Murphy. Paul Shaffer turns up in Blues Brothers 2000, but he's not actually playing himself — he instead adopts a thick French accent, playing the role of Queen Mousette's aide, Marco. He later takes off the wig and performs with the band, though, for which he gets credited both as Marco and as himself on the end credits list.
- Every actor in Coffee and Cigarettes plays themselves, although arguably some of the minor characters may be cases of The Danza.
- Funny People features several famous or once-famous comedians and entertainers as friends of the fictional George Simmons, whose career appears largely inspired by that of Adam Sandler, who plays him.
- Zoe Bell plays herself in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof.
- Dickie Roberts Former Child Star has a number of cameos by famous child actors and Brendan Frasier is in the film.
- The Player, by Robert Altman contains over 50 cameos of famous Hollywood stars, all playing themselves.
- Stan Lee appears as himself in Mallrats.
- Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino plays Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino in the first Ace Ventura film.
- The Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon featured numerous people from Kaufman's life as themselves, including
- the cast of Taxi — except for Danny DeVito, who was already playing Kaufman's manager
- David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, and the Late Night with David Letterman band, re-creating Kaufman's infamous appearance on Late Night With David Letterman with wrestler Jerry Lawler (also playing himself) — though filmed on the Late Show set, with no real attempt made to make anyone look younger.
- Lorne Michaels, as the producer of Saturday Night Live (though he wasn't actually producer when Kaufman appeared on the show)
- The late Miami Dolphins football team owner Joe Robbie played himself in the movie adaptation of Black Sunday in which terrorists are going to attack the Superbowl. He's interviewed about security at the Orange Bowl by Robert Shaw, who is playing Israeli counter-terrorist David Kabakov
- The Blind Side: NCAA Division I college football coaches Philip Fulmer, Lou Holtz, Tom Lemming, Houston Nutt, Ed Orgeron, Pepper Rodgers, Nick Saban, and Tommy Tuberville.
- In Get Shorty, during the filming of the climax of Chili's movie, Harvey Keitel plays himself playing Ray Bones. Also, Penny Marshall as herself, directing said movie.
- Maggie Cheung plays herself in Irma Vep.
- In Oceans Twelve, Julia Roberts plays a character, Tess, who is persuaded to pose as Julia Roberts. Bruce Willis appeared as himself in the same film.
- Wes Craven's New Nightmare features Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Wes Craven and Bob Shaye all playing themselves. Freddy Krueger (though still played by Englund) is also credited As Himself.
- Paolo Roberto as himself in The Girl Who Played With Fire, second film of the Millennium Trilogy. The Swedish language version anyway. Whether he will be cast as himself in the Hollywood version or not is yet to be seen.
- Steve and Terri Irwin in The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.
- Tom Jones in Mars Attacks!.
- Cher in Stuck On You.
- An unusual mutation can be found in the feature-length version of The Wizard of Speed and Time: the cast list at the end of the film starts with "Mike Jittlov — The Wizard" followed immediately by "The Wizard — Himself".
- Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering both play exaggerated caricatures of themselves in the movie Domino.
- United 93 featured many of the actual people involved in the original events, including Ben Sliney, former U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's National Operation Manager and the man who ordered the US airspace to a National Ground Stop during 9/11. He played himself, reenacting those same events, and does a damn good job of it.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane!
- "And introducing Otto [the autopilot] as himself."
- Several Major League Baseball players and umpires, as well as numerous sportscasters in The Naked Gun. Special mention to Reggie Jackson as a would-be brainwashed royal assassin.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic in The Naked Gun 1 and 3. He's also in 2, but plays a part.
- Weird Al also sings the theme to Spy Hard while wearing a white tuxedo in the opening credits. When his name comes up in the credits for writing and singing the theme song, he points to it.
- In the German movie Keinohrhasen, the main character is a paparazzi and sneaks into the engagement party of Yvonne Catterfeld (pop singer) and Wladimir Klitschko (professional boxer). While these two celebrities play themselves, their relationship is entirely made up.
- Undercover Brother. James Brown is captured by The Man's organization. Eventually he reveals himself to be Undercover Brother in a Latex Perfection mask.
- Contagion has Dr. Sanjay Gupta cameo in an interview with Dr. Cheever.
- In Jerry Lewis' The Bellboy, Lewis plays himself and the bellboy Stanley. After Milton Berle (as himself) lectures Stanley, he runs into Jerry Lewis (as himself), and wonders if there can be "two of them." Berle goes off, then Lewis runs into a bellboy (played by Berle), and Lewis does an extended double-take.
- In All The Presidents Men Frank Wills, the security guard who finds the masking tape on the door in the opening scene, is played by Frank Wills, the security guard who actually found the masking tape on the door at the Watergate. A lot of politicians and reporters appear as themselves in archival footage, including President and Mrs. Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Ron Ziegler, Walter Cronkite, etc.
- The original Angels in the Outfield included (simulated) newsreel interviews with (actual) famous people concerning whether or not Mc Govern is actually conversing with angels. Among them is Ty Cobb, who simply says "All I can say is the game of baseball has certainly changed!"
- In The Fighter, Micky Ward's trainer/Lowell police sargeant Mickey O'Keefe is played by... Micky Ward's trainer/Lowell police sargeant Mickey O'Keefe. O'Keefe had never acted before and was reluctant to take the role, though Mark Wahlberg was eventually successful in persuading him.
- In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Buzz Aldrin briefly appears as himself.
- So does Bill O'Reilly . In a rather self-aware parody, he is quickly accused of "ambush journalism," and calls someone a pinhead.
- Penn & Teller Get Killed
- Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, being about NASCAR, features a lot of people who cameo as themselves, including:
- Dale Earnhardt, Jr. asks Ricky for an autograph in one scene. He is seen in the garage at Talledega in a deleted scene.
- Ricky beats Jamie McMurray by running in reverse.
- Both the NASCAR on FOX broadcasting team (Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip) and the NASCAR on NBC team of 2005 (Bill Weber, Wally Dallenbach, Jr.; and Benny Parsons (died 2007)), are present; the FOX team is used for two races in the first half of the movie, while the NBC team is covering the Talladega race at the end of the movie.
- There's even a funny moment where an NBC reporter in the stands claims to have spotted Kenny Rogers and Larry Byrd on two different occasions, but Weber, Parsons and Dallenbach have a hard time believing him, suspecting he might have had a stroke.
- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story has Lance Armstrong and Chuck Norris as themselves at one point.
- Extremely common in old westerns, especially of the "singing cowboy" variety. Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gene Autry, etc. all made many, many films playing characters with their own names.
- A variation is seen in Under Siege, where Erika Eleniak's character is introduced to a man by another character by showing him a playboy centerfold and saying she's "miss july 1989". While the character goes by a different name than the actress, she was in fact the actual Playboy playmate of that month.
- The 1948 Franco-Norwegian film Kampen om tungtvannet (The battle for heavy water) with Jens-Anton Poulsson, Claus Helberg Urbye, Thorstein Skinnarland and HH Halban as themselves.
- There's kind of an example in The French Connection - Coke, the New York Subway driver, is played by a New York Subway driver named Coke.
- In G.I. Joe: Retaliation James Carville plays himself at a White House party.
- This Is the End is about Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, and Danny McBride trying to ride out the Rapture in James Franco's mansion.
- In The Great Ziegfeld, almost every one of the performers who were still alive when the movie was made were played by themselves. (Eddie Cantor is the exception.)
- Louis Armstrong plays himself in the 1956 musical High Society.
- Jason Biggs' portrayal of himself in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. He is frustrated that the only thing anyone remembers about him is that he fucked a pie.
- The 2010 film Round Ireland With A Fridge, based on Tony Hawks' 1999 bookRound Ireland With A Fridge, based on Tony Hawks actually travelling round Ireland with a fridge in 1997, stars Tony Hawks as Tony. The follow-up, 2012's Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, also stars Hawks as himself. (Arthur Smith's role in the book and actual events is taken by Stephen Frost playing himself, rather than have an actor "do" the inimitable Smith.)
- Chris Berman plays himself in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard — and since he's actually calling the game, you're hearing him a lot in the third act. Jim Rome also briefly appears as himself.
- Similarly, John Madden and Pat Summerall, respectively the color commentator and play-by-play announcer of Monday Night Football at the time, appeared as themselves in The Replacements
- Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies features multiple wrestlers (as well as one Penthouse Pet and several members of the production staff) As Themself since the premise is that they were invited to a particular wrestling exhibition before the Zombie Apocalypse starts.
- Lawyer and politician Fred Thompson started a prolific acting career in his forties when he was asked to play himself in Marie, about a client of his who fought a parole-bribery scheme.
- TV journalists Sander Vanocur and Bree Walker appear as themselves in the Phony Newscast Without Warning (1994).
- Viva Knievel: Evel Knievel and Frank Gifford play fictionalized versions of themselves.
- Ben Sliney, FAA National Operation Manager at the time of the 9/11 terror attacks, played himself in United 93.
- Bret Easton Ellis' novel, Lunar Park is narrated in first person by Bret Easton Ellis, who is, like in the real world, the author of American Psycho and several other successful novels. The events in the novel, however, are completely fictional.
- Stieg Larsson wrote in Swedish boxer/tv-host Paolo Roberto as a character in The Girl Who Played With Fire, book two of the Millennium Trilogy. Guess who played him in the movie?
- Kurt Vonnegut shows up in a few of his own books, most notably Breakfast of Champions where he (as the author) directs the action for the last few chapters from the shadows.
- At one point in The Dark Tower, Stephen King's characters have to save his life.
- In The Princess Bride, William Goldman, the author, has a MAJOR role in the story (or at least plays an author named William Goldman...).
- The Monkees
- Extras episodes heavily feature this trope (most of the time they are playing parodies of themselves). In fact, pretty much the only celebrities that do not play themselves are the regular cast.
- Pop star George Michael played himself in the first season of Eli Stone, appearing both in musical visions and in the real world. At the end of the season, it's heavily implied that he is God.
- The Big Bang Theory has featured Wil Wheaton playing a Jerk Ass version of himself a few times, serving as Sheldon's nemesis and eventual friend. Brent Spiner becomes Sheldon's new nemesis.
- Played with in Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which everyone would so often break character to remark how silly a sketch is that it felt like you were watching the actual members of Monty Python struggling to put on a decent TV show.
- A few Entourage examples:
- Mandy Moore played herself as Vince's costar in Aquaman. They supposedly dated when they starred together in another (very real) movie years earlier.
- Seth Green has shown up as himself several times, mostly to annoy Eric that he (maybe) dated Sloan before E did.
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler is currently appearing as herself, dating Turtle. Even more bizarre, considering the two are now dating in Real Life.
- Ed Burns plays himself as the producer of Drama's show.
- Several directors have appeared as themselves as well, including James Cameron and Gus Van Sant.
- Porn star Sasha Grey appeared in several episodes as herself and Vince's girlfriend.
- Gossip Girl name-drops 90's one-hit wonder musician Lisa Loeb. Then in the flashfoward part of the finale she is romantically involved with main character Rufus.
- Loads in Doctor Who, among them Derek Acorah, Paul O'Grady and Alistair Appleton.
- Louis C.K. plays himself, a divorced stand-up comedian, in Louie, with various comedians also appearing as themselves.
- Some Curb Your Enthusiasm examples:
- Larry David himself — at first glance this appears to be a case of Adam Westing, until you learn that the Larry David we see on the show is not very exaggerated at all from the real Larry David.
- Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Cady Huffman and Mel Brooks appeared when they were putting on a revival of The Producers.
- Richard Lewis and Ted Danson as Larry's friends, along with Mary Steenburgen and Rosie O'Donnell.
- The entire cast of Seinfeld in the seventh season.
- Just Shoot Me! has had Mark Hamill, Tyra Banks, Carmen Electra, Pamela Anderson and Ray Liotta appearing as themselves.
- iCarly: Jerry Trainor and Miranda Cosgrove in iBloop.
- Posthumous example - Adolf Hitler in Red Dwarf (using archive footage with Craig Charles superimposed next to him). Exists solely for a few Historical In-Joke gags regarding his missing testicle and his briefcase. The Adolf Hitler As Himself credit got a huge laugh from the studio audience.
- The Larry Sanders Show had several, including Jon Stewart as his rival and David Duchovny, who had a gay crush on Larry.
- Bill Nye the Science Guy and Neil DeGrasse-Tyson both guest starred in an episode of Stargate Atlantis. Neil was little more than a cameo, but Bill Nye played a somewhat extensive part.
- General Michael E. Ryan and General John P. Jumper, each the actual Chief of Staff of the Air Force at the time his episode aired, appeared as themselves on SG-1 in 2001 and 2004, respectively.
- Seinfeld had several throughout the years. Most memorably, Keith Hernandez (the former New York Met), shows up as himself several times, before and after he dates Elaine. And technically, Jerry plays himself throughout the series, as evidenced by his appearance on the Today Show with Bryant Gumbel in The Puffy Shirt episode.
- Garry Shandling in It's Garry Shandling's Show.
- In addition, the show had numerous guest stars, including Tom Petty, Rob Reiner, Martin Mull, and guest host Red Buttons.
- Seinfeld appeared in an episode of Newsradio.
- Jennifer Grey in Its Like You Know
- Creed Bratton on The Office falls between this and Adam Westing.
- Lou Ferrigno in The King of Queens.
- Bristol Palin showed up for one scene in The Secret Life of the American Teenager when Amy was at a music program for teen moms.
- Angela's father in Bones is Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.
- Josh Groban and Olivia Newton John have both made cameos on Glee, both having a blast making fun of themselves and pretending they're huge jerks.
- Baywatch - Lifeguard Michael "Newmie" Newman is played by Michael Newman, a real LA County lifeguard.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Stephen Hawking appeared as a hologram of himself in "Descent: Part I", being the only person to play themselves in any Star Trek production. He played poker with Data and holograms of Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein and won.
- Arguably, Joe Piscopo played himself in the second season episode "The Outrageous Okona", but he was only credited as "The Comic". Data picked him from a list of notable comics from history, so if it wasn't meant to be a genuine one—like Piscopo—any actor could have played The Comic.
- Garry Shandling, Tea Leoni, and Wayne Federman all played themselves in The X-Files episode "Hollywood A.D."
- Alex Trebek and Jesse Ventura cameoed as themselves (and MIB) in the episode "Jose Chung's From Outer Space".
- Jerry Springer played himself in the episode "The Post-Modern Prometheus"
- Walter Cronkite appears as himself, Ted's idol, in an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
- Graham Souness played himself in Boys From The Blackstuff.
- Laugh-In's Joanne Worley appears on an episode of Caroline In The City when her Stage Door Deli sandwich gets renamed for Caroline.
- Some of the cast of Laugh In appeared in an episode of Mad About You.
- Oliver North played himself in several episodes of JAG.
- Sammy Davis Jr. once got a cab ride from Archie Bunker, and had to stop by the latter's house to retrieve his briefcase. Hilarity Ensues (for real and Up to Eleven).
- John McEnroe appeared on CSI: New York, playing both himself and a look-alike who makes a hobby of impersonating him. Played with in an interrogation scene, where the look-alike is explaining that he didn't even watch tennis, while the real McEnroe looks on and bitches about his double (including an utterance of his now trademark "You cannot be serious!"), from behind the room's soundproof one-way mirror.
- Country music group Rascal Flatts appeared as themselves in an episode of CSI, which centered around bassist Jay DeMarcus getting shocked by his bass guitar.
- Clete Roberts plays himself in the episode "The Interview" in Mash. Filmed in black-and-white Clete Roberts interviews the characters making the episode look like a documentary. Unlike most episodes where everything was scripted and little ad-libbed, in this episodes, the actors were given a lot of freedom to answer the questions.
- Sir Terry Wogan appeared as himself presenting his current (at the time of filming) quiz show - and as a voice of the afterlife, passing on instructions to Saul - in the Series 2, Episode 2 of Being Human.
- Most of the human cast in Greg the Bunny spin-off Warren The Ape.
- Louis Armstrong appears as himself in Hello, Dolly!.
- The Seasons 5-7 cast of 3-2-1 Contact.
- The One-Episode Wonder TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack featured (and would have continued to feature) Ron Silver "As Himself". Despite playing a NASA assassin on this show, Silver was still an actor and at one point, a character points out that "he was the bad guy from Timecop".
- The Sopranos encountered many celebrities in their adventures, largely as a result of Chris's attempts to break into the movie business. Among them included Ben Kingsley, Lauren Bacall, Jon Favreau, Janeane Garofalo, and Sandra Bernhard.
- Jean-Claude Van Damme played himself in an episode of Las Vegas...in which he got killed.
- The West Wing:
- Penn & Teller appeared in an episode, in which they pretended to burn an American Flag at the First Daughter's birthday party.
- Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, and other performers have played at various White House functions, and campaign events.
- The title characters of An Evening With Gary Lineker and its Spiritual Successor My Summer With Des. Despite the titles, Lineker and Lynam have minor roles, the shows being about football fans at the 1990 World Cup and Euro '96.
- Corner Gas had a habit of frequently giving cameos to various Canadian celebrities, ranging from actors to athletes, to musicians, to politicians.
- Very common on the Colgate Comedy Hour.
- James Van Der Beek on Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
- Carl Weathers plays himself on Arrested Development as an out-of-work actor who gives acting lessons to Tobias. The lessons mostly seem to be advice on how to get cheap meals.
- Billy Dee Williams in the Modern Family episode "New Year's Eve."
- Castle plays poker with real-life writers, most notably James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, and Stephen J. Cannell (who got a Vanity Plate tribute and an Empty Chair Memorial when he died.)
- Sister Sister had a weird one: Marques Houston (who plays Roger) shows up as himself (Batman from Immature), just after Roger did a horrible impersonation of him. Naturally, no one believed him when he said he was Batman.
- Bob Bellveau, one of the real "first sixteen", Los Angeles County paramedics, appeared a few times as himself in Emergency! episodes.
- "Mr. Monk and the Redheaded Stranger" is an episode-length cameo from Willie Nelson, who gets accused of shooting his road manager in a back alleyway. Monk is said to be a big Nelson fan (and Trudy was one, too), so he sets forth to clear Nelson's name.
- Noticeably called back to in "Mr. Monk and the Blackout" when Monk mentions that he threw away a harmonica that Nelson gave him as gratitude to clearing his name, simply because he had played it before.
- "Mr. Monk and the Airplane" has Tim Daly, interestingly Monk lead Tony Shalhoub's costar from Wings, show up on the plane Monk and Sharona are flying to New Jersey on.
- "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy" features a cameo by Danny Bonaduce himself, as one of Dexter Larsen's golfing buddies.
- In "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs," Monk ends up getting press box tickets for himself and Stottlemeyer to sit with NBC's own Bob Costas in the broadcast booth for a playoff game. Apparently Monk helped Costas out on a favor a long time ago. Stottlemeyer says it had something to do with a demented cat salesman. Costas elaborates: the cat salesman was not demented, he sold demented cats, like a psychotic calico kitten, and one cat that tried to kill him with a squeeze toy.
- Babe Ruth appeared as Babe Ruth on the April 19, 1937 episode of Lux Radio Theatre (an adaptation of baseball movie Alibi Ike).
- Richard Wilson's fictional "radiography" Believe It! stars Richard as himself (and David Tennant as Young Richard). It also features a wide variety of Richard's showbiz friends, most of whom are played by impressionists. In Season 2, however, Celia Imrie and Sir Ian McKellen play themselves.
- Stew, book writer and co-music writer of the semi-autobiographical show Passing Strange, starred in the original productions as The Narrator, who introduces himself in the first song as "Stew", which just adds to the strangeness because he's narrating a story based on the real Stew's life story, which is also strongly implied to be the character Stew's literal life story. It's a little confusing if you think about it too hard, so don't.
- Things would have gotten really crazy if his understudy had ever gone on.
- In Left 4 Dead (and its sequel), each campaign is considered to be a separate "movie", in which the players take on the roles of the characters ("Alice as Bill, Bob as Francis, Xavier as Louis"...); whenever a character is played as a bot, the introduction screen and the ending credits both refer to him as "as himself" (or "as herself", in the cases of Zoey and Rochelle).
- Self-confessed video game addict Phil Collins played himself in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
- Every Grand Theft Auto game from the third onwards features Lazlow Jones as a radio personality (most often associated with talk radio shows), who hosts his own radio show in the real world. In addition, Lazlow is a major figure in the development of the series, being the chief writer in charge of managing the various radio stations that air in-game. He finally makes a physical appearance in Grand Theft Auto V, where he suffers various humiliations from the protagonists.
- Rob Zombie, who provided the soundtrack for Twisted Metal III and 4 appeared as a playable character in Twisted Metal 4. In his ending, his wish is to "let the world hear the wails and war cries of a dead man's soul." He gets it in the form of a clip from one of his music videos.
- Takashi Miike shows up in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle to deliver a Beam katana to Shinobou.
- Burt Reynolds plays himself in Saints Row: The Third.
- Nazi Zombies; one of the game modes for Call of Duty: Black Ops, gives us Call of the Dead. Hell yeah we wanna party.
- Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North was brought along to help produce Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. He also voices himself in a brief cameo early on in the campaign.
- The birds in Hatoful Boyfriend are stock images, the writer's own photography, and so on. One of the birds, Oko San, is represented with a photo of her own pet bird, Okosan. Unlike the other characters in the game, Oko San is a Partially Civilized Animal rather than a Civilized Animal, and while the others get human portraits, his is just a drawing of a pigeon.
- Bill Murray plays himself in Fact Checkers Unit.
- Kevin Baugh, president of the micronation Molossia, appeared as himself (and his alter ego Fritz von Baugh), in the That Guy with the Glasses second year anniversary special, Kickassia.
- In Agents Of Cracked, the two main characters are authors and editors of Cracked playing themselves. Dan O'Brien apparently plays a nerdier version of himself, when Michael Swaim plays a kinda weird, sociopathic version of himself.
- Nyx Crossing's main trio is Josh, Frank, and Clint... played by Josh Medlock, Frank Levering, and Clint Bailey.
- In a rare non-live action example, Andrew Hussie plays a somewhat plot significant role as himself in Homestuck.
- This was done in The Critic several times, including the notable second season episode "Siskel and Ebert and Jay and Alice." Film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert voice themselves throughout the whole episode.
- The Simpsons has had more guest stars playing themselves than probably any show on television.
- A strange example appears in the episode "Bart the Murderer", where Neil Patrick Harris plays himself, playing Bart in an in show movie. And Joe Mantegna plays himself playing Fat Tony in the same movie, as well as playing Fat Tony on the actual show.
- Carried over in Groening's other show, Futurama, where characters have played themselves in roles that vary from parodying, paying neat homages, or Actor Allusion s to themselves.
- In the Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (otherwise known as the Star Trek episode), every member of the original cast reprised their roles, playing both themselves, AND were forced to play TOS' old characters "as themselves" during the episode. Well, ALMOST every member...
- Family Guy subverts this and plays this straight, where most of the "As Themselves" are voiced by the core members of the voice cast. Occasionally, sometimes subtly, sometimes glaringly obviously, will an actual celebrity come to the show to voice themself.
- Author Harlan Ellison played himself (or rather a caricature of himself, like most Simpsons guest stars) in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode 'The Shrieking Madness'.
- Also The New Scooby Doo Movies, which had Jonathan Winters, Don Knotts, Sandy Duncan, Dick Van Dyke, Phyllis Diller and other celebrities voicing their cartoon likenesses. The Cartoon Network spoof Night Of The Living Doo had Gary Coleman, David Cross, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy'' voicing themselves in cartoon form.
- Robot Chicken has a metric assload of cameo "as themselves". Some have recurring roles (Ryan Seacrest, Hulk Hogan, Snoop Dogg); others have "starring" one-shot appearances (Sir Mix-A-Lot, Joey Fatone, the Coreys Haim/Feldman).
- An episode of Dennis the Menace (UK) featured Dennis entering a Blue Peter competition, with the then presenters playing themselves. In a nice bit of BBC synergy, this resulted in a Blue Peter segment in which they showed viewers how voice-acting works.
- Martin and Chris Kratt in Wild Kratts.
- G.I. Joe: The Movie brought us Sergeant Slaughter, played by Sergeant Slaughter. He also appeared in live segments as the narrator when the movie was told in five parts during the show's normal time-slot, and in one other five-part storyline.
- Rocket Power had several real-life extreme sports athletes guest-star as themselves in various episodes, including pro skateboarder Tony Hawk, pro NHL hockey players Martin Brodeur, Jeremy Roenick, and Luc Robitaille, and downhill mountain biker Missy "The Missile" Giove.
- Both Buzz Aldrin and Dick Clark in Recess
- In Gravity Falls, Larry King and Coolio provide the voices of the wax sculpture versions of Larry King and Coolio.
- Lots of celebrities did this in guest appearances on Celebrity Deathmatch: In addition to boxing referee Mills Lane and Debbie Matenopoulos, who were regulars, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Vince McMahon, Chyna, Mick Foley (seeing a pattern?), Marilyn Manson, Lucy Lawless, Geraldo Rivera, Chris Kattan, and Gilbert Gottfried, have all voiced themselves on the show.
- In a related note, several celebrities shown as participants on the show have mentioned they would have actually done their own voices if they had been asked.