"For many years, Sammy Davis Jr was a member of the Church of Satan. As you might expect, Davis had to keep this whole matter fairly private or else the truth could ruin him. Alternatively, he could opt to straight up not give a shit and star in the world's first sitcom set in hell. Davis chose the latter path and took the lead role in a pilot called Poor Devil, also starring Adam "Batman" West and Christopher motherfuckin' Saruman Lee as Lucifer! That the show isn't still on today is undeniable proof that the Nielsen ratings system is rigged."
This is simply when an actor's role in a film in some way mirrors or parodies their Real Life circumstances and/or career and other roles they're famous for. This forms a small joke or minor piece of merriment. Note that the gag is dependent on the casting and the role only rather than some later effected plot or dialogue. It should be fairly easy to describe the gag as "casting actor X (who is Y) in the role of character Z (who is Y)".
Sometimes it may overlap with Actor Allusion for another character where their respective actors have worked together before. However, the two must not be confused. A Casting Gag relies upon casting an actor in a role that reflects on their Real Life history. An Actor Allusion is any character, plot or situation that references a previous plot or role for the actor.
There is also Meta Casting, which is when such a gag is used specifically to cause a resonance between the character and the audience.
An actor can use this self-consciously for themselves for Adam Westing. Compare with Playing Against Type where the casting may feel like a joke for the wrong reasons. Contrast with Stunt Casting where the big name actor is not being used for any in-joke but as a piece of marketing to draw in a wider crowd. When the Casting Gag is specifically that the person cast is an Actor Allusion for an already estabilished character, it's I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine. If the Casting Gag is that the actor appeared in an earlier version of the same story, it's a Remake Cameo. Compare also to Cast the Expert.
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Seitokai Yakuindomo has Furuya, who enjoys old-world snacks, uses 80's slang, and does her calculations on an abacus...even her fanservice is old-school. She's played by Hirano Fumi, best known as the voice of Lum in the 80's series Urusei Yatsura.
In the English dub of Cowboy Bebop, Daran Norris voices both as Andy, a comical character who is Spike's rival during one episode, as well as the antagonist Vincent in the film, who is an Evil Counterpart to Spike.
In One Piece, the Japanese voice actors for the Straw Hat pirates also provide the voices for a group of impostors trying to gain infamy by posing as the Straw Hats. They also mix up who is who, such as Sanji's voice actor playing the fake Luffy or Chopper's as the fake Nami.
Maybe this, maybe just a coincidence: Igaram's voice actor from the 4kids Dub plays Igaram's wife Terracotta in the Funimation Dub.
In Naruto, the seiyuus of the six dead Jinchuurikis also play their six Bijuus. But they mix up the roles, so none of those Jinchuurikis share his/her voice with his/her own Bijuu. For example, Yondaime Mizukage Yagura's seiyuu Miyu Irino plays him and the Rokubi Saiken, Utakata's Bijuu.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Aaron Dismuke did the voice of Alphonse in the English dub of the 2003 anime, but puberty made it impossible for him to reprise the role for Brotherhood—so he did the voice for Al's father, Hohenheim, as a young man.
There also exists another gag: Luci Christian, who played the 2003 anime's incarnation of Wrath, provides the voice of the Truth in Brotherhood. Both characters are strikingly similar in that both meet Edward at the Gate of Truth and end up taking his arm and leg for themselves, keeping them until the end of the storylines they appear in (except Wrath loses both limbs while the Truth keeps Ed's leg). Considering the Truth simply shares the same voice actor as the one it appears before in the original Japanese language, the fact that they had a single person to portray a character that had something in common with one of her earlier roles in the franchise couldn't be called anything less than a tribute.
Atsuko Ishizuka, the director of the anime adaptation of No Game No Life, has previous experience on Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. Perhaps it's no coincidence that Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Ai Kayano, who voiced the lead pair of lovers in Sakurasou, would be once again cast to play, in No Game No Life, a pair of gamer-siblings. The gag went further due to the names of the characters involved: Sorata and Mashironote "Sky-the-eldest" and "Pure-white" in Sakurasou, and Sora and Shironote "Sky" and "White" in No Game No Life.
Possibly the most illustrious example of this is Sunset Boulevard, in which Gloria Swanson, who was an over the hill, forgotten silent movie actress, plays an over the hill silent movie actress.
At the same time, she employs a butler who was once a famous, now forgotten, silent film director. This part is played by the once famous, then forgotten silent film director Erich von Stroheim.
When Swanson's character is seen watching one of her old movies, it is ACTUALLY an old Gloria Swanson movie - directed by Erich von Stroheim.
And then there's her card-playing buddies from the Old Days ("the Waxworks"), including Buster Keaton.
To complete the circle, Swanson at one point goes to Cecil B. De Mille to beg a part in his new movie. The director played himself, and the scene was shot on the set of his ACTUAL current movie.
Carrie Fisher has a cameo in Scream 3 as "Bianca" who is bitter over losing out for the role of Princess Leia to another actress. She goes as far to state that the actress 'must have slept with George Lucas'.
Also Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and Ray Park have all appeared in Fanboys because of their roles in Star Wars. The fact that they played different characters added to the level of hilarious.
In the 1970's movie Cannonball Run, one of the racers has the delusion that he is a famous movie star named Roger Moore, and has lots of zany gadgets including an ejection seat in the car. Of course, the character is played by Roger Moore, who was one of the James Bond actors.
In Iron Man 1, the after-credits-appearing character Nick Fury is played by Samuel L. Jackson who serves (with his permission) as the model for the appearance and personality of the Ultimate Marvel version of Fury. Within the comic The Ultimates itself, when the team was amusing themselves speculating on who would play them in the movie about their adventures, Fury said that he would of course be played by Samuel L. Jackson.
A popular theory is that Jackson agreed to provide his likeness for the Ultimate Universe Nick Fury, with the understanding that if ever there was a movie with Nick Fury, he would get to play the role.
Ghostface Killah — who uses "Tony Starks" as an alias, titled his 1996 solo debut album Ironman and opened his 2000 album Supreme Clientele with a clip of the theme to the old Iron Man cartoon — was actually cast in a supporting role in the film as an industrial tycoon (his scene didn't make it to the final cut).
Additionally, guitarist Tom Morello appears as one of the terrorists who try to kill the first Iron Man suit. To get the gag you have to remember that he is most famous for playing with "Rage Against the Machine." (Morello later co-scored the sequel)
And then there were the endless jokes about casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. And now he will be playing Sherlock Holmes, who had a bit of a thing for cocaine.
A Casting Gag played as Actor Allusion, the title character (played by Mel Gibson) is in a bank as it is held up by an unnamed bank robber played by Danny Glover who starred alongside Gibson in the Lethal Weapon series of movies. Maverick acts as though he recognises the voice of the bank robber and pulls down his mask, leading the two of them to share a moment before shaking their heads and walking away.
And the unnamed bank robber also mentions that he's "getting too old for this" as he makes his getaway.
Further, The film features the often-referenced-in-the-series-but-never-seen father of Bret Maverick — who, just coincidentally, happens to be played by none other than James Garner, who originated the role of Maverick on TV.
Usually he's just being heroic, but he got to play a character he created, Willie Lumpkin, in the Fox Fantastic Four movie.
He was a miss pagent judge in Iron Man 3. Truly a hero to the good old US of A. :)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show creator Richard O'Brien was probably best-known in the UK during the 90s for hosting The Crystal Maze, a game show in which contestants had to win crystals (and ultimately prizes) by solving puzzles on a large, labyrinthine set. He was later cast in the Dungeons & Dragons film as the master of a large maze from which the heroes have to retrieve a gem.
In Kenneth Branagh's film Henry V, the actor Michael Williams, Judi Dench's husband, was cast as the character Michael Williams after she signed on to the film.
At the beginning of Love Actually, Liam Neeson's character is giving a eulogy for his wife, and he jokingly mentions that they had a lot of time to discuss things when she was ill, and one of her suggestions was that he bring Claudia Schiffer as his date to the funeral. This gets a callback later when he tells his stepson that he plans on never finding love again — unless he should run into Claudia Schiffer. At the end, he's at the stepson's school, trying to help him resolve his own unrequited love for a classmate... and he bumps into another parent he's never met before, who introduces herself as Carol Karen (he stammers a bit and calls her Carol, though). She's is played by Claudia Schiffer.
Thoroughly unintentional example (they initially refused to even let her audition): Paris Hilton in Repo! The Genetic Opera playing... a rich, slutty, fashion-obsessed heiress cultivating a singing career using her name and infamy rather than talent. Better than it sounds, not least because her face falls off.
In Bridget Jones' Diary, Colin Firth was cast to play Mark Darcy, a character inspired by Fitzwilliam Darcy (from Pride and Prejudice) which he played in a series of made for TV films. On top of that, in the original novel, Bridget and her friends are stated to lust after the actor and his famous wet shirt scene.
The titular Men Who Stare At Goats call themselves "Jedi Knights." So who should be cast as the reporter writing a story on this covert group of psychic warriors, making such statements as, "I don't understand what a Jedi Knight is"? Ewan McGregor.
According to McGregor, the director didn't even realize this, although McGregor himself played it up.
Jacobi's character in Dead Again stutters, just like Claudius.
Jacobi plays the Archbishop of Canterbury in The King's Speech, which is all about another monarch getting over a Speech Impediment, and arguably, the clergyman role could be a Cadfael-based Casting Gag.
In David Mamet's adaptation of the play The Winslow Boy, Neil North plays the First Lord of the Admiralty. In the 1948 film of the same play, North had played the title character (a supporting role).
The same year Mark Williams was cast as the technology-loving wizard Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter movie series, he was also an enthusiastic presenter in Industrial Revelations, a documentary series about the history of technology.
In Half-Blood Prince, after Bill was attacked, he was said to bear a distinct resemblance to Mad-Eye Moody. In Deathly Hallows, Bill was played by Domhnall Gleeson whose father, Brendan Gleeson, played Moody.
Also in Half-Blood Prince, Lord Voldemort's child self is played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, nephew to Ralph Fiennes who portrays the character's adult incarnation.
In the epilogue, Draco Malfoy's wife was played by Tom Felton's real life girlfriend.
Miranda Richardson has been in so many roles that involve beheading — Queen Elizabeth in Blackadder II, the Queen of Hearts in 1999's Alice in Wonderland TV miniseries, Lady Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow — that it's hard to imagine her role as the chicken-killing Mrs. Tweedy in Chicken Run being anything other than an allusion to her past head-removing roles.
And to really push the joke home, four other actors had been in Bond films (Julian Glover was Bond villain Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only, Alison Doody was Bond girl Jenny Flex in A View to a Kill, John Rhys-Davies was Bond ally Pushkin in The Living Daylights (albeit that was after Raiders), and Vernon Dobtcheff (the Brunwald castle butler) was nightclub owner Max Kalba in The Spy Who Loved Me. Michael Byrne later played a British naval officer in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Though it was ultimately averted, the production team behind Skyfall confirmed they considered asking Connery to play Bond's eldery gameskeeper Kincaid, but deemed it too distracting. Would also have been an example of Remake Cameo.
John Hurt, who played the lead role of Winston Smith in British movie 1984; was in 2006 cast as the dictator for the film V for Vendetta, which bore a similar setting. The dictator's face is seen displayed over several screens throughout the city, all in a very Big Brother-esque way.
Matt Damon as the hero and Greg Kinnear as the Big Bad in Green Zone. Both had previously starred as conjoined twins in the Farelly Brothers comedy Stuck On You.
In Enemy of the State, Gene Hackman plays a character who seems like a good-guy version of his "professional eavesdropper" character in The Conversation. This is referenced when a photograph of Hackman's character from that earlier film is used as a file photo in Enemy of the State.
In Piranha 3D, Richard Dreyfuss has a cameo at the beginning as a character who is practically Matt Hooper from Jaws.
In Airplane!, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who's cast as pilot Roger Murdock, is pointed out by a boy on the plane as being Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The boy continues to ask Murdock why he doesn't put more effort into his basketball, to which Murdock heavily implies he's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hiding as a pilot. Finally, when Murdock has to be taken off the co-pilot seat after suffering food poisoning, he is revealed to be wearing his basketball shorts and shoes.
Also, there's one scene in a mental hospital for soldiers with PTSD. One of the soldiers thinks he's Ethel Merman, and he's played by none other than Ethel Merman herself.
In The Flintstones movie, Fred has a secretary named Sharon Stone (a reference to both the actress and the non-stop "rock" puns common in the TV series). The producers wanted Sharon Stone to be played by... Sharon Stone, who had to turn down the role as she was working on another movie (the part was taken by Halle Berry). Stone has since expressed her regret for not appearing in the Flintstones.
In Unknown, Aidan Quinn plays the sinister impostor "Martin B", who steals the identity of Martin Harris (Liam Neeson). They had both played best friends in Michael Collins, and Neeson suggested that he be cast opposite him as the villain.
Maybe: In Atlas Shrugged Part 1, one of Dagny's enemies is played the actor who was both Quark, an alien who's "Hat" is greed and business prowess and Andrew Ryan, extreme business-liberal and parody of Atlas author Ayn Rand.
In the original version of The Parent Trap, the father's evil girlfriend is named Vicky. In the remake, the evil girlfriend Meredith's mother says, "You may call me Aunt Vicky." She was played by the same actress who played Vicky in the original.
In Lord of the Rings, Gimli nudges Legolas's bow so that the intended warning shot would nail one of Sauron's pirate reinforcements right in the chest. the pirates were all played by the production staff and the pirate that gets killed? Peter Jackson, the director.
Ian Holm plays Bilbo, but was Frodo, Bilbo's nephew in the 1981 radio drama.
In Looney Tunes: Back In Action, Brendan Fraser plays the part of Brendan Fraser's stunt double. Later on, he punches "Brendan Fraser" in the face.
DJ: Did you see those Mummy movies? Yeah, I'm in them more than Bren Fraser is.
Les Miserables (2012), the most recent film version of the musical, features several of the original stage actors in cameos, most notably Colm Wilkinson (the original Jean Valjean) as the Bishop of Digne, who gives Valjean the candlesticks, Frances Ruffelle (the original Eponine) as "The Most Fabulous Whore" in "Lovely Ladies", Samantha Barks as Eponine (a role she played in the West End production). Also, the casting of Anne Hathaway as Fantine counts because Hathaway's mother was Fantine in the first U.S. national tour of the original stage production.
Superman has, in some cuts, a minor scene showing a young Lois Lane riding on a train with her parents. Said parents: Kirk Allen and Noel Neil, who played Superman and Lois Lane in the 1940's serials.
In the 1951 film Sons of the Musketeers, Porthos Jr is played by Alan Hale Jr. Alan Hale Sr played Porthos in the 1939 film of The Man in the Iron Mask. (Hale Jr would also go on to play Porthos in another film based on the "Man in the Iron Mask" section of The Vicomte de Bragelonne, 1979's The Fifth Musketeer.)
Peter Capaldi as a World Health Organization (W.H.O) Doctor in World War Z. Prior to the worldwide announcement on 4 August 2013, it was mostly unknown that he would play the role of the Twelfth Doctor (only known to a select few, including some of the show's production staff).
The film version of A Streetcar Named Desire somewhat famously cast Vivien Leigh—who was still best known for playing Scarlett O'Hara at the time—as the mentally damaged Southern belle Blanche Dubois, whose tragic inability to cope with the loss of her family's ancestral plantation ultimately costs her her sanity. The casting choice helps make Tennessee Williams' deconstruction of American class and gender roles all the more obvious, and it draws attention to Blanche's attachment to her rosy, idealized image of the antebellum South.
In Back to the Future: Part III, Mary Steenburgen stars as Clara Clayton, a 19th century woman who falls in love with a time-traveller from the 20th century, the opposite of her role in Time After Time, where she played a 20th century woman who falls in love with a time-traveller from the 19th century. What's better is her film debut had been in Goin' South, a western-comedy where she was also wooed by Christopher Lloyd.
X-Men: The Last Stand has former soccer player Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut, whose American football design is deliberately played up with his "unstoppable" mutant power.
For the 2014 film adaptation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Alexander will be played by Australia-based child actor Ed Oxenbould. In the original book, Alexander, fed up with how terible his day has been so far, insists on moving to Australia.
Derek Jacobi appeared on the show as Professor Yana, who, unknown to everyone (including himself), was actually The Doctor's old nemesis The Master. Jacobi had previously played The Master in an animated Doctor Who story.
The Doctor in that animated story, the Ninth, had been played by Richard E Grant, famous for playing Withnail, the best friend of "I", played by Paul McGann - who was also the Eighth Doctor.
The Doctor and James Bond are often cited as the two quintessential heroes of modern British popular culture, and they're both well-known for having been played by a succession of very different actors over the course of their long histories. Therefore, the producers probably had this trope in mind when they cast Timothy Dalton as the elder Time Lord Rassilon, the Big Bad of "The End of Time".
Smallville: The presence of any actor from a previous Superman series, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, etc. There was also Tom Wopat turbing up as an Actor Allusion to John Schneider but the one that takes the biscuit is the (possible unintentional) casting of Annette O'Toole, Lana Lang in ´Superman III, as Martha Kent (though the crew didn't actually know about her former role when she was cast).
In the Friends eighth season episode, "The One With The Rumour", Brad Pitt appeared as one of Ross's old high school friends, who hated Rachel to the point that he was president of an Anti-Rachel club in high school. At the time, it was a comic variant of this trope since Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston in real life. The joke became a lot less funny after Aniston and Pitt's very, very public divorce.
Cameo Version: In an episode of Roseanne, Roseanne and Jackie are getting makeovers at a health spa. The makeup artist talks about "less is more" and letting their faces tell their own story. When she turns around, we see for the first time it was Tammy Faye Bakker. note For those to young to get the reference, Tammy Faye is the wife of notorious televangelist Jim Bakker. She was known for wearing copious amounts of makeup, on par with Mimi from ''The Drew Carey Show
Not to mention the irony: The Wild Force Rangers had Zen-Aku, a monster who was sometimes a human due to a curse that made him want to fight the Rangers, but he'd really rather not have. So Medina goes on to play Deker, who's got the same thing going: he's now Samurai's Zen-Aku. (Not that Deker's a total ZA Expy. ZA's a guy bonded with a Duke Org and his memory's not all there; Deker's an immortal Blood Knight who must defeat his Worthy Opponent (or die at his hands) to be freed from it. However, as Deker is a sometimes-human-faced villain who's not all bad, there's more poetry there than if he'd played, say, the voice of Xandred.)
Wild ForceMilestone Celebration episode "Forever Red" is a big example of this as three of the Machine Empire Generals were voiced by Walter Jones (Zack), Catherine Sutherland (Katherine) and Archie Kao (Kai).
Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger had the Master of Disguise Shurikenger, who never demorphed (he sacrificed his human form to get his powers and is only seen unsuited as a silhouette in a flashback to that day) but is always at first in disguise as some random civilian. Every single one is another sentai actor. When changing to Shurikenger, most used the pre-changing poses from their show — and even when that was impossible in one case, due to a lack of a pose, Kenji Ohba (he's both Shiro/Battle Kenya and Daigoro/Denji Blue, but the poses you expect these days didn't exist that early on) did the Space Sheriff Gavan pose instead.
Tetsu Inada is one of the series' go-to voice actors, and he played Doggie Kruger, the chief of SPD's Earth branch, in Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger. Taking out a Monster of the Week was referred to as "deleting" them that year. So when he played an MOTW in Juken Sentai Gekiranger, he says to the other monster, "Let's delete them!" while doing the SPD salute.
There is an episode of Dragnet where they meet a priest who explains that they are looking for a plaster doll of the baby Jesus that was taken from the church. So they question the altar boy, and an old man who runs a pawn shop. Maybe ten years later, they do a remake of the show. They get the actor who played the altar boy, to play the priest, and they get the same man to play the part of the pawnbroker.
In the new Battlestar Galactica, casting Richard Hatch (who played Captain Apollo in the original series) being cast as terrorist-cum-politician-cum-dictator Tom Zarek. In the episode he first appears on, both Zarek and Apollo turn their heads when someone calls out "Hey, Apollo!"
For bonus points, he spends most of his first episode giving breaking speeches to Lee "Apollo" Adama.
For bonus-bonus points, the armour-piercing lecture was about what it meant to be the Great Captain Adamas son.
This also works well with the setup that the events of BSG happen over and over again with everyone being reincarnated into a different role every time.
In that case James Callis as Baltar was just a Dirk Benedict stand-in...
And Dirk Benedict, Starbuck in the original series, does a great double-take as Faceman in The A-Team, when a cylon centurion passes him at the Universal Studios. The moment is preserved in the credit sequence, of course.
In the Stargate SG-1 episode 200, Vala Mal Doran (played by Claudia Black), when challenged to come up with a more obscure property to rip-off for her movie pitch, launches into a full-blown parody of Farscape which basically consists of the SG-1 cast as the Farscape crew repeating every single one of Farscape's alien curse words in the shortest span possible.
There's also a slight subversion in that Ben Browder doesn't play Crichton in the parody—Michael Shanks does. Browder plays Stark.
When Vala and Mitchell first meet, Mitchell asks her if they've met before. When Vala sees Mitchel and Daniel together later, she comments about the "interesting but somewhat limited gene pool" Earth appears to have.
A rare non-comic example: Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High would often pick which plots happened to who based on the actors' real lives. For instance, 13-year-old-Joey takes a car out for a joyride... after Pat Mastroiani, who played him, really did take the set crew's van out for a joyride. When the writers wanted to do a storyline about a kid losing his parents, they made it happen to Wheels... whose actor, Neil Hope, had lost his father years before. Kathleen was beaten by her abusive boyfriend... and the actress who played her had been date-raped at age 14. (The writers have not said whether they knew that last bit at the time they wrote the abuse story.)
This is apparently his thing. He and Meatloaf also showed up as a pair of conservative straw-men trying to stop Glee's Rocky Horror production.
When Ed Tudor-Pole was hired as the second presenter of The Crystal Maze after Richard O'Brien, it may have occured to the creators that three years earlier he had played Riff-Raff in the 1990 stage revival (and on the Rocky Horror Show: The Whole Gory Story soundtrack album). Or it might have been a coincidence.
Both versions of The Outer Limits did adaptations of Eando Binder's story "I, Robot", and Leonard Nimoy appeared in both, as a reporter in the original and the robot's lawyer in the remake. Similarly, when the new Outer Limits remade "A Feasibility Study" from the original series, they cast David McCallum, who had been in two episodes of the original (though not that one).
In an episode of Happy Endings, Brad, played by Damon Wayans Jr., is expecting a visit from his father. When he arrives, he is played by none other than Wayans' father, Damon Wayans, Sr. (In the episode, both Wayans also make reference to the 1990s Bulls. The senior Wayans is close friends with Michael Jordan.)
The British show Doctors once had a Patient of the Week who was an actor best known for his role as a mysterious time-traveller in a decades-old children's programme. Any plausible deniability that Doctor Who was meant was scotched when they cast Sylvester McCoy, a.k.a. the Seventh Doctor, in the role.
In Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the head of MI-6 (one the suspects who may be the Russian mole) is played by Michael Aldridge. A few years later, one episode of Yes, Prime Minister had Michael Aldridge as the head of MI-5, bringing Hacker the news that his predecessor had been a Russian mole...
Sergeant O'Rourke is played by Forrest Tucker, who once portrayed an "O'Rourke" Cavalry Sergeant on Gunsmoke.
Trooper Duffy (Bob Steele) is an elderly cavalryman who claims to be the sole survivor of the Alamo. Steele was previously a 1930s and '40s western star, and had once been in a movie about meeting Davy Crockett at the Alamo.
In Arrested Development, after firing lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn (played by Henry Winkler), Bob Loblaw is hired and played by Scott Baio, who also replaced Winkler on Happy Days. This is specifically mentioned by Loblaw. Gets even better when you remember Ron Howard is running the show.
In one episode Barry literally jumps over a shark.
In the episode where Tobias goes to prison to study a film role, he gets in because the warden is an appreciator of film...and played by James Lipton, who was mocked mercilessly at the end of David Cross' stand-up special The Pride is Back.
In an episode called "Family Ties", a woman who Michael believes to be his sister (but ultimately isn't) is played by Justine Bateman, Jason Bateman's actual sister. Also, her most famous role was in Family Ties.
In "My Best Friend's Wedding" — the Scrubs episode where Turk and Carla get married — Takei is cast as the priest at their wedding. At first this wouldn't seem to be a casting gag. But then, when Turk gets a call on his cell phone — during the ceremony! — he flips it open like an Original Series communicator. Casting Takei just so they could do that gag may be about the biggest stretch anybody has gone to for a casting gag.
Turk actually points out earlier in the episode that the preist looks like Sulu.
Community: French Stewart appeared on the show playing a professional impersonator of French Stewart.
In My Name Is Earl Burt Reynolds plays the character Big Chubby. His son, Little Chubby, is played by Norm MacDonald: the actor who plays Burt Reynolds in the Saturday Night Live Celebrity Jeopardy skits. In fact, Little Chubby pretty much is the Celebrity Jeopardy version of Burt Reynolds. He even has the same laugh.
Clive Mantel played Little John in Robin of Sherwood, and so there seems to be this involved in Game of Thrones, where he plays Jon Umber, generally known as The Greatjon.
Amusingly, in the books at least the Greatjon has a son even bigger than he is who is called Smalljon.
Casting Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell seems like an example of this. Dormer played Anne Boleyn in The Tudors- Anne is a beautiful young woman whose family is involved in court machinations, has a close bond with her gay brother, and ultimately finds herself tried for promiscuity before a Kangaroo Court. Margaery is a beautiful young woman whose family is involved in court machinations, has a close bond with her gay brother... (you get the point) This is likely a deliberate choice as Margaery and the Tyrells are a sort of heroic subversion of the type of scheming and debauched royals who get HBO series (i.e. The Boleyns and Margaery's rival Cersei/The Lannister family).
Sesame Street had a recurring sketch that parodied Miami Vice as Miami Mice. The American sketches in the German Sesamstrasse were dubbed by the same studio as Miami Vice, so the voice artists who already played Crocket and Tubbs played their rodent equivilents.
Porn stars cast as porn stars (live TV edition):
Savanna Samson has appeared as a porn star on two TV series where Tina Fey was head writer. In a 2006 episode of Saturday Night Live, she was in the gag commercial for a porno called "101 Fellations". Three years later in the 30 Rock episode titled "Into the Crevasse", she played "Porn Liz" in Tracy's Rule 34 porn video of the show.
In the Dutch soap opera Goede tijden, slechte tijden, one character, played by Ferry Doedens, is currently looking for tickets to go see Wicked. In real life, Ferry plays Fiyero part of the time.
All over the place on Chuck. Fedak and Schwartz made an effort to squeeze in appearances by as many geek culture icons as was humanly possible over the series's run, and you can expect that there will be an Actor Allusion along the way. Some notable ones:
Scott Bakula, complete with an "Oh boy!" Bakula even went meta in the network lead-in to his first appearance. When announcing Chuck, he commented that he felt like he's "been here before." Quantum Leap aired on NBC (though in a different time slot, which would have made the gag even better.
Cyndi Lauper played Avalon, a psychic in the Bones episode "Harbingers in the Fountain", as well as the show's 150th episode, "The Ghost In the Machine". In an earlier episode, "The Wannabe In the Weeds", Brennan sang a rousing chorus of Cyndi's biggest hit, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".
Mercedes McNab also played a vampire, after having played one on Buffy and Angel.
James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter from both shows played witches in Supernatural.
Harry Groener who played Mayor Wilkins in Buffy.
One episode of Scrubs featured four elderly doctors who had got sick at a medical convention ... played by the four leads from St. Elsewhere.
Speaking of, one episode of Grey's Anatomy featured a woman played by Sarah Chalke (Elliot from Scrubs) who brings in her son for treatment, and ends up correctly diagnosing his illness after the doctors couldn't find out what was wrong with him. Ironically, Scrubspreviously made fun of the idea of patients self-diagnosing using information from the internet (Wikipedia specifically). Though, this story was actually Ripped from the Headlines.
Steve Valentine from I'm In The Band also plays a rock star in "100 Clues".
"No Country for Two Old Men", the episode that takes place largely in Mexico, features Jeffrey Tambor, who plays George Senior in Arrested Development, which had going to Mexico as a plot point/Running Gag.
In one episode Frasier and Niles try to help a former Shakespearian actor Jackson Hedley revive his theatrical career by producing him in a one man version of Hamlet, but they realize to their horror that he's actually a terrible actor, who does a laughably overwrought performance of the play. The gag is that Hedley is played by Derek Jacobi, an acclaimed Shakespearian actor.
In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama Pier Pressure 1930s comedian Max Miller is played by Roy Hudd, president of the Max Miller Appreciation Society.
Cate Blanchett is currently playing the title character in an Australian production of Richard II. Richard and Queen Elizabeth I have famously been compared—Elizabeth herself allegedly even said "I am Richard II; know ye not that?"
Anne Hathaway's just-announced role as the lead in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night might also qualify, though it's more of a casting pun.
They should make a movie about Shakespeare's life just so they can cast Anne Hathaway as Anne Hathaway.
In Hamlet Polonious has a line about having played Julius Caesar as a a student. This has led to speculation that the actor playing Polonious did indeed play Julius Caesar...and that the same actor played both Brutus and Hamlet, therefore killing Polonious twice.
Jesse L. Martin, the original Collins in Rent, was in the Rock OperaBright Lights Big City as the protagonist's best friend, who expressed disdain for "yuppies" and enjoyed using certain, um, recreational substances.
Is that a casting gag or just unintentional? It's still awesome anyway.
Arsenic and Old Lace inverted this in the original stage version. The psychotic older brother berates his surgical henchman because someone said he looked like Boris Karloff. In the original Broadway cast, he was played by Boris Karloff. As the production was still making money at the time the film was set to be produced, the stage producers wouldn't allow Karloff out of his contract long enough to appear in the film version, and so the film producers had to make do with a heavily-made-up Raymond Massey.
The Grand Theft Auto series is rife with this trope, with Samuel L. Jackson, Ice-T and Peter Fonda in San Andreas, Phillip Michael Thomas, Jenna Jameson and Burt Reynolds in Vice City, and Michael Madsen, Robert Loggia and Joe Pantoliano in GTA III, as well as pretty much every DJ on every radio station ever since III.
James Woods as a jittery, paranoid goverment agent sure seems to fit.
Gary Oldman as the Russian Commander Reznov in Call of Duty World at War. Oldman had previously played the Russian terrorist Ivan Korshunov in Air Force One. His American counterpart is voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, of 24 fame. Sutherlands's previous voice-acting job was as the American general W.R. Monger in Monsters vs. Aliens.
In Call of Duty: Black Ops, Ed Harris plays a CIA agent in the 1960's involved in many missions in Southeast Asia. In The Rock, he played an Marine general who was famous for his black ops exploits in 1960's southeast asia.
Mass Effect 2: Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) voices the Normandy's AI, EDI. In Mass Effect 3 she gets a sexy female robot platform to travel around in. Several of her conversations have comments that are obvious references to her role as a Cylon, including at least once when she specifically says "By your command."
In League of Legends many of the voice actors for the champions are similar to roles they've played in the past. The most recent one? Dan Green voices Azir, the Emperor of the Sands. Yes, Pharaoh Atem is voicing another Pharaoh.
The Time... Guys made their three-person cast a joke. One actor plays every single historical character the gang meets.
A somewhat obscure but particularly clever example of this was casting Fred Savage and Jason Hervey (the brothers from The Wonder Years) as Hawk and Dove, only reversing the relationship dynamic by casting Savage as Hawk and Hervey as Dove.
Legend has it originally Savage and Hervey had the opposite roles, but for one take they decided to switch characters, and the director decided it worked better.
Another Batman: The Brave and the Bold one: John Wesley Shipp played Barry Allen on the short-lived Flash live-action series in the 90s. In "Requiem for a Flash", he voiced Evil Counterpart, the Reverse-Flash/Professor Zoom. (It gets better: In that live-action series, when trying to get information from the bad guys, Barry once pretended to be a "Professor Zoom" who created the Flash. So he's kinda-sorta reprising the role of Professor Zoom.)
Arguably the best casting gag of the DCAU was when Adam West was cast to play a washed up, Type Cast actor by the name of Simon Trent, who prior resents his role as a live-action TV hero.
In the tie in comic Batman Adventures, an in-universe example occurred as Bruce Wayne had some creative control in producing a new Grey Ghost movie and chose Simon Trent to play the mayor.
Henry Rollins, an anti-authoritarian and passionate rock musician, was cast as Mad Stan, an anti-authoritarian and passionate villain with a penchant for high explosives. He even quotes part of his "Information overload" monologue as Spider from Johnny Mnemonic.
In Batman: The Animated Series, Thomas Wayne is voiced by Richard Moll; who also voiced Harvey Dent and was one of Bruce's few friends in Gotham. Another gag is seen by the roles of Martha Wayne and Selina Kyle/Catwoman (both of which are some of the most important women in Bruce's life; judging from The Cat and the Claw) played by Adrienne Barbeau.
In the Batman Beyond 2-parter "The Call" which featured the Justice League, Christopher McDonald voiced the older Superman; MacDonald also notably voiced Superman's father Jor-El. There's also another gag in the episode with the aquatic heroine Aquagirl, who's voiced by Jodi Benson of The Little Mermaid fame.
Just before the resurgence of superhero movies stated above, Stan Lee has already been making cameo appearances in assorted Marvel Comics animated series, specifically the Spider-Man ones. The first season of Spectacular Spider-Man, already has this covered. Of special note is his cameo in the 90s Fox Kid's Spider-Man - as himself, when Spider-Man travels to an alternate universe, implied to be ours, where Spider-Man is a comic book character. He's also the janitor in Ultimate Spider-Man and the mayor in The Super Hero Squad Show.
Stan Lee (90s Spider-Man 'toon finale): Now how do I get down from here... Maybe the Fantastic Four will swing by...
Also of note, Joan Clayton Lee, Stan Lee's wife, played the voice of Madame Web in that series. So naturally, writer Stan finds Madame Web quite interesting in the finale.
Ed Asner was famous for his role as news editor Lou Grant (a character very similar to J Jonah Jameson) in MTM Enterprises' shows. He was eventually cast as JJ in this show.
Gargoyles does this a lot with Star Trek. The original two antagonists were members of the TNG cast, and over the course of the series seven other primary cast members from across four Star Trek series appeared on the show, many of them in reoccurring roles.
David Hyde Pierce playing the role of Cecil, Sideshow Bob's brother on The Simpsons (alluding to the show Frasier, in which he played Kelsey Grammer's brother). In a later episode, Bob and Cecil's dad was voiced by John Mahoney, who played Frasier and Niles' dad on Frasier.
At one point, Bart even covers Cecil's eyes with his hands and declares "Guess who?" Cecil's response is "Maris?", who's Niles' wife on Frasier.
In the episode "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000," one of the villains trying to trick the Apple family out of their farm is voiced by Samuel Vincent, who has had previous experience pulling off scams.
And Discord, a very chaotic Trickster God type, is voiced by John de Lancie, aka Q.
When Phineas and Ferb went to Hawaii, the hotel manager was voiced by Phill Lewis, who also plays a hotel manager on someotherDisney Channel shows. And since Candace decides to take time off from busting her brothers, he becomes the one running around trying to stop two boys from causing havoc...
An episode of The Venture Bros. featured Hank becoming a Robin-like teen sidekick to a superhero named Captain Sunshine. Who voiced Sunshine? Kevin Conroy. Though interestingly enough, the hero is more of a Superman parody despite the sidekick relation.
Kim Possible had "The Fearless Ferrett" have Ron Stoppable as the next "Fearless Ferret," a in-joke in that Ron's VA, Will Friedle, voiced Terry McGinnis as the Future Batman in Batman Beyond. The first Fearless Ferrett, Timothy North, was voiced by Adam West. When Mr. North saw Kim, he then mused about "Ferret Girl"...then called her "Ferret Girl" again when he seems Kim again when The White Stripe tries to take on Ron.
Superman and Green Lantern are respectively voiced by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, with Green Lantern constantly getting on Superman's nerves. The two played the leads in directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller's previous film.
Disney's Mickey Mouseworks series features several shorts featuring Three Little Pigs. These updated cartoons feature Bill Farmer as Practical Pig and Jim Cummings as the Big Bad Wolf. This makes the second time they've played a Foil to one another, the first being respectively as Goofy and Pete, in tribute to the fact that these sets of characters were originally voiced by Pinto Colvig and Billy Bletcher back in the 1930's.
In SpongeBob SquarePants, Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway are paired together as the comically inept nautical-themed superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, referencing the duo's previous roles as the comically inept naval officers Quinton McHale and Chuck Parker in the 1960's sitcom McHale's Navy.
In ''My Little Pony Equestria Girls the main villain is a Shadow Archtype of main charcter Twlight Sparkle, named Sunset Shimmer. In addtion to having similar names and contrasting color schemes (that being a red/yellow version of dusk rather then purple), the gag extends all the way to their voice actresses. Sunset's actress? Twlight's singing voice: Rebecca Shoichet