One popular form of The Cameo is to have a franchise's creator, or a film's director or producer, appear in the franchise itself.
Similar to Author Avatar, but an Author Avatar is a creator appearing as more or less himself/herself, as opposed to a cameo as someone else. Many comics will have their creators drawn in as background characters, although they rarely have dialogue. In video games, very likely to appear in any Developer's Room.
May lead to Death by Cameo, or be expanded into Descended Creator.
Tezuka makes appearances in several chapters of Black Jack.
In "Legs of an Ant", Tezuka draws himself as a passer-by warning Mitsuo about a forest fire on the road ahead. Amusingly, he has "Why am I here anyway?" written on the back of his shirt.
In "U-18 Knew", Tezuka appears as a patient suffering from "chronic deadlinitis".
He also cameos as the doctor in "Tenacity" who helps cancer-ridden medical student Yamanobe to treat another cancer patient before he dies.
Go Nagai has appeared in many of his manga adapations, including the live-action Cutie Honey (the movie saw Honey smashing the window of his car giving Nagai a nice Panty Shot, while in Cutie Honey the Live, he appears in the DVD exclusive 26th episode) and Devilman productions.
Akira Toriyama (as the little gas-mask wearing robot) makes a cameo during Dragon Ball's last filler arc. He's right there in the audience watching the tournament on the Grand Kai's planet.
Shinichi "Nabeshin" Watanabe has made this his signature, most prominently in Excel♥Saga. ES gets Bonus Points for also heavily featuring Koshi Rikdo, the creator of the original comic, and many of the episode openings revolve around the two butting heads about what direction the story should go.
Fujiki Shun also appears on several occasions in his manga Hajimete No Aku.
A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example: In episode 13 of Fullmetal Alchemist, Roy and Ed are having an alchemy duel and Roy sends one of his flame attacks into the crowd, causing them to fly into the air. One of the soldiers flies past the screen in such a way that his face takes up most of the screen at one point, and looks suspiciously Japanese, considering Ed's country is apparently supposed to be European of sorts. If you compare the man to a picture of the director of the anime, you'll see they're one and the same.
The bovine self-caricature of original creator Hiromu Arakawa makes stealth appearances in several episodes as well, including the scene in which Winry is yelling at a hospitalized Ed to drink his milk, and again much later on when Sheska is describing her UFO-related conspiracy theories to Winry.
Director Kenji Kamiyama appears briefly in one scene of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - he's driving a car in some security feed footage pulled up by Section 9 while they try to track down Hideo Kuze.
Motoko & Kitsune hijacked his boat in the New Years' special.
He is always overtly called by his name in these situations, though... likely because no one would be able to tell who he was since he is drawn pretty much identically to Keitaro (to the surprise of no one).
Eiichiro Oda later appears in the Platform FighterOne Piece: Gigant Battle 2 as an assist character. He can weaponize objects he's drawn. (He has no collaboration on the game itself though.)
In the film Paprika, director Satoshi Kon and original author Yasutaka Tsutsui provide the voices for the spectral bartenders at Paprika's bar. In one cast interview actor Tōru Furuya revealed that even he didn't know this until he looked at the back of the film's bill at the premiere.
Blue Beetle creators Len Wein and Paris Cullins appear in the fourth issue of Ted Kord's first DC solo series.
Grant Morrison has a door in the 4th wall. He even appears in comics that he didn't write (Tales of the Unexpected #7 and Suicide Squad #58).
Hergé, the author of Tintin, was quite fond of making cameos in his own comics, and later the cartoon series. Full list here.
He shows up in a very heartwarming cameo in the very beginning of the Spielberg/Jackson film, as well. As the film opens, Tintin is in a flea market getting a caricature of his face drawn (in the style of the comic, naturally), and when we get a glimpse of the artist, it's Hergé! He remarks that Tintin's face is very familiar, and wonders if he's drawn him before.
Artist Kurt Schaffenberger drew himself into many stories he illustrated. (Look for a tall, thin, dark haired man with a mustache and wearing glasses.)
The co-creators of Atomic Robo, writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener, appear in Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time #5 as Louis and Martin, respectively, the two bumbling Action Scientists who almost accidentally end the universe.
In Dirty Pair: Fatal but not Serious, a picture of author/illustrator Adam Warren appears on the label of "Adam's Cranberry Lambic" beer.
Creator Fred Perry of Gold Digger often loves doing these in his comics. He usually the bald black person meandering around in the background or doing news reports.
Albert Uderzo frequently drew himself and René Goscinny into Astérix as background characters. In Asterix and the Black Gold, the second book after Goscinny's death, Uderzo gives him a greater role as the Gauls' Judean ally Saul ben Ephishul. There is a list of appearances here.
In an issue of Transmetropolitan, Spider Jerusalem is accosted in a bar by a man who wants his son mentioned in Spider's column. He bears a striking physical resemblance to the comic's writer, Warren Ellis, while the man accompanying him looks just its artist, Darick Robertson.
Both Ellis and Robertson show up several issues later, drawn much more like themselves, as people attending the election night party in Spider's apartment.
Chris Claremont appears a few times over the course of his fifteen years writing the X-Men series, and when he does, something awful usually happens to him. In an early appearance, he's nearly crushed by falling debris during a fight between Phoenix and Firelord. Later, he has his car stolen by Kitty Pryde in the Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem one-shot and ends up marooned in the middle of nowhere in Scotland, and an employee of Mojo's who acts a lot like him gets killed.
John Byrne, during his run on Fantastic Four, appeared in the comic as the guy who wrote and drew the in-universe Fantastic Four comic. The Watcher actually picked him up and brought him into space so both he and Byrne could watch the trial of Reed Richards.
John Wagner appeared in a Judge Dredd strip called Old Pals Act, where he runs amok around the Big Meg in a bathtub.
Ponies resembling both Katie Cook and Andy Price appear in the first issue, page 3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW). Pony!Katie briefly appears later to laugh at a mule joke, who happens to represent her husband (he hates Fluttershy, so this was revenge). This also counts as an indirect example of Interspecies Romance. Andy has drawn himself along with his wife as pony characters at least twice (Issue #1, and the Rarity Micro-comic).
Wild Fire, the pony avatar of series storyboard artist Sabrina "Sibsy" Alberghetti, appears in issue #1.
An early panel of #7 shows OCs of Sibsy (Wild Fire) and fan musician Mando Pony and a later panel has an appearance from Holly Giesbrech (Holly Dash) among other background ponies in Ponyville.
The ponies based on Katie Cook, Andy Price, and his wife from Issue #1 of the ongoing return in My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #3. Katie can be seen playing cards during the after-party, while Andy and his wife are at the second fashion show.
Sleepy Skies, the OC of Cat Whitney who is a close friend of storyboardist Sabrina Alberghetti, appears in one shot.
Tara Strong's fan-made OC (the one with the toga and heart-on-microphone cutie mark) appears during the second fashion show. An odd cameo, seeing as this issue doesn't focus on Twilight.
The current director of Marvel's Project: Pegasus organization is a "Dr. Gruenwald," who's there to honor the late Mark Gruenwald, the Project's original creator.
Alfred Hitchcock might be the Trope Maker. He has a cameo in almost every film he ever directed. In most cases, he carries an item, like musical instruments, a conductor's baton, or dogs on a leash, to symbolize his control of the film. He likened these cameos to an artist adding their signature to a painting. Hitchcock eventually started making these cameos near the beginning of the film so audiences wouldn't be distracted by looking for him.
Sometimes they had to work hard to get the cameo in. In Lifeboat, almost all of which takes place in the titular lifeboat, he's a face in a newspaper advertisement. In Dial M for Murder, a stage play adaptation most of which takes place in a single apartment set, he's a face in a class reunion photo. In Rope, all of which takes place in one apartment, his famous profile is shown in neon lights as part of an advertisement.
Lampshaded in the Murder, She Wrote episode "Incident at Lot 7". Jessica Fletcher visits Hollywood to speak with a movie producer who's adapting one of her books to the screen, and ends up investigating a murder that took place on the Universal lots, specifically the Bates Motel set from Psycho. At the beginning of the episode, a portly balding man, vaguely resembling Hitchcock, is seen crossing the street, complete with a few bars of "Funeral March of the Marionette"
Martin Scorsese appears in almost all of his films, usually in a small but symbolic role.
The passenger who fantasizes about killing his wife in Taxi Driver.
A guy with the spotlight in the punk club in After Hours.
The directors of Mulan, Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft are animated as the two guards in the fireworks tower.
Pretty much any movie based on a comic book by Stan Lee will have the man making an appearance. He's somewhere in pretty much every production based on a Marvel property, including as a voice actor in animated series. His appearances in Marvel movies include:
He does not have a cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Elektra, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: First Class, or The Wolverine. He quipped for the last of these that it was to encourage the movie-goers to buy a second ticket by making them believe they had missed him the first time around. And later explained that he is unable to cameo in movies which aren't filmed in the United States anymore (and even when did travel to Canada in 2013, he passed on X-Men: Days of Future Past in Montreal to attend a convention in Toronto).
Speaking of Marvel films, Sam Raimi has a couple of cameos in the Spider-Man movies; as the outtakes from the second film point out, he plays the student whose backpack smacks Peter in the head during a montage.
Christopher Young, who scored Spider-Man 3, can be seen as the pianist next to Kirsten Dunst in the rehearsal scene.
Quentin Tarantino also has minor walk-ons in his own films, sometimes more. He plays Mr Brown in Reservoir Dogs and Jimmie in Pulp Fiction. He wrote out his own part in Kill Bill to give the role to an actor he respected and admired. He has two cameos in Inglourious Basterds: he is the first German soldier we see being scalped up close, and his hands replace those of Christopher Waltz hands during the shots not showing his face as Landa is choking Diane Kruger's character to death. Most of his cameo appearances fall into Death by Cameo.
The author of the novel Holes, Louis Sachar, makes a cameo in the film version as Mr. Collingwood, a bald man who Sam the onion picker gives a supposed "Hair tonic".
Interestingly, he first seemed to like casting himself as someone who has a negative impact on the protagonists, like the doctor who suspects Cole's mother of abusing him in The Sixth Sense, a man who David falsely suspects of carrying a gun in Unbreakable, and the driver of the car that killed Graham's wife in Signs.
He put a cameo of himself in each one of The Lord of the Rings movies: as a human eating a carrot in Fellowship of the Ring, as a Rohirric soldier throwing a spear at an Orc in The Two Towers, and he was actually killed by Legolas and Gimli in Return of the King. His children show up in several of the crowd scenes, too.
In the commentary, he regrets that he didn't make his Two Towers cameo as one of the Men of Dunland who Saruman convinces to attack Rohan, as it would have meant acting alongside Christopher Lee.
And in the Return of the King scene, all the others pirates are played by the production team as well.
Jackson's sword arm doubles for Sean Astin's, in the first shot of the scene where Sam confronts Shelob.
Jackson actually cut out his own cameo in The Frighteners, because he was unsatisfied with his own American accent. However, in the extended version of the movie, Michael J. Fox bumps into him shortly after noticing who will be the next victim.
Jackson also appears as a biplane gunner in King Kong. This is an homage to a similar cameo made by Merian C. Cooper in the original King Kong.
In Dead Alive, Jackson plays the giggly assistant to the mortician tending to Vera's body before her memorial service.
Later, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, their roles were expanded further to Author Avatars when they featured as the main characters in the episode "Sphere of Influence", with George Lucas' original character becoming a Papa Wolf after his daughters are kidnapped by Greedo.
On that note, Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand voices the sadistic droid in Jabba's palace and portrays a rebel fighter.
Sound designer Ben Burtt (now best known as the voice of WALL•E) appears in Jedi as the Imperial soldier who finds Han in the shield generator and shouts "Freeze," only to promptly be killed. He even tries to imitate the Wilhelm Scream he popularized!
Stephen King frequently appears in very minor roles in film adaptations of his books/stories (e.g. the grocery store clerk in Maximum Overdrive, the pizza delivery person in Rose Red), with the exception of the Creepshow installment The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, where he plays the title character. This goes the opposite way in his own literature: his appearance in The Dark Tower series becomes important.
Airplane!: The movie's directors - Jim Abrahams appears as a religious zealot and the Zuckers appear as airport ground crew.
Wing Commander series creator Chris Roberts, who also directed the movie, had a brief appearance as the rescue pilot from the end of the movie, welcoming Blair to Sol System.
In the 1971 film The Andromeda Strain, one of the doctors who does not speak in the operating room where Mark Hall gets called up by the army is played by Michael Crichton, author of the book.
Trainspotting had a cameo from Irvine Welsh as drug dealer Mikey Forrester.
Precious the author Sapphire has a cameo in the very beginning, in one of Precious' fantasy sequences.
In the Twilight film seires, Stephenie Meyer appears as a patron in the diner, and later in Breaking Dawn Part 1 as a guest at Bella's wedding. This might actually be a case of being an Author Avatar, because she's actually addressed as "Stephenie" by the waitress.
John Waters has these fairly often. Mostly he'll be heard rather than seen - he's the uncredited narrator of Pink Flamingos, the voice of Ted Bundy in Serial Mom, and a prank-calling pervert in Pecker for example. He also has cameos in both the original Hairspray and the film version of The Musical: In the former he has a couple of brief scenes as Penny Pingleton's psychiatrist, and in the latter he's a flasher.
In Tapeheads, the composers of the film's score, Fishbone, appear as a country-western band called Ranchbone.
Spoofed in Whats Up Tiger Lily - a couple walk by the hero, who mutters to his partner "Don't look now, honey, this is the obligatory scene where the director always has to walk through with his wife. ...Egomaniac."
David Lynch appears in his adaptation of Dune as the foreman of the spice mine that's destroyed by a sandworm.
In Inland Empire, he voices a sound engineer that gets bossed around by the film director character (played by Jeremy Irons), which inverts his own role as the actual director.
King Kong directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack are fighter pilots in the climax, after Cooper off-handedly suggested in real life "We should kill the son of a bitch ourselves." Peter Jackson copied this in his remake.
A couple of examples in The Flintstones: The original creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera appear as an executive at the meeting and a man driving a Mersandes, and director Brian Levant is the voice of the prehistoric pig at the bowling alley.
Hanna-Barbera are guests at Fred's wedding in the sequel.
In Gremlins 2: The New Batch director Joe Dante plays the director of The Grandpa Fred show and he voiced the gremlin that was shot by Brain Gremlin and the one in the witch costume.
In his earlier film Piranha he was one of the scuba divers near the middle that was presumably eaten off screen.
The Live-Action Adaptation of Vampirella has a short, full screen shot of Vampirella creator Forrest J. Ackerman as a music club patron.
The punk on bus with the ghetto blaster in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was played by associate producer Kirk R. Thatcher. The scene wasn't his idea, but he did insist on writing the song "I Hate You" for use in it. He also does the Vulcan computer's voice.
In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, comic author Bryan Lee O'Malley and his wife Hope Larson are seen in the bar before The Clash at Demonhead perform at Lee's Palace. Additionally, O'Malley's sister Stacey appears as a customer using her laptop at Second Cup.
Co-writer Michael Bacall is seen talking to Comeau in the opening party.
In TRON: Legacy, series creator Steven Lisberger is the bartender at the End of Line Club. The credits and supplemental material list his character's name as Shaddix.
Oh, God! director Carl Reiner appears in the movie as a guest on the Dinah Shore Show (before Jerry's segment).
In The Jerk Reiner plays himself, heading a mass lawsuit against Navin Johnson.
Although Howard Shore's score for Peter Jackson's King Kong was thrown out, Shore himself appears in the movie as the conductor of the pit orchestra for the Kong stage show.
In addition to scoring both Gremlins movies, Jerry Goldsmith appears in them as well (looking directly at the camera in the convention scene in the first one and as a disgruntled cinema patron in the second).
Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, the writers who wrote Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and created the characters, appear as the annoying waiters serving ice cream to Napoleon. They also appear in the sequel as guests at Missy's seance.
In Yes-Man, Danny Wallace, the author of the original book appears in one scene.
Noel Clarke, writer and co-director of 220.127.116.11, has an entire supporting role as the manager of the store Emma Roberts works at (and he not only has Emma and another cast member discuss his sex appeal - and gives himself "AND" billing in the closing credits to boot - but actually appears on the poster!).
In The Cannonball Run, screenwriter Brock Yates appears as the race organizer and director Hal Needham appears as the ambulance EMT who inspires J.J. and Victor to use an ambulance as their vehicle.
The Graduate features Buck Henry, who cowrote the screenplay, as the hotel desk clerk ("Are you here for an affair, sir?").
In Dragonheart, director Rob Cohen is Draco's singing voice. He also makes an appearance in the second con scene (the one where the water is too shallow): he is the villager that walks out and says "Meat!" first.
James Cameron appears in Titanic at the start of the movie: he is the third-class passenger getting his beard checked. Also, when it shows "Jack's" hands sketching Rose, they are actually Cameron's hands; you'll notice that they look too old to be Jack's.
Due to a lack of extras, when Richard is escaping from the facility in Clonus, the guard he punches out is the director, Robert S. Fiveson.
In Murder-Rock: Dancing Death, he appears as the talent agent who phones Candice.
Though uncredited, as Inspector Carter in Demonia.
He's the protagonist of Cat in the Brain.
In the 1986 version of The Fly, Geena Davis' character has a nightmare where she gives birth to a giant maggot. The doctor who delivers it is director David Cronenberg.
Rosemary's Baby gives its executive producer, William Castle, a cameo as the man waiting outside a phone booth while Rosemary makes a call.
Brian Singer has two in The Usual Suspects. The most traditional is that his hands double as the hands of Keyser Soze in one scene. The less obvious is also a case of Throw It In: during the line-up scene, after Benicio del Toro mumbles one of his lines in a bizarre voice, Singer can be heard, presumably as one of the cops, shouting "In English, please!" That was actually Singer-as-director shouting, because he had no idea what del Toro was doing with the character, but he decided to leave that take in the movie.
The other cop giving orders to the characters is played by screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie.
Bob Kane was supposed to cameo in the original Batman film as the newspaper cartoonist who gives Knox a mocking drawing of Batman. He didn't end up playing the character in the final cut, but the drawing is signed in his name with his very distinct box-shaped signature.
Douglas Adams's face is all over The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy—his head is a planet on the Magrathean factory floor and the last thing the Heart of Gold turns into before disappearing, and Humma Kavula's church is in the shape of his nose.
Willie Mosconi, 15-time winner of the World Straight Pool Championship, was the technical advisor for The Hustler. He trained Paul Newman on pool techniques, and has a cameo during the first match as the bystander who holds the stake money.
In Thomas Mann's novel The Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, the main character successfully cons a Scottish lord who is physically identical to Mann.
And in Mephisto, the novel by Thomas Mann's son, Klaus Mann, among several characters based on real people, there is also that of Sebastien Bruckner - based on the author's own person.
Kim Newman's short story "Pitbull Brittan", in the Temps anthology edited by Alex Stewart, features a brief mention of a bullied schoolboy named Sandy Stewart asking the title character for help. Later in the story, Sandy's pleas having been ignored, a news report reveals he has committed suicide.
Martin Amis in the novel Money - he beats his protagonist at chess.
This occurs in almost every Clive Cussler novel. Cussler's character will usually give the protagonists his current vehicle to aid them in their mission.
Jan Kantůrek, the Czech translator of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, managed to include himself in his translation of Jingo. At one point, a character says that Carrot talked like "a little schoolteacher"; naturally, he translated the word as "kantůrek" ("little teacher"), and italicized it for good measure.
Ayn Rand shows up in Atlas Shrugged as one of the denizens of Galt's Gulch, a fishwife who's also one of the best authors there. She notably also pines for John's affection.
East of Eden being partly about the author's family, obviously has him there a few times, mainly in one intercalary chapter explaining one of his Uncles. But it's most notable that he has a scene where Adam Trask shows up to his mother's house to speak with his Grandma, and they meet as John Steinbeck and his sister stand behind their mother.
The authors of Star Wars guide book The Essential Atlas, Daniel Wallace and Jason Fry, appear in an illustration as two hyperspace scouts in the book's section on galactic navigation. Chris Trevas, the illustrator who supplied that image, among others in the book, is also seen as participating in a holochess game in another picture.
Joss had also planned to do the Firefly theme song (the "Ballad of Serenity"), which he wrote; before Sonny Rhodes was chosen to record it. A recording of Joss singing the theme song is included as a special feature in the DVD box set.
David Fury appeared as a demon worshiper in one episode.
In the Musical Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, writers Marti Noxon and David Fury both have small singing parts - bemoaning a parking ticket and celebrating successful dry cleaning, respectively.
David Fury later played the Jim HensonExpy in the Angel episode "Smile Time" and appears as an audience member in the front row along with script supervisor Petra Jorgensen during Lorne's performance in "The House Always Wins".
And gets the literal last word of dialogue in all three!
Neil Gaiman appears in the background in one scene in the TV version of Neverwhere. On the commentary for the film version of Stardust, he laments not doing a cameo in the film, but the only scene he was on set for (the scene at the fake inn) was one where an extra's presence would make no sense.
Fans swear he's the one who starts the Slow Clap when Sheridan comes back from the dead, but he denies it.
Before this final episode, he was fond of saying "I don't make cameos, my initials do."
The entire production crew shows up right before the credits, with group photos in rapid fire freeze-frame style.
Creative consultant Harlan Ellison also makes a brief cameo in one episode as a Psi Cop.
Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, appeared as a police officer in the third season of the TV series.
Joss Whedon appears, though just in the background, at the end of Firefly episode "The Message".
He played the scientist interviewing River in "The R. Tam Sessions". She kills him.
Executive producer/showrunner Carlton Cuse has done multiple voice cameos on LOST, including a newscast in "Through the Looking Glass" and Jacob's call for help in "The Man Behind the Curtain." Co-creator/showrunner Damon Lindelof voices the pilot of the plane Jack is on in "Through the Looking Glass" and claims to have "played" Locke's hand when Locke flips the Pearl's lightswitch in "?"
"Two Cathedrals," the second season finale of The West Wing, has flashbacks to the president's teenage years, where we meet his abusive father. He's played by Lawrence O'Donnell, who was a producer on the show. The cameo wasn't planned, but O'Donnell read the part at a read-through before it had been cast and it was decided that he was very convincing in the role. In the series finale, Aaron Sorkin also appears briefly and silently in the inauguration scene.
Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, is seen in Merlotte's talking to Sam in the final episode of the second season of True Blood.
In the first season The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Giuoco Piano Affair", series co-creator/executive producer Norman Felton, series co-creator/producer Sam Rolfe, associate producer Joseph Calvelli, and episode director Richard Donner all have cameos as guests at a party hosted by episode guest star Jill Ireland (then-wife of series co-star David McCallum).
Stargate SG-1 episode 200 had a number of spoof concepts of how the series might look if it were based on another popular series. In the case of the Star Trek: The Original Series spoof, the Scottish engineer was one of the producers.
Also, writer/directors Peter De Luise and Martin Wood had a habit of appearing briefly in their own (and each other's) episodes.
Appeared very briefly in a few episodes of NCIS. The episode "SWAK" has him in a walk in role  at a hospital and in "Cover Story" where his portrait is sitting next to McGee's as authors in a book publishers office .
He also appears, along with his son, as a man and child being evacuated from the island of Boragora when its volcano is erupting in the Tales of the Gold Monkey episode "A Distant Shout of Thunder."
And in Quantum Leap's "A Portrait For Troian," he plays the man who Scott Bakula's leaped into that episode.
Also appears in JAG: First As Himself at a Quantum Leap fan convention in season 3, as Hugh Blackadder in "To Russia With Love", and later on in the ninth season, his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is directly shown.
Andy Breckman makes an appearance in "Mr. Monk and the TV Star" as the guy that walks past the golf cart Monk and Sharona are riding on at the studio
Executive Anthony Santa Croce is in "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan" where he is one of the guys sitting down in the background when Marci Maven begins bidding
In the start of "Mr. Monk and the Actor", when Monk and Natalie meet Randy at the crime scene, they see Stottlemeyer chatting with the show's producer David Hoberman and looking at a TV script.
And on a series-long version, Tony Shalhoub is not just Monk, he is also one of the executive producers.
In a season 2 episode of NUMB3RS, two guys from the Russian mafia come and threaten Charlie by sitting in the back of the room while he's teaching. One of them is Nick Falacci, one of the show's creators.
Simon Nye cast himself in two minor, non-speaking role in Men Behaving Badly - as "Catatonic Man" in 'Gary and Tony', and as Gary's Only Other Friend, Clive (previously The Ghost) in 'Wedding'.
Sons of Anarchy: Increasingly blind Big Otto is played by Series Creator Kurt Sutter.
In the first episode of Wire in the Blood, Val McDermid can be seen in the crowd outside the police station as a suspect is being transferred.
Chris Carter appeared in two episodes of The X-Files: in the final episode of season 2 he has a brief role as "Another Agent" questioning Scully in one scene, and has a non-speaking cameo as a cinema audience member at the beginning of season 7 episode "Hollywood A.D." He also appears in the background of a hospital scene in the second movie.
In Charmed the costume designer Eilish appears in season 4's "A Knight To Remember" seen in a picture with Paige from one of her work parties.
Frequent Farscape director Rowan Woods plays an acting role (rather more than a cameo) in the episode "John Quixote" as the fat male Zhaan-impersonator.
In Slings and Arrows, creators Susan Coyne and Mark McKinney play supporting roles as Anna Conroy and Richard Smith-Jones. The final member of the creative team, Bob Martin, makes his cameo as accountant Terry and gets a chance to deliver the "brief candle" monologue from Macbeth.
Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, in addition to having an Author Avatar as a main character (George), appears in extra and bit roles, sometimes thinly disguised but just as often clearly recognizable. In the spite of the frequency, this is never lampshaded, and he never develops into a consistent character as in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Writer Larry Charles, easily recognizable by his huge beard, had a few cameos too, most memorably the guy who stinks up the airplane bathroom before Elaine uses it in "The Airport."
Pretty Little Liars had Sara Shepard, the author of the original books the show is based from, as a substitute teacher.
Mark Goodson turned up on the panel of Match Game when panelist Charles Nelson Reilly was late.
The Price Is Right was created way back in 1956 by Bob Stewart, who infrequently turned up, notably on the nighttime show, to assist in staging merchandise the contestants were bidding on.
Kids in the Hall was told to hold a contest to add interest to the show. Not wanting to give away standard prizes like a free ticket to attend a taping, they decided the prize for their contest was going to be the right to poke Paul Bellini with a stick, one of the shows writers. The fact that Paul Bellini appeared in his skits wearing only a towel, never spoke, and the contest was called "Touch Paul Bellini," increased the absurdity of it. Before long, the Paul Bellini fan club had a larger membership than the Kids In The Hall fan club. He had a few more cameos (including a second contest where the prize was to have breakfast with him) before one speaking line during the final scene of series.
Paul Bellini: Thank God that's finally over. [dances on their graves]
Erle Stanley Gardner appeared as a judge in the last episode of Perry Mason. (Members of the crew also guested as — the crew of a television show.)
Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the Gossip Girl books, has a cameo as herself in "The Wrong Goodbye" meeting Serena van der Woodsen.
On the first season of Twin Peaks, Lynch voices an FBI (ahem) director that Agent Cooper talks to over the phone. By the second season, that character became an Ascended Extra.
Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence appears as bohemian Justice of the Peace "Van" (stretch it out - Vaaan) in season 8 "My Soul on Fire: Part 1" and "My Soul on Fire: Part 2". He marries the Janitor and Lady with the line "It is now time to join these two, as only the creator can."
Later, in the show's finale (My Finale: Part 2), he appears as a janitor and he and J.D. deliver the final goodbye of the show.
Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories book series, has frequent cameos on the show, including one singing role as the bishop in the Funky Monks song. Historical consultant Greg Jenner appears occasionally in nonspeaking roles, and producer Caroline Norris makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in the "Stupid Deaths" introduction.
Person of Interest: In the second season finale, "God Mode," Jonathan Nolan, Greg Plageman, and Richard J. Lewis all make a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo appearance near the end.
Monty Python's Flying Circus: Douglas Adams, who co-authored several sketches in the fourth series, had brief on-screen appearances in two episodes: near the beginning of "The Light Entertainment War" as a surgeon, and in "Mr. Neutron" as a Pepperpot loading a missile.
Reading Rainbow: Laurence and Cecily Lancit, as well as other real-life crew members, are seen in the third episode, Bea and Mr. Jones, making an episode of the show.
OnSoap, creator Susan Harris appears in a few episodes as Babette, the prostitute.
On the 1960 Columbia recording of On the Town, composer Leonard Bernstein not only conducts but also sings the part of the barker at Coney Island ("Rajah Bimmy"). When the recording was first issued, the singer was credited as Randel Striboneen. (It also had Betty Comden and Adolph Green in their original roles, which are hardly cameos.)
The head sculpt for the G.I. Joe action figure "Tunnel Rat" is based on Larry Hama, the longtime writer of the JoeComic Book. This was done by the toy developers as a tribute.
The first Ace Attorney has a cameo by Shu Takumi's dog Missile, as an enthusiastic (but not very useful) police dog.
A different Missile becomes a full-on cast member in Takumi's later game Ghost Trick. This time he's a Pomeranian, which is the same breed as Takumi's Missile.
Jacques Portsman's design is based on his voice actor, Yuuki Furukawa.
Buddy Faith was originally based on another member of the design team, who later asked them to make Buddy look less like him. Apparently he wasn't comfortable seeing himself as a corpse.
In a more minor example, the characters' voices are provided by members of the dev team (the localization team for the English versions) rather than dedicated voice actors - for instance, Manfred von Karma is voiced by the first game's composer, Masakazu Sugimori, in the Japanese version, while his daughter Franziska is played by localizer Janet Hsu in the English version.
In Bayonetta, as Bayonetta and Jeanne are fighting on top of the missile, the missile flies by the Platinum Games building at one point. The P+ logo is also seen at the bottom of the screen during the Angel Attack mini-game.
The last level of the freeware Binary Boy has the game's creator, Jared Johnson, standing in your path halfway through. Walking into him results in a trippy Interface Screw.
The BioShock series has Ken Levine as the uncredited voice for the Circus of Value machines as well as the Dollar Bill ones from BioShock Infinite...using the exact same voice.
He also appears (still uncredited) in the original game as Martin Finnegan, one of Sander Cohen's pupils.
The Borderlands series has Gearbox president Randy Pitchford voicing Crazy Earl, a minor character who serves as a questgiver in the first game and the Black Market vendor in the second.
Divekick has creator Adam Heart voicing the character Kenny.
Sonic Team's Saturn firefighting game Burning Rangers has you rescue civilians, who email you with letters of thanks after each mission. Several of the civilians are Sonic Team members, who include cheat codes, production sketches and the like with their emails. (There's also a real-life Japanese poet who sends you a couple of poems - she's a friend of then-Team head Yuji Naka.)
Sid Meier has served as an advisor to the player throughout the Civilization series; in later games, his digital avatar even runs the tutorial.
In the next installment, one of the guards is voiced by John Carmack. "Welcome to the Dungeon, Marine" indeed.
A hard-to-find Easter EggRandom Encounter in Dragon Age: Origins features a "Gaider" (i. e. David Gaider, the lead writer for the series) fleeing from a crew of bratty kids yelling at him about what they want to hear in a story (including "zombie kittens!"). (Oddly, he's not voiced by Gaider, making it sort of a half-cameo.)
Naming a mob either "Grumm" or "Dinnerbone" in Minecraft flips it upside-down. Naming a sheep jeb_ makes it rainbowy.
David Cage is modeled for and voices the intro/tutorial of Indigo Prophecy.
Jane Jensen appears in Gabriel Knight : The Beast Within, on the cover of a German newspaper Gabriel picks up at the Hunt Club, and in Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, when Gabriel looks through the bookstore's window in Rennes-le-Château.
Stan Lee also continues his trend of Marvel cameos in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, appearing in-game as Senator Lieber, whom you rescue from Titanium Man. Deadpool, per his Fourth Wall breaking antics, claims he knows him from "somewhere".
He also acted as the motion-capture actor for the sailor aboard the Missouri.
He is also recruitable in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, found inside a truck at the Crater Base before fighting the Pupa. The console versions give you a trophy/achievement for finding him.
While he isn't the creator, Dan Forden, who worked with sound and music for the Mortal Kombat games, would occasionally pop up in the corner of the screen and say "TOASTY!" when one of the fighters performed an uppercut. After 3, he stopped appearing, but he's back in Mortal Kombat 9
One title in the NHL Hockey series allows you to basically create members of the EA development team if you input their names in the Create-A-Player option.
The news anchor who appears in the opening sequence of Ninth Rock is in fact the lead programmer.
In Tales of Monkey Island, there is a mention of a "Nor Treblig" (Ron Gilbert backwards) through the series, and Murray MSTing mentions many staff members of LucasArts and Telltale Games in the end credits of Chapter 3]], including Dan Connors and Kevin Bruner (whose portrayals in two picture frames as "D.C. Grosscup" and "K.B. Popnecker" appear in the Courthouse in Chapter 4).
The PSP visual novel Sweet Fuse At Your Side features the afformentioned Keiji Inafune as the manager of an amusement park, with the player assuming the role of Saki Inafune, Keiji's (fictional) niece.
Katsuhiro Harada, creator of the Tekken series, appears as an opponent in Soul Calibur V (which he helped work on as part of the Project Soul team) using the "Soul of Devil Jin" fighting style.
Chris Roberts has a cameo in the big trial scene at the end of Wing Commander IV when you win the game, as the Black Lance member who proclaimed "...and I couldn't go on!"
He also provided the voice for the Communications Officer for the TCS Coventry, one of the destroyers escorting your carrier later in Wing Commander III.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown lets you get super-units when you use the names of certain members of the staff on your troops. Sid Meier and Ken Levine are among them.
In Xenonauts you can get its creator's, Chris England, face on one of your poor redshirts.
In Glider PRO, the four creators of "Slumberland," john calhoun, Paul Finn, Ward Hartenstein and Steve Sullivan, each have their portrait on the wall of a room named for them.
Broken Saints writer/director Brooke Burgess (a bit reluctantly) agreed to be the voice actor for Gabriel when voices were recorded for the DVD. Like with Shayamalan's cameos, this is actually a meaty role and more than just a regular cameo.
ThisEl Goonish Shive strip (panel 6) has Dan Shive in a comic shop. Note that this is different from the Author Avatar character that appears in some non-canon strips.
Schlock Mercenary webcomic sometimes have own author appear, most notable one being one where he complained about many new characters being difficult to draw!
TwoKinds- The creator appears as the pizzaman who joins the main cast as they awkwardly walk in on Trace and Flora. He appears again as caricature letting the readers know about about the scene along with a break occuring.''"
Tagalong, the writer, and Tria, the artist, make occasional appearances during Breaking the Fourth Wall moments of Dubious Company. This usually ends with Tiren chasing them off. Tria also appears as a random student in the High School AU arc giving Elly Valentines Day chocolate before bolting out the door.
Two differently aged Shaenon Garritys appear in the Li'l Mell story "Homeschool Joe Goes To School" accompanied by versions of Jeffrey Wells, co-creator of Skin Horse. The younger pair are Mell and Sergio's classmates (back row, behind half the Skin Horse cast), the older pair are teachers.
An interesting take on this is that Tom, one of Stjepan Sejic's major characters in Sunstone looks identical to Sejic's drawings of himself, but Tom is a fleshed out character in his own right.
Metal Gear Solid Philanthropy director Giacomo Talamini gets top billing as Solid Snake in the film because no other capable actors who looked enough like Solid Snake could be found.
All three Whedon brothers lend their voices to the Bad Horse Chorus.
Jed Whedon also plays both Chorus member #2 onscreen, and ELE member Dead Bowie.
Zack Whedon gets a bit part as a paramedic during the ending.
Maurissa Tancharoen is one of Captain Hammer's groupies.
And it's actually Joss Whedon's fist that smashes Dr. Horrible's van-controlling device.
On the LEGO Indiana Jones website, there is a short cartoon that ends with minifigs of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg watching the short itself, complete with a E.T baseball cap and a plaid T shirt.
Shortly after Aladdin gives his bread to starving children, two men discuss the prince who is passing on the street. They are modeled and voiced by the film's directors (other characters are drawn like crew members).
Likewise, when Mushu scares two men in order to get fireworks, they are Mulan's directors.
The Princess and the Frog has directors Roger Clements and John Musker on a float tossing beads during the Mardi Gras parade.
Ron Clements and John Musker must love doing this. They also appeared as a pair of aliens that give Jim Hawkins directions to the RLS Legacy, and they're victims of Hercules' chariot-pulling equivalent of Drives Like Crazy.
Going way back, the short "Ferdinand The Bull" features several of the animators drawn into the parade scene, with Walt Disney himself as the matador.
Groening appeared in an episode of The Simpsons where they went to a sci-fi convention and everyone was excited to see the creator of Futurama. He was also a boss in The Simpsons Game.
Speaking of Futurama, Leela once enters an internet chat room filled with nerds, all of whom are drawn after members of the production crew.
And the animators also sometimes inserted themselves into episodes, such as "The Last Temptation of Krust", where stepping through the zip-pan from Krusty and the marketers to the Canyonero waiting outside reveals a hidden scene with several staffers (and Jay Leno).
The Itchy & Scratchy production crew are all based on the real-life writers and animators.
The tall man from The Simpsons episodes "22 Short Films About Springfield" and "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" is said to have been based on writer Ian Maxtone-Graham.
The jury in The Venture Bros. episode "The Trial of the Monarch" is entirely composed of people who work on the show, including the creators, making this exchange even better.
The Judge: This is a trial by jury, and it's up to your peers to decide this. The Monarch: Peers? Peers?! How dare you! That repulsive display of humanity out there?
The creators of Teen Titans draw themselves in there all the time, In fact, it's hard to find an episode without a single reference to the creative team.
In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life creator Joe Murray appears next to Rocko in a hospital bed after he had been in a coma and he comments on how Rocko is drawn Off Model.
Jhonen Vasquez makes a cameo in a couple of Invader Zim episodes. He's the guy with the red hair and sunglasses who swallowed a piranha.
Other writers, such as Roman Dirge, Danielle Koenig, and Frank Conniff, also cameo frequently; storyboard artists and other production staff members also pop up. Executive producer Mary Harrington played a parody of herself in the "Mysterious Mysterys" episode, and—on arguably the funniest instance—Vasquez and director/producer Steve Russel can be seen eating dinner together with a script marked "The Nightmare Begins" (the title of the first episode) on the table between them in "Germs".
In "Harley and Ivy", three young men pull up to Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy at a stoplight and make cat calls at them. Two of the men are caricatures of Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, but with their hair color mismatched.
While Turtles Forever has appearances by the Eastman and Laird cops, they also appear in the end, in live action. While they were played by different actors, Eastman and Laird actually supplied their voices.
He occasionally appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon as the janitor at Peter's school and interacts with both Pete and Spider-Man on occasion.
The creators and writers for Robot Chicken always appear in the last episode of a season and the first episode of the next one as part of a Running Gag where the show gets cancelled every year, usually accompanied by most of the staff dying in the process only for everything to get better next season.
Hey Arnold! creator Craig Bartlett portrayed numerous voices for the show, including Helga's asthmatic stalker, Brainy; radio station M-JAZZ deejay Nocturnal Ned; and Arnold's dad Miles in episodes "Arnold's Hat," "Parents Day," and "The Journal." Story editor Antoinette Stella portrayed Arnold's football-headed mom, Stella, in "Parents Day" and "The Journal." (Ironically, Bartlett says the character Stella is not named for her voice actress, but in honor of The Grateful Dead's song "Stella Blue.")
The Interdimensional Comic Con Panel that Bat-Mite sets up in Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Legends of the Dark Mite" features animated versions of the actual show creators. The speech about how this show's Lighter and Softer Batman is no less valid that the grim avenger of the night was essentially the series' mission statement, and Executive Producer James Tucker's Take That to the critics. As an added bonus, the two detractors of this idea are Batman: The Animated Series creators Bruce Timm and Paul Dini (Who actually wrote Legends of the Dark Mite) dressed as Joker and Harley Quinn respectively.
In the WWII Looney Tunes cartoon "Russian Rhapsody", many, if not most, of the gremlins are caricatures of the cartoon studio personnel.
Pixar does this all the time, usually because the director does a placeholder voice for a minor character and it ends up good enough to be kept in. In Finding Nemo, head sea-turtle Crush is director Andrew Stanton (he also voiced the lobster with the New England accent as well as the seagulls); Toy Story 3 has Lee Unkrich as the jack-in-the-box who yells "New toys!" when the gang arrive at Sunnyside; Up's co-writer Bob Peterson voices both Dug and Alpha. There're probably others.
Outside of their two major roles, the creators of Phineas and Ferb pop up from time to time as in universe avatars. In the Mission Marvel Special Stan Lee appears as a hot dog salesman (with a stand appropiately named "Excelsior Hot Dogs").
Creator and director of The Ren & Stimpy Show, John Kricfalusi is the voice of Ren, at least in the first two seasons. The minor character Mr. Horse is also confirmed to be heavily based on him, including repeatedly saying "What are ya?", which was a catchphrase of Kricfalusi's.
Casting agent and director Mark Evanier appears in a voice cameo as himself in the Garfield and Friends episode "Mistakes Will Happen", his voice can be heard telling Garfield that he could say a line better.
A U.S. Acres segment in season 6 has Wade actually running out of the cartoon and onto blank paper, where he engages in a conversation with an offscreen Jim Davis.
In The Flintstones TV special "I Yabba Dabba Do" William Hanna and Joseph Barbera appear as themselves as wedding guests saying Pebbles and Bam-Bam were made for each other.
It also serves as a bit of a Brick Joke. Their names pop up earlier when Pebbles is sending out wedding invitations.
Not really a cameo but in the original Tom and Jerry shorts William Hanna provided most of the vocal sounds made by the titular characters; he even voiced them in a few instances were they actually spoke.
Joe Barbera voiced Tom's master in "The Mansion Cat".
Lots of examples in the animated adaption of The Bear. Raymond Briggs, creator of the original cartoon book, appears as the face of the moon. Composer and songwriter Howard Blake is the pianist who sees the bears go past. Executive Producer Paul Madden is the seaman who spots the bear cub on the ice floe. Director Hilary Audus is the mother at the zoo with her family. Art Director Joanna Harrison is the cashier at the zoo shop. And the baby in the cot, with the initials JC on his romper suit, is supposed to be Producer John Coates.
In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Tiny Toons Music Television," the music video for "Respect" features the executive producers in one shot and the writers in another.
And in the very first episode, "The Looney Beginning," the WB animator who's charged with thinking up the series at the risk of being fired is voiced (uncredited) by the executive producer.
In the final episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Mac is handed a cardboard with signings from all the imaginary friends. If you notice closely, the author's signing is in it too.
Caricatures of the staff can also be seen in the title card of "Fairy Idol".
This is found in the animated adaptation of Hergé's Tintin comic books. While Hergé himself had died long before the series was made, the producers still included him as a character. An animated likeness of Hergé can be spotted in numerous crowd scenes, although he never says or does anything besides occasionally doodling in a sketch pad. He's also apparently Tintin's neighbor, as his name can be found on the mailbox next to Tintin's.
In My Life Me, the three girls always following Raffi around are based on the show's three creators.
On ''Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures'', a caricature of series producer Ralph Bakshi turns up. In the episode "Night Of The Bat-Bat," Mighty Mouse scribbles a caricature of John Kricfalusi on the side of the phone booth in which he's talking on the phone with Bat-Bat.
On the Filmation Mighty Mouse series, producers Lou Schiemer and Norm Prescott were voices. Schiemer voiced Mighty Mouse and Prescott voiced Theodore Bear in the Quacula episodes.
Near the end of Random! Cartoons short Moobeard The Cow Pirate, creator Kyle A. Carrozza walks by an establishing shot in cat Funny Animal form, alongside a female Funny Animal cat who's apparently based on a friend who also works in animation. Carrozza also provided the voices for a couple of minor characters.
In Young Justice, co-producer Greg Weisman voices Lucas "Snapper" Carr, formerly the Justice League's teen mascot and currently Miss Martian and Superboy's civics teacher. He originally auditioned for the role of Red Tornado, because he appears in way more episodes and shares a voice with his creator T.O. Morrow and brothers Red Torpedo and Red Volcano, meaning he'd get paid more. Unfortunately, 'that ogre' (and co-producer) Brandom Vietti thought Jeff Bennett did it better, and suggested Snapper as an alternative.
In the second episode of Sym-Bionic Titan, Lance looks out the window and sees a crying kid who fell off his bike. His father comes to comfort him, referring to him as "Jacob." The father is Genndy Tartakovsky (Jacob is his real son's name).
In the "Funny Face" episode of Uncle Grandpa the title character makes a funny face that's a real human face that's constantly making goofy facial expressions. Said giant realistic funny face is series creator Pete Browngardt wearing a fake mustache and wig.
The vocals of Disney's Humphrey The Bear in the early 60s were furnished by the shorts' director, Jack Hannah.
In the Beetlejuice episode "Quit While You're A Head," Tim Burton (creator and director of the movie) appears in caricature in a scene taking place in a Neitherworld bar.
Hal Seeger's reboot of Max Fleischer's Out of the Inkwell cartoons had the series' star, Koko The Clown, conversing with an "Uncle Max," presumably Mr. Fleischer himself. It's not clear who voiced Uncle Max, although it could have been Hal Seeger himself.
In the Animaniacs episode "Yes, Always", producer/creator Tom Ruegger, writer Peter Hastings, voice director Andrea Romano, and recording engineer Harry Androniss all appear as themselves.
Teen Titans Go!: In Laundry Day, the fangirls that chase Robin around? Yep, some of the production staff.