Just when you thought Tony Hawk couldn't get any more rad
I think that the best things that came out of it were the chance to do Blanche and also I did a Sesame Street Big Bird video that was very satisfying to me. And I don't think I would have been asked to do that if I hadn't reached a little bit higher profile in the 'industry.' That was really rewarding.
— Frances McDormand discusses some perks of winning an Academy Award
What well-known bands or actors acquire when they appear as themselves, or doing their instantly-recognizable acts, on a television program aimed at young children.
Like many things about modern kids' TV, the concept was pioneered on Sesame Street
and subsequently became a staple of the many programs inspired by it. The basic idea is to make it easy and fun for parents/guardians to get involved in their kids' educational process; however, over the years, it has spun itself off into a unique celebrity cachet
. An appearance on the Street — or nearby programming suburbs — has become almost as potent a sign of stardom as an appearance on Leno's or Letterman's couches.
May involve a certain amount of Bowdlerization
to keep things kid-friendly and/or educational.
Mostly occurs in live-action shows, but an actor or band with a distinctive voice
can provide the same effect in animation.
The serious older sibling of Parental Bonus
. Also often related to So My Kids Can Watch
. Can trigger Hey, It's That Guy!
. For the inverse (with the Sesame Street, Muppet Show, or related cast only), see Muppet Cameo
When adding examples, please remember that not all animated series are aimed at young children.
Rule of thumb: the closer the age of the show's target audience is to the age of the guest star, the less likely it is to be this trope. Also, remember that nearly all inverted examples of this trope go in Muppet Cameo
, not here. Finally, please do not include examples where celebrities are guest-starring as characters other than themselves or not doing immediately recognizable acts.
Examples in fiction:
- The beginning of Rocky III shows several highlights of Rocky Balboa's now-successful career, including him being a guest on The Muppet Show
Examples in real life:
- Regis Philbin appeared in an episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series.
- An episode of Dennis the Menace (UK) featured the then-presenters of Blue Peter.
- Arthur has always had an interesting variety of guest stars, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Matt Damon, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and even 3 then-current Boston Red Sox baseball players. Also blues singer Koko Taylor, Art Garfunkel, Tom & Ray Magliozzi Joshua Redman, Michelle Kwan, Alex Trebek, Neil Gaiman, and — weirdly — architect Frank Gehry. Not to mention the time the characters did an interview with a live-action Larry King.
- Dave Mustaine of Megadeth appeared in an episode of Duck Dodgers.
- SpongeBob SquarePants has featured the likes of Pantera, Ween, David Bowie and Johnny Depp.
- Thomas the Tank Engine has had many celebrity narrators, among them, Ringo Starr (the original narrator), George Carlin, Alec Baldwin, and Pierce Brosnan.
- VeggieTales had quite a bit of crossover with the Christian Rock scene, most likely due to the show's significant teenage Periphery Demographic.
- In "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed", a ska-swing cover of "The Rumor Weed Song" by The W's plays over the end credits.
- In Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, an original song by the Newsboys, "In the Belly of a Whale", plays over the end credits.
- Relient K did a split EP, with RK covering Larry the Cucumber's "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything", and Larry covering RK's "Breakdown".
- They released an entire album of Christian rock artists such as Skillet covering VeggieTales songs, entitled Veggie Rocks.
- The story segments in Adventures from the Book of Virtues have so many big names to voice the story characters, such as Malcolm McDowell, Ed Begley, Jr., Tim Curry, Shelley Duvall, Elijah Wood, Mark Hamill, etc.
- Smash Mouth appeared as themselves in an episode of Kim Possible.
- The Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "Urban Chipmunk" had Dolly Parton.
- Wreck-It Ralph has two flavors of this: one is the fact that stars such as John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman, and Jane Lynch are essentially voicing PG-rated versions of characters they do in much older-skewing movies and TV shows. The other is the influx of video game characters that are instantly recognizable for both kids and their parents, including Bowser, Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, M. Bison, Zangief, and Kano (or a Captain Ersatz of him, since the character's only credited as "Cyborg").
- Simple Plan appeared as themselves in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode "Simple Plan and the Invisible Mad Man". They also performed the show's opening theme.
- Milli Vanilli appeared in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. Ironically, two weeks before they were exposed for lip synching, which utterly trashed their cred.
- Before that, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show featured various guest stars, including Nicole Eggert, Sgt Slaughter, Pam Matteson (once as herself and once as Cher), Harry Blackstone Jr., Magic Johnson, Brian Bonsall, Jim Lange, Vanna White, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Cyndi Lauper, Ernie Hudson, Moon Zappa, Elvira, and Captain Lou Albano, who gets bonus points for playing the main character but still appearing as himself in one episode.
- Garfield and Friends had several celebrity guest stars like Imogene Coca, James Earl Jones, and Don Knotts. Some of these celebrity guest stars were recurring characters on the show, like Victoria Jackson, who played Garfield's love interest, Penelope, and Kevin Meaney, who played Aloysius Pig, Orson's bossy cousin who worked for DA-DUM! The Network!
- KISS appear as themselves in the "Wishology" trilogy of The Fairly Oddparents, though only Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley provided voices.
- Phineasand Ferb has brought in several musical guest stars as themselves, including Clay Aiken, Chaka Khan, Slash (who actually plays The Movie's feature song with the crew), Kelly Clarkson (who didn't get to sing), and BowlingForSoup, who also perform the show's theme song.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Pinkie Pride" features guest star "Weird Al" Yankovic as Cheese Sandwich, a rival party-planning pony to Pinkie Pie who's basically Weird Al as a pony.