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Adam Westing

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"That one part I played has given me a license to be absurd. I can say pretty well anything, because people know it's not Tom Baker talking."
Tom Baker on his role in Doctor Who

Some actors get reputations that just won't go away. Maybe they're famous for being divas on the set. Maybe they're famous for only playing certain roles — or even worse, only playing one role. Nobody will let them forget it. They can struggle mightily to earn a new reputation as decent people who can play a variety of roles.

Or they can resign themselves to their fate, and make a career out of it by "Adam Westing".

Adam Westing is a form of Self-Parody where actors play either themselves, or a Captain Ersatz of themselves, or a Captain Ersatz of their most famous role, and they play it as a total Jerkass, a total idiot, or both. More rarely, they play the character as the exact opposite of what they're most famous for, but still a Jerkass and an idiot.

While this can be an Affectionate Parody, it can also be a way for the actor to vent their spleen against a part that got old fast and/or ruined their career, until it amounts to blatant Self-Deprecation. Particularly bitter actors will make the parody a Deconstruction of their old part, explaining how it was a horrible role and nobody should watch it. Like all Deconstruction, this can come full circle, with the actor doing a Reconstruction Self-Parody. Sure, the role was stupid, but they enjoyed it.

Compare closely to the use of Meta Casting, where this can be turned around and made impressionable by playing off this personality. Adam Westing is most often found among actors who have had certain forms of Typecasting:

  • Actors who had to act goofy all the time and never got a chance for serious work. If they must be goofy, let it be in mocking goofiness.
  • Actors known for an incredibly hammy persona, and people expect them to play the same over-the-top role in everything.
  • Actors who had to act dreadfully serious all the time, until it was impossible not to laugh at their own work.
  • Actors who had been subjected to Contractual Purity, who couldn't so much as have a glass of wine in public without causing a scandal and need to cut loose.

See also The Danza, where the character's name is clearly taken from the actor portraying them. See also Parody Assistance, when the actor works on a parody of whatever show/film/etc. made them famous. Very closely related to Playing with Character Type, which is when a typecast actor takes on a role superficially similar to their "type" in order to subvert, deconstruct or otherwise play with it.

Compare to Self-Deprecation and Leslie Nielsen Syndrome.


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Famous Actors

    Adam West 
Adam West, the Trope Namer, couldn't get serious work after Batman. He embraced it; almost every subsequent role of his was a parody of either Batman the goofy superhero, Adam West the washed-up actor, or both at once.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series' "Beware the Gray Ghost", he plays a washed-up actor who can't get any decent work because everyone associates him with his role as the superhero (or rather proto-hero) The Grey Ghost. Turns out that Bats is a huge Gray Ghost fanboy and it inspired his motif and operations (taking the place of Zorro). Incidentally, this portrayal was much more sympathetic and slightly less funny than normal simply because it was the show's way of saying "if that cheesy superhero show didn't exist, this show wouldn't exist." This is even hinted in-universe as his assistance of Batman led to the Grey Ghost becoming popular once more, even with a movie being seen in Batman Beyond, which in turn, mirrors the West show helping to launch Batman into the greater mainstream where it maintains a very strong following.
    • Supposedly, when he was done with the episode, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm handed Adam (instead of scale wage) a $25,000 check and the original Batman costume — which Paul bought for an "undisclosed sum" at an auction.
    • Also of note - according to Word of God, if they couldn't get West to voice the part, that episode would have been scrapped.
  • In Kim Possible, he played retired actor Timothy North, who had become deluded into thinking he really used to be the Batman-like superhero he played on TV, and trains Ron to be his successor. Ron, having never heard of such an old TV show, takes North's claims at face value and eagerly jumps at the call, ending up very disappointed when he finally learns that North is just a senile old man. As a bonus Actor Allusion, Ron is voiced by Will Friedle, the voice of Terry McGinnis, successor to the actual Batman.
  • He played another deluded actor in the pilot for Lookwell, a show produced by Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel. In this version, he had formerly played a detective on TV and thought he could use his actor training to solve real crimes.
  • He was an overhyped pizza delivery boy in Meet the Robinsons.
  • During the Turkey Day 1994 Marathon of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which not coincidentally debuted the lampooning of his film Zombie Nightmare, he hosted a number of host segments loaded with bad turkey puns and Cloudcuckoolander moments. The episode itself features countless "I'm Batman!" jokes from Mike and the Bots, but no appearance from West (outside the movie).
  • He played a goofy rendition of himself on The Simpsons, in which he drives the Batmobile from the show (which is now a broken down wreck), complains about the Michael Keaton Batman films (Taps his pecs- "Pure. West."), and dances the "Batusi" while the Simpsons slowly back away ("How come Batman doesn't dance any more?"). Another episode has the Simpsons view the TV series Batmobile in a Hollywood museum and comment on how lifelike the dummies sitting in it are — who turn out to actually be Adam West and Burt Ward sitting perfectly still all day.
    • This is probably where the "Crazy" Adam West of Family Guy/The Fairly OddParents! came from.
    • To take it further: The Lookwell pilot aired July 1991. The "Mr. Plow" episode of The Simpsons aired November 1992. Considering Conan O'Brien wrote for The Simpsons, and co-wrote Lookwell with Robert Smigel, it's arguable that O'Brien is responsible for giving us the Adam West we know and love today.
  • In Johnny Bravo, West acts like a mix between a Conspiracy Theorist and exaggerated versions of his portrayal of Batman and John Walsh from America's Most Wanted. The story was written by Butch Hartman and Seth MacFarlane, not like he ever worked with them again.
  • In the Histeria! episode "The Legion of Super Writers", he voiced a superhero-portrayed Ernest Hemingway.
  • He did a guest spot on The Critic, as a last-minute guest on Jay Sherman's show. He's quickly bumped off because they managed to book someone else that it turns out is dead, prompting him to lament, "Man I wish I had his agent." Made doubly funny in the DVD commentaries when the writers mention how Jon Lovitz pulled a What the Hell, Hero? on the writers for making fun of Mr. West.
  • His biggest role of the 2000s (and undoubtedly, his second most famous role after Batman) was as the Cloudcuckoolander Adam West, Mayor of Quahog in Family Guy.
    West: I guess I showed him. No one messes with Adam We.
    • Interestingly enough, MacFarlane has stated that he's gone out of his way to ensure that West's history as Batman is never addressed. The inspiration for the character was West's aforementioned appearance on Johnny Bravo (an episode MacFarlane co-wrote). He's simply playing a psychotic version of himself who was inexplicably elected mayor of Quahog. However, his character did eventually dress up as the 60s Batman in "Inside Family Guy".
      • Seth has gone so far as to claim that the character was never (originally) intended to be the Adam West — just a guy who shares his name. Then the actual Adam West came in to read for the part and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • West played superhero the Galloping Gazelle in the TV episode and video game of Goosebumps story Attack of the Mutant. In the TV version, the Galloping Gazelle was washed-up and bailed on the kid protagonist because he thought he was too old for the job.
  • West starred as an aging TV Space Commando personality Captain Blasto in an episode of Rugrats.
  • West played a lawyer defending R. Kelly who made a video of himself whizzing on a schoolgirl in The Boondocks. In typical over-the-top West fashion. It's like he doesn't even want to stop Adam Westing anymore.
  • West appears in 30 Rock as the celebrity guest at Jack Donaghy's birthday party. After he flubs the introduction and gets thrown out, he complains that he was promised a meal.
  • In Drop Dead Gorgeous, he plays the lowest-possible-budget "celebrity" on the video promoting a beauty pageant, complete with words to the effect of "You might even get to meet a... CELEBRITY!" Perfect for the role, too.
  • In one episode of Diagnosis: Murder, he cameos as a washed-up actor who was made famous by playing half of a crime-fighting duo, Tuttle and the Mummy.
  • In a 1995 episode of Hope and Gloria - a short-lived television series, he played himself doing a theatre performance of Love Letters with former Batman villainess Julie Newmar also playing herself. The main character was led to believe he was her father. The program referenced his autobiography and his real name of Bill Anderson.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, he plays Adam West, who used to play Catman on TV. Like in several of the other examples, he's delusional and thinks he really is Catman.
    Timmy: TV's Adam West?
    West: Where?!
  • He was also like this in Aloha, Scooby-Doo!, voicing Jared Moon.
  • On NewsRadio, he appeared as himself and was revealed to be legendary hijacker D.B. Cooper.
  • On The King of Queens he plays himself in an episode where Spence asks him to come with him to a comic book convention. In doing so, he ditches his original choice, Doug's neighbor Lou Ferrigno. On the drive to the convention an irked West explains that Sci-fi actors "look out for each other" and leaves Spence on a busy freeway.
  • He voiced a young Mermaid Man in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Back to the Past", with Burt Ward playing the young Barnacle Boy.
    • This one is also an interesting inversion, because while Mermaid Man as he usually appears in the show is an aging washed-up superhero, Adam West instead plays the hero back in his glory days, with Ernest Borgnine playing the present-day elderly Mermaid Man.
  • A commercial had West going on about his heroic exploits, only to be wheeled off by a nurse: "Time for your medication, Mr West..."
  • Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, starring Adam West and Burt Ward as themselves but with their Batman and Robin personalities, where they try to figure out who stole the Batmobile, recalling various moments of their time filming the Batman television series along the way!
  • A notable (though minor) exception was his role as the villain Breathtaker in the movie and TV series Black Scorpion.
  • Mad Magazine's parody of "Batman: The Animated Series" ends with Adam rubbing out Batman and Calvin as Robin, along with other characters, so he can finally get a decent job.
  • An episode of Love, American Style had West appearing as himself, visiting a fellow stamp collector (George Lindsey) and his starstruck family. There's even an attempt to fix West up with a single friend, before he freaks out and leaves due to all the weird attention. Not once do we ever hear a mention of Batman.
  • He and Burt Ward appeared in Futurama in "Leela and the Genestalk" as their own heads in jars (but genetically engineered so West has a bat's wings and body, and Ward has a robot body similar to Robin's Golden Age costume). They pop out as Fry and Bender are climbing the wall.
  • In the '90s Zorro Adam West had a cameo in a season two episode as a scientist named Dr. Wayne.
  • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has a hidden Adam West in peril in every level, voiced by the man himself.
  • In Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, West voices Captain Super Captain, who is an iconic superhero in his dimension; as well as Captain's arch-nemesis and twin brother, Professor Evil Professor.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Adam West guest stars as himself where the boys bring him over as a treat for Sheldon's birthday. He's also pretty washed up and now makes a living by making appearances as the man who played Batman, while dissing several of his successor Batman actors.
  • While he plays the role straight with no parody, his role as Mayor Grange in The Batman is primarily so one of the most famous people to don the cowl can interact with the current holder of the mantle.
  • In Western Animation/Batwheels, all the other Batwheels are captured, so a previous model of the Batmobile is brought to life. It is the 1960's TV version, and voiced by Adam West in the style he used in the show. The car was even named "Adam".

    William Shatner 
Almost every other role William Shatner has had since Star Trek is him playing William Shatner the egotist. He specifically avoids the I Am Not Spock effect, by virtue of creating a "SHATNER" persona, of which Kirk is but one mere part. One must wonder, however, if it has reached the level of enlightened self-parody or if he has become genuinely unhinged (MAD once put it that he is trying, thirty years too late, to prove to everyone that he was always "in on the joke") — see his appearance on Friday Night with Jonathon Ross.
  • His turn as Denny Crane in Boston Legal.
  • In Fanboys they are shocked to find that his contact is none other than William Shatner.
    William Shatner: Are you kidding? I'm William Shatner; I can score anything.
  • Taken to sublime levels in Free Enterprise, in which he plays William Shatner, in an I Am Not Spock role. (Bill is luckless with women, for instance.)
    • What's funnier still is that the credits only list his character as "Bill." It's appropriate, since everything else in the film is a Roman à Clef of Full Moon Features, the production company of the film - so the entire film and production is Adam Westing.
  • This was even played with once in Star Trek itself. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Kirk's latest (and last) Green-Skinned Space Babe turns out to be a shapeshifter and takes on the form of Kirk, resulting in this exchange:
    Kirk: I can't believe I kissed you!
    Martia: [as Kirk] Must have been your lifelong ambition.
  • Shatner plays as a possum in Over the Hedge, who gives an overly emphasized "death speech" while playing dead. Can be seen as a parody of his entire comedy routine style.
  • Also, Jeff Burk wrote and published a very short literary work called Shatnerquake—"It's the first ShatnerCon with William Shatner as the guest of honor! But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner."
  • During Comedy Central's Roast of William Shatner, when it was his turn at the podium, he donned his Shatner persona and jokingly berated everyone for making fun of him. He stated, "Do you know who I am? I'm William Tiberius Shatner!", and then begins to name some of his accomplishments, most of them actually being Captain Kirk's.
  • Shatner plays this role to the hilt as the "PriceLine Negotiator!"
  • Certainly played with in his Tribute to George Lucas.
  • There's a fair bit of Westing in the Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", made all the more hilarious by the existence of Zapp Brannigan, a parody of Shatner/Kirk who features prominently in this episode.
  • In Airplane II: The Sequel Shatner plays the moon base commander trying to help Ted Striker land the shuttle. When he looks into a periscope, the camera cuts to what he sees - the Enterprise. After reacting with surprise, he looks again and we're back to the normal space scene.
  • Subverted in Loaded Weapon 1 where he plays General Mortars. Although the acting is pure Shatner, no Star Trek references were made, and he's surprisingly hard to recognize with a mustache.
  • In a variation, Suzy Eddie Izzard once noted that "Some of the characters on Star Trek became bigger than the actors who played them. If you've ever seen that cop show, T.J. Hooker, it isn't William Shatner the actor playing TJ, it's Captain Kirk! He's beamed down to Earth and got a job as a policeman!"
  • There is no other way to describe Shatner's stint as Guest Host of WWE Raw.
  • His brief appearance as Chancellor of the Dodgeball ruling body in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.
  • His first appearance on "Columbo" was more or less a version of himself with a past as a draft dodger, while his second role was practically mirror universe Kirk as a conservative radio show host.

    George Takei 
William Shatner's co-star George Takei, a.k.a. Sulu, generally Adam Wests in live action, but can get quite subtle and effective in voice acting. A recurring theme, if they don't get into his sexuality, tends to be drinking.
  • He appears as a parody version of himself on Malcolm in the Middle in "Hal Grieves," reduced to some demeaning job of some kind and drinking from a garden hose.
  • He previously made a Celebrity Cameo in 3rd Rock from the Sun which featured the Solomons charging stuff to his hotel account until he was dragged away by security screaming "You can't do this to me! I'm GEORGE TAKEI, DAMN IT!" This episode is also responsible for creating his well known catch phrase: "Oh My!"
  • And an episode of Will & Grace where he played a version of himself still in the closet until he was 'finally outed' on a public TV show.
  • There's also this PSA where he plays a Camp Gay version of himself for laughs.
  • He also appears in The Big Bang Theory in the back of Bernadette's car during her first date with Wolowitz as a snarky Camp Gay but well-intentioned, er, thought in Wolowitz's head.
  • And in Psych, he plays a pompous, egotistical version of himself who simply has to be in the limelight. This allowed Shawn and Gus to infiltrate the convention where he was the guest of honor. How did they do it? They pretended to be Takei's personal assistants. When they were confronted by Takei himself, Shawn explained that Takei had fired his previous assistants for incompetence, which he fully believed.
  • He appears in an episode of Scrubs as the unnamed priest who Turk wanted to officiate at his wedding to Carla, purely on the basis that he "looked exactly like Sulu!"
  • Takei had a more dignified cameo as Prowl's martial arts teacher Yoketron in an episode of Transformers: Animated.
  • Also had a cameo as "Mr. Sulu" on The Simpsons episode where Homer joins the Naval Reserve.
  • There is also a Muppets Tonight episode where Takei bores the pants off of Beaker and then some penguins on the subject — his role in Star Trek!
  • Little-known Canadian sci-fi-com Alienated has him showing up and ordering a "Gin and... Gin."
  • Adventure Time's Ricardio the Heart Guy appears to be Takei, giving "Best-Friend massages". They're completely... consensual.
  • He was the Cool Old Guy Mentor to the Supah Ninjas on Nicktoons.
  • He was also the voice actor for Lord Hakkera in Freelancer, and was most often met with in a bar.
  • In an episode of The Suite Life on Deck, George plays London's future descendant. When the spaceship is attacked by hostile aliens, he says "Oh, my! How many times do I have to go through this?"
  • Surprisingly averted in Heroes, where he plays Kaito Nakamura, a typical Japanese businessman and the father of Hiro Nakamura, one of the protagonists. Kaito has nothing in common with Sulu (except for his fondness of swords). Although Hiro Nakamura is a huge Star Trek fan...
    • Kaito's license plate reads "NCC-1701", the registry number that also appears prominently on the hull of the Enterprise.
  • In Red Alert 3 as the Emperor of Japan, he's Sulu-ing it in a set of art-deco techno robes, with the cheese-factor cranked as high as it will go. But, compared to the other faction leaders and prominent characters, he's downright sedate. It gets kind of meta since the Emperor also seems to be playing it up in-universe; when he learns time travel is possible (which shatters his world view) he drops it until the end of the campaign when he regains his composure.
  • Averted where he guest-starred in an episode of Archer as a ruthless Yakuza boss. He played the role completely straight (No Pun Intended), without an ounce of comedy.
  • And, inspired by Gilbert Gottfried, he decided to sit down and read Fifty Shades of Grey, getting progressively more into the story until he realizes, in the middle of a sex scene, that the narrator is a woman, at which point his interest wanes.
  • Averted in Allegiance which, as a musical set during one of the darkest events in recent US history (the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War 2), both of his characters are played completely straight.

    Other Star Trek examples 
  • The late James Doohan also turned to Adam Westing due to finding it hard to get work after playing Star Trek's Scotty.
    • In the attempted reboot of Knight Rider, Knight Rider 2000 he plays himself as an old crazy man spewing lines from the TV show while trying to pull large sums of money from an ATM machine. To be fair, he just seems crazy, because (due to being cobbled back together and being incomplete) KITT mistakes him for someone trying to rob the ATM and stuns him, and it's while he's stunned that Doohan starts quoting Scotty.
    • The "Thanks a lot, Citibank!" commercials featured wives or mothers of celebrities (Richard Simmons, Vincent Price, etc.) complaining about how a Citibank charge card made it easy for their famous loved ones to earn "CitiDollars" to indulge in mundane things vaguely associated with their public personas. The one with Doohan, from 1985, had him sitting in a car opening and closing his garage door with a remote while his wife talked to camera.
      Doohan: [offering her the remote]' Are you ready, Wende? It's your turn to beam us up! Give her all she's got! [Movie Star Trek theme plays]
  • Wil Wheaton (The Next Generation's Wesley Crusher) plays a jerkass version of himself in a few shows, most notably The Big Bang Theory (see Live Action TV below).

    Stephen Hawking 
The quintessential Real Life Genius Cripple thoroughly enjoyed cameos as himself. One comes to suspect that the reason he refused to upgrade his vocalizer (other than getting one with a British accent) is because it let him snark in a Machine Monotone.
  • He hit Star Trek: The Next Generation just to play poker with Data, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton (thus becoming the only example of As Himself in the history of Star Trek, though Joe Piscopo comes ever so close). Behind the scenes, he toured the set and remarked on the ship's warp core:
    Hawking: I'm working on that.
    • A few years later he ran into Brent Spiner, and immediately asked "Where's my money?" (He won the card game, but Data was forced to end the simulation before he could collect his chips.)
  • He had something going on with Matt Groening—he tended to show up out of nowhere in Groening's shows, and liked to "play" himself as a bit of a charlatan:
    • In The Simpsons episode "They Saved Lisa's Brain", he claimed he had an IQ of over 200 (though in real life, he didn't think highly of those who boasted about their high IQs) and appeared with a bunch of gadgets built into his wheelchair, including an extendible boxing glove, an automatic toothbrush and a helicopter propeller. (Homer mistakes him for Larry Flynt, founder of Hustler magazine.)
      Hawking: Your idea of a donut shaped universe is fascinating, Homer. I may have to steal it.
    • He thrice appeared on Futurama, once as himself and then as his preserved head.
      Fry: Hey, aren't you that physics guy that invented gravity?
      Hawking: Sure, why not.

      Hawking: Welcome. I am the pickled head of Stephen Hawking, on a way cool rocket.
      Leela: Black Hole Hawking? If I knew I was going to meet you I'd have done something with my hair!
      Hawking: You should have.

      Amy: [after Farnsworth discovers the Grand Unified Theory in a What If? scenario] Professor, you did it! You solved the problem that baffled Einstein and drove Stephen Hawking to quit Physics and become a cartoon voice actor.
      Stephen: I like Physics, but I love cartoons.
  • Hawking also appeared as himself on an episode of The Big Bang Theory where he looked at one of Sheldon's papers and declared it to be completely inaccurate.
    Sheldon: No, no... that can't be right. I... I don't make arithmetic mistakes.
    Stephen: Are you saying I do?
    Sheldon: Oh, no, no, of course not. It's just, I was thinking... Oh, gosh, golly. I made a boo-boo, and I gave it to Stephen Hawking.
    [Sheldon faints]
    Stephen: Great, another fainter.
  • He appeared (via voice) in another episode where he absolutely roasted Sheldon Cooper
    Hawking: I really enjoyed our game, Dr. Cooper.
    Sheldon: Oh, me too!
    Hawking: ...Or should I say Dr. Loser....Hahaha.
    Sheldon: ...Yes, congratulations. You won fair and square. Very impressive, sir.
    Hawking: Do you like brain teasers?
    Sheldon: Oh, I love brain teasers!
    Hawking: What does Sheldon Cooper and a black hole have in common?
    Hawking: They both suck.
    Hawking: ...Neener, neener.
  • He also shows up at the end of the memetic "Boom de Yada" ad for the Discovery Channel.
  • Hawking took part in Monty Python's final reunion show Monty Python (Mostly) Live in a video segment where he derails Brian Cox's efforts to fact-check the Galaxy Song by ramming him with his wheelchair and launching himself into space while singing it.
  • He starred in a Comic Relief skit where he got tired of his old voice, enlisting his celebrity friends to find a new one for him.

    David Hasselhoff 
David Hasselhoff. "The Hoff" is on his way to reaching Shatnerian levels of Adam Westing.

    Jeff Goldblum 
Jeff Goldblum's best-known roles are Gibbering Geniuses, he's most associated with "genre" fare, and offscreen he's regarded as a cross between a Cloud Cuckoolander and The Charmer. With his famous, affected Verbal Tic of fumfering easy to parody, he's been spoofed and mocked since the mid-1990s heyday of Jurassic Park and Independence Day. He finds this Actually Pretty Funny, and come the Turn of the Millennium began spoofing himself in earnest. His returning the affections of both his fanbase, which made him the subject of many a Memetic Mutation, and fellow creatives by leaning further into eccentricity made him more popular than ever in The New '10s.

  • The Jamie Kennedy Experiment's 2002 Christmas Episode featured a prank in which would-be male models were auditioning to advertise Goldblum's new fragrance "Simply Jeff Goldblum", only to learn while he's "offstage" that the batch of cologne they're supposed to spray themselves with is toxic. They're not sure what to do when he gets back and he ends up misting himself with it, feigning being blinded while Kennedy (as the commercial's producer) blames one of the models for his injury before the ruse is dropped:
    Why would you do that to Goldblum? What's Goldblum ever done to you? What's Goldblum ever done to you?
  • In the Friends episode "The One with the Mugging" (2003), he plays Leonard Day, a fictional famed actor whom Joey is auditioning to star alongside, poking fun at his own acting style in the process. In a gentle poke at Goldblum's work in Advertising Campaigns, Joey accidentally offends the classically-trained Leonard by saying how much he loves the goofy cellphone commercials he does, Leonard declaring in response "I believe in those phones! I almost lost a cousin because of bad wireless service!" But upon realizing Joey is sincere, he relaxes and admits "Well, I do bring a certain credibility to the role."
  • The 2006 Mockumentary Pittsburgh is built around his participating in an actual 2004 regional production of The Music Man that he joined in part to help get his then-girlfriend a green card; it alternates actual audition, rehearsal, press tour and performance footage with staged, improvised scenes that see him ostensibly risking his Hollywood career by taking the more modest gig. (His co-star and longtime friend Ed Begley, Jr. gets in on the fun in the latter scenes by poking fun at his reputation for environmentalism.)
  • A Late Night with Conan O'Brien skit from the same year has him lured onstage with a salt lick, as O'Brien narrates the resultant rare footage of a celebrity in the wild. Among other things, he scavenges the guest chair cushions for awards (but only turns up a People's Choice Award) and woos a female of the species (Rachel Dratch).
  • Starting in 2009, he made multiple early-in-the-episode The Colbert Report appearances which usually ended with a blatant plug for Law & Order: Criminal Intent, as his tenure on that show was running concurrently with Report. Most famously, when Michael Jackson's death in June 2009 led to subsequent copycat rumors of Goldblum's death, he appeared to dispel the rumors...only to see Australian TV footage that reported his death as a fact. Upon realizing he was dead, he went on to deliver a eulogy for himself!
  • He was one of several Law & Order franchise alumni to appear in the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver spoof Law & Order: Civil Asset Forfeiture Unit.
  • A comic promotional video for 2016's Independence Day: Resurgence dispels the in-universe conspiracy theory that David Levinson and Jeff Goldblum are the same person by having them meet. While Levinson doesn't know much about Goldblum (confusing him for both Dabney Coleman and Bowser from Sha Na Na), Goldblum is a total fanboy, even praising Levinson's mahogany eyes!
  • A 2018 Jeep commercial (a Super Bowl Special) is built around the famous "Must go faster" chase from Jurassic Park, as the 25-years-older Goldblum imagines himself using the newest model to outwit the T-Rex.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain's "No Talking or Phones" Warning for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has him reveal that he's personally arranged for a velociraptor named Sheila to come for anyone in the audience who breaks the rules.
  • Samantha Bee's Holidays on ICE Christmas Special was promoted with a spoof of Love Actually's famous placard scene in which Bee accidentally visits Goldblum's house instead of that of an unnamed crush. Luckily she's an Ian Malcolm fangirl and ready to hit on him instead with those placards. One asks him to "Say something Jeff Goldblum-y." He stammers — and the next card says "You just did".
  • Participated in James Corden's ''Thor: Ragnarok 4D'' stunt along with the film's other principals. Speaking of Corden...
  • The cold open of the December 4, 2018 episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden has him being surprised but terribly flattered by the elaborate tribute "thank u, jeff", a spoof of Ariana Grande's "thank u, next" that heavily plays up his Mr. Fanservice image. But the hijinks don't end there...
  • Come July 29, 2019 he and Corden face off in a "Drop the Mic" rap battle, thus having to endure such insults as "But when they first cast you as the lead in The Fly/The producers said "'Repulsive, gross creature...I know just the guy!'" Goldblum wins. "Hey, I just killed an alien/Hey, that's an Independence Day!"
  • He's even poked fun at Hype Backlash regarding the above! Wearing one of his now-signature colorful Prada shirts he closed out a round of "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in September 2019 cheerfully, smugly, and thusly:
    @kappakappa: Jeff Goldblum is starting to annoy me now. like, ok dude. you're quirky. we get it. you have some weird sweaters. good for you.
    Jeff Goldblum: I know what you're talking about. Believe you me, if I was in your shoes I might feel the same way. Mmm, like my new shirt?
  • During the 30th anniversary for Jurassic Park, at Universal Studios Florida, the tribute store had for sale a signed 11x14 photo of Goldblum's shirtless scene from Film/Jurassic Park for a whopping 1225 dollars.

    George Lazenby 
George Lazenby will gladly spoof his most famous role.

Other Examples:

  • Every time Tay Zonday has appeared on national TV he was definitely Adam Westing for himself... but nowhere is this more obvious than in the Cherry Chocolate Rain video, which he did as an advert for Dr Pepper's Cherry Chocolate flavoured soda.
  • Michael Bay demands things be awesome in Verizon commercials. And by "awesome", he means "exploding". Particularly effective since his real-life persona is so close to what one would expect, given his movies.
  • Prior to getting into politics, Donald Trump seemed to revel in parodies of himself, even appearing in a series of Oreo commercials with Darrell Hammond (known for having done an impression of Trump on Saturday Night Live). If you claim you're worth billions of dollars, you can afford some self depreciation.
  • Mickey Rourke appeared in a commercial for a Dutch beer where he ruthlessly spoofs his own image, portraying himself as a childish, spoiled ass who loves only booze, little dogs and women. He throws a tantrum (and a minibar...) when he finds out they only serve alcohol free beer in his room, per example.
  • Famous romance-novel-cover model and sex symbol Fabio did a stint advertising I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! in the most over-the-top, sexy manner ever. He even recorded personalizable dialogue for a promo website, ramping up the ridiculousness.
    • His appearance on Big Time Rush was played straight... apart from the quirk that he was promoting a pocket-sized portable grill, and so was constantly producing different varieties of grilled meats (stop smirking) from his pocket, and offering them to people.
    • He had a feud with The Man Your Man Could Smell Like on YouTube advertisements.
  • Nationwide Insurance won the 2007 Super Bowl ad race by a wide margin with its Kevin Federline commercial, which showcases K-Fed going from rap superstar to working at a fast food restaurant with their then-slogan, "Life comes at you fast". It was timed perfectly, as it aired in the wake of Federline's debut rap album Playing With Fire flopping in a historic fashion and Britney serving him the divorce papers, making its premise not too far-fetched. Federline deserves credit for participating in it; him taking this payday right as his 15 minutes of fame were ending suggests he might not have been as stupid as we made him out to be.
  • Virgin Money UK ran an advertising campaign starring various British celebrities from the 1980s (Geoffrey Hayes, presenter of Rainbow; ska icon Buster Bloodvessel; and David Van Day from the pop duo Dollar) lampooning the fact that they had blown all their money and were now reduced to working menial jobs - respectively, as a taxi driver, guest house owner and running a mobile burger van.
    • Another Virgin campaign involving David Tennant actually led to the BBC lodging a complaint due to the campaign apparently suggesting the BBC, who have strict policies regarding adverts, endorsed the service. The advert in question involved Tennant using Virgin's TiVO service to record episodes of Doctor Who, saying how the service is useful for watching sci-fi, while Richard Branson disappears in a clear Captain Ersatz version of the TARDIS.
  • A tourism ad for California featured a bunch of different people Finishing Each Other's Sentences. It ends with someone saying "This may be your first visit to California, but it won't be your last...", followed by a cut to then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger himself finishing that sentence with "'ll be back."
    • Arnold Adam Wests again in the commercial for the smartphone game Mobile Strike, where he plays a military commander who advises sending "a dozen choppas when one choppa will do".
  • Detroit-area electronics chain ABC Warehouse features company founder Gordon "Gordy" Hartunian playing a comically-goofy version of himself in its radio and TV spots.
  • Snickers has begun an ad campaign consisting of a series of celebrities doing this to represent how unpleasant and/or weird a random person becomes while they're hungry. So far Betty White, Abe Vigoda, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli, Robin Williams, Joe Pesci, Danny Trejo, and Adam Vinatieri have appeared.
  • In 2009, Brazilian coach Joel Santana earned a reputation for his awful English when he managed South Africa. Three years later, he was speaking it again in a Pepsi commercial.
  • Chuck Norris embraces his Internet meme for a World of Warcraft commercial
  • Series of iPhone commercials featuring celebrities asking Siri questions, playing broad caricatures of themselves: Samuel L. Jackson the suave ladies' man cooking a romantic dinner, Zooey Deschanel the Manic Pixie Dream Girl who doesn't wear shoes and wants to dance all day, John Malkovich... being John Malkovich, and Martin Scorsese as the busy Hollywood big shot.
  • An older example: Peter Lorre plays his creepy self as "Peter Lorre the Destroyer" in a watch band commercial (seen at 5:43 here) where he says "I get tremendous satisfaction from destroying things — doesn't everybody?" Then he tries to destroy the watch band but it's too flexible, and he sadly concludes "but I can't destrooooy eeet!"
  • Michael Bolton has embraced his reputation as a Large Ham balladeer, starting with his appearance with The Lonely Island for their "Jack Sparrow" video, and continuing into doing commercials for Honda.
  • Gary Busey did an ad for Amazon playing the fact that people think he's insane.
  • Gordon Ramsay did an ad for AT&T, unsure of what to do with himself once he gets the exact plan he wants.
    Ramsay: Okay, I'm not quite sure what to do with my arms, because this is usually the point where I start throwing things.
    Lily: Oh, that's... terrifying.
  • Anthony Michael Hall gets in on it in another ad for AT&T, where a store associate is demonstrating AT&T's unlimited data by showing scenes from Anthony Michael Hall films (Specifically, National Lampoon's Vacation, Sixteen Candles, and Weird Science), not realizing that she's selling it to Anthony Michael Hall.
    Associate: I wonder what he's up to these days.
    Anthony Michael Hall: Maybe he's shopping at an AT&T store.
  • The Arby's commercials with voiceovers by Ving Rhames are playing around with his reputation as the go-to actor for Scary Black Man roles by having him deliver intense monologues about... sandwiches.
  • One Intel commercial features Jim Parsons essentially acting as Sheldon Cooper shilling computers.
  • Baseball catcher Yogi Berra had a reputation for coining bizarre turns of phrase that sounded profound, so much so that "Yogi-ism" was coined to describe these phrases. In several commercials from the 80s to his death in 2015, he played up this image by saying downright surreal sentences that cause the people around him to go "wait a minute!"
  • Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (the most iconic version of Gregor Clegane on Game of Thrones) made an ad for vodka that shows him going about his day, making breakfast, working out, taking a walk, pouring a drink for his friends, threaten to burst a man's eyes with his thumbs for not liking his vodka...
  • Peloton Exercise Equipment had a viral ad in late 2019 that many compared to a "hostage tape" where the wife, played by Monica Ruiz, receives the item looks scared, angry, and eventually leaves the gift giver. The company's stock valuation dropped over one Billion dollars shortly after the ad's launch. Within a week, the same actress appeared in a viral ad for Ryan Reynolds-owned Aviation American Gin where she is chugging gin with friends in a post-breakup girl's night out for someone who's survived a horrific experience. The final line is one of them saying "You look great by the way."
  • Kelsey Grammer knows that most people will always see him as Frasier Crane, and in public appearances will often play a caricature of himself with aspects of Frasier's personality: smug, excessively verbose, eager to look like a great wit. This McDonald's commercial is a good example; Grammer is allegedly appearing As Himself, but the character is obviously Frasier (if Frasier would ever lower his standards to order from a McDonald's drive-thru, that is).
  • Pete Davidson has a campaign with Smartwater where he pokes fun at his comic reputation for being a Basement-Dweller and his public reputation for making bad decisions. One ad takes place in a doctor's office as he gets his many tattoos removed.
  • Sean Bean in this British advert for Yorkshire Tea, where he sends up not only Game of Thrones role, but also his Yorkshire-ness.
  • Tennis great John McEnroe has done a lot of this, mainly playing off his many outbursts during his prime playing years. In at least two campaigns, he repeats arguably his most (in)famous phrase—"You CANNOT be serious!"

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Gag Dub of Super Milk Chan includes live-action segments centered around the cast and crew of ADV Films, in which they play themselves as a dysfunctional group of misanthropes and prima donnas.
  • Lucky Star's anime adaptation does this during the Lucky Channel segments:
    • Daisuke Ono, who was known for his roles as smooth-talking Bishōnen characters at the time the anime first aired (though he's branched out more since then), voices an exaggeratedly handsome version of himself who's always holding a rose. He's also rather dismissive of Shiraishi due to being a more successful voice actor than the latter.
    • Yūko Gotō plays herself as a hyper masculine delinquent biker called "Gothouther-sama", in reference to Souther from Fist of the North Star (who's her favorite character from said series). This pokes fun at how she's typically cast as characters who are soft-spoken Nice Girls, while in reality, she's a hardcore biker.
  • The episode of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt that is a homage to Transformers has the Japanese voice actors of both Optimus Prime and Megatron voice versions of themselves. This being the show it is, things don’t work out well for them...
  • The "behind the scenes" promos for Osomatsu-san season 3 had the voice actors for the sextuplets, already famous for playing beloved (and attractive) male characters, "admit" to returning to the roles of cartoony, vulgar, desperate NEETs for the cash.
  • In Zombie Land Saga, Saga-born actor and musician Hakuryu voices White Ryu, an exaggerated version of himself who goes around riding on the hood of his 1960s Cadillac convertible and constantly spouts Ice Cream Koans.
  • EDENS ZERO has a handful of "B-Cubers" who are based on real-life YouTubers, who were called in to voice their respective selves in the anime adaptation: Japanese duo Icchy and Naru from Ichinaru TVnote  play hostages who are trafficked to the planet Guilst; Bom Bom TV host Yocchi is a competitor at the Mildian battle coliseum; and German anime newscaster Nino "Ninotaku" Kerl voices an anime Otaku and friendly member of Madame Kurenai's Zaiten Three in the German dub.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Stuck on You, Cher plays herself as a has-been that the public doesn't care about.
  • This Is the End employs this heavily as it involves the coming apocalypse during a celebrity filled party at James Franco's house. Featuring Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, and Jay Baruchel.
  • In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Brendan Fraser plays D.J. Drake, a security guard and former stuntman. When Daffy doesn't believe the latter, he claims he was in the Mummy movies "more than that guy Brendan Fraser was." At the end of the movie, he meets the "real" Brendan Fraser (obviously also played by Fraser), who acts like a total Jerkass to D.J. prompting him to punch Brendan in the face.
  • Robert De Niro in Analyze This — he takes every psycho Mafioso character he's ever played, and lampoons them with gusto.
  • Michael Madsen in Being Michael Madsen - a mockumentary that implies he's just Mr Blonde as an actor, which is terrifying enough as a mental image. Some of his voice acting for video games counts too, as does the fact that in more recent movies (such as Kill Bill) the movie almost relies on you to know what a Michael Madsen character is "supposed" to be like, so it can confound your expectations.
  • In Liar Liar Jim Carrey mentions that "some people" make a living by making outrageous faces.
  • In Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a mockumentary about filming an adaptation of the novel, Gillian Anderson (as herself) gets the part of the Widow Wadnam because the producer loves her as Scully on The X-Files. Gillian wants to get away from her most famous role, and is later annoyed when her scenes as the widow are cut from the movie. Many, many more layers of meta in this film.
  • Elements of Adam Westing are incorporated into Tropic Thunder: Robert Downey Jr.'s character, an award-winning Australian actor, was revised after he was cast to include attributes of the real-life actor, including his propensity for staying in character for extended periods of time and a turbulent relationship with the press. In the same movie, Tom Cruise plays a Prima Donna Producer that seems to be inspired by some of the star's more embarrassing public appearances.
  • Pierce Brosnan, post-James Bond. His MI6 agent in The Tailor of Panama and assassin character in The Matador are ironic twists on his James Bond persona.
  • Bruce Campbell plays "a sleazy version of himself" in My Name is Bruce. In this case, at least partially, Campbell was playing the opposite of his normal persona. His character was bitter about being a B-movie actor. In real life Campbell loves being a B-movie actor because it's fun and not very hard.
  • Bill Pullman spoofed his character from The Grudge in Scary Movie 4.
  • Jack Slater in Last Action Hero is an over-the-top parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger's "action hero" roles. The actor also appears as himself in that movie, prompting a brief encounter between Refugee from TV Land Slater and Arnold.
  • In Machete, Lindsay Lohan plays a drug-addicted porn star with daddy issues.
  • Stan Lee often showed up in non-Marvel-licensed movies as an excessively comic-obsessed Stan Lee with delusions of being a super hero himself. It's hard to tell how much is acting since his real life personality was almost an Adam Westing of himself anyway. In Mallrats he claims to be in a sexual conquest contest with Mick Jagger and is far ahead. In Iron Man he's mistaken for Hugh Hefner, and in Iron Man 2, he's mistaken for Larry King.
  • In perhaps the most multi-layered display of Adam Westing in film, Roger Moore appeared in The Cannonball Run as the bored Jewish heir to an underwear tycoon, who posed as actor Roger Moore to impress a succession of high-tone women, also adopting the mannerisms and gadgets of James Bond, most notably his Aston Martin DB5. His performance therefore incorporated a straight self-parody of how he'd been typecast as Bond, a parody of his suave-sex-symbol image, and a Captain Ersatz Take That! (as Bond's name is never mentioned) toward his most famous role.
  • Elisabeth Shue played "herself" in Hamlet 2. Her character in the movie quit acting to become a nurse in a sperm bank, and it's implied that she's a nymphomaniac.
  • Julia Roberts's character Tess Ocean pretending to be Julia Roberts in Ocean's Twelve. She also plays a fictionalised version of herself in Notting Hill.
  • Ethel Merman's Celebrity Cameo in Airplane! as a shell-shocked lieutenant who believes he's Ethel Merman.
  • Ben Affleck and Matt Damon play themselves in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and poke fun at both themselves and their movies:
    • This exchange:
      Security Cop: Excuse me sirs, but we have 10-07 on our hands.
      Matt Damon: Jesus, Ben. Not again.
      Ben Affleck: Noooo, bullshit! I wasn't WITH a hooker today! Aha-ha!
    • And this one:
      Matt Damon: Hey, shove it, Bounce-boy. Let's remember who talked who into doing this shit in the first place. Talking me into Dogma was one thing, but this...
      Ben Affleck: Hey look, I'm sorry I dragged you away from whatever gay-serial-killers-who-ride-horses-and-like-to-play-golf-touchy-feely-picture you're supposed to be doing this week.
      Matt Damon: I take it you haven't seen Forces of Nature?
      Ben Affleck: You're like a child. What've I been telling you? You gotta do the safe picture. Then you can do the art picture. But then sometimes you gotta do the payback picture because your friend says you owe him.
      [They both take a beat and look at the camera]
      Ben Affleck: And sometimes, you have to go back to the well.
      Matt Damon: And sometimes, you do Reindeer Games.
      Ben Affleck: See, that's just mean.
  • Mark Hamill may have Captain Ersatzed himself in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, not as his most famous role (Luke Skywalker) but his role as the voice of the Joker from Batman: The Animated Series. Here, he plays Cock-Knocker. While the "bongsaber" duel was certainly a play on his role as Skywalker ("Don't fuck with a Jedi Master, son"), the outlandish character of Cock-Knocker with his colorful costume, and in particular the bright yellow wig, will remind some of his voice work as the Joker - especially since he used more than a hint of that voice for Cock-Knocker. The costume, at least, was probably inspired by his role as the Trickster in the 90s TV series The Flash (1990).
  • Neil Patrick Harris's appearances in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and its sequels portray his former child star self as a womanizing drug addict. It was only later that his celebrity persona included a womanizing dimension due to How I Met Your Mother. This became a completely inverted persona when he came out in Real Life as a gay man in a long-term, committed relationship.
  • Paris Hilton in Repo! The Genetic Opera. She plays an airheaded heiress who prostitutes herself for drugs, to numb herself during the plastic surgery she's addicted to, because she wants to be a singer but keeps getting booed off the stage. Although the part wasn't originally written for her, she insisted on getting it and played it with great enthusiasm. In Supernatural, she plays a pagan god who has assumed the likeness of Paris Hilton. And when the John McCain campaign used her image in a campaign commercial, she played herself in a series of mock campaign commercials for Funny or Die, briefly causing the phrase "The Paris Hilton Energy Plan" to be spoken, with a straight face, by political pundits.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme:
  • Michael Cera is turning into this, particularly when he plays "himself" in Paper Heart, a Mockumentary in which, technically, he is merely playing his typical role.
  • Bill Murray in Zombieland. One assumes he's exactly this awesome in real life.
  • Joaquin Phoenix attempted to do a double-ironic post-meta version of this for his film I'm Still Here, a mockumentary/documentary of Phoenix's nervous breakdown/rap career, which turned out to have been staged as a publicity stunt for I'm Still Here. Somehow, audiences were unimpressed.
  • Goes as far back as the Doris Day classic, It's A Great Feeling which featured cameos from Edward G. Robinson failing to live up to his tough guy persona to Joan Crawford slapping the two main characters just because she does it in all her movies.
  • Nicolas Cage's current career is arguably based on this. Roger Ebert suggests he is doing a career experiment where he only takes the very best and the very worst films that are offered to him.
  • Repossessed has Linda Blair spoofing herself in The Exorcist, playing a housewife who is possessed by the same demon who was exorcised from her teenage self.
  • In Postal, Uwe Boll claims to be a child molester who finances his films with Nazi Gold, gets shot in the dick, and dies while screaming about how much he hates video games.
  • In Blubberella, Uwe Boll appears in a dream sequence as Hitler.
  • In Ted, the eponymous teddy bear and his best friend do whiskey shots and cocaine with Sam Jones, who saved us all.
  • A classic example. Greta Garbo parodied her screen siren image in 1941's Two-Faced Woman. Audiences didn't get it and it persuaded her to quit Hollywood.
  • The starring characters of Galaxy Quest.
  • Clint Howard already had indulged in this with his B-movie career (to the point that an MTV Lifetime Achievement Award was given to him on the 1998 MTV Movie Awards). But he parodied his role as a flight controller in his brother's Apollo 13 by appearing on both the Austin Powers series and the second Night at the Museum as part of Mission Control.
  • Ben Kingsley is a serious British actor who has also played a number of Large Ham villains with various accents, in Prince of Persia, The Dictator and Thunderbirds among others. In Iron Man 3 he plays a British actor hired to play the part of a Large Ham villain with a strange accent.
  • In the movie Thank Your Lucky Stars, which features an All-Star Cast playing themselves, Eddie Cantor plays an egotistical version of himself, and Humphrey Bogart makes fun of his tough-guy image when he's intimidated by an impatient producer and muses, "Boy, I hope none of my movie fans hears about this." Both inverted and played straight in the same scene, where long-time villain actors Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet send a soldier packing by asking if they would join them outside for a moment, before Lorre laments:
    Lorre: All I wanted to do was ask him to join me in a cigarette. And we're such nice guys.
    Greenstreet: [looming] Are we?
    Lorre: Hey, Sidney... [he backs away nervously]
  • Joey Fatone, who succumbs to a surprise shark attack in, what else, Jersey Shore Shark Attack.
  • A number of real-life celebrities make cameo appearances in Zoolander. Notably, Fabio appears at the beginning of the film, accepting the "slashie" award for "best model slash actor" and "not the other way around".
  • Charlie Sheen seems to be moving towards this, after openly talking about his rampant drug use and wild love life made him a media sensation. Sheen played himself in Scary Movie 5 and his role as the President of the United States in Machete Kills was built around his public persona.
  • Coffee and Cigarettes is an All-Star Cast series of vignettes with celebrities parodying themselves, their stage personas or best known roles, sometimes by inverting them. It begins with Steven Wright getting amped up on caffeine and Roberto Benigni patiently trying to make sense of his babbling. Other highlights include:
  • The Congress is a very unusual case as it is played for pathos rather than comedy. Robin Wright plays a version of herself whose career declined much more steeply than real life and whose poor choices and unreliability as an actress are thrown in her face.
  • In Scary Movie 4, Dr. Phil and Shaquille O'Neal appear as themselves. Dr. Phil portrays himself as a fake psychiatrist with mommy issues, while Shaq is a bumbling klutz.
  • Quite a few examples in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Riggan's history as "the guy who played Birdman two decades ago" is similar to Michael Keaton's portrayal of Batman. Edward Norton plays a brilliant but difficult method actor, similar to his own reputation. Keaton was initially off-put by the role because he thought it was an invoked example of this trope, thinking the casting choice was specifically mocking him. However he came around after reading the script.
  • Angus Scrimm's role as a Crusty Caretaker in the low-budget horror spoof Transylvania Twist sends up his The Tall Man persona from the Phantasm films with which he is indelibly identified something rotten, including a flying sphere attack that turns into a baseball game.
  • Space Jam: Bill Murray freely admits he has no place in this story.
  • The Running Man: Damon Killian, host of the in-universe game show The Running Man, is an over-the-top Jerkass parody of his actor, Richard Dawson, as the longtime host of Family Feud.
  • Jack and Jill prominently featured an exaggerated and narcissistic version of Al Pacino, played by none other than Al Pacino.
  • Julie Andrews:
    • In Darling Lili she plays a beloved English Rose celebrity who's secretly a German spy in World War I, and eventually does a striptease on stage. Even when she confesses to her crimes, the police refuse to believe her.
    • S.O.B. she plays an actress with a sugary sweet reputation who is convinced to go topless in a movie - which she can only do while on drugs.
      "I'm going to show my boobies!"
    • The Princess Diaries has most of the humor coming from dignified Julie Andrews having to deal with a bumbling American teenager. Both films delight in giving her several Not So Above It All moments - such as making up a fictional order to knight the police to in order to stop Mia getting arrested, and giving a Big "SHUT UP!" to a courtroom full of lords.
  • A pioneer in spending a film sending up his public persona is Dean Martin as the boozy, womanizing crooner Dino in 1964's Kiss Me, Stupid. He's called Dino, but the film otherwise doesn't try to hide that it's supposed to be Martin, right down to Dino having the same Signature Songs as Martin.
  • Incident At Loch Ness: Werner Herzog and Zak Penn play themselves as an uptight eccentric director and an incredibly sleazy producer. Herzog and Penn wrote this movie.
  • The game avatar of Smolder Bravestone Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle seems to have been written with Dwayne Johnson in mind. He's the Ace of the game characters, with no weaknesses and Smoldering Intensity as an explicit power. For bonus points, Spencer, the character playing as him, is a scrawny nerd in real life, so when he first lands in Jumanji, we get a scene of the Rock marveling at how buff he is.
  • Jason Statham in Spy sends up his Action Hero persona, playing a complete buffoon, bragging about surviving ridiculous injuries, and bursting in to save the day, only to get his overcoat caught on a door handle and drop his gun.
  • In the mid-late '30s, Katharine Hepburn's reputation was not unlike that of another Katherine H. many years later. Her tomboyish behavior, standoffish relationship with the press and her fans, and upper-class background caused many to see her as a Rich Bitch, which eventually took a toll on her career when her films started to bomb. So, for her comeback in The Philadelphia Story, she played a snobbish socialite whose first scene involves her getting pushed over by Cary Grant and falling on her ass. Critics and audiences loved it, and Hepburn won her third of twelve Oscar nominations and a Career Resurrection.
  • The ABCs of Death: In "Q is for Quack", Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett enjoy playing coke-sniffing, hypocritical versions of themselves.
  • Boomerang (1992): Eccentric, hot-tempered model-turned-musician-and-actress Grace Jones plays eccentric, hot-tempered model Helen Strangé.
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: Cher plays a larger-than-life pop star (and Sophie's grandmother). Colin Firth (known best for serious, critically-acclaimed roles) hams it up in his dramatic scenes, then leads a fleet of ships in Dancing Queen.
  • Between Two Ferns: The Movie: Most of the celebrities featured are made fun of (eg. Jon Hamm is played as an idiot, Benedict Cumberbatch's name is unpronounceable, Peter Dinklage is an obnoxious rich party animal, Will Ferrell is an asshole coked-up media exec). Zach Galifianakis in particular plays himself as an oblivious, incompetent Small Name, Big Ego host.
  • One of Victor Mature's last movies was After The Fox, in which he plays a hammy washed up actor.
  • Men in Black II has a cameo from Michael Jackson as an alien who wants to become an MIB agent.
    Michael: I could be Agent M.
  • Trainwreck has LeBron James as a heightened version of himself. And most reviewers were surprised in that in a sharp contrast to sportspeople failing at acting, James actually gives a good performance that manages to hold his own and be funny against a cast of established comedians.
  • Will Smith plays his 90's comedic roles as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fights aliens (Independence Day), the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fights more aliens(Men in Black, Men in Black II), the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a Steampunk cowboy (Wild Wild West), and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a cop (Bad Boys (1995)).
  • While Eminem's most famous film role (in 8 Mile) was an autobiographical role that was somewhat Playing Against Type for a character known until then as an Anti-Role Model shock comedian, his later film roles have been mocking himself.
    • In Funny People, he gets a crucial, poignant scene playing himself as a washed-up, suicidally-ideating misanthrope, driven so insane by his rap beefs that he goes around starting shit with mediocre light-entertainment celebrities, convinced they're going to get him popped.
    • In The Interview, he gives the same interview about his inappropriate lyrics that everyone has heard him give a hundred times... until he admits the famous homophobia in his lyrics is because he's gay. He is confused that everyone seems so surprised by this, since as far as he was concerned it was obvious.
  • Played for Drama in Targets, one of Boris Karloff's final films. Released in 1968, it stars Karloff, one of the most iconic actors of Universal Horror, as a beloved but disillusioned veteran horror movie actor named Byron Orlok who has recently announced his retirement on the grounds that real life is now churning out far more horrific things than anything in his movies. Sure enough, the plot revolves around him getting caught in the path of a Spree Killer who shoots up a Drive-In Theater hosting a screening of one of his films.
  • American Dreamz: Mandy Moore, best known at the time as a wholesome former Teen Idol from the late '90s and early '00s whose biggest hit was titled "Candy" and is about as bubblegum and sugary-sweet as it sounds (though she would later develop a more mature sound and image), plays Sally Kendoo, a fame-hungry Bitch in Sheep's Clothing contestant on a Reality TV singing competition who merely pretends to be a wholesome teen idol, exploiting both her Farmer's Daughter image and her handicapped "war hero" boyfriend to win the sympathy of viewers and voters in Middle America.
  • Céline Dion makes her acting debut in Love Again as a more flamboyant, nosy, and self-absorbed version of her regular public persona.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The POP Network seems to live on this with their original series:
    • Nightcap has the behind the scenes antics of a talk show which includes Julianna Marguiles as a diva, Brooke Shields nearly killing Kelly Rutherford and Julianne Moore as into method even as a guest.
    • Hollywood Darlings has Beverly Mitchell, Jodie Sweetin and Christine Lakin wrestling with their fame as 1990s TV show kids and often clashing with other former child stars playing themselves like Soleil Moon Frye.
    • Return of the Mac has former pop star Joey McIntyre tricked into hosting his own talk show and clashing with other former teen pop idols.
  • Lorenzo Lamas in the third season of The Joe Schmo Show plays an exaggerated version of himself as a contestant in a fake bounty hunter type competition.
  • James Van Der Beek in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.
  • The Jack Benny Program:
    • Rod Serling once appeared as an eccentric man known only as "Mr. Zone".
    • One episode has Raymond Burr reprising his role of Perry Mason - a much more incompetent Mason who insists on wearing an Abraham Lincoln hat and also turns out to be the real killer!
    • Jack Benny's screen (and radio) persona was also an example, what with the whole "vain, egotistical miser" bit.
  • Tim Conway plays himself as a Jack Benny-esque penny-pincher in an episode of Newhart.
  • By the end of the fifth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation, the show had gotten so melodramatic and earnest that the actors (and the writers) needed to relax and let off steam. They did it with a truly epic amount of Adam Westing, both on their show and others. To take maybe 1 percent of what they did:
    • Craig, the show's Tragic Hero, is a sensitive, emotional musician who has very tragic teen romances and often ruins things with his grandiosity. Craig's actor guest-starred in Radio Free Roscoe as an incompetent wannabe musician, dripping with self-indulgent Wangst and more-artistic-than-thou pretentiousness, whose "sensitive, tortured soul" is an act that he uses to seduce girls.
    • In TV specials and "behind the scenes" pieces, actress Stacey Farber (who played the show's grim Goth) never lost an opportunity to point out that in real life, she's a preppy fashionista who loves all the things the goth found phony.
    • One of many Adam Westing Degrassi (and Instant Star) commercials from the sixth season: "I'm a Degrassi, and I'm an Instant Star." (A lot of the humor is lost if you don't know the show, unfortunately.) It ends with Too Dumb to Live Derek somehow becoming even dumber than he is on the show.
  • The Babylon 5 episode "Day of the Dead" guest stars Penn & Teller as Rebo and Zooty, an even more irritating comedy duo of the future.
  • Perhaps the best part of Go On is the appearances by Ryan's intern/temporary assistant, Terrell Owens, playing himself as a fun-loving and enthusiastic version of himself, unlike his Jerkass real life persona
  • Wayne Brady appears in an episode of Chappelle's Show as an over-the-top, violent and vulgar comedian out to steal the title character's show — a complete opposite of what Wayne Brady is like in real life, and a result of one of Paul Mooney's characters saying, "White people love Wayne Brady, because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X."
  • Tom Baker:
    • His work on Little Britain as The Narrator is an exaggeration of his on-and-off-screen eccentric personality. "Have you ever done it gaywise? It's a hoot."
    • He provided all the linking material for BBC2's "Doctor Who Night" in the '90s in the same ridiculous style, using all the Doctor's creepiest mannerisms and cracking jokes about his offscreen reputation for drunkenness, sexuality and bullying.
    • When he chaired Have I Got News for You, he spent a fair amount of it pretending to be psychotically jealous at David Tennant for stealing his job, and the rest of it being the Fourth Doctor playing Tom Baker.
    • In a weird reversal of this trope, it's not uncommon for more comedy-based Expanded Universe Doctor Who material to port Tom Baker's personality traits into the Fourth Doctor, such as a reputation for heavy drinking and swearing at K-9. Even one televised Sixth Doctor storyline cracked a joke about the Fourth Doctor's reputation for hard-drinking party animal behaviour, something associated with the actor but that the character shows virtually no signs of in the show itself. This is sometimes even used as a basis for going Darker and Edgier with the Fourth Doctor, with certain stories (especially the Big Finish audios) taking inspiration from the actor's history of depression and some of his more damaging life experiences to flesh out the character.
    • The entire point of Bakers End, which features Baker playing himself as a macabre, fairy-tale-ish Cloud Cuckoo Lander 'King of Cats' who is constantly sexually menaced by old ladies, decided to 'return to space' rather than die, and is at best Ambiguously Human.
  • Tim Stack as "TV's Tim Stack" on My Name Is Earl. The character is a narcissistic drunk who holds beauty pageants and parades. Tim Stack is actually a writer for a few of the episodes.
  • This has happened to a certain extent to most of the actors in the M*A*S*H television series.
    • Jamie Farr once guest-starred on That 70's Show as himself, and joked about his character's...eccentricities.
    • Alan Alda appeared on 30 Rock as a die-hard liberal. His former work was practically noticeable when he walked in on Tracy sobbing about his repressed inferiority complex over his failure to dissect a frog, and uttered the following line:
      Alda: A grown man crying about a chicken and a baby? I thought this was a comedy!
    • William Christopher played "Chaplain Olson" in an episode of Mad About You. At the tag at end of the episode, he is still in his character's wardrobe, but is now playing himself. He is praying and asking God, "but what I most want to know is 'Why do I always have to play a priest?!'"
  • The Sopranos:
    • Jon Favreau appeared in "D-Girl" as a name-dropping, overly-pretentious jerkass version of himself who'd come to New Jersey to make a movie. Star-struck gangster Christopher was delighted to hang out with "Jon"... until "Jon" stole all his ideas. The real Favreau is a much nicer person.
    • Frank Sinatra couldn't show up to lampoon his own mob ties, on account of being dead, so instead we get Frank Sinatra Jr. playing poker in "The Happy Wanderer".
    • When Christopher pitches his idea for Cleaver to Sir Ben Kingsley in "Luxury Lounge", the actor comes off as a total materialistic snob, completely disinterested in anything Christopher's saying. So instead, they have to settle for Daniel Baldwin.
    • The same episode stars Lauren Bacall, who seems nice at first but turns out to have quite a dirty mouth (granted, she was being mugged at the time, but it's quite hilariously shocking to hear the F-word coming from her).
  • In a The Catherine Tate Show sketch for Comic Relief, Tate's character of Elaine Figgis was in a relationship with Daniel Craig but had no idea who he was and seemed put off by Craig's constant affections. This was definitely more along the lines of affectionate self-parody, as the character (and Craig's participation) shows him as a normal guy, in contrast to his characters in Layer Cake, Casino Royale (2006) and other films who tend to be rather icy and brutal.
  • In the Supernatural episode "The French Mistake", Dean and Sam are transported to an Alternate Universe where their adventures are actually a television show. A lot of the real-life cast and crew members are portrayed as complete jerks and idiots, with Misha Collins probably getting the worst of it as a twitter-obsessed douchebag who is bullied by actors Jared and Jensen (who don't appear). Sam is also very shocked to learn that his actor counterpart is married to ditzy but hot Genevieve Padalecki, the actress who played the villainous Ruby and that they have a pet alpaca.
  • Extras was a show devoted to this, with highlights including:
    • Kate Winslet as a calculating Oscar climber playing a nun in the Holocaust for Oscar Bait. This was made even more delicious with her Oscar win for starring in a film centered around the Holocaust (The Reader). Ricky Gervais called her on it when he hosted the Golden Globes — "Well done, Winslet, I told ya, do a Holocaust movie, the awards come, didn't I?" — with the result of her turning beet red and nearly falling off her chair laughing.
    • Daniel Radcliffe as an immature Former Child Star desperate to nail anything.
    • Chris Martin of Coldplay plugging the band's then-new Greatest Hits Album on everything from a sitcom to a public service announcement to his shirt in every scene he's in.
    • Orlando Bloom as an egotistical heartthrob who starts pursuing Maggie because she doesn't find him attractive and he is therefore absolutely determined to enlighten her as to his hotness.
      Orlando: Kiss me. Let me show you how I do it.
      Maggie: Well okay, if it'll shut you up.
    • Comedian Les Dennis as a pathetic, broken shell of a man. Les himself contributed several anecdotes from his own life to make his character even more pitiable.
    • Patrick Stewart talking about how he wanted to do a movie as a character based on Professor X of the X-Men Film Series... who used his vast mental powers primarily to make the clothes of nubile young women spontaneously fall off.note 
      Stewart: They try to cover up, but I've seen everything!
    • Ronnie Corbett and Moira Stuart as cokeheads.
    • Keith Chegwin as a hardcore racist and homophobe.
    • Warwick Davis being extremely bitter and angry about his dwarfism.
    • Shaun Williamson having only one notable role: Barry from Eastenders. He's referred to as Barry constantly by the other characters, and he's even called that in the credits.
    • Liam Neeson is a dramatic actor obsessed with becoming a comedian, despite the fact that he has No Sense of Humour and Cannot Tell a Joke to save his life.
    • Johnny Depp is a hysterical prima donna who Can't Take Criticism and is nothing short of abusive to those that don't grovel to him.
  • Dix pour cent is a French series about a talent agency. Every episode had at least one real-life French star appearing as themselves, a client of the agency. One episode featured Jean Dujardin as a client of the agency who gets way, way too much into method acting when shooting a World War I film.
  • Luisana Lopilato in Casados Con Hijos (the version of Married... with Children licensed for Argentina) spoofed the teenage starlet characters she played in shows such as Rebelde Way and Floricienta.
  • Cybill had Cybill Shepherd, fallen actress... as Cybill Sheridan, fallen actress.
    • In one episode, she dates Jonathan Frakes, who is Adam-Westing himself throughout the show. In the conclusion, he's strongly implied to have been Riker pretending to be Frakes.
  • Christopher Eccleston parodied Doctor Who on The Sarah Silverman Program, playing the title character on the Show Within a Show, Dr. Lazer Rage.
  • Pretty much anyone involved with Doctor Who gets this treatment in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, which is full of Self-Deprecating Humor:
  • Sylvester McCoy Adam Wested in an episode of the BBC daytime soap Doctors, in which he played a has-been actor best known for his kids' TV role as "The Magical Lollipop Man".
  • Arrested Development:
    • Carl Weathers is a shameless cheapskate who is always finding ways to pinch pennies, cheat businesses and mooch off of others.
    • Conan O'Brien plays himself as a Jerkass who doesn't respect his female writers or Andy Richter.
    • Andy Richter plays himself and his four quintuplet brothers on the show.
  • Saturday Night Live guests frequently invoke this trope, especially in opening monologues: e.g. Bob Saget gives an autograph to a child fan (though the "autograph" turns out to just be a string of dirty words since Saget was exhilarated to be on a show where he could actually use them), who asks for his pen back afterwards. Bob refuses, then reveals that the interior of his jacket is lined with pens stolen from the many kids who sought his autograph.
  • Everyone who appeared as a guest on the spoof talk show The Larry Sanders Show was doing this. Worth mentioning is David Duchovny, who played himself in love with Larry, propositioning him backstage wherever he appeared.
  • BRIAN BLESSED as a very, very Large Ham. This was most obvious when he hosted Have I Got News for You. He embraces this persona (which does border on Truth in Television) to the hilt.
  • Anthony Stewart Head appeared on Spooks as a smart, well-educated international terrorist who was notorious for duping naive young women into helping him carry out his attacks. He apparently had a particular thing thing for blondes...
  • 30 Rock:
    • James Franconote  portrayed himself as a Moe fan who needs Jenna to act as his beard to cover up his relationship with an anime body pillow.
    • Half the regulars on 30 Rock (Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer, and Judah Friedlander) play comically exaggerated versions of themselves.
    • NBC newscaster Brian Williams shows up frequently on the show as himself, and his character is wackier each time.
      • He does this on The Daily Show as well. In fact, he seems to Adam West himself everywhere except for NBC Nightly News and Rock Center.
  • Tommy Chong appeared as a guest on The George Lopez Show and as a semi-regular on That '70s Show, playing essentially the same character: A burned-out not-so-ex-hippie stoner.
  • Jennifer Grey as Jennifer Grey on It's Like, You Know..., an out-of-work actress who had just received a rhinoplasty... much like the real Jennifer Grey.
  • The Nanny:
    • Shari Lewis essentially played herself as The Ventriloquist. She seemed to legitimately believe Lamb Chop had a will of its own and acted as if she had no control over Lamb Chop's actions; near the end of the episode, Lamb Chop even argues with and threatens Shari, claiming to hold a majority stake in their partnership.
    • Lynn Redgrave appeared as a Jaded Washout who would do any favour for anyone who mildly complimented her work.
  • In A Colbert Christmas, country singer Toby Keith appears as himself, singing an even more hyperbolic take on his post-9/11 hit "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" meant to spoof conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly's declaration of a "war on Christmas." He also enters and exits the holiday special carrying an assault rifle.
  • The Big Bang Theory
    • Wil Wheaton's Celebrity Star appearances features a mean and snarky Wil Wheaton, which is really not what the guy's like. He promises. Game over, Moonpie!
    • Brent Spiner does this as well in a brief appearance, opening the package of a signed Wesley Crusher action figure given to Sheldon by Wheaton, and thus taking Wheaton's place as Sheldon's mortal enemy.
    • James Earl Jones portrayed himself as a party animal in the Season 7 episode "The Convention Conundrum", becoming fast friends with Sheldon and taking him to the carnival, a strip club, a sauna, and to Carrie Fisher's house to play Ding Dong Ditch.
  • Eureka: Wil Wheaton plays a jerkass version of himself.
  • Leverage: Wil Wheaton plays a jerkass version of himself.
  • On a special Star Trek edition of The Weakest Link (back when Anne Robinson was hosting the American version), Wheaton did this and it worked a bit too well. One of the other celebrity contestants was actually upset and creeped out by his behavior.
  • Just Shoot Me!: Finch, a big Star Wars fan, meets Mark Hamill and pesters him. Hamill agrees to spend the day with Finch at his job in the Blush magazine offices. After a while Hamill annoys Finch to the point where Finch asks him to leave and Mark reveals he was just acting so irritating to teach Finch a lesson.
  • Matthew Perry appears in an episode of Scrubs as a bitter, resentful misanthrope. According to the showrunners, his character was explicitly written as "Chandler if he never met the other Friends".
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: Mark Hamill is hounded by the main cast for his performance as Luke Skywalker. While he publicly bemoans his fans only remembering that part, he's shown alone in his hotel room re-enacting it in front of his mirror with a hair dryer as a blaster.
  • In the short-lived sitcom Stacked, Pamela Anderson played a character who is an exaggerated parody of herself: a ditzy blonde party girl with big boobs who has a habit of dating rock stars.
  • Matthew McConaughey did this in an episode of Sex and the City, playing the classic Hollywood jackass.
  • During Comedy Central's roast of Larry the Cable Guy, Gary Busey spends a good 5 minutes insulting himself.
    Busey: How did they manage to get Gary Busey here? Did somebody turn on the batshit signal?
    • Busey also plays a crazy version of himself in Two and a Half Men. Literal to the point where he's Alan's roommate when he's institutionalized.
  • Episodes of the tenth season of Two and a Half Men have featured guest appearances by ex-Disney Channel stars, including Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment and Hilary Duff (though not together). Each of them play promiscuous and often ditzy or eccentric girlfriends or (soon-to-be-girlfriends) of Jake or Walden, and the actresses are certainly both Playing Against Type while sending up their squeaky-clean, family-friendly Disney images in their roles.
  • Duncan James, previously of the Boy Band Blue, played an obvious parody of himself and how he is perceived in the media in the UK Sitcom Plus One, to the extent that his character was only ever referred to (even in the credits) as 'Duncan from Blue'.
  • Olivia Newton-John on Glee plays an uber-Jerkassish version of herself in the episodes "Bad Reputation" and "Journey".
  • In Hannah Montana, Billy Ray Cyrus plays his own Captain Ersatz.
    • Particularly in one episode where the family is trying to throw off a reporter who nearly discovers Miley is Hannah Montana. Miley pretends to be a delusional girl who only thinks she's Hannah Montana, while Jackson pretends to be Elvis. The final straw however, is when Billy Ray's character throws on a huge mullet wig and says he's Billy Ray Cyrus. The reporter declares that the whole family is crazy and leaves.
    • Miley, to an extent derives much humor in doing this to her own Real Life self in the Miley Stewart and "Hannah" roles throughout the show, in particular her Deep South roots and celebrity status (along with the occasional stealth humor on her run-ins with scandal, and her Teen Idol image).
  • Miranda Cosgrove in the iCarly Clip Show episode "iBloop".
  • Don Adams after Get Smart was typecast to the point where Maxwell Smart was the only character he could play (see The Nude Bomb). He did do voice work for Tennessee Tuxedo but that was just his Maxwell Smart voice.
    • And in Inspector Gadget, where he offers a glimpse of what RoboCop might have been if he'd been rebuilt out of Maxwell Smart instead of Alex Murphy.
  • In Party Down, Steve Guttenberg plays himself as a cartoonishly enthusiastic and accommodating host who takes a bunch of clueless waiters under his wing for a night. No matter how idiotically his guests behave, he continues to smile indulgently and congratulate them for sharing. After spending the whole night encouraging his guests to "go for it," he steals one of their dates.
  • In Episodes, Matt Le Blanc plays a (presumably) fictional Jerkass version of himself, using his own name and Friends backstory, but with some fictionalized elements including (presumably) a Gag Penis, and two sons instead of his real singular daughter.
  • Triple H had a role in an episode of Pacific Blue as a porn king's bodyguard. He's apparently playing himself, since not only is his character referred to as "Triple H" by the others, but he even wears a D-Generation X shirt. Maybe in this universe he fell on some hard times?
  • An episode of The Golden Girls featured Lyle Waggoner and Sonny Bono as caricatures of themselves fighting over Dorothy's affections. In the end, it's revealed that the whole thing was All Just a Dream... and a recurring one, at that.
  • In the 2011 FOX sitcom New Girl, Zooey Deschanel plays a character who can't get a guy because she's too weird. Most of her fans like her because she's so weird, but that's beside the point.
  • "Voiceover Man" Peter Dickson, known for his work on E4, The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, Family Fortunes, The Price Is Right and many more, loves to play up his Large-Ham Announcer role. See The X Husband and Voiceover Man Needs a Job for examples.
  • Isaiah Mustafa (aka Old Spice Guy) appears in Chuck as a character almost as implausibly awesome as he is in the Old Spice adverts - super confident, imposingly strong, and a perfect shot with a sticker gun at 30 feet (shooting behind his back). He even gets a tooth-gleam effect when smiling.
  • Chevy Chase, known for his prima donna antics and sour egotism around his co-stars (leading to his permanent ban on Saturday Night Live), revived his career playing Pierce Hawthorne in Community, whose selfishness, bordering on psychopathic, wreaks havoc on the show.
    • Jack Black's character in Community is an overenthusiastic, deluded, half-crazy Large Ham who breaks into song at inappropriate moments. When trying to persuade the group of his value, he describes himself as a "chubby agile guy" before accidentally high-kicking Jeff in the face.
    • A straighter example is Luis Guzman's appearance on the show, where he plays himself as Greendale's most famous former student, who still loves the place because he "got laid like crazy" there.
  • Charles Grodin, actually an extremely nice guy by all accounts, adopts the same curmudgeonly, cynical, easily annoyed persona in his public and television appearances that he became known for in film. It got really confusing when he hosted an ostensibly non-comedic cable chat show as the comically serious and bitter "Charles Grodin" instead of as himself.
  • Lyle Talbot, former matinee idol turned B-movie actor, portrayed "State Senator Lyle Talbot", a former matinee idol turned B-movie actor turned politician in Green Acres, parodying both himself and then California governor Ronald Reagan. He later portrayed the unnamed state's governor who would host marathons of his own films on a local TV station.
  • Sometimes the guest stars on Entourage will do this. Matt Damon is the best example, with one episode ending with him begging for donations to a child charity on his phone, becoming more and more overly emotional each time and going further into overblown ham comedy.
  • How I Met Your Mother's star drawing power is pretty up there, and they enjoy this trope. They got Emmitt Smith in the second season (What's more important than football? Dance, my friend. Dance) and Regis Philbin in the fourth.
    • Maury Povich appears in one episode in the background of almost every scene, meaning that he's in numerous places at once.
    • Jim Nantz appears as himself in an Imagine Spot, where he's interviewing Barney about his sporting triumphs in the sport of picking up random hotties.
    • Alan Thicke has made several appearances as himself, starting with the Season 3 episode, "Sandcastles in the Sand." He's an old friend of Robin's (due to both being Canadian and having met on the "Sandcastles in the Sand" music video, where he played her father — in real life Alan Thicke has a son named Robin).
    • William Zabka appears as a washed up Former Child Star who travels with 2000 headshots of himself in his trunk and is so hated for his famous villain roles that he's ostracised by his family and gets booed and pelted with popcorn by random people in the street.
    • Alex Trebek made an appearance as the host of a game show called Million Dollar Heads or Tails, for which Robin auditions. He doesn't get many lines, but hires her because she's Canadian.
  • Kevin Bacon appeared on Will & Grace as a movie star who needs to be stalked by the likes of Jack.
    • Jennifer Lopez appeared in the sixth season finale as a ditzy version of herself who makes her backup dancers wear her branded perfume. She's hired to sing at Karen's wedding and in the process takes a shot at her own failed marriages.
      Jennifer: Just remember: the secret to a successful marriage is... ah, who am I kidding?
  • Shonda Rhimes appeared in an episode of The Mindy Project, playing herself as the only woman allowed to compete in an otherwise all-male collegiate beer pong tournament, because she is so awesome. "Writing is how I pay the bills, but my passion is beer pong". clip.
  • Casa Vianello, the longest-running Sitcom on Italian TV (1988-2007), depicted a comedic version of Raimondo Vianello and Sandra Mondaini's (two of the most beloved former film and TV actors in Italy) everyday life. The two were married in real life too; Raimondo portrayed himself as a grumpy, scheming and lecherous old man whose only interest in life was soccer, and Sandra played the part of the brilliant but ditzy housewife who always tries to find new ways to escape boredom. The show enjoyed immediate success and the end of every episode, with the two in bed, Sandra wildly thrashing her legs while Raimondo quietly read a newspaper right next to her, became something of a Memetic Mutation in Italy.
  • Val Kilmer's appearance on Life's Too Short, which reunites him with his Willow co-star Warwick Davis. "Adam West" is even namechecked.
  • The Real Husbands of Hollywood revolves around Kevin Hart and numerous other celebrities playing outrageously flanderized versions of themselves, with Kevin himself being seen as an annoyance and The Friend Nobody Likes within the show. One episode even refers to him as the most hated person in America.
  • Creed Bratton's self-named character in the American version of The Office. In one of the final episodes, it's revealed that Creed (the character) used to be in the band The Grass Roots. Though in another episode Creed (the character) heavily implies that he killed the real Creed Bratton and stole his name.
  • In the unsold pilot Heat Vision and Jack, Ron Silver plays Ron Silver, government assassin and movie actor.
  • Mex Urtizberea had a huge success as "Tuca" in Graduados (2012), and sported an artificial beard. Two years later, working in Viudas E Hijos Del Rock And Roll, he let his true beard grow.
  • Columbo featured Johnny Cash and Janet Leigh portraying characters that were very similar to themselves.
  • Stevie Nicks, who has long been rumored to be involved in witchcraft and/or Wicca in real life (a rumor that she's always denied), guest-starred on an episode of American Horror Story: Coven As Herself... where it turns out she really is a witch.
  • A rare non-comedic example with Jerry Lewis in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, whose Jerry-Lewis-like behavior is part of a manic episode that ends in murder.
  • Sean Bean does it in every episode of UK comedy Wasted, where he appears as the spirit guide of a fat loser stoner called Morpheus, dressed as his GoT character Ned Stark.
    Morpheus: Now the weather is getting colder, and autumn is ending, don't you think...?
    Sean Bean: I'm not fucking saying it.
    • In the final episode of season one Sean Bean lets Morpheus cut his head off because Sean Bean always dies in everything. Then he turns the Internet memes up to eleven when he comes back to life in a white light and says "One does not simply kill Sean Bean".
  • Alex Trebek also appears in the final episode of The Colbert Report as "the man with all the answers." He also praised Stephen in talking to him in the form of a question.
  • Friends: Gary Oldman appeared in a two-parter as Joey's alcoholic Large Ham co-star.
  • Vincent D'Onofrio as a rather strange version of himself on Bojack Horseman.
  • Jane the Virgin:
  • Robert Goulet guest starred on several sitcoms as a fading version of himself, somehow becoming involved in the lives of the series regulars who came to hear him sing, notably on The King of Queens, George & Leo, and Mr. Belvedere.
  • Matt Damon does this as Jimmy Kimmel's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, believing that he has been constantly shunned aside by Kimmel because they keep running out of time.
  • Eerie, Indiana: In "Reality Takes a Holiday", Justin Shenkarow, Mary-Margaret Humes, Francis Guinan, Julie Condra and Joe Dante each play an exaggerated (if not outright deranged) version of their real life selves.
  • Chris Hansen appeared As Himself on the short-lived truTV show Fameless in a skit that pranked someone into thinking they were in a To Catch a Predator sting.
  • The Nightmare Room: Fear Games has Tippi Hedren, who had been playing a witch in story. When this is revealed she says "First birds, now this!"
  • The central point of Staged, a BBC short-form dramedy series written and directed by Simon Evans about himself, Michael Sheen, and David Tennant trying to rehearse a play over Zoom. Michael is an extremely intense actor who intimidates Simon, David is flippant and has no attention span, and Simon isn't assertive enough to keep the Vitriolic Best Buds working together. There are also guest appearances by a Cluster F Bombing Samuel L. Jackson, who doesn't remember that he's worked with Michael before; an Adrian Lester who is on the edge of a breakdown, and has a Suspiciously Specific Denial that he hasn't started exaggerating his Brummie accent; and a Dame Judi Dench who is extremely aware that she is a National Treasure, and swears.
  • Black Mirror
  • Billy Eichner plays a more campy and high-strung version of himself when hosting Billy on the Street.
  • Hiroshi Fujioka who is known for Kamen Rider and Segata Sanshiro is considered as one

    Music Videos 
  • David Bowie's Jazzin' for Blue Jean (1984), a Short Film / long-form video, is partially built around this via his playing two roles. One is dorky hero Vic, who is trying to maintain a Celebrity Lie. The celebrity in question is Bowie's other character, Screamin' Lord Byron, a rock star with an elaborate, Arabian Nights-inspired onstage look and a way with the ladies... plus a diva-ish attitude and presumably decadent offstage life — when we first see him in the flesh, his handlers are carrying him to his dressing room because he's passed out; he's even hooked up to a portable oxygen tank. Bowie had just had a Newbie Boom thanks to 1983's Let's Dance, and it's possible newbies didn't realize "Mr. Screamin'" was a spoof of his 1970s personas (Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke, etc.) and excesses. As Vic chews him out at the end: "You conniving, randy, bogus-Oriental old queen! Your record sleeves are better than your songs!"
  • James Van Der Beek plays a parody version of himself in the video for Kesha's "Blow".
  • In the video for "Disco 2000" by Pulp, Jarvis Cocker appears as himself frequently being shown on TV screens, magazine covers, posters and so on; leading other characters to make complaints like "Not him again!" This was a response to the perceived over-exposure of Pulp at the time.
  • Taylor Swift plays an increasingly obsessed and insane version of herself in her video for "Blank Space", parodying the image some portions of the media have of her as an drama-addict who deliberately makes her romantic life chaotic to provide inspiration for songs.
  • In the music video for D12's "My Band", Eminem plays himself as a vain, smarmy megalomaniac and spotlight hog with an outrageous skincare routine who refuses to understand that his bandmates hate his guts, parodying various embarrassing tabloid stories about his weekly facials and divaish behaviour. He also dresses his group up as a Boy Band, making fun of how he was a Hardcore Hip Hop artist who'd somehow crossed over to become a teen idol.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In 2021, Tim Donaghy, a former NBA referee who made headlines in the mid-to-late-2000s after being caught fixing matches, made his debut in Major League Wrestling as a crooked referee.

  • In the I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again 25th Anniversary Reunion Show, most of the cast parody themselves to an extent (Graeme and Bill have given up comedy for medicine and birdwatching; Tim now lives in a a very twee, middle class sitcom town), but the Adam Westing comes from John Cleese, played as a Howard Hughes-style millionaire recluse with an obsession with silly walks.

    Video Games 
  • Nicolas Cage plays an exaggerated version of himself in Dead by Daylight complete with abilities themed on his infamous overacting.
  • Lazlow Jones is a hacker, radio host and privacy advocate who moonlights as a writer for the Grand Theft Auto series. He voices one of the recurring radio hosts (also called Lazlow) and happens to be one of the unluckier characters of the franchise, routinely getting threatened and insulted by his callers and guests. By Grand Theft Auto IV, Lazlow has been fired half a dozen times from various stations in nearly every corner of the United States and has become increasingly bitter and alcoholic. In the fifth game, Lazlow finally shows up in person where he's not only portrayed as cartoonishly pathetic but also ends up getting humiliated at the hands of the protagonists on two occasions.
  • In the Saints Row 2 DLC pack Ultor Exposed, the Boss teams up with ex-porn star Tera Patrick, playing herself as an Ultor microbiologist-turned-whistleblower.
  • Saints Row: The Third has Burt Reynolds as the Mayor of Steelport. Unlike Adam West, however, Mayor Reynolds is an in-universe Memetic Badass.
  • Saints Row IV gets rid of the fan favorite Zombie Voice and replaces it with a "Nolan North" option instead. It's Nolan North playing Nolan North. Keith David also voices himself as the Vice President. Since he also voiced Julius in the first two games, comparisons eventually get brought up.
    • Keith's They Live! costar Roddy Piper shows up in the former's personal simulation and eventually becomes a recruitable party member.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, singer Wayne "Mr. Las Vegas" Newton appears as Radio New Vegas' DJ, Mr. New Vegas.
  • In universe example is Mario in the RPGs. Some local will recognize him as the Mario and he'll have to do various jumps, plumbing, or "heroics" to appease them to continue the real heroics.
  • The full motion video game Ripper features Christopher Walken doing what appears to be a Christopher Walken impression. His distinct speaking style is dialed up to 11.
  • YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG has Rory Mancer (portrayed by Yuriofwind), whose mannerisms and behavior make him his voice actor without the YouTube account.
  • In The Simpsons Game, Will Wright of SimCity and The Sims fame (with both franchises owned by Electronic Arts, who published this game) makes an appearance as a minor antagonist who wants to destroy the 8-bit Simpson family, and proclaims himself as "the nerdiest nerd in the computiverse".
  • Pain and Terror in Borderlands 3 are essentially Penn & Teller voicing themselves (or not, in Terro's case) as the hosts of a Desert Punk Circus of Fear.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • KISS has a track record of often appearing as zany caricatures of themselves in animation. The two most notable examples are when they helped save the world from a giant alien black hole in The Fairly Oddparents special Wishology and when they were interdimensional space guardians complete with an animesque Magical Girl transformation sequence in Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery.
  • In Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, every main character was the voice actor doing a self-parody. The patients were all stand-up comics replaying the 'total neurotic loser bits' from their own stand-up acts, to animation. Dr. Katz, Ben and Laura were the only ones with original lines.
  • The Futurama movie "Into the Wild Green Yonder" featured Penn Jillette as a head who barely fit in his jar and worked with a Teller who was dead and the act was the same.
    • "Bendin' In The Wind" features Beck making fun of his tendency for Word Salad Lyrics as well as his general stage persona. Apparently his one note on receiving the script was that they should add more jokes at his expense.
    • While he plays himself as a Sophisticated as Hell scientific genius in "The Cryonic Woman", Pauly Shore also parodies his own act.
    • Al Gore, ever since he made An Inconvenient Truth, has appeared a few times in cameos on as an over-the-top parody of either a environmentalist super-hero ("A whale is in trouble!") or as a super-egotist who claims credit for everything (as he was mocked for after his 'invented the Internet' comment was misconstrued).
      Gore: Finally! I get to save the world with deadly lasers instead of deadly slideshows!
      Gore: If we don't go back there and make that event happen, the entire universe will be destroyed... And as an environmentalist, I'm against that.
  • The Simpsons:
  • Patrick Stewart's role in the Family Guy episode where the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation are all present, in which he is portrayed as egotistical and violent (particularly towards Wil Wheaton, who at one point asks for something from the take out and receives a brutal smash into the window, with Stewart screaming at him that "You'll get nothing and like it!").
    • Stewart also plays the Director of the CIA, Bullock, in sister show American Dad! (based on his character from Conspiracy Theory):
      Bullock: Naturally, recapturing this fugitive is our top priority. Then we can track down the bastards that have been harboring it and punish them brutally. I mean, really brutally. Weird stuff. Butt stuff.
    • Patrick Stewart also voiced Peter during a cutaway in which Peter had had his vocal cords surgically replaced with Patrick Stewart's.
    • He also voices the internal monologues of Joe's infant baby Susie. His first line in that role was "Hello, this is Patrick Stewart, how are you enjoying the show so far?"
    • Family Guy also has James Woods, who plays himself as a recurring psychotic villain.
    • In one episode, Rush Limbaugh also showed up playing himself (well, Fred Savage in a suit, but that's another episode...). Rush also shows up in the first Family Guy Star Wars parody, where he goes on a talk radio rant about a liberal galactic agenda.
    • A Cutaway Gag Alyssa Milano appears in person to file a defamation suit against the show, spoofing a lawsuit she filed in real life.
    • There was also a gruesome spoof of Scooby-Doo, with Frank Welker reprising his role of Fred.
    • "Patriot Games" portrayed Jay Leno as a stalker who wants to kill Tom Brady (with Leno himself providing the voice).
    • One episode featured Lauren Conrad playing herself as a genius who only pretends to be an idiot due to America's anti-intellectualism.
    • One episode has a cutaway gag where Stewie laments that someone turned their back on him "like reality turned its back on Gary Busey!" Cut to Gary Busey psyching himself up in the mirror, with his reflection as a hideous clown with snake hair. Busey voiced himself (and the reflection).
  • The vast majority of Celebrity Voice Actors on King of the Hill appear as (mundane) fictional characters, but the ones who appear as themselves invariably do this, with Chuck Mangione being an eccentric Mega-Lo-Mart spokesman who's squatting in the Arlen store and struggles with anger issues, while Randy Travis is a compulsive liar who steals other people's ideas and deeds to take credit for them, to name two.
  • In Megas XLR, the character Magnanimous was, as a whole, a parody of Bruce Campbell... voiced by Bruce Campbell. His second appearance even had a chainsaw-and-shotgun-toting mech. Which looks like Elvis.
  • American Dad! has, not only Patrick Stewart, they also had the members of the band My Morning Jacket play themselves, having to deal with Stan's slightly-stalkerish obsession of them, especially the singer Jim James.
    • They also had Ricky Martin in an episode as himself where he was shown as being in love with Roger.
    • Danny Devito voices himself as a robot in "Tearjerker".
    • Another episode sees Nicki Minaj and Bruno Mars playing themselves attempting to destroy his career.
  • Gary Owens was known for voicing Hanna-Barbera's limited animation superheroes like Space Ghost and Blue Falcon. In Disney's Raw Toonage, he voiced a parody of those guys: "Badly-Animated Man."
    • While generally not limited animation, Owens also voiced Powdered Toast Man, whom was a semi-parody of such superhero characters.
  • Robot Chicken does this a lot, as a surprising number of the celebrity parodies feature the actual celebrity. Special mention has to go to the fourth season premiere, which starts with co-creators Matthew Senreich and Seth Green (himself someone that can't stand the thought of only having a major role in a hit TV show paying hundreds of thousands) looking for jobs after the (in-universe) cancellation of Robot Chicken from a Joss Whedon who is an overly dramatic, egotistical nut-job who believes Seth is one of his "creations" for starring in Buffy, which quickly devolves into attempts on their lives, believing Seth is really a werewolf; a Ron Moore who writes Battlestar Galactica by throwing darts to decide who's a Cylon, and decides to attack the duo as well when he takes Seth's suggestion that "I could be a Cylon" too literally; and a Seth MacFarlane with the power to rewrite history to include any random past event he offhandedly mentions, which he does constantly. All of them were voiced by the actual people.
    • Some other memorable examples have been Rachael Leigh Cook in a parody of her "This is your brain on drugs" PSA where she goes completely bonkers and starts running around destroying things with the frying pan until finally leaping off a building to her death; Joey Fatone playing himself as The Karate Kid (1984) to avenge the deaths of his fellow *NSYNC bandmates (and also poke fun at his weight problem — the sketch is called "Enter the Fat One"); Corey Haim and Corey Feldman as failed-child-actor would-be superheroes; Tila Tequila in her MTV reality show, revealed to be a Terminator-esque cyborg programmed with the sole goal of being a pop celebrity; Stan Lee and Pamela Anderson as the co-hosts of a comic book gossip show, with Stan making increasingly un-subtle innuendos until finally leaping out a window to prevent anyone from finding out his "secret identity".
    • Ryan Seacrest parodied his own public image during a guest spot on this show.
    • Morgan Freeman reprised his narration of March of the Penguins in a spoof that followed the day to day life of The Penguin.
    • Mark Hamill appeared as himself in a sketch called "Meteorgeddon", where Harrison Ford is chosen to lead a mission to blow up a rogue asteroid (along with Aerosmith as the crew) because of his role as Han Solo in Star Wars. He tries to back out by saying he's not qualified, but a Star Wars fan cheers him on with "Go get 'em, Han Solo!" Then there's another press conference called by Hamill who thinks he should lead the mission:
      Hamill: Hey, I blew up the Death Star with my eyes closed.
      Very same Star Wars fan: That was just a movie, dude.
    • A missed case occurred when they did a sketch where the writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation attempted to make Wesley Crusher more likable by introducing an even worse character - a banjo-playing Great Gazoo-esque creature named Snergle - only for fans to want them to kill Crusher and keep Snergle. Wil Wheaton later said he'd have been happy to voice Wesley if they'd asked.
    • 50 Cent appears to voice himself in the "PaRappa & 50" sketch, in which PaRappa becomes famous and joins G-Unit Records simply by repeating some of Chop Chop Master Onion's lines regardless of context. Eventually Master Onion becomes jealous over PaRappa having not returned his calls and opens fire on the two. He only manages to hit 50 Cent, who is completely unamused.
      "Eh, it's the tenth time I've been shot. Bullets are like food to me."
  • In The Venture Bros., Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman in the DCAU, does an absolutely hilarious parody of his performance as the caped crusader, in the form of Captain Sunshine, complete with massive Ho Yay directed towards his deceased sidekick, Wonderboy. While directing his performance, the creators were adamant that Conroy not "be afraid to be Batman."
  • Archer did it with Burt Reynolds, who turns out to be just as much a crack stunt driver and world-class ladies' man in real life as in the movies that Archer is obsessed with.
    • Kenny Loggins, portraying himself as an egoist disinterested in any fan contact. He also has some shady uranium deal going on and insists (unsuccessfully) on being addressed as "K-Log."
  • In the years between his initial burst of fame as the star of Doogie Howser, M.D. and his comeback role as Barney in How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris guest-starred in an episode of Static Shock as a washed-up teen sitcom actor who turned to a life of crime after failing to find more acting work. As Harris himself was still struggling to get a steady gig, this casting could be seen as an allusion.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man (2012), Stan Lee plays a school janitor who is prone to delusions of grandeur and frequently talks to himself when nobody else is around. The students seem to think he is insane.
  • According to Mark Evanier, Kevin Meaney's role as Aloysius on Garfield and Friends was so good, it got him onto many other cartoons such as Rocko's Modern Life and Duckman.
  • Margo Martindale plays a wild, Trigger-Happy version of herself in Bojack Horseman, where she is always referred to as "Character Actress Margo Martindale".
    • Other As Himself examples on the show include Naomi Watts as a diva who takes Method Acting to creepy extremes and Jessica Biel as an emotionally abusive wife to Mr. Peanutbutter who is oblivious to how bad her movies are.
    • There's also Keith Olbermann as Tom Jumbo-Grumbo, a news anchor and walking embodiment of sensationalist news media.
    • Season 2 has Daniel Radcliffe portray himself as an insensitive, entitled brat who doesn't remember people who gave him genuine advice (namely Bojack), but remembers who did his makeup 3 years ago once on a TV appearance.
    • Season 4 had Vincent D'Onofrio as the original pick for "Untitled Horsin' Around Ripoff" before Mr. Peanutbutter showed up as a better fit.
  • Mike Tyson plays himself in Mike Tyson Mysteries. This is the same series where Mike Tyson is portrayed in universe as a Cloudcuckoolander who solves most problems by punching them.
  • The Justice League Action short "Missing the Mark" features Mark Hamill, who voices the Joker, the Trickster, and Swamp Thing on the show, being kidnapped by the former two and saved by the latter. Fittingly, the in-universe Hamill manipulates Joker and Trickster against each other by mimicking their voices and tricks them into driving onto some grass so Swamp Thing could capture them.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin appeared in the animated adaptation of Dilbert as the judge during a child custody hearing over Dilbert's baby.
    Steve Austin: Austin 3:16 says "order in the court!"
  • The Proud Family has an oddly mean-spirited example. One of Season 2's recurring character is Al Roker, the weatherman most might recognize from Today. Instead of portraying him as the Nice Guy he is in real life, and as a normal human being, Al plays himself if he was a complete Jerkass Genie, who's an expert at reality warping and has no problems putting people into slave labor.. including babies! Even when he's not doing that, he's just a plain egotistical jerk who's not a nice person to be around.
  • Zack Snyder appeared in the 365th episode of Teen Titans Go!, voicing a cartoon version of himself who lifts weights and projects the eponymous Teen Titans (who want to see the "Snyder Cut") into the ancient times battle of Zack Snyder's Justice League against Darkseid where they get to kick much ass in his serious and dramatic style (there's an animation shift at this moment, from the Zany Cartoon Teen Titans Go! style to the more serious style seen aplenty in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies).
  • In Clone High, Marilyn Manson plays a cartoon version of himself who, in addition to being an Industrial Metal artist like in real life, is also a licensed doctor, and even gets to sing a song about the food pyramid, complete with a great Double Subversion, starting as jaunty, then abruptly switching to a death metal guitar riff, then back to jaunty.

  • Nearly every role R. Lee Ermey played after Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket was a pastiche of that role. Sometimes he uses this for Playing Against Type, notably in Saving Silverman - same persona, but turning out to be Manly Gay at the end.
  • Leslie Nielsen. Though he did the occasional comic-relief role here and there, he was mostly known as a serious actor before the 1980s. Then came Airplane!, in which he played a comedic role in the same deadpan manner — and the rest is history...
  • Bob Saget revived his career by Adam Westing the family-friendly image he built up from his roles in Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos by portraying fictionalized, foul-mouthed, substance abusing and sex-craving versions of himself in Entourage and Jamie Kennedy's comedy rap song "Rollin With Saget". Until his death in 2022, he built a new image for himself as a dirty, hard-edged comic by frequently Adam Westing (and often downright trashing) his previous career in his stand-up and subsequent television and film appearances.
    • This can be seen as early as his legendary appearance in the 1998 film Half Baked.
    • One of the stranger cases. Saget started out as a blue comic before landing the family-friendly roles on AFHV and Full House. Then came the Adam Westing. After that, Saget's most notable role is the reminiscent dad on How I Met Your Mother, where he very often bowdlerizes the booze-and-sex-fueled romps enjoyed by himself and his friends.
  • Jerry Lewis occasionally did this. What makes him stand out is that he's played this for tragedy rather than comedy, using an exaggerated version of himself rather than the wacky characters from his earlier comedy films. In his appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit he played Detective John Munch's mentally disturbed uncle Andrew, drawing on his experience with his own mental decline to give what is widely regarded as one of the most moving performances in the franchise.
  • With Willie Nelson, it's hard to say where the personality ends and the Adam Westing begins. Some guest-starring self-parodies are obvious, like making fun of his pigtails on The Simpsons or his tax problems on King of the Hill. His frequent marijuana jokes anytime he appears in person might be a self-parody (he's pretty old to be smoking anything at this point), or might just be himself talking about himself.
    • "Do you smell that?" "No I don't, and you don't, either."
  • Ichiro Mizuki of JAM Project, in works he appears, is known for being a Large Ham and reveling in it.
  • Jay Leno is quite fond of making movie cameos and having a laugh at his own expense and his oversized chin. He even appeared on BattleBots with a robot with his a picture of his face called Chin Killa.
  • The Lonely Island; most of their guest stars play exaggerated versions of themselves. Michael Bolton is an easily distracted cinephile, Justin Timberlake is an Extreme Omnisexual, and Nicki Minaj has No Social Skills, just to name a few.
  • Former Child Star Danny Bonaduce of The Partridge Family fame worked his way into radio by Adam Westing his life after acting, particularly his notorious coke habit.
  • While attending UC Berkeley, Jeff Cohen, who played Chunk in The Goonies, became student body president, using "Chunk for president!" as his campaign slogan, and would also do the "Truffle Shuffle" at home games, even though he had lost weight as an adult.
  • Rebecca Black seems to be forever tagged to Fridays as she starred as herself in Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)" music video.
  • Charles Wood's play Veterans features a character, Sir Geoffrey Kendall, a well-respected but somewhat dotty English actor transparently based on John Gielgud. In the play's original production, Kendall was played by...John Gielgud.
  • Daniel Ellsberg is an economist who made a significant contribution to the theory of decisions under uncertainty, but he will always be known as the Pentagon Papers guy.
  • Jon Stewart has done this from time to time ever since his retirement as host of The Daily Show, typically at awards shows and on the shows of his former correspondents (Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and John Oliver). His alternate self is a hermit, vagrant, and a touch senile...though he does make serious appearances as well, sometimes mixing Serious Jon with Adam Wested Jon.
  • Some of Ted Nugent's guest appearances on TV shows border on this. Notably, he's appeared As Himself on The Simpsons, making fun of his pro-firearms position in "I Don't Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and his support for the Republican Party in "Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson".
  • Most of tennis great John McEnroe's film and TV appearances, for example as the narrator of Never Have I Ever, are him playing up his infamous Hair-Trigger Temper persona.
  • Bono of U2 wholeheartedly acknowledges his reputation for being egotistical, and aside from repeatedly lampshading it, appeared in the mock charity video at the end of Brüno (2009) as a slight self-parody of his real self.
  • In I Summoned Cthulhu To Fund My Kickstarter, author Pat Shand writes himself as a perverted bottom-feeder who's desperately trying to milk the fact that he wrote two pages in Angel (IDW) for all it's worth.


Trope Namer on The Simpsons

The Simpsons meet Adam West in one of his first times "Adam Westing".

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Main / AdamWesting

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