This is going to be special episode. This is going to be a Pilot, Pilot Movie, Grand Finale, Origins Episode, Reunion Show, or maybe even a Very Special Episode. Or regular episode, in which we want something that will make it special. We need a guest star, but not any guest star. And not another episode where Metallica's in town. We need someone real big, like, like...like president of the United States! Or Russia! Or British prime minister! Maybe even a member of Royal Family! Or Pope! No matter - he just needs to be well-recognized political or religious leader. If he's popular, his face itself will earn thousands. And if for some reason people don't like him, we will just chip with him, and they will love us. It doesn't matter, if the whole story will go round about him, or he will make only short appearance, if at all - it will work perfectly.
Compare Our Presidents Are Different.
The actual politician, in person
- Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue has a preface from George Bush Sr. Few kids who were watching it knew who he is, but still. Airings in other nations included similar forewords from the heads of government of those states.
- Barack Obama invited the MythBusters to the White House library to request they retest "Archimedes Death Ray"
- Tony Blair appeared on the Simpsons once. Like, the actual Tony Blair. Details here.
- Tony Blair also appeared as himself in a Catherine Tate sketch for Red Nose, meeting her sixteen-year-old schoolgirl chav, Lauren Cooper: . Can I just add he was actually the Prime Minister of Britain at the time.
- The possible Ur-Example is the then-Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson appearing with smash-hit comedians Morecambe and Wise, who regularly commanded audiences in the high twenty milions. He figured this sort of TV exposure showing him as a generous-spirited man with a sense of humour, who could go with jokes at his expense, was something that would not do his career any harm.
- The Canadian sitcom Corner Gas had two Prime Ministers make cameos (Paul Martin and Stephen Harper), along with a smattering of Members of Parliament and mayors.
- Former Swedish prime minister Göran Persson at one point appeared on a kid's show, and danced with a woman in a cow-suit.
- Al Gore appeared on the network-mandated green episode of 30 Rock. They had fun with it:
Al Gore: Quiet! A whale is in trouble... I have to go!
- He also makes quite a few appearances in Futurama, owing to his daughter having worked for the show.
- And Gore has hosted a season 28 Christmas episode of Saturday Night Live, and cameoed on a season 35 episode where he outlines his plans to act crazy (such as taping toy guns to trees and planting the trees outside a politician's house so when he walks outside, he'll think the trees have come to get their revenge) so people will take his environmental views seriously.
- Canadian politicians frequently make the rounds on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report.
- American politicians would sometimes show up. Most memorably was then presidential hopeful George W. Bush being asked by Rick Mercer what he thought of Canadian Prime Minister "Jean Poutine".
- The Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe appeared in Doctor Who as one of Mr. Saxon's celebrity supporters.
- Top Gear has had Mayor of London Boris Johnson as a guest.
- Then-Prime Minister David Cameron also had a brief cameo at the start of the India special (that consisted of him telling the presenters not to go to India).
- Johnson has also made four appearances as the host of Have I Got News for You. Charles Kennedy has clocked up nine episodes, one as host. Many other politicians have also featured on the programme.
- Two NYC Mayors, specifically Rudolph "Rudy" Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, have appeared on Law & Order.
- One 2008 episode of WWE Raw featured campaign speeches from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. Later in that same show, Obama and Clinton impersonators went head-to-head in a wrestling match .
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher performed a sketch she wrote herself with the cast of the sitcom Yes, Minister, where she played funnily enough, herself as Prime Minister.
- John McCain had a walk-on role in the fourth season of 24.
- NYC Mayor Ed Koch appeared in The Muppets Take Manhattan.
- Former Victorian state premier Joan Kirner appeared on the The Late Show (Australian version), singing The Arrows's "I Love Rock and Roll".
- Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is well-known to be a big fan of Batman and made quite a few cameos. Promoted Fanboy, anyone?
- He voiced the Territorial Governor in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Showdown".
- He appeared As Himself in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
- He had a line as a guest at Bruce Wayne's party in The Dark Knight, where he tells the Joker, "We're not intimidated by thugs!" He may or may not be playing himself.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, he has another cameo as a member of the Wayne Enterprises board of directors, appearing both when Daggett is booting Bruce from a board meeting, and also when Bane is holding the board hostage.
- He played Senator Purrington, one of the hearing members who get blow up by an explosion in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- This trope is Older than Cable ... Richard Nixon once made a cameo appearance on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
- Bill Clinton had a cameo appearance in the film First Kid, asking the (in-film) current president if he's seen his missing saxophone.
- On Parks and Recreation's Season 5 premiere "Ms. Knope Goes To Washington" features Senators Olympia Snowe, Barbara Boxer, and John McCain. "Leslie vs. April" beats that by having Vice President of the United States Joe Biden. Michelle Obama shows up in the season six finale to briefly name-drop her youth activity and diet programs. Season 7's "Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington" has Senator Boxer show up again along with Madeleine Albright.
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun (by then retired) appeared as (by then long-dead) Justice Joseph Story in Amistad.
- Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis played himself on an episode of St. Elsewhere, limping into the Emergency Department to get his ankle taped after he sprained it while jogging.
- In Australia's The Late Show, Mick Molloy booked former Victorian premier Joan Kirner (instead of Joan Jett) to sing "I Love Rock & Roll". Health Minister David White also appeared, playing the guitar.
- When legendary British disc jockey and talk-show host Terry Wogan retired from his long-running breakfast show, one of the many heartwarming farewell messages he received on the day of his final show was from Gordon Brown, the current British Prime Minister.
- Former Texas Governor Ann Richards appeared in an episode of King of the Hill, where she briefly dates Bill, of all people.
- Massachusetts Congressman and Speaker of the House Tip O'Niell once ducked into Series/Cheers to get away from a woman on the street who was bothering him (turns out it was Diane). The rest of the bar recognized him and goaded Norm (who was in the bathroom) to share his opinion of that "Do Nothing Congress" which O'Niell found amusing. Was a big factor in the show getting noticed by the general public at the time.
- The Philippines takes this Up to Eleven—a lot of politicians there weren't just guest stars, they were often full-fledged, full-time celebrities—actors, singers, basketball players and other athletes, newscasters, and various other media personalities—leveraging their media popularity to handily win at elections. Possibly only the most prominent example was former Philippine President Joseph Ejercito "Erap" Estrada, action star who became mayor of San Juan city for several terms (and went back to being mayor, this time of Manila, after his presidency expired—via impeachment).
Just the politician's likeness
- George Bush Jr. has a guest appearance in The Ultimates.
- Barack Obama got a special, short story in The Amazing Spider-Man. And thankt to Follow the Leader effect it was followed by his appearances in Thunderbolts, Secret Warriors, The Savage Dragon, Youngblood, opening of The Superhero Squad, and even making him main character in Conan the Barbarian parody comics, and sequel of some After the End comic.
- Obama appeared as a playable 'character' (actually a skin) in the add-on to Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, although he wasn't actually President yet at the time. Sarah Palin was also playable. Sadly, he's only playable in the add-on missions, and all of them are vehicle-based, meaning you only really get to see him in the hub area, and can't take the POTUS on a mass Venezuelan killing-spree. Now that would have got Chavez pissed off.
- Perhaps it should be mentioned that before the election (and to a lesser extent afterward) John McCain and Sarah Palin also got comics based on them. Not to mention Michelle Obama, and the new White House dog.
- Canadian example that does this with the Queen, sort of. The absolutely terrible 1980s Captain Canada comic by Geoff Stirling features a cameo by Liz and Chuck as they are about to get stepped on by a giant robot, only to be rescued by the greatest Canadian hero ever (oh, and Captain Canada)!◊
- Captain Britain had Gordon Brown in it once, which naturally amused the British Newspapers immensely: Telegraph, Mail, Sun. (Clue: that looks nothing like him.)
- President Kennedy was occasionally treated like this. There was a Superman story where he reveals his secret ID to the President, causing unfortunate implications (but not Unfortunate Implications) when he died at the time the issue came out and the story could be taken to mean his secret's safe with the President because he's dead.
- Of course Kennedy was treated like a pop star too.
- The Kennedy Superman example also has JFK holding up a picture of John Glenn as an example and Superman being impressed. Only in The '60s...
- Ronald and Nancy Reagan appeared in Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown, but they deliberately look nothing like their Real World counterparts. The prime minister of Canada shows up, too. Further subverted by the fact that the talking head of a "Dimension X" version of Reagan appears on Ed the Happy Clown's penis.
- Obama appeared in Savage Dragon but he was not the first president to appear in the pages of that series. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have appeared in the past.
- In the first episode of the live-action version of The Tick (2001), the heroes must save former president Jimmy Carter from a communist Killer Robot. The fact that it's not a real cameo is lampshaded by making him The Faceless.
- The Games had John Howard (the actor) pretending to be John Howard (the Prime Minister).