What well-known bands or actors acquire when they appear as themselves, or doing their instantly-recognizable acts, on a television program aimed at young children.
Like many things about modern kids' TV, the concept was pioneered on the Trope Namer Sesame Street, and subsequently became a staple of the many programs inspired by it. The basic idea is to make it easy and fun for parents/guardians to get involved in their kids' educational process; however, over the years, it has spun itself off into a unique celebrity cachet. An appearance on the Street — or nearby programming suburbs — has become almost as potent a sign of stardom as an appearance on Leno's or Letterman's couches.
May involve a certain amount of Bowdlerization to keep things kid-friendly and/or educational.
Mostly occurs in live-action shows, but an actor or band with a distinctive voice can provide the same effect in animation.
The serious older sibling of Parental Bonus. When a person does this sort of cameo because their children are in the target age for the work in question, that's So My Kids Can Watch. If the celebrity in question did work on a children's show before becoming famous, it would be considered Retroactive Recognition. If the celebrity was a big fan of the show they were cast on growing up (a common case with Long Runners like Sesame Street, Scooby-Doo and SpongeBob SquarePants), or are currently a member of the Periphery Demographic for the show and decide to take this role, their Sesame Street Cred would also make them a Promoted Fanboy. If the celebrity generally comes from adult-oriented media, it can be a Sub-Trope of Demographic-Dissonant Crossover. For the inverse (with the Sesame Street, Muppet Show, or related cast only), see Muppet Cameo. When someone famous writes or performs song for a children's show, that's Pop-Star Composer.
Note: When adding examples, please remember that not all animated series are aimed at young children. Rule of thumb: the closer the age of the show's target audience is to the age of the guest star, the less likely it is to be this trope. Also, remember that nearly all inverted examples of this trope go in Muppet Cameo, not here. Finally, please do not include examples where celebrities are guest-starring as characters other than themselves or not doing immediately recognizable acts.
- This happened in the Kids' WB! commercial break bumpers from its first and second years. The stars of their primetime block, along with comedian Harland Williams, would announce when the shows were taking breaks and returning.
- Back when it was PTV Park, PBS Kids ran a series of interstitials called Another Pointer From Paula Poundstone, in which the comedian Paula Poundstone gave children advice on topics like eating healthy and sticking to your plans.
- Gilbert Gottfried played Seymour Smoke Detector in AllState's Be Cool About Fire Safety Public Service Announcement.
- Hitomi Yoshizawa from Morning Musume appeared as herself in a Filler episode of Kirarin☆Revolution, an anime aimed at young girls. It's justified, as the lead character of said anime was based on and voiced by Koharu Kusumi, who is also a member of Morning Musume.
- Pretty Cure:
- Kanako Miyamoto and Mayu Kudou, who sing songs for the franchise, appear together in an episode of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!. Mayu also appeared with Aya Ikeda in the fashion show episode of Heart Catch Pretty Cure.
- Fresh Pretty Cure! features a cameo from the manzai group Audrey. Smile Pretty Cure! would do the same thing with manzai act FUJIWARA.
- The late Karl Lagerfeld appeared on a fashion-show themed episode of Go! Princess Pretty Cure.
- AKB48 member Mayu Wantanabe appears in the Halloween Episode of Maho Girls Pretty Cure!.
- Idol Yui Ogura played Cure Etoile in HuGtto! Pretty Cure, while news anchor Mizuki Yamamoto played an animated version of herself in the 15th anniversary movie produced for that season, HuGtto! Pretty Cure Futari wa Pretty Cure: All Star Memories.
- In Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure, Cure Star is played by Denpagumi Inc idol Eimi Naruse, while singer and voice actress Sumire Uesaka plays the Sixth Ranger Cure Cosmo. Both girls also sing like the people who voice them (while both sing to to transform, Cure Cosmo also has a secret life as an idol named Mao).
- Soma Saito as Lala's brother Lolo was officially promoted as this.
- Aoi Yūki plays Cure Grace in Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure.
- The Pretty Series often uses members of idol groups as guest stars, being that the franchise revolves around idols:
- DJ KOO (spelled DJ COO in the show proper) is a major character in Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live. However, in a strange version of this trope, he wasn't voiced by the person he was based off.
- AKB48 member Rina Kawaei played a mini Falulu in PriPara The Movie: Everyone's Desire Let's Go PriParis]. In the same movie, Dewi Sukarno, the former First Lady of India, played Ploria.
- Wa-Suta appeared as themselves in the 21st episode of Kiratto Pri☆Chan. It's justified, as they also sing the ending themes for the show.
- In another PriChan episode, YouTubers Kan and Aki appear as themselves.
- Yo-kai Watch:
- AKB48 appeared as Nya-KB in a few episodes. They also sang one of the ending themes as the group.
- In the first movie, comedian Ken Shimura was the voice of Master Nyada and AKB48 member Haruka Shimazaki played the younger version of Nate's grandmother.
- Aoi Yūki, a voice actress who mainly stars in otaku-oriented anime, plays Inaho Mizora, a character who herself is an otaku.
- In Jewelpet, Aya Hirano is the voice of Garnet, while the Big Damn Movie featured Mana Ashida playing a pink-haired princess version of herself.
- Hatsune Miku appeared As Herself in the children's anime Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion.
- Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō has these since cameos the Shimajiro No Wao retool that started in 2013. Most notably, in a recent episode, Takashi Fujii aka Matthew Minami makes an appearance as Etiquette Man.
- Coji-Coji has the song "Pocket Cowboy" by Denki Groove for its end credits.
- Larry King made a bizarre cameo as a bee version of himself in Bee Movie. Even more strangely, the protagonist has to explain to this bee that the human world has its own Larry King.
- The Care Bears Movie starred Mickey Rooney as Mr. Cherrywood and Georgia Engel as Love-A-Lot Bear.
- Peter Fonda starred in Thomas and the Magic Railroad as Lily's grandfather Burnett Stone, while Michael E. Rodgers starred as Mr. Conductor's cousin Junior.
- Ugly Dolls is this for Charli XCX, Lizzo and Bebe Rexha, as it was their first time providing voice work in child-oriented animation.
- Halsey plays Wonder Woman in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
- Anthony Ramos, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, and Ozzy Osbourne provide voices for major characters in Trolls World Tour.
- Adam Lambert voices Emperor Maximus in Playmobil: The Movie.
- Barbie movies:
- Tim Curry plays the villains Rat King in Barbie in the Nutcracker and Phillippe in the Barbie and the Three Musketeers.
- Anjelica Huston plays Gothel in Barbie as Rapunzel.
- Kelsey Grammer plays Rothbart in Barbie of Swan Lake.
- Martin Short plays Preminger in Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper.
- Catherine O'Hara plays Duchess Rowena in Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses.
- MacKenzie Porter plays Cora in Barbie: The Pearl Princess.
- Wilco had contributed the song "Just A Kid" for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Alec Baldwin and Scarlett Johansson also star in the film as major characters. Not to mention David Hasselhoff makes a live action cameo in the film.
- Space Jam is built entirely around this trope, featuring Michael Jordan and several other NBA players as themselves alongside the Looney Tunes characters via the Roger Rabbit Effect.
- Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme is basically Sesame Street Cred: The Movie. Most, if not all of the characters, were played by celebrity actors.
- Cool Cat Saves the Kids has Vivica A. Fox and Erik Estrada fill this role, for given value of “cred”.
- The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure stars Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Lloyd, Chazz Palminteri, Cary Elwes and Jaime Pressly.
- While The Sims is rated T for Teen and was never meant exclusively for children (and some of its themes and gameplay elements reflect that), it has nevertheless gained a kid-friendly reputation due to its lack of explicit content. That hasn't stopped countless musicians, many of them fans of the games, from considering it an Awesome, Dear Boy job to record Simlish covers of their songs to play on the in-game radio.
- This trope is the entire conceit behind Pancake Mountain, a youtube show where they get real musicians to make music videos aimed at kids which usually involve puppets.
- Zatanna (2010): Zatanna tried to star in an episode of Sesame Street within her series, but her crippling phobia of puppets meant that she did not even get through her act before she wound up throwing up in Oscar's garbage can. This actually leads her to seek therapy to try dealing with her fear of puppets and instigates the third arc of the series.
- In an episode of Murphy Brown, Murphy gets a guest appearance on a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Sesame Street. It... doesn't go well.
- In The West Wing, First Lady Abbey Bartlet appears in a segment with Elmo about going to the doctor. Elmo points out that Dr Bartlet gave up her medical license (after the MS scandal broke).
Elmo: Do you have a diploma you could show Elmo? Can Elmo be frank? This laughter is not filling Elmo with confidence!
- In a mix of reality and fiction, a late episode of Parks and Recreation has John Cena appear in Andy's "Johnny Karate" show.
- In one episode of Bones, Temperance Brennan guest-starred on "Bunson Jude, the Science Dude", wearing a skeleton costume.
- The Misfits in Jem attempt to do this with a kid's show at the start of "Roxy Rumbles". Roxy however can't read the teleprompter as she Never Learned to Read, and won't admit it to anyone but her bandmates (who tease her for it except for Stormer). She ends up getting into a spat with Pizzazz about it on live television and ends up banned from the show.
- We Bare Bears: "Anger Management" involves Nom Nom the Koala trying to get on a cutesy kids' show called The Corgis in order to boost his flagging popularity.