With the recent passing of Davy Jones, fans and critics have been looking back at his storied career. In addition to starring in his own show, The Monkees, he had a well-known cameo as himself on The Brady Bunch, in which his biggest fan, Marcia Brady, tries to get him to sing at the school dance.
At one point or another, the biggest rock stars in the world will eventually make a television appearance. It’s a rite of passage. Maybe it’s a late night talk show, or maybe it's as a house band on an episode of a forgettable teen drama, or maybe it’s a voice on a ridiculously long-running animated sitcom.
Here are five TV cameos from famous rock stars:
The Flaming Lips on Beverly Hills, 90210
Before becoming the award-winning and critically acclaimed band they are today, The Flaming Lips were once just a struggling alt-rock outfit from Oklahoma. But with the success of 1993’s Transmissions from the Satellite Heart and the single "She Don't Use Jelly," The Flaming Lips finally found national exposure, which led to a guest appearance on Beverly Hills, 90210. Seriously. The guys who brought you The Soft Bulletin appeared on 90210….
Colin Hay on Scrubs
Best known as a member of Men at Work, Colin Hay’s lagging career got a shot in the arm in the early 2000s as many of his songs were featured on Scrubs as well as the soundtrack to Garden State. In a 2002 episode of Scrubs, Colin Hay appeared as himself, following Zach Braff’s character around and playing an acoustic rendition of “Overkill.”
George Harrison on The Simpsons
In all honesty, I could make several lists based on musicians who’ve made appearances on The Simpsons. In the show's 23 seasons (and counting), there have been guest appearances from The Ramones, Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ringo Starr, and The White Stripes. But George Harrison’s appearance in Homer’s Barbershop Quartet is one of the most memorable, as he watches Homer’s group perform on the roof of Moe’s Tavern and shrugs saying, “It's been done.”
Tom Petty on King of the Hill
What started out as a cameo quickly morphed into a main character. Tom Petty played Lucky, a man living off a cash settlement he received after slipping on urine and hurting his back at a Costco. He married Luanne and became a main character until the show ended in 2010.
David Bowie on Extras
Ricky Gervais’ 2006 series Extras was filled with genius celebrity cameos, such as Kate Winslet telling Ricky’s character Andy that she’s starring in a film about the Holocaust because it guarantees an Oscar win. (Total coincidence, she won an Oscar for The Reader in 2008, which um…deals with the Holocaust….) But one of the most memorable cameos belongs to David Bowie, who is approached by Andy in a pub and then proceeds to sing a song about what a fat loser Andy is, leading the entire pub in a rousing chorus about poor Andy having a pug-nosed face.
Everyone join in: "He sold his soul for a shot of fame. He's the little fat man with a pug-nosed face."
What's your favorite rock star cameo? Drop us a note in the comment box below.