For the fourth installment of our Final Fours, we have decided to go with our top cameos.
Chris Pine in Celeste and Jesse Forever
This is one of those cameos that isn’t discovered unless you listen to the commentary on the DVD, or are a really big fan of the actor involved. Captain James T. Kirk for a new generation, Chris Pine, shows up incognito for about two minutes, and isn’t any more significant than an extra in the final cut of the movie. His blink and you’ll miss it moment consists of him sitting on a bench next to Andy Sandberg, Eric Christian Olsen and Will McCormack, but the cameo really shines is in the deleted scenes. This is where he ad-libs an exit for his character, and then attempts to leave on his skateboard. I say “attempts” because the future star of Star Trek 2 has a hard time staying on said skateboard. This is definitely one of the more random and unexpectedly funny cameo deleted scenes. Also, the movie itself is really, really good.
Ben Affleck in Curb Your Enthusiasm
Some of my favorite cameos have great stories behind them, and Ben Affleck five-second appearance on Curb Your Enthusiasm is one of my favorites. Legend has it that Ben just happened to be in the neighborhood getting a cup of coffee, said hello to Larry David and producers, and just stayed a few minutes for the cameo, and the rest is television history. Moral of this story: If you see Ben Affleck walking by your set, ask him to be an extra and he’ll be happy to do it. It’s tough out there for two-time Academy Award winner, you know.
Paul Kariya in D3: The Mighty Ducks
Sometimes a cameo’s randomness is not about how well-known the person is nationally, but rather how unnecessary and forced the appearance is to the film. The Mighty Ducks movie franchise is no stranger to athlete cameos. The first movie notably featured Mike Modano, who was a star for the Minnesota North Stars at the time, and was a perfect little moment for the pre-teen Ducks to experience. D2 is where the films producers went crazy and had at least half a dozen cameos in one montage, which doesn’t include the later cameo by the Great One himself — Wayne Gretzky. But none of those comes close to ridiculousness of Paul Kariya’s appearance in D3.
First off, what NHL player randomly shows up to a prep school’s intra-squad hockey game? Second, why the hell was Kariya in Minnesota? His team is based in Anaheim, and he is Canadian (born in Vancouver). Finally, why would he agree to be interviewed by a high school hockey announcer, who — for all we know — is only broadcasting to the high school? Even with all of the questions I have about the logistics of the cameo, it is one of the more memorable because Kariya couldn’t be more awkward delivering his lines and it makes me laugh every time.
Los Angeles Clippers’ Players in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder
Now this cameo was really only relevant during the time of the movie’s release. Los Angeles Clippers “stars” Darius Miles, Michael Olowokandi, Lamar Odom and Quentin Richardson play the high-flying members of the Coolidge College basketball team. Out of the four, only Odom is currently relevant in the NBA, which begs the question, how many players said, ‘no,’ before the producers settled on the hapless Clippers. Honestly, Miles is probably better known for his role in the Perfect Score than his NBA Career and Odom’s claim to fame is a Kardashian. The choice is even more random because they probably cost more than hiring four SAG scale rate actors, and they didn’t really add much to the scene. But what makes this one of my favorite cameos is that when they come on screen your first reaction isn’t, ‘Oh cool, NBA players,’ it’s, ‘Wait, is that the Clippers?’ It’s also one of the few times this foursome actually won a basketball game.