Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Stunt-Cast News

Ken Levine has a post up about stunt casting and the experience of writing and shooting a Johnny Carson guest shot on Cheers. (He'd done very brief guest appearances on "Newhart," "Night Court" and -- unseen -- "Mary Tyler Moore" -- but this was probably his longest guest appearance since the inevitable "Here's Lucy" appearance.)

I think my favorite kind of stunt cameo is where the celebrity is cast as someone other than himself, and the joke is the absurdity of seeing this person playing a character he or she would never play under normal circumstances. I'm not talking here about having a celebrity play an actual character in the story, complete with learning his or her lines, rehearsing, etc.; I'm talking about very brief walk-on appearances where the casting is the whole joke. Paul Henning was one writer/showrunner who liked to do this sometimes, as in this bit from "The Beverly Hillbillies."


Anonymous said...

There are many good examples of stunt casting, of course. I dunno whether this one counts, but I fondly recall the tag of an episode of I DREAM OF JEANNIE in which mention is made of "the funniest man in the world," and Jeannie promptly conjures up Groucho Marx! [Good casting.]

Anonymous said...

That Jeannie/Groucho scene was on YouTube awhile back.
I remember as a kid my mom explaining Danny Thomas' cameo (I didn't know of Danny at the time) on "That Girl": he's a priest she accidently bumps into-
Marlo: Excuse me Father!
Danny: Bless you, my child.

Halifax TV/Film said...

Cool clip. Question; I was a fan of Get Smart when it was in re-runs and I remember and episode where he was on a train and the conductor came in the punch his ticket. Was that conductor Johnny Carson? It was a blink and miss it scene that had nothing to do with anything but its been bugging me for years.