10 Stars You Completely Forgot Were In Sitcoms

I don’t know how many years on this Earth I got left, I’m gonna get real weird with it.

The world of TV Sitcoms has dominated out TV schedules for years now. First appearing on our screens with Pinwright’s Progress on the BBC up to 2020 with After Life written by The Office and Extras co-creator Ricky Gervais, streaming exclusively on Netflix around the world. Who would have guessed that back in 1946 this genre would become so important to so many people?

Being such a loved genre around the world it’s only natural that now and again we are going to get some big celebrity stars popping up on our favourite shows to say hello to the ever-growing audience in a hopes to boost their fan base just in time for their new album to drop. On the other hand, we also have stars who appeared on sitcoms as their first real TV work to go on to be massive names and sometimes even part of the British Royal Family, seriously, I’m not kidding.

To find out who had to star in Friends because of a bet they lost and who’s animated character became so popular we are still clawing for more of him today, read on.

10. Taylor Lautner In Cuckoo

Sitcoms in the modern era are often hit or miss with some failing to make audiences laugh with others being successful in finding it’s audiences whilst bringing in new viewers each season. One of the most successful sitcoms of the last ten years has got to be the BBC Three program, Cuckoo.

The show originally starred Inbetweeners and Man Down funny man, Greg Davies alongside future Brooklyn Nine-Nine mega-star, Andy Samberg. When Samberg moved back to the states to work on Nine-Nine his character was killed off and replaced with Dale, his missing son, played by Twilight star Taylor Lautner. When asked what it was like to be living in England and making a British sitcom compared to life in America, Lautner responded with the following.

“If I was making Cuckoo in the States we would’ve had to rehearse it 5,000 times, hire ten stunt drivers and I would’ve had to maintain a ten-foot distance between me and the cars!”

Lautner appeared in Cuckoo until its second to last season. There is currently no news on if the show will return for a sixth season to close off the season five cliff hanger.

9. David Tennant In Family Guy

It seems to have the name David Tennant attached to your project means that it’s going to be relatively successful. In recent year’s the former Doctor Who star has featured in the ITV British drama Broadchurch for all three of its gripping seasons and well as appearing in several one-off limited shows such as The Politicians Husband and Des.

It came as some surprise to his dedicated followers when it was announced that Tennant would be featuring in an episode of the adult American animated sitcom, Family Guy to reprise his role of the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who. A role that has made Tennant a household name here in the United Kingdom.

In the episode we see part of the Griffin family sitting down to watch an episode of “Doctor Who Farted”. The scene cuts to a London street where we see a Billie Piper/Rose Tyler type character running telling the Doctor that the alien invasion has begun and they must leave right away. The Tenth Doctor appears apprehensive to leave. It’s quickly revealed that he’s farted inside the TARDIS and is waiting for the smell to pass.

It’s not that funny.

8. Britney Spears In How I Met Your Mother

Britney is without a doubt going to be one of the most known celebrities on this list so the fact that she starred in two episodes of the American sitcom, How I Met Your Mother is pretty big stuff. The award-winning pop star appeared in the season three episodes “Ten Sessions” and “Everything Must Go” where she played receptionist, Abby.

As anyone could predict the character ended up spending the night with Neil Patrick Harris’s character, Barney Stinson but grew to dislike him as he never called her back after their romantic one-night stand together. Her cameo boosted the show’s ratings as audiences tuned into the show in their millions to see how the former Toxic singer would be placed in the world of this growingly successful sitcom.

That said, the idea of having Britney on the show wasn’t taken well by a few members of the main cast who worried that from an outsiders point of view it might seem that the show was chasing viewers by relying on celebrity cameos and cheap laughs.

Since her cameo on the show, Britney’s fame hasn’t held up as well as she might have hopped with her relevance being taken over by newer and more successful female artists. Other celebrities cameos throughout the show included Joe Manganiello, Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez.

7. Danny DeVito In The Simpsons

Before becoming the internet meme that he is today thanks to his loveably yet stupid character of Frank Reynolds in the SFX Sitcom, It’s Always Sunny In Philidelphia, Danny DeVito had a few guest roles in several sitcoms. One that we all remember was as the worst stripper in the world in the Friends episode “The One Where the Stripper Cries” as well as his role as Herbert Powell, Homer Simpson’s half brother, in The Simpsons.

DeVito played the role of Herbert Powell, the half brother of the father of The Simpson’s family Homer Simpson. The two of them share the same father which Homer doesn’t know about until the much loved season 2 episode, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? The episode is known for its inclusion of the car that homer designs which has become a staple of the shows long history. The car has gone on to appear in serval Simpsons video games and even been brought to life by die-hard Simpsons fans.

The inclusion of DeVito was so popular with fans that when the show returned for its third season DeVito reprised his role of Herb in the episode, “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dine?”

Herb has been noticeably absent from a lot of the shows continuing seasons but does pop up now and again to the delight of its huge fan base. Most recently Herbert had a voice cameo in the episode “Changing of the Guardian” in 2013.

6. Stephen Merchant In The Big Bang Theory

British funnyman and real-life giant, Stephen Merchant has played his fair share of roles when it comes to TV comedy. Apart from his small role in The Office alongside comedy partner, Ricky Gervais, Merchant has also appeared in his American sitcom, Hello Ladies and recently cameoed in his first feature film, Fighting With My Family starring The Rock and Nick Frost.

Aside from this Merchant also found time to play a brief recurring character in the hugely successful and massively hated American sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. Merchant appeared in a number of the episode playing Amy’s new boyfriend, Dave Gibbs who we find out is a huge fan of Amy’s ex-boyfriend and main character of the show, Sheldon Cooper. The move to star in the show seemed like a risky one for Merchant.

As a comedian with so many hits under his belt, to star in a program that is mostly known for its lazy jokes and repetitive storylines would have been a gamble for Merchant.

The move paid off with a lot of the episodes laughs falling at Merchant’s feet with his character also playing a big part in the continuing relationship of Amy and Sheldon Cooper.

5. Ricky Gervais In The Office US

If you ask someone today who their favourite character from The Office is you are likely going to get a character featured in the American version of the show, not a character from the original British show. Both versions of the show were created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant who also had a hand in adapting the show for American audiences before handing it over to Greg Daniels. Daniels has recently worked with The Office star, Steve Carell again in the Netflix sitcom, Space Force.

When the show moved to America however, Gervais didn’t take up a starring role as he had with his original version of the show. Instead, Steve Carell played the new boss, Michael Scott but this didn’t stop Ricky getting his ” pug-nosed face” on the screen.

Appearing in Carell’s final season of the show, Gervais reprised his role of David Brent for a short cameo featured in the cold open for the season seven episode, “The Seminar”. In the sequences we see both clueless bosses bump into each other outside a lift and instantly hit it off. We even get to see Brent deliver the famous Michael Scott line “That’s what she said”.

The crossover of the two bosses pleased fans of both shows and acted as a sweet moment in one of Carell’s final outings as Michael Scott.

4. Sophie Winkleman In Peep Show

If you are a fan of the British, Channel 4 program Peep Show you will be more than familiar with the returning character of Big Suz the “mental posho” as she is described by David Mitchell’s character, Mark Corrigan.

What a lot of fans might not know about the character is that she is played by Sophie Winkleman who from 2009 became a member of the British Royal Family. Winkleman married her fiancee Lord Frederick Windsor who is the only son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and 49th inline for the thrown.

At the time of Peep Show’s popularity, Winkleman to most people was just an actor appearing in Peep Show and a small roll in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. But now, watching the program back on Netflix you can’t help but stop and think “hang on a second, isn’t that the woman from the Royal Wedding?”

Winkleman hasn’t hidden her comedy past behind her. Recently she recorded an interview with the Peep Show themed podcast, Podcast Secrets of the Pharaohs. Who knows, one day in years to come we might look down at our twenty-pound note and not see the face of JMW Turner but the face of Big Suz.

3. Bruce Willis In Friends

Thanks to it’s hugely loved run on streaming services around the world, Friends has found a new following of fans who are enjoying the program for the first time, over twenty years after it first aired. The show lasted for ten seasons with a reunion currently in the works on HBO Max.

Over its ten years, a number of big stars dropped by the famous flat to play small cameo roles that would delight audiences for years to come. One of which is “Die-Hard” and “Pulp Fiction” star, Bruce Willis. In recent years attaching Bruce Willis to your project means little to nothing with a lot of his newer films being nothing worth talking about but back in the late 90s and early 2000s, Willis was a huge name.

Willis played the character of Paul Stevens and played the father of Ross’s girlfriend Elizabeth during the shows sixth season. Before appearing in the hit show Willis had co-starred with Chandler Bing actor, Matthew Perry on their 2000 movie “The Whole Nine Yards”. Whilst working on the film Perry bet Willis that the movie would be the top film at the box office when it opened in May of 2000. For some strange reason, Willis disagreed and the wager was placed. If the movie went to the top of the box office, Willis would appear in an episode of Perry’s TV show. And the rest is history.

2. Brad Pitt In Friends

Did you think that would be the only entry for Friends on this list? Well, you are deeply wrong. Up next we have Fight Club star and ex-wife of Friends and The Morning Show legend, Jennifer Aniston when the pair married in 2000. Pitt starred in the episode, “The One with the Rumor” in 2001 meaning the pair were married by the time the episode aired.

In the episode, Pitt plays the character of Will Colbert in the Thanksgiving special which shows the conflict between Pitt and Aniston’s character, Rachel Green. We find out over the episode that the two went to the same school and Rachel would bully Will on a daily basis forcing Will to start the “I Hate Rachel Green Club” alongside Ross, Rachel’s future partner and life long admirer.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that having the hottest celebrity couple in the world on the worlds biggest sitcom wasn’t going to be anything less than massive. Pitt would often visit the set of the TV series and hide behind the audiences not to take away from the excitement of them watching the show being recorded in front of them.

1. Emma Bunton In Not Going Out

In the 1990’s Emma Bunton and her girl band, The Spice Girls where a worldwide hit and thair slogan “Girl Power” changed the way women where represented in the media and the working world. Before the band’s reunion in 2018, the band split in 2000 and the members went their separate ways.

Emma Bunton, better known as Baby Spice, had a few solo albums out over the eighteen-year gap and made several cameos on TV shows and the odd spot on pannel shows. One of these included the BBC series, Would I Lie To You?

On the show, Bunton was placed on comedian Lee Macks team alongside Joe Brand. It was on the show that a friendship between Bunton and Mack was formed with her later appearing in an episode of his long-running sitcom, Not Going Out.

In the 2017 episode titled “Hot Tub”, we see characters Lee and Lucy tell each other their fantasy hot tub guests where Lee mentioned his fantasy guest would be former Spice Girl, Emma Bunton. The rest of the episode plays out with the two characters jealous of each other’s fantasy guests. The story reaches an end where Lee finds himself in a Hot tub with Baby Spice in front of his wife.


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