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South Park Cameos You Forgot Ever Existed

Since August 13, 1997, fans of edgy animated comedy have been able to go on down to South Park and have themselves a time on Wednesday nights. Trey Parker and Matt Stone's irreverent sitcom has logged over 300 episodes across 25 seasons and remains to this day one of Comedy Central's most popular programs. In 2021, Parker and Stone signed a $900 million deal with ViacomCBS, renewing the foul-mouthed juggernaut through at least Season 30 (per NY1).

The antics of four boys in the titular Colorado town — Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Kenny McCormick — have garnered Parker and Stone five Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as an Academy Award nomination for best original song in 1997 for their feature film, "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut." In their almost three decades as producers, writers, directors, and actors in the show, Parker and Stone have taken satiric aim at nearly every topic under the sun: race, religion, politics, pop culture, celebrities, technology, and even themselves. Though certain depictions and episodes have generated controversy over the years, the show remains highly regarded amongst both critics and audiences.

For the entirety of the show's remarkable run, Parker and Stone have voiced almost all of South Park's denizens, including self-admittedly poor impressions of the celebrities they lampoon. But from time to time, the creators will invite actors, musicians, or other pop culture figures to join in the fun. Since these cameos are often minor, one-off characters with limited dialogue, it would be easy to forget about some of these notable appearances. We've compiled a list of the 15 best celebrity cameos you probably forgot existed. 

George Clooney as Sparky (Season 1, Episode 4)

George Clooney has been many things in his long and illustrious Hollywood career — actor, director, Oscar-winner, two-time Sexiest Man Alive — but he was also one of Parker and Stone's earliest proponents. According to Far Out Magazine, Clooney was a huge fan of the duo's 1995 short film "The Spirit of Christmas," going so far as to make "hundreds of VHS copies" and distribute them amongst his famous pals. As a tip of the cap to Clooney's early support for their careers, Parker and Stone gave Clooney a small role in one of their earliest "South Park" episodes.

Clooney, at the peak of his '90s stardom and fresh off his turn as Batman in the poorly received "Batman & Robin," accepted a small part in Season 1, Episode 4. In the episode, Clooney provides the vocals for Sparky, Stan's new dog who his friends believe is gay. It's a very small role, and one which consists of no dialogue, just a series of barks, sniffs, growls, and other related dog noises. It would be easy to forget about this cameo, and even hardcore fans probably wouldn't know that Sparky was played by one of the biggest names in Hollywood. 

This wasn't the last collaboration between Clooney and the "South Park" creators. He returned to voice Dr. Gouache in the feature film, "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut." You can catch this "South Park" alum starring in the recently released "Ticket to Paradise" alongside Julia Roberts.

Jay Leno as Mr. Kitty (Season 1, Episode 13)

Another cameo that consists of not a line of dialogue, this one comes to us from Season 1, Episode 13, in which Cartman's long-suffering and perpetually hungry cat, Mr. Kitty, is voiced by comedian and late-night host Jay Leno, seven years into his tenure as the host of "The Tonight Show" on NBC.

This vocal performance has Leno showing off his range of meows and hisses, as he attempts to win the sympathies and dinner scraps of Eric Cartman, only to be verbally abused by the ravenous 10-year-old. While Mr. Kitty appears in numerous episodes of "South Park," Leno is only credited as the voice of the precocious feline in this one episode, although Leno would return to "South Park" to play himself in Season 2 Episode 7.

While Leno has since left the talk show circuit, fans can catch him in a supporting role as television pioneer Ed Sullivan in the upcoming film "Midas Man," which is currently in production.

Henry Winkler as The Kid-Eating Monster (Season 2, Episode 7)

With a career spanning seven decades, Henry Winkler is best known for his roles as Arthur Fonzarelli on the '70s sitcom "Happy Days." He currently co-stars as Gene Cousineau in the HBO dark comedy "Barry." Thanks to the 150+ film and television credits to his name, this comedy icon has probably guest-starred in something you've seen without even knowing it.

"South Park" fans probably wouldn't have recognized Winkler's voice in Season 2, Episode 7 unless they stuck around for the credits. In this quasi-clip show, the boys are stuck on a school bus teetering over the edge of a cliff after the bus driver Ms. Crabtree takes an ill-advised detour up a mountain on a snowy day. When she leaves to get help, she tells the kids not to leave the bus, lest they get gobbled up by the aptly named Kid-Eating Monster. Several of the bus's occupants believe it to be a clever ruse designed to keep them from wandering off, but when one brave lad decides to make a run for it, they all discover that the monster is all too real as the disobedient boy is gobbled up by a fearsome black beast.

The roaring and chomping and teeth gnashing were all delivered with aplomb by The Fonz himself. It's another cameo that features no lines of dialogue. Funnily enough, Winkler's iconic "Happy Days" character makes an appearance in a reference to the infamous "jumping the shark" episode, but the voice of Fonzie is provided by Parker and Stone, not the man himself.

Sir Elton John as Himself (Season 2 Episode 14)

Easily one of the most star-studded episodes in the show's history, Season 2, Episode 14 sees the supporting character Chef (Isaac Hayes) sued by the record label Capitalist Records after asserting that Alanis Morrisette cribbed her new hit "Stinky Britches" from a demo he made years previously. After losing the court case (thanks to Johnnie Cochran's excellent implementation of "The Chewbacca Defense"), Chef is ordered to pay the label $2 million or wind up in jail for four years.

Luckily, Chef has some very famous friends willing and able to put on a massive benefit concert "Chef Aid" to raise the money he needs to stay out of the slammer. The boys round up all his old buddies — DMX, Rick James, Meatloaf, Ozzy Osborne, Primus, Ween, and Ol' Dirty Bastard — to play the show. The most notable cameo is by five-time Grammy Award winner Sir Elton John. This fictionalized version of the "Crocodile Rock" chanteur owes his lyrical brilliance, and flamboyant wardrobe, to South Park Elementary's sonorous hash slinger. He shows up to support his old friend and even performs an original song, written at Stan Marsh's behest, for Wendy.

Elton John has since appeared as himself in multiple shows and movies including "Will & Grace," "Nashville," and "Kingsman: The Golden Circle." He most recently appeared in an ad campaign for Uber Eats alongside Lil Nas X, and is currently on his farewell tour "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" that is set to conclude on July 8, 2023, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Jennifer Aniston as Miss Stevens (Season 3, Episode 1)

George Clooney wasn't the only big-name actor to get into "South Park" in the 1990s. According to the Huffington Post, Jennifer Aniston was also an early adopter. Aniston, who at the time was five seasons into her star-making performance as Rachel Green on the hugely popular NBC sitcom "Friends," got the opportunity to meet the men behind the madness when she lent her voice to the Season 3 premiere.

Aniston played Miss Stevens, the director of the charity choir "Getting Gay with Kids," which recruits elementary-aged boys and girls for a Save the Rainforest concert in Costa Rica. However, due to a series of unforeseen events upon the choir's arrival in the Central American nation, Miss Stevens quickly becomes anti-rainforest, changing the theme of the concert from "Save the Rainforest" to "Stop the Rainforest." On the Season 3 DVD commentary, the "South Park" creators revealed that Aniston was very nervous when recording her lines since she was relatively inexperienced with voiceover work at the time. Parker said he could tell that she "hadn't done that kind of acting before," but once she got over her initial jitters, she turned in a hilarious performance (via Showbiz CheatSheet).

Aniston is currently starring as Alex Levy in the Apple TV original series "The Morning Show" alongside Reese Witherspoon. Season 3 of the newsroom drama is expected to premiere sometime in 2023 (per Parade)

Richard Belzer as Loogie (Season 4, Episode 1)

Detective John Munch breaks bad in the first episode of Season 4. Richard Belzer isn't a cop, but he played the same on TV for 23 years. Since first appearing on "Homicide: Live on the Street" in 1993, Belzer has played his iconic acerbic lawman on 10 different programs including "Law & Order," "The X-Files," "Arrested Development," and even "The Wire."

Perhaps needing a break from investigating New York's most heinous crimes, Belzer decided to return to his comedic roots and flex the old funny bone on "South Park." He plays Loogie, a Don Corleone type in the body of a 5th grader who runs a fake tooth fairy racket in the Rockies. When the boys start their own version of the scam, they run afoul of Loogie's crew and invoke a missing teeth investigation by the American Dental Association.

After his hilarious cameo on "South Park," Belzer would go on right on playing Detective John Munch until 2016 when he decided to retire from acting. Belzer's final appearance was playing his stand-up comedian self, alongside the likes of Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Danny DeVito, and Patty LuPone in "The Comedian."

Cheech and Chong as Carlos Ramirez and Chief Running Pinto (Season 4, Episode 6)

Counterculture comedians and, ahem...close personal friends with Herb, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, were no strangers to pushing boundaries. Their debut film "Up in Smoke" was the progenitor of the stoner buddy comedy when it was released in 1978. Since parting ways to pursue other projects in 1985, their appearance in "South Park" Season 4, Episode 6 was something of a creative reunion for the pair, according to reporting from Looper.

Marin and Chong play a pair of roles reminiscent of their appearances in their stoner comedies of the '70s and '80s. They're two employees — Carlos Ramirez and Chief Running — at Miss Information's New Age Shop, a holistic healing boondoggle that attracts the patronage of the townsfolk when they are led to believe that the spiritual healing powers of the Native people can cure Kyle Broflovski's kidney infection. The two hawk such natural remedies as "Cherokee hair tampons," "free-range aspirin," and "all-natural ball juice," which unsurprisingly do little to repair Kyle's renal function.

While the pair have remained friends since their reunion, they have largely pursued other projects (via Looper). Tommy Chong is set to reprise his role of Leo from "That '70s Show" in the upcoming reboot "That '90s Show." Cheech Marin has a supporting role in the romantic comedy "Shotgun Wedding" starring Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Lopez, which is scheduled for release on January 23, 2023.

Malcolm McDowell as A British Person (Season 4, Episode 14)

Another guest star who was no stranger to controversial performances, Malcolm McDowell, best known for playing Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange," lent his dulcet English tones to show to Episode 14 of Season 4: a much raunchier re-telling of "Great Expectations" starring recurring character Pip.

It's Charles Dickens by way of "South Park," full of such anachronisms as, among other things, robot monkeys. McDowell serves as the live-action narrator — aptly credited as "A British Person" — for this edition of "South Park Classics," seated in a stately armchair with a glass of brandy at his elbow and a leather-bound edition of Dickens' slightly modernized penultimate novel.

Since his appearance on South Park McDowell has remained active in the industry, making cameos on several other shows such as "Green Arrow," "CSI: Miami," and "Community." His most recent role was as McLaughlin in the 2022 drama film "The Walk."

Radiohead as Themselves (Season 5 Episode 4)

The highest-rated episode of "South Park" according to IMDb users, "Scott Tenorman Must Die," features a cameo from the English rock quintet Radiohead as themselves. In an interview with Pitchfork, Matt Stone revealed that he had run into members of the band at a party and they had been enthusiastic about appearing on the show. Stone drove out to Santa Barbara to accommodate the band's touring schedule and recorded all of their dialogue for Season 5, Episode 4.

The animated versions of the six-time Grammy-winning rockers get roped into Cartman's twisted revenge scheme after Cartman is humiliated by 9th-grade pubic hair salesman Scott Tenorman. Cartman's elaborate plot involves training a pony to bite off a certain part of Scott's anatomy, a macabre chili cook-off, and, upon discovering that his adversary's favorite band is Radiohead, writing a letter to the group urging them to come to South Park to meet their biggest fan who Cartman claims is dying "of cancer, in his ass." The band arrives after Scott is convinced he has just eaten a bowl of chili made out of his own mother and mocks him for being a crybaby.

The episode ended up becoming one of the show's most notorious episodes. In his interview with Pitchfork, Stone expressed his hope that the band enjoyed the final product. Radiohead's last album was released in 2016, and according to reporting by Metal Injection, the band has gone their separate ways for the time being. Yorke and guitarist Johnny Greenwood are still performing together as The Smile, and they released their first album "A Light for Attracting Attention" earlier this year.

Yao Ming as Yao (Season 8, Episode 4)

Eight-time NBA All-Star and Hall of Fame center Yao Ming is obviously best known for his eight seasons with the Houston Rockets. The 7'6" big man averaged 9.2 rebounds and 19 points per game and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016 alongside another famous center with acting credits, Shaquille O'Neal, and notorious practice-denigrator, Allen Iverson.

In 2004, 10 days before the first game of the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Yao Ming lent his vocal talents to Parker and Stone for Season 8, Episode 4. In the episode, which sees the South Park boys challenged to a dance competition by a crew from Orange County, Ming provides the voice of Yao, a local "Dance, Dance Revolution" wizard who holds the record on the machine at the local arcade but refuses to dance without a computer telling him what to do, believing it to be a stupid pastime.

Since retiring from the NBA in 2011, Ming has received a degree in economics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and currently serves as the Chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association. His acting career hasn't taken off since his small cameo in "South Park," but Ming has appeared in a few other roles including a stint on "The Simpsons" and an appearance in "Absolute Wild China with Bear Grylls" in 2017.

Diedrich Bader as Bat Dad (Season 9, Episode 5)

One of those actors that you've seen one time in that one thing, Diedrich Bader has over 200 acting credits and is no stranger to comedic voiceover work. You've heard his voice on everything from "The Simpsons" to "Scooby Doo" and might recognize him as My-ik from the 2003 cult classic movie "Evil Alien Conquerors" or as Bill Ericsson on "Veep."

In Season 9, Episode 5, Bader provided the voice for Randy Marsh's Little League trash-talking adversary, known as Bat Dad, an overweight father of the Denver Little League team's second baseman who wears a cowl and cape, and frighteningly little else, to every game. Anybody who has witnessed the sheer lunacy of parental behavior at youth sports games will recognize and appreciate this over-the-top performance, which culminates in a knock-down, drag-out brawl at Coors Field during the Colorado Little League Championship game.

Since his appearance on South Park, Bader has remained very active in the industry. He is currently the voice of Bruce Wayne on HBO's "Harley Quinn" and was featured as the Orb Master in a Season 6 episode of "Rick and Morty" earlier this year.

Peter Serafinowicz as Darth Chef (Season 10, Episode 1)

When longstanding cast member Isaac Hayes took umbrage with Parker and Stone's depiction of Scientology in the Season 9 episode "Trapped in the Closet," the character of Chef was written off the show (via The New Zealand Herald). It didn't take long for him to return to the Colorado town. In the Season 10 premiere, Chef returns to South Park — albeit with vocals cobbled together from old recordings — having traveled the world with the Super Adventure Club. However, something is rotten in the state of Colorado, as the boys realize something is not right with their friend and discover that he's been brainwashed by the cultish group of adventurers. At the end of the episode, Chef is struck by lightning and falls seemingly to his death, but his fellow Super-Adventurers resurrect his body in a Darth Vaderesque costume, and he becomes Darth Chef, whose voice is provided by British voice-acting icon and master impressionist Peter Serafinowicz.

Serafinowicz doesn't have much to say in this role, but what few lines he has, he nails. A perfect cross between the deep bass voices of Isaac Hayes and James Earl Jones, this cameo is brief but memorable. Currently, he plays Neil on "Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm" and had a minor role as Yuba in the Netflix fantasy action movie "The School for Good and Evil."

Bill Hader as Alec Baldwin (Season 17, Episode 1)

"Saturday Night Live" alum Bill Hader has provided both his writing and acting chops to "South Park." In the middle of his eight-season run on "SNL", the multitalented Hader voiced several minor characters for Parker and Stone beginning in Season 15, after previously serving as a consultant writer on Seasons 12 and 13. His most notable cameo came in the premiere of Season 17, where he played Alec Baldwin.

In the episode — which serves as Parker and Stone's commentary on the then-recent mass surveillance disclosures by Edward Snowden — Hader's Baldwin is the thumbless spokesman for a new product that automatically uploads all your thoughts to the internet. Eric Cartman, who takes up the mantle of NSA whistleblower, makes use of the device to reveal that the government has imprisoned Santa Claus in Fort Meade, and his proclivity for knowing who's been naughty and who's been nice has been usurped to keep tabs on the American populace. 

Hader currently stars in the eponymous role on the HBO dark comedy "Barry" alongside fellow South Park voice actor Henry Winkler. He also provided the voice for Featheringhamstan in Pixar's "Lightyear" earlier this year and has a starring role alongside Issa Rae in the upcoming drama film "Empress of Serenity," which is currently in pre-production.

Elon Musk as Himself (Season 20, Episode 8)

South African billionaire business magnate Elon Musk has been appearing as himself in various shows and movies since his first cameo in "Iron Man 2" in 2010. He's popped up in "The Simpsons," "The Big Bang Theory," and, most recently, in "Rick and Morty" as an alien version of himself named Elon Tusk. He also made brief cameos in three episodes at the end of "South Park's" 20th season.

Musk had previously appeared as a character in Season 18, Episode 4, but that version was voiced by Matt Stone. When the character returned two years later, the creators managed to land the man himself. As the conclusion to the season-long Memberberries arc, Cartman is attempting to escape the planet with his girlfriend on one of Musk's SpaceX rockets to avoid the devious fruits' takeover of Earth. By the end of the season, Kyle is responsible for destroying the SpaceX headquarters, and Musk is left to return to his Tesla endeavors.

Since appearing on "South Park," Musk has...well let's just say he's been busy. Musk's cinematic ambitions haven't waned, and he is currently producing an "Untitled SpaceX/Tom Cruise Project" with the "Mission: Impossible" star. The project is currently in pre-production, and there is currently no release date, although according to reporting from CBS News, there's a literal launch date scheduled for some time in 2024.

Josh Gad as Marcus Preston

Josh Gad had already worked with Parker and Stone when he was cast in this 2017 episode. Six years earlier, Gad originated the role of Elder Cunningham in Parker and Stone's hit Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon." Gad was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance, and the show won a total of nine trophies, including Best Musical, at the 2011 awards ceremony.

In Season 21, Episode 5, Gad voices the role of Marcus Preston, a kid traumatized by the overdose deaths of several costumed birthday party characters. He attempts to uncover the source of the drugs responsible and reveals that a resident of a local nursing home has been hiding illicit substances inside throw pillows and distributing them to the residents of the town.

Since his appearance on "South Park," Gad has continued to work regularly in film and television. He is currently starring on the HBO comedy "Avenue 5" as Herman Judd and is set to reprise his role as LeFou in an upcoming "Beauty and the Beast" prequel series on Disney+. According to Variety, the show's production was delayed at the beginning of 2022, and there are no updates on the scheduled release date.