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Richard Belzer's John Munch Appeared In Way More Series Than Just The Law & Order Universe

Actor and comedian Richard Belzer has died at age 78, and he leaves behind a varied body of work. He's definitely best known for his work in the "Law & Order" franchise as Detective John Munch, a character that was actually introduced in the series "Homicide: Life on the Street." Since then, Belzer's Munch became something of a nexus being throughout the TV universe, tying together the disparate continuities of several different television shows, and not just the crime series that are connected to "Homicide" and "Law and Order."

Munch had a habit of popping up in unexpected places, even those far away from his original beat as a Baltimore murder detective. He made the move to New York City where he became a part of the cast of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," before leaving the show in 2013, and sporadically appeared in other "Law and Order" shows (including the original) as well. But that's really only the beginning of Munch's odyssey throughout the TV multiverse.

Munch has met everyone from Mulder & Scully to Tobias Fünke

For fans of TV or maybe just fans of Richard Belzer, playing spot-John-Munch is a decent way to pass the time. After the character's debut on "Homicide: Life on the Street" in 1993, he made an appearance on the original "Law and Order" (foreshadowing his eventual recruitment to the Special Victims Unit in the show's later iconic spinoff) as well as the mostly forgotten UPN police drama "The Beat," most notable now for having starred a young Mark Ruffalo. In 1997, he started to travel a little further afield than his usual beat when he turned up on "Unusual Suspects," Season 5, Episode 3 of "The X-Files," officially bringing Munch into the expansive "X-Files" mythology.

On "Arrested Development" he tried to take down the Bluth family by teaching a scrapbooking class that was also a sting operation targeting Tobias Fünke (David Cross), then Munch made it back to Baltimore for a barside cameo on Season 5 of "The Wire." He's even been depicted in animated form in an episode of "American Dad."

Two of the most recent Munch sightings outside of "SVU" have been in shows by Tina Fey. He appears in two episodes of "30 Rock" (albeit in a fake scene from "Law & Order: SVU") and one episode of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Now, with the sad news of his death, the unlikely saga of John Munch has reached its conclusion, with the "American Dad" episode standing as the final Munch appearance. It's unlikely that any character has ever been portrayed by the same actor across so many different shows and TV movies, making the Munch-iverse a unique entity in the field of TV history.