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Celebrity Cameos That Have Aged Terribly

Celebrity cameos can be a blast when done right. They can add a touch of realism to a movie if the celebrity is playing themselves, and good cameos can often lead to some of the biggest laughs and most memorable moments a movie has to offer. Think about Bill Murray in Zombieland or David Bowie in Zoolander. Done right, a cameo can take on legendary status.

Done wrong, a cameo can do the exact same thing.

Today, those are the cameos we're taking a look at — the ones that filmmakers probably wish they'd never included. These cameos have aged poorly for a variety of reasons, but they all generally feature people who eventually wound up doing something awful or provoking some sort of major controversy. These appearances may have been lighthearted and fun when they first appeared, but they're totally jarring at this point. Go check out any one of these films and be prepared to be taken out entirely whenever you witness these celebrity cameos that have aged terribly.

Lance Armstrong's performance doesn't enhance Dodgeball

Dodgeball is still a surprisingly entertaining movie, considering the way a lot of big comedies tend to age. It also features a few pretty memorable cameos, such as Chuck Norris stepping in to render a judging decision at the movie's climax. However, one cameo that hasn't aged quite as gracefully is when Lance Armstrong gives Peter (Vince Vaughn) a motivational pep talk when he's thinking about quitting.

For a long while, Lance Armstrong was one of the most celebrated athletes in the United States. In a sport known for bizarre and rampant cheating, he proved that hard work and tenacity, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, could win the day.

Oops, nope, he was cheating, too. Armstrong's fall from grace was swift and dramatic. His Tour de France wins were revoked, his Livestrong Foundation charity cut ties with him completely, and he essentially disappeared. So yeah, in hindsight, it's a bizarre little time capsule to see Armstrong convince Peter that he can fight through his problems and that his ragtag team of misfits can win the tournament.

Michael Jackson's celebrity cameo in Men in Black 2 is super uncomfortable

The Men in Black films have always had a bit of fun in suggesting that a few rather, uh, eccentric celebrities are, in fact, aliens in disguise. For example, in the first Men in Black film, when Will Smith's character is introduced to the MiB headquarters, we see that a series of celebrities are being monitored. Directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg appear alongside actors Danny DeVito and Sylvester Stallone as aliens being watched. Barry Sonnenfeld originally wanted the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, to appear as well, but Jackson refused.

After seeing the first film, however, he desperately wanted to appear in the sequel. And he quickly got his wish. But instead of an alien, Jackson appears as a wannabe MiB agent. In the third film, there's even a memorial to "M," as Jackson had passed away a few years prior. Of course, after Jackson's death, we've learned a whole lot more about his allegedly inappropriate relationships with children. So yeah, with all that new info, seeing him in such a silly light today kind of makes your skin crawl.

Harvey Weinstein is incredibly icky in My Scene Goes Hollywood: The Movie

Ugh. This one is all sorts of creepy. My Scene Goes Hollywood: The Movie was a feature length film meant to promote a line of Mattel dolls that was connected to the Barbie franchise. And for some strange reason, producer Harvey Weinstein makes a cameo in the movie. Of course, when you hear about Weinstein's M.O. for preying on actresses, his animated appearance on-screen — surrounded by a group of young women dressed as schoolgirls — is pretty cringey.

The New Yorker wrote a piece on Weinstein's appearance in the film, including the fact that one of the film's producers, Nancy Bennett, was "mortified" that she had put Weinstein in the film once she learned about his crimes. Bennett doesn't dish much about how or why Weinstein appeared in the film, just that everyone thought it would be "fun and kitschy." It might've been at the time, but those definitely aren't the words we'd use now.

We lost our appetite when Jared Fogle showed up in Super Size Me

Jared Fogle was a strange celebrity to begin with. He gained his fame by advertising a sandwich chain as a weight-loss method. By the time it was all said and done, Subway had become one of the most successful fast food businesses in the world, and Fogle was a massively in-demand celebrity. He was the face of the Subway company for well over a decade, and the man was cited as an "inspiration" for people struggling with weight issues. 

Fogle is now sitting in a federal prison after pleading guilty to a series of crimes involving underage children. And when he appears in the documentary Super Size Me, which was released well before any of his victims came forward, it's essentially so the movie can fawn over him and the way he kicked his nasty fast food habit.

Once again, in hindsight, it looks really bad. Watching Fogle interact with high schoolers, knowing what we do about him, is extremely uncomfortable. He even claims, "My big vice was food." That's the big one?

Donald Trump's Home Alone 2 cameo hasn't aged well

President Donald Trump has actually appeared in quite a few films as himself. Back when he was mostly known for being a real estate mogul and socialite, he was frequently approached by location scouts and directors to see if they could use one of his properties in their films. Oftentimes, Trump would appear in those movies, and it wasn't a coincidence.

Matt Damon told The Hollywood Reporter that Trump would always allow movies to film in his property, but only if the filmmakers would write in a part for him to appear. Damon said, "The deal was that if you wanted to shoot in one of his buildings, you had to write him in a part. ... You waste a little time so that you can get the permit, and then you can cut the scene out. But I guess in Home Alone 2, they left it in."

And yeah, Damon is right. In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is, well, lost. He wanders through Trump Tower, and Trump himself directs him to the lobby. Considering Trump's divisive rhetoric as president — in matters ranging in everything from women to the disabled to immigrants — our guess is that many directors wish they'd just filmed somewhere else.

Bobby Brown made things complicated for Ghostbusters 2

The youths of today often forget about Bobby Brown. The man came into stardom with the group New Edition, and he later went on to major solo success. That stardom was compounded when he dated and later married Whitney Houston. So it was no surprise that the creators of Ghostbusters 2 wanted Bobby Brown on the soundtrack in 1989. They were probably even more thrilled that the star agreed to appear in the film briefly.

A few years later, when Brown and Houston were the fodder of late night jokes, they probably wished they hadn't given him the part.

Brown and Houston's relationship was very messy and very public, as the pair battled mental illness and substance abuse. Brown was arrested for striking Houston and berating her in 2003, and Houston claimed that Brown was emotionally abusive throughout their relationship. She even told Oprah that Brown spit on her in front of their daughter. Not exactly the type of act you want associated with the goofy antics of the Ghostbusters.

Vanilla Ice's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 cameo is horribly dated

Not all of the entries on this list are of the "this celebrity was an abusive criminal" variety. Occasionally, a cameo just ages poorly by its very nature. It might not be Vanilla Ice's fault that his cameo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze is painful to watch. It might just be that the TMNT films are just a bit too '90s for this day and age.

The setup for Ice's cameo is wonderful. Leo, Don, Raph, and Mikey are battling Shredder's supermutants, Tokka and Razor, and they soon find themselves in a nightclub. Vanilla Ice is performing onstage, and he comes up with his "Ninja Rap" to help the Turtles to victory. They even wind up onstage with Ice, dancing alongside him. It's glorious and awful all at once.

In fact, you'd probably be hard pressed to find a better encapsulation of the early '90s than the music video to "Ninja Rap." Don't blame us when it gets stuck in your head.

O.J. Simpson kills it in Roots

You knew that the Juice was going to show up on here. O.J. Simpson was actually in quite a few movies and shows during and after his NFL career, even making a bit of a name for himself as a comedic actor in The Naked Gun franchise. One of the most bizarre roles he appeared in was in the miniseries Roots, where he chases down Kunta Kinte to offer him some advice as Kinte trains.

In fact, the 1977 miniseries features quite a few familiar faces. We've got Ed Asner, Robert Reed (the dad from The Brady Bunch), Maya Angelou, and Tracey Gold. However, O.J. is the only one that's tough to stomach when watching today, what with being a part of the most notorious murder trial in history and all. Here's hoping the 2016 remake managed to avoid cringey cameos that we'll be writing about in the future.

Phil Spector makes us quite uneasy in Easy Rider

Phil Spector was a gigantic music producer, and he's still cited as one of the biggest influences ever on pop music. He developed the "Wall of Sound" method of music production, and he used it to help several acts release their biggest hits. Spector worked with groups like the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers, and the Beatles (both as a group and with George Harrison and John Lennon as individuals) to create some of the most memorable and iconic songs in history.

He also murdered actress Lana Clarkson inside his California mansion in 2003. Spector was found guilty of shooting Clarkson at his trial in 2009, though he maintains that she shot herself. And that's what makes it so weird when he appears in a true American classic.

You might not recognize him, but Spector actually shows up at the very beginning of Easy Rider. He reportedly lent his actual bodyguard and Rolls-Royce to the producers at no cost to help with the film's low budget. It's really strange watching a murderer do cocaine in a landmark film like Easy Rider, but the 1960s were a strange time.

Woody Allen's King Lear cameo has aged terribly

Woody Allen is one of those odd cases. He's been in a lot of highly regarded films, but they're mostly all his own work. And whenever someone brings up the creepy allegations about him, people tend to shout them down with a combination of, "Nothing has ever been proven," and, "Annie Hall is awesome!" 

Woody Allen's films are their own beast, as you typically have a grasp on the situation when you sit down to watch Sleeper or Hannah and Her Sisters. That said, it's weird when Allen shows up in other people's movies.

Take the 1987 version of King Lear, directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It's already a pretty bizarre version of the Shakespearian classic, but it's extremely unnerving to see Allen appear in the film. He plays the film's version of Lear's fool, and most of his lines are in the actual Shakespearian English. He reads his dialogue facing off-screen and with a mostly flat intonation, and the whole bit is just extra unnerving when you remember the rumors that surround Allen.

There are better version of King Lear out there, anyway.

Matt Lauer has way too many celebrity cameos

Matt Lauer's downfall happened pretty quickly after the allegations against him first started coming out. The sheer number of people making claims, coupled with the bizarre nature of their accusations, made them hard to ignore or explain away. After all, this is the man who reportedly had a button under his desk that locked his door. Unfortunately, because Lauer was one of the biggest faces in news, he briefly appears in several different movies and TV shows, and now, seeing his face flash on the screen is always an ugly reminder of what he's allegedly done.

Lauer has appeared in films like I, Tonya and Lady Bird, and The Hollywood Reporter writes that screenings of those films erupted into boos when he showed up on the screen. One of Lauer's ickiest cameos was when he showed up in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ... a show about women who are locked in a bunker with a creepy pervert. Worse still, after Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is freed from the bunker, she sits down for an interview with Lauer on Today. And that's when he drops this line: "I'm always amazed of what women will do because they're afraid of being rude."