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The Funniest Cameos In Reno 911!'s History

This content was paid for by Quibi and created by Looper.

The basic premise of Reno 911! — a parody of Cops starring the incompetent officers of the fictional Reno Sheriff's Department — is a rock-solid comedic setup, but it's undoubtedly the performances from the cast that makes the show LOL-worthy. From Thomas Lennon as the short-short enthusiast Lieutenant Dangle to Niecy Nash's brash Deputy Williams, each member of the main cast brings something memorable and hysterical to the show. The ultimate testament to this is that when novel streaming platform Quibi brought the series back for a seventh season after over a decade away, the characters demonstrated no decrease in ability to make us laugh.

It's not just the main cast that brings their A-game to the show. Since its inception, Reno 911! has featured dozens upon dozens of gut-busting cameos from some of our favorite comedians and actors playing the various perps with which the officers are dispatched to deal. The core cast may be the main draw of the show, but these cameos are vital to its success.

Although it seems like an impossible task, we're breaking down our favorite and funniest cameos on Reno 911!'s history.

Patton Oswalt made a memorable appearance on Reno 911! season 7

When you put Patton Oswalt on a list of best Reno 911! cameos, the first question you'll get is, "Which one?" The comedian has made nearly a dozen appearances on the show, usually as the recurring character Boozehammer of Galen, a fantasy role-playing enthusiast who gets into physical altercations with his fellow LARPers. It may be recency bias, but it's actually Oswalt's most recent cameo on Quibi's seventh season that takes the top spot for us.

In the episode "Big Mike's Rocket Rascal," Oswalt appears as the host of a far-right conspiracy theory radio talk show called The White Genocide Radio Hour. Instead of broadcasting from a studio somewhere, the officers find him hunkered down in a pizza restaurant he's protesting because they have a single-occupancy, gender-neutral bathroom and paper straws.

It's a character that could go too shrill in the wrong hands, but Oswalt does an excellent job of embodying the vacant rage of someone who is triggered at hearing that the city is trying to change Andrew Jackson Boulevard to Michelle Obama Way. The highlight of the cameo is when he asks the officers to hush down for a second so he can do an ad for straws made exclusively out of "endangered, old-growth redwood trees."

Nobody does drunk and disorderly as well as Natasha Leggero

Although it's often used as a comedic device, successfully playing someone who is falling down drunk is actually no easy feat for an actor. When it's done well, though, there's nothing funnier. In her several Reno 911! cameos, comedian Natasha Leggero demonstrates that she's basically the Meryl Streep of playing drunk.

Leggero actually plays a couple of characters on her various appearances on the show, including an unnamed woman who is known for being completely naked below the waist, and Bunny Hernandez, the wife of Reno's mayor. They are all notable for being blackout drunk and very disorderly.

The success of Leggero's performances is that she's able to perfectly embody the unpredictable chaos of someone who is outrageously drunk. In the episode "Clemmy Marries a Dead Guy," Lieutenant Dangle and Deputy Kimball (Mary Birdsong) are attempting to corral Leggero's unnamed character into a cop car, but they get derailed by her insistence that she change her boots and try on a variety of pants options she has in her bag. She later buys some time by asking Dangle for a cigarette before she goes to the station, only to take one drag and then make a run for it when he's distracted.

Zach Galifianakis' Frisbee is one of Reno 911!'s best perps

The officers make multiple calls out to the "home" of Frisbee (Zach Galifianakis), who lives in a broken-down bus on the outskirts of Reno. The father of numerous children, all named after characters from Friends and Dharma & Greg, is usually stoic in the face of the accusations that he's committed crimes such as robbing a bank with a crossbow and trying to shoot down commercial flights taking off from the Reno Airport. Galifianakis could have gone big and broad in the role, but he smartly plays Frisbee with a misplaced sense of quiet confidence. It makes the unraveling of his ludicrous denials even funnier.

In the episode "Cop School," when asked for an alibi, he responds with a straight face that he was at home, "Making a hammock out of weeds." When Lieutenant Dangle asks if he can see the proof, Frisbee responds, "It didn't go very well ... no, I don't know ... it frayed up."

Later, when it's revealed that the jig is up and the officers ask him to put down his beer and get on the ground, he drops the can on the concrete, and then gets on his stomach and starts casually slurping up the spillage.

It's not hypothetical: Keegan-Michael Key's cameos kill

Before he had his own hilarious sketch show, Key and Peele, Keegan-Michael Key made a handful of appearances on Reno 911! as an unnamed criminal who often wants to get the officer's opinions on a crime he may or may not have committed. He's billed as "Theoretical Criminal," owing to his penchant for describing the situation to the officers, but hedging his bets by labeling anything he might have done with the tag, "hypothetically."

In one memorable call, Deputies Wiegel (Kerri Kenney-Silver) and Williams respond to a call Key's character put in about a severed head he found in a car. After asking the officers what would happen if, "hypothetically," he had been involved in the incident, Wiegel and Williams suggest they role-play the scenario. As they do, our Theoretical Criminal accidentally shows his hand when he shakes his fist at the head in the trunk and yells, "I hate you, Jerome! Why did you betray me?!"

Like all the best cameos on Reno 911!, Key plays up the absurdity of his character without pushing the comedy too hard. He lures viewers in with his mostly mild-mannered affectation, before letting the comedic revelations do their work.

Eddie Pepitone goes off the rails as a Bernie Sanders decoy on Reno 911!

Eddie Pepitone is a powerhouse in the world of stand-up comedy, and is known to a wider audience thanks to his work on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He gets a small but juicy role on the Reno 911! episode "Weekend at Bernie," from the show's latest season on Quibi.

On the episode, Pepitone plays an actor hired to be a decoy for Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. One would think that being a potential bullet sponge for a politician wouldn't feel like a fulfilling gig for an actor, but this Sanders impersonator has a slightly inflated idea of how successful his career has been. He brags to the officers, "I don't know if you're fans of Hogan's Heroes — I was an extra a lot on that show."

The decoy spends some time reminiscing about the debaucherous glory days of Hollywood ... and then proves that those days are still alive when he pulls out a bag of cocaine. In his performance, Pepitone strikes just the right tone of someone who sounds casual and cool but who is obviously spiraling out of control. Even though they're concerned about the volume of drugs he's consuming, the officers are so persuaded by his friendly demeanor that they go along with it.

Their concerns prove to be prudent. After doing a very convincing Sanders impression while walking past a crowd of supporters on the way to a motorcade, the decoy has a drug-induced heart attack and dies in front of the crowd. (We'll always have those episodes of Hogan's Heroes, though.)

Tim Allen's expert Space Force Commander role play on Reno 911!

One of the most topical bits seen on Quibi's new season of Reno 911! appears on the episode entitled "Space Force." At the beginning of the episode, we see Dangle wearing a foil diaper in a gymnasium, performing exercises of increasing levels of absurdity as part of a trial program for the real-life, recently announced intergalactic military unit known as the United States Space Force. This training is being conducted by a man in a military uniform, played by none other than Home Improvement and Last Man Standing star Tim Allen.

Allen excels at playing the stern Space Force Commander, and his gruffness becomes especially funny as the training exercises get dumber and dumber. During one, the Commander throws frisbees at Dangle, who's hanging upside down by his ankles, and yells, "Meteor shower!" He then sprays him with cold water, declaring, "It's a comet!"

As anyone who has seen Reno 911! might be able to guess, the Space Force training is nothing more than a prank the other officers are playing on Dangle, and the Commander is actually a performer from Circus, Circus. This reveal is teased after Dangle ends a training exercise that involves him hiding in a pit of foam blocks while the Commander fires at him blanks out of a revolver. When the exercise is over, Dangle declares, "I've no idea why we're doing this. I mean, this could happen?" Without missing a beat — but clearly inventing the answer on the spot — the commander replies, "Oh, in space? A lot."

Allen's commitment to the silliness is what sells the character, but the moments when his facade cracks really puts it over the top.

Don't turn your back on Andy Daly's terrifying fulfillment center manager

Reno 911! season 7 takes a brief detour into the thriller genre with the episode "Lil' Primo." We start with Dangle, Junior (Robert Ben Garant), and Wiegel (Kerri Kenney-Silver) responding to a strange 9-1-1 call that they've traced to a package fulfillment facility. When they arrive, they find a giant warehouse that appears to be mostly empty, except for a few employees who only move in the periphery of the officers' vision and never respond when called out to.

Finally, the spooked officers meet the manager of the facility, played by Andy Daly of Review fame. Things get off to an unsettling start when the manager expresses how flummoxed he is that a 9-1-1 call came out of the warehouse, given that they "jam communications within a five-mile radius of here." When the officers ask him his name, he evades giving an actual response, saying, "My name... what do you want it to be? Neil Fisher, how about that?"

The entire sketch is an obvious nod to the disturbing allegations about the working conditions at Amazon warehouses. Daly is the perfect choice to play the overbearing manager of one of these centers, but with an extra-creepy spin. His friendly but extremely stern demeanor gets increasingly menacing as he rebuffs the officers' request to investigate the facility to find the terrified employee who called emergency services. It's the type of performance that tells you a lot about the character in a very short amount of screen time — aka the perfect cameo.

Ron Perlman brings his gruff charms to Reno 911!

Sometimes it's great to see an actor stretch themselves beyond the types of roles they're usually cast in. Other times, you just want to see them do what they do best. That's the case with Ron Perlman's season 7 Reno 911! cameo that came on the episode "Return of Diablo." As a motorcyclist who gets thrown in the drunk tank by Deputy Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey) after failing a sobriety test, Perlman plays a role very reminiscent of his Sons of Anarchy character Clarence "Clay" Morrow, the one-time leader of the Sons of Anarchy, California Redwood Originals motorcycle club.

After realizing he's in hot water and needing to find a quick way out, Perlman's character begins to seduce Johnson by appealing to her dirtbag sensibilities. He sensually describes a fantasy vacation they could take together in Baja Mexico, wherein they would go to Sammy Hagar's franchise Cabo Wago for "peel-and-eat shrimp and some Clamatomargatinis" — presumably hybrid margarita-martinis made with Clamato, tomato juice flavored with sugar, spices, and powdered clam broth. Yum.

Pearlman's performance is funny enough on its own, but it's heightened by the chemistry he shares with McLendon-Covey. The feeling of attraction between the two is palpable, which only increases the thrill of the segment's double-twist ending. First, it's revealed that Perlman's character is actually Johnson's long-lost deadbeat father, and then we learn that the entire almost-incestuous incident was just Johnson conning him into giving her his Harley Davidson motorcycle out of guilt. Johnson's scheme works out just as well as Perlman's cameo does — which is to say, wonderfully.