Cameos — brief appearances by well-known actors — are a time-honored tradition in Hollywood, and it’s easy to understand why. A well-placed cameo role has the power to make audiences see an actor or actress in a new light, or completely revitalize their career. Some performers are barely recognizable as off-the-wall characters others play themselves. Either way, they’re fun for movie fans and the actors they pay to see. Here are just four of the funniest and most memorable big screen cameos.
1. Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder (2007)
When this satirical smash hit was released, Tom Cruise was at the tail-end of a particularly rough public relations spiral. His erratic behavior off-screen, and his ties to the Church of Scientology, had turned many fans off. That’s why his brief appearance as a manic studio exec in Tropic Thunder was so surprising — and so successful. He donned a fat suit and bald wig, released expletive-laden rants on unsuspecting victims, and played up the crazy. He had fans rolling in the aisles as a result.