Iggy Pop, The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1995)
The Artist Formerly Known as James Osterberg appeared on five episodes of the Nineties kidcom, playing James Mecklenberg, overprotective father to Nona (Michelle Trachtenberg), the sometime love interest of Little Pete (Danny Tamberelli). In the episode "Dance Fever," the Stooges frontman comes along to the school dance and embarrasses his daughter with a sung request (in that singular Iggy Pop baritone croon) to have the last dance, but Little Pete slides in and Pop-blocks him, much to Nona's relief.
Tom Jones, Mars Attacks (1996)
Your great-aunt's favorite Vegas heartthrob crooner plays himself in Tim Burton's alien invasion spoof. Not surprisingly, the ageless, virile Welshman proves his indestructibility as a survivalist hero after the vicious Martians all but level the gambling Mecca. (Still, it's another singer, the recently deceased country yodeler Slim Whitman, whose high-pitched vocals prove fatal to the sensitive-eared Martians.)
Aimee Mann, The Big Lebowski (1997)
Pop thrush Mann has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in the Joel and Ethan Coen comedy cult favorite as one of the German nihilists. Specifically, she's the one who sacrifices her green-nail-polish-adorned toe for the cause. (Also part of the group is Red Hot Chili Peppers exhibitionist Flea.) It's one of the former 'Til Tuesday singer's few acting performances. She's slightly more vocal in an appearance as herself, performing at the Bronze nightclub on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a 2002 episode, where she gets to say, "Man, I hate playing vampire towns."
Bob Dylan, Dharma & Greg (1999)
Wacky hippie-chick Dharma (Jenna Elfman) auditions to play drums for Dylan's band. At least for a few minutes of sitcom time, the music icon proves unexpectedly tolerant of her mugging, spotlight-hogging and lack of rhythmic diversity. The band (ncluding such aces as T Bone Burnett and Joe Henry) manage to follow her lead for a few numbers, but even after Bob tries tactfully to give her the brush-off, she still has the chutzpah to ask if Dylan and his pros will help her load her drum set into her van. Dylan has the grace to find her more amusing than insulting.
Bruce Springsteen, High Fidelity (2000)
The Boss has dispensed a lot of advice over the years, but he's acted in only one movie. Here, he appears as himself, rock icon, moral exemplar and guru to John Cusack's music-store geek. The vignette has its roots in Nick Hornby's novel, and Cusack's real-life acquaintance with Springsteen made the cameo a reality. Bruce tosses off a few guitar licks and words of wisdom about women, but what he says is of less consequence than the surprising fact that he's there at all.
Elvis Costello (with Sean Penn and Harry Dean Stanton), Two and a Half Men (2004)
In the Season Two premiere, boozy jingle writer Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) invites a few pals over for a night of cigars, Scotch and male bonding. The pals just happen to be an Oscar-winning movie star, a legendary pop songwriter and a veteran character actor. It's odd to see such celebrated talents used as props to throw into sharp relief the ongoing tensions between Charlie and his dweeby brother Alan (Jon Cryer), but all three guests get off several good punchlines, generally at their own expense. And Costello takes an offhand comment of Penn's, in which he denies having any flagpole-raising problems with his then-wife Robin Wright, and turns it into a mournful ballad, with the refrain "Rally 'round the flag."
Justin Bieber, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2010-11)
The Canadian teen idol appeared on two episodes of the veteran procedural drama as Jason McCann, a young anti-tax radical and a bomb expert who causes explosive mayhem all over Las Vegas before the cops shoot him dead. The pop singer didn't make Beliebers – er, believers – out of a lot of longtime CSI fans, but whatever twisted schemes his character is planning behind that baby face, you certainly can't take your eyes off him.
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