When we read on MSN's TV Buzz that Bristol Palin is set to guest star on Secret Life of an American Teenager, we couldn't help but think that it's all sorts of wrong. Non-actor guest stars typically lead to well-hyped non-events. Take, for example, the recent cameo appearances from Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and L.A. City Council's Eric Garcetti on All My Children. At best, it was pointless.
When musicians guest star on shows, though, the situation is slightly different. The plots might be horribly implausible and the acting is often stilted, but, in most cases, you'll at least get a good song or two out of the experience. Below, we've compiled a few of our favorite rock star guest spots from the small screen. We've only included shows where the artists were somehow incorporated into the plot, so there are no late-night or variety sort of programs included.
10. The Horrors
Show: The Mighty Boosh
Episode: "The Chokes"
It's no secret that The Mighty Boosh's Vince Noir has rock star ambitions, but how far will he go to be the hippest front man in town? British band The Horrors play The Black Tubes, a band so fashionable that one must have exceptionally thing legs to be allowed into the fold. It's not a completely far-fetched plot if you checked out how tight musicians' pants have grown over the past decade.
9: Dave Mustaine
Show: Duck Dodgers
Episode: "In Space Nobody Can Hear You Rock/Ridealong Calamity"
When Duck Dodgers needs help battling those pesky Martians, Dave Mustaine comes to the rescue with his guitar wizardry. Next time you're in a bind, try playing "Back in the Day" at full volume. Mustaine also appears in the series finale Bonafide Hero: Captain Duck Dodgers. (If you want to know what Mustaine does with some of those awards he gets, check out our coverage of last week's Golden Gods Nominations event.)
8. Marianne Faithfull
Show: Absolutely Fabulous
Episodes: "The Last Shout" and "Donkey"
Edina Monsoon and her best friend Patsy Stone are fashionistas clinging on to their Swingin' London past, so it's only natural that Marianne Faithfull would play God. She appears to Edina in the two-part episode "The Last Shout," when the drama queen is having trouble dealing with her daughter's upcoming wedding (and, as some sort of consequence, fakes stigmata). Faithfull is often accompanied by Anita Pallenberg as the Devil and in "The Last Shout," Marcella Detroit of Shakespeare's Sister plays an angel.
7. Snoop Dogg
Show: One Life to Live
Episode: Multiple Episodes
In some strange, soap opera universe, Snoop Dogg is buddy-buddy with police commissioner Bo Buchannan. Every now and then, he'll head over to Llanview, PA to visit his friend and play some new songs at the local club. Snoop also revamped the soap opera's theme song to coincide with his episodes. What's cool about this is that Snoop Dogg, who last appeared on OLTL yesterday, has said that he grew up watching the show. Since we did as well, we have a special affinity for this spot, but we also want to mention his guest starring roles on Monk (again, with his own theme song) and King of the Hill.
6. The Doobie Bros.
Show: What's Happening!!
Episode: "Doobie or Not Doobie"
The plot to this two-part episode is ludicrous. Why are The Doobie Brothers playing a high school? More importantly, it's a high school concert. Why would someone want to bootleg it? Then, there's the whole issue of Rerun's tape recorder. It's the size of a brick. How do you get away with sneaking that inside the venue? The conclusion gets even more implausible. Despite all that, this does feature really cool concert scenes with The Doobie Brothers.
Show: Square Pegs
Episode: "New Wave Bat Mitzvah"
Devo only appear to perform at Muffy Tepperman's New Wave-themed Bat Mitzvah, but the episode revolves around the band. Will they actually be able to play the party when Saturday Night Live comes calling? Can Johnny Slash's band save the day? Will nerdy girls Lauren and Patty get an invitation to the party of the '80s? And will anyone dare to "slam dance" at a new wave show ("Totally different head. Totally")?
Episode: "Bendin' in the Wind"
After suffering a horrible injury, Bender becomes both the washboard and the washboard player for Beck. The two go on to perform Bender's ode to mangled robots "My Broken Friend," before the world learns that Futurama's devious robot is, well, just being Bender again.
3. Glenn Danzig
Show: Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Episode: "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future"
When a robot ghost fills your house (and pool) with blood, chances are strong that you're only going to be able to sell it to a musician with a penchant for horror films. Glenn Danzig was known simply as Danzig in this episode and it's great. For honorable mentions, though, we should mention ATHF episodes "Party All the Time," featuring Andrew W.K. singing about parties and "Dummy Love," which guest stars T-Pain and Queens of the Stone Age front man Josh Homme.
Show: Married with Children
Episode: "My Dinner with Anthrax"
In the late-1980s, Anthrax was part of an MTV contest wherein they would wreak havoc on the winner's home. A few years later, the legendary metal band reprised their role as house destroyers on Married with Children, when Bud Bundy wins dinner and a concert with the band. Even uptight neighbor Marcy can't help but break stuff.
1. Michael Jackson
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Show: The Simpsons
Episode: "Stark Raving Dad"
There's no topping Michael Jackson's appearance on The Simpsons as a man who thinks he's the Prince of Pop. He provided the speaking voice of Homer's new friend Leon Kompowsky (not the singing voice) under the name John Jay Smith, thus keeping fans confused for some time, and wrote the song "Happy Birthday Lisa."