[Updated after the jump: As it turns out, not even the “Hangover” franchise is ballsy enough to associate with Gibson. Director Todd Phillips cancels the cameo. Originally posted on Monday, Oct. 18 at 9 a.m.]

After an R-rated summer of racial slurring and baby-mama beating, Mel Gibson is hoping for a fresh start — as a tattoo artist from Thailand.

NBC Los Angeles reported this morning that Gibson will be making a cameo in “The Hangover 2,” the July 2010 sequel to 2009's wildly popular stoner comedy “The Hangover.”

This Malibu megastar isn't the first down-and-out celebrity to invest a comeback in mainstream comedy:

In the original “Hangover,” bad-boy boxer Mike Tyson — who has, like Gibson, struggled with substance abuse, to say the least — played himself in a lighthearted bit part. (Unfortunately, Tyson later ripped off the Band-Aid by announcing he had done the film to “supply his drug habit.”)

Then there was Tom Cruise, OG of the Look-I-can-laugh-at-myself cameo, who made up for his couch-surfing incident on “Oprah” by stepping in as a fat-suited movie mogul in “Tropic Thunder.” And he's still milking it!

So what do you think: Will Gibson poke fun at himself in “The Hangover 2”? And, in the end, can even the most sidesplitting performance make up for the last few years of shame?

Update: Citing protest from his cast and crew, Director Todd Phillips scratched Mel from the “Hangover 2” lineup yesterday, the Wrap reports. Earlier this month, actor Zach Galifianakis told Comedy Death-Ray Radio that he was “in a deep protest right now with a movie I'm working on, up in arms about something.”

Weird. Could it be the gay-bashing? The Jew-bashing? The all-around humanity-bashing? Looks like the “Hangover” director will have to come up with more original ways of being offensive than defaulting on Gibson.

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