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Top 10 Awesome Self-Portrayals

10.15.2008by: Jim Law
Sorry Bob (above) but that title pic is the only love you'll be getting in this list. As much as I wanted to search through the trillions of cameo appearances by celebrities playing themselves I decided to stick with the meatier roles and free up some time for that bottle of rum whispering at me from across the room. I once wrote a script called OUR HERO specifically for William Katt (the guy who played The Greatest American Hero) where he actually gets super powers similar to the television show but nobody believes him. He ends up turning evil and starts killing everybody until Christopher Reeve reveals that he really is Superman and kicks his ass. My phone calls were not returned. Anyway, enough about my failures, enjoy the list. I'll tell the bottom of the bottle you said hi.

Honourable Mention: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - AIRPLANE! (1980)

Had he not tried to pass himself off as Roger Murdock for half the movie he would have been higher. That kid knew who he was and if you still have your doubts watch for the goggles and Lakers uniform shorts when they drag him out of his seat. I know I pimp this movie a lot on the site but after being repeatedly slapped in the balls by this "new school" of spoof movies you can't help but appreciate it's brilliance.

Honourable Mention #2: Bruce Campbell - MY NAME IS BRUCE (2008)

It's not even out yet and I haven't seen anything more than a trailer. It just doesn't matter. It's Bruce......... playing Bruce......... directed by Bruce. This film could come out and personally offend me by having a character defecate on my picture and it would still be on this list. Hail to the King, bitches.

10. Jerry Lawler - MAN ON THE MOON (1999)

It must of been awesome for Lawler to take a break from hosting duties on Monday Night Raw to step back in the ring and relive his fake feud with Andy Kaufman. He was actually pretty bad-ass back in those days as proven by the brutal beat-down he delivered to Kaufman on Letterman (also re-enacted for the film). A whole generation of wrestling fans had no idea he could throw down like that.

9. Ian Ziering & Brian Austin Green - DOMINO (2005)

A lot of the reason I like this movie has to do with these two guys shitting all over themselves throughout the story. After being hired to host a Dog The Bounty Hunter type reality show, the guys get held hostage by the stars of the show when things turn ugly and basically get treated like little bitches by Keira Knightley every scene they're in. Still, these were much cooler roles than they had on 90210.

8. Cher - STUCK ON YOU (2003)

How do you approach Cher with this script? "Okay Cher, you're playing an Oscar winning actress who's been demoted to a shitty television drama. You're an A-list bitch with no heart and you're banging Frankie Muniz. You'll be playing yourself." If that didn't get her to sign I'm sure it was the part about the adult conjoined twins in the lead.

7. Heather Langenkamp - NEW NIGHTMARE (1994)

The only three NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET movies that matter to me are the original, DREAM WARRIORS (part 3), and this. Heather Langenkamp has everything to do with that. Getting to see her along with Robert Englund, John Saxson, and Wes Craven live within the world they created is original and brilliant. After the hole dug by NIGHTMARES 4, 5, and 6, this film deserves far more credit than it receives.

6. Morris Day - PURPLE RAIN (1984)

When I thought of PURPLE RAIN my intention was to use it's star, Prince, to complete my list. Then I found out he was basically the only character in the movie that went by a different name. He was The Kid. Awesome. So I went for the next best thing. Morris serves up some of the film's best moments by either kicking it on stage, degrading the sexy ladies, or being a complete asshole. After The Kid's (sigh) dad shoots himself, Morris simply peaks in the room and says "Bang, bang." and leaves. I wonder if this is a true story.

5. Jennifer Tilly - SEED OF CHUCKY (2004)

Jen has never really been more than an annoying voice and great cleavage in the world of Hollywood but you really have to give her some credit here as she spends an entire film making fun of herself while starring alongside three dolls. We get to see her struggling with her weight by sneaking chocolate bars, bitch about Julia Roberts, and reference those boobs of hers more than a few times. Honourable mention to Redman here too.

4. The Beatles - HELP! (1965)

I imagine there was a time when The Beatles could have made anything they wanted to and people would have killed their mothers to see it. This film is no exception. When Ringo can't remove a sacrificial ring from his finger him and his band mates find themselves a target for some Asian cult crazies, mad scientists, and police people. Musical numbers ensue often.

3. Howard Stern - PRIVATE PARTS (1997)

The thing that gets me about this film is Stern's genuine heart-warming performance. Gone is the obnoxious ego, womanizing, and pointless annoyances. He really shows us the man behind the show and his dedication to his wife and co-workers. Is it all an act? Probably, but I'm a sucker for these loser-makes-good movies. Especially when they include a scene with Jenna Jameson getting off on the bass of a speaker. Topless.


Playing yourself is one thing. Playing yourself as a complete psychopath is NPH's thing. What started as a cameo in the first film extends here into an epic portrayal of sex-crazed lunacy and drug induced hallucinations. This film is funny as f*ck, people. Believe it.

1. John Malkovich - BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (1999)

The farther along I got in writing this column the more I realized number one isn't even going to be close. John Malkovich is so f*cking brilliant here it's a travesty he didn't get nominated for an Oscar. That scene above, when he enters his own portal, is terribly disturbing, unbelievably funny, and oddly scary all at the same time. And believe me when I say it is literally all Malkovich's doing. Malcatraz rules!

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