Sports stars get around a bit. When they’re not covering huge distances running up and down courts or fields, they’re appearing in advertisements on TV. But commercial breaks aren’t the only time you’ll see them on your screens, many top athletes have also had acting careers. And we’re not talking about the likes of LeBron James appearing in blockbuster movies, we’re talking about when they make cameo appearances in our favorite TV Shows.
There have been so many over the years, from comedies to serious dramas. But what are some of the most memorable cameo appearances from athletes in TV shows around the world? Well, let us take a quick look at some of the best TV cameos by top athletes.
Shaquille O’Neal – Fresh Off The Boat
One of the best family sitcoms on TV, Fresh Off The Boat was the story of a Korean family who move to the USA to live the American Dream. It follows parents Louis Huang (Randall Park) and Jessica Huang (Constance Wu) with their three children Eddie, Emery and Evan, as they navigate life living in a suburban town in Florida.
It also includes a host of other stars too with appearances from the likes of Chelsey Crisp and Paul Scheer as well, but they’re not the only stars to appear in this show. Shaquille O’Neal has appeared numerous times, both as the owner of a Car Showroom, and also when Eddie gets a new video game featuring the man who used to single-handedly impact NBA odds during his playing days, with the Sega Genesis title Shaq-Fu.
Whilst his appearances are only small, his humor shines through, and really does add a real dose of warmth. If you haven’t checked this out before, it really is worthwhile.
Tom Brady – Entourage
Entourage is already a great show by itself, with some hilarious moments. But what you may not have realised is just how many athletes have appeared in the show over the years. From LeBron James, A-Rod, Mark Teixeira, Michael Strahan and Amare Stoudemire, there have been a whole host of famous names appear, and there are plenty more on top of that too.
But our favorite appearance in Entourage from an athlete has to be Tom Brady. He appears in a cracking scene in which Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase (Kevin Dillon) destroys Brady’s driver on the golf course. It’s so over the top, that it’s just perfect, and it’s not even the best bit in the episode. But it definitely is one of our best cameos in the show.
Hafthor Bjornsson – Game of Thrones
He played one of the most brutal characters in the show, The Mountain. But his strength isn’t just some special effect done by the magic of the silver screen, he’s actually a competitor in the World’s Strongest Man competitions. Measuring two-metres tall and weighing in at 180kg, he literally is built like a human mountain, and was perfectly cast in this role.
One of his best scenes, and most brutal in the show’s history, comes at the end of Season 6. It sent chills down people’s spines, it was a twist even M. Night Shyamalan couldn’t have predicted. If you saw it, you know exactly what we’re talking about. If you haven’t, do yourself a favor and check it out. Unless you’re squeamish, then maybe give it a miss this time.
TV personalities you didn’t realize were athletes
As a little honorable mention, we thought we’d talk about a couple of TV personalities you may not have been aware were sports stars. First up, Gordon Ramsay, the chef famous for shows such as Hell’s Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares was in fact a sports star at one point in his life. He didn’t quite make it to the highest level, but Gordon Ramsay did play football for Oxford United in England, before moving to Rangers up in Scotland. Then injury finished his career before it started and he turned to food to make his living.
Another star you may not realize was an athlete at one point is former Doctor Who and star of The Crown, Matt Smith. In his younger days before acting, he used to play for Nottingham Forest. But again, injury would rule that career out for him. But he didn’t do too badly playing Queen Elizabeth’s husband and the ultimate Time Lord on TV.
So there you have it, some of our favorite cameo appearances of athletes on the TV, plus a couple of TV stars you never realized were athletes. Do you think there have been any that we have missed out? Think we’ve made some mistakes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on our social channels. Maybe we’ll check some of them o