Sports stars are about as recognizable as movie stars these days. We put the Kobe Bryants right up there with the Tom Cruises of the world, so it comes as no surprise that many movies bring in famous sports stars for cameos. Sometimes this leads to awkward onscreen moments, as some sports stars were never meant to be actors. Others see their brief amount of screen time as a great opportunity, and seize it with as much enthusiasm and skill as they would a game winning shot. We will focus on these surprisingly entertaining cameos by sports stars, who proved they don’t need to be on the field to entertain us.
Mike Tyson – The Hangover
One of the most recent cameos by a sports star is also one of the most memorable. First off, The Hangover was hilarious on its own. The Mike Tyson cameo was just icing on the cake. Mike Tyson is a pretty interesting guy, what with his outlandish antics in real life, such as biting the ear off of a boxing opponent, and his high pitched voice is hilarious given the giant body it is coming from. All this made him a perfect choice to be in the over the top comedy The Hangover. The interesting part is Mike Tyson is such an over the top character in real life, his cameo almost seemed tame by comparison.
Lance Armstrong – Dodgeball
Lance Armstrong is most likely the one cyclist who everybody in America knows. His battle and ultimate triumph over testicular cancer is a well known tale that has been oft repeated. The most hilarious repeating of this tale was during Lance Armstrong’s cameo in the movie Dodgeball. Vince Vaughn’s character is feeling down in the dumps, and is getting ready to abandon his dodgeball team when they are in the finals. That’s when he runs into Lance Armstrong, who tells his story of overcoming hardship. This of course makes Vince Vaughn feel like a whiny bitch and return to his team.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Airplane
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the best basketball players of all time. The man was ridiculously good at putting the basketball through the hoop, and that talent made him extremely famous, especially at the time Airplane came out. Airplane played off his celebrity status hilariously by having him play a co-pilot who happened to look exactly like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Of course everybody who sees him recognizes this co-pilot as Kareem, much to this anonymous co-pilot’s chagrin.
Brett Favre – There’s Something About Mary
Back before Brett Favre had retired and returned 12 times and (allegedly) sent pictures of his penis to an attractive lady staff member, he was fairly beloved by all NFL fans. He was the young gunslinger who took chances and had fun on the gridiron. His morals were unquestioned, he was the epitome of the Southern grown good boy. This reputation made his cameo in There’s Something About Mary that much more entertaining, as he shows up at Cameron Diaz’s door as a forlorn former lover who wants her back. Honestly, I totally think she should have picked him over Ben Stiller.
John McEnroe – Mr. Deeds
John McEnroe is famous for being the bad boy of tennis. Back when short shorts were fashionable, McEnroe made a name for himself on the tennis court by throwing temper tantrums, verbally abusing officials, and occasionally winning matches. Mr. Deeds had him play off this outrageous behavior by going on a wild bender with Adam Sandler. The two spent a night drinking heavily, throwing eggs at cars, and presumably stealing candy from babies. Yeah, John McEnroe can be a bad boy off the court as well.