5 award-worthy sports star TV cameos
These are the pros who lit up the small screen this year.
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The Emmys, taking place this weekend, celebrates the best in television. And while shows like Game of Thrones, Veep and Better Call Saul are sure to take home some trophies, there’s one category we wouldn’t mind seeing the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences add to its awards roster: Best Guest Spot by an Athlete. From top football players to Olympic champs, these are the pros who weren’t afraid to trade in the field for the soundstage:
McKayla Maroney, Tara Lipinski and Apolo Anton Ohno Superstore
On a special Olympics-themed episode of this NBC comedy, Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong played a former gold medal-winning gymnast who visits the Cloud 9 store for a book signing. While Strong was a fictional Olympian, these real-life gold medal winners made cameos throughout the episode as Cloud 9 shoppers. Bonus points go to Maroney for displaying her infamous smirk during her appearance.
Ndamukong Suh Ballers
The season two premiere of this HBO sports comedy opened with the Miami Dolphins defensive tackle joining Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character on a luxury boat on their way to attend a dockside party. The party was for the opening of his fictitious restaurant “Suh Casa,” an eatery we wouldn't be surprised to find in Times Square. Other athletes who appeared on Ballers this season include Terrell Suggs, Wes Welker and Jarvis Landry.
Hunter Pence Fuller House
Much more than a cameo, the San Francisco Giants outfielder is the main focus of a whole episode here. In this edition of the Full House reboot, Stephanie Tanner is dating Pence and gets blamed by Giants fans for his slump. Scenes were even filmed at AT&T Park during the seventh-inning stretch of a Giants-Dodgers game.
Odell Beckham Jr. Code Black
Here’s an instance where an athlete isn’t popping up on a comedy series. Instead, the New York Giants’ wide receiver shows up as himself on a CBS medical drama. In the episode, the stylish athlete gets sidelined from attending a charity luncheon because he’s helping save the life of a character played by Beau Bridges. You know, just a typical day in the life of a football star.
Blake Griffin Broad City
Of course the most outrageous cameo would be from this buzzy Comedy Central series. In this episode, Ilana Glazer’s character meets the NBA player at a party and they go back to his place. What follows is one of the goofiest sex scenes in TV history. Oh, and Griffin is completely nude for most of his screen time. It’s no surprise the LA Clippers player would be game for such a wacky scene—he’s performed at improv mecca UCB in the past.