The 10 best celebrity cameos
For decades, fun and unexpected cameos have been a staple of Muppets’ productions, and Haunted Mansion of the Muppets is no exception. While celebrities Will Arnett and Taraji P. Henson get lead roles in the special, the rest of the cast is rounded out with famous people stepping in for just a scene or two.
From Hollywood legends like the late Ed Asner to contemporary stars like Skai Jackson, the special calls on a number of recognizable actors to bring the Happy Haunts to life. While some cameos are just an excuse to show a famous face on screen, the best celebrity appearances, such as Yvette Nicole Brown and John Stamos, are the ones that utilize the talent of the stars.
Yvette Nicole Brown (The Driver)
Yvette Nicole Brown is the first celebrity to make an appearance on the special as the driver who drives Gonzo and Pepe to and from the haunted mansion. His disturbing conversation with them sets the tone for the chilling adventure they are about to embark on.
The old one Community The actress doesn’t get a lot of jokes but still manages to get a laugh through her facial expressions and speech. She is able to play a minor role and elevate him to the rank of the best characters in Haunted Mansion of the Muppets.
Darren Criss (The Guardian)
Once Gonzo and Pepe arrive at the mansion, they meet the Guardian, who is dressed exactly like the animatronic of the Haunted Mansion. He is played by Darren Criss of Joy glory, who directs the first original song on the special.
Songs are one of the main reasons why Haunted Mansion of the Muppets is better than Eddie Murphy’s film adaptation, and having a talented artist like Darren Criss involved makes for a memorable scene on the special.
In one of the best references to the Haunted Ride, the Singing Busts Quintet makes an appearance during the graveyard scene of the special and sings a few bars of “Grim Grinning Ghosts”. The busts are performed by Skai Jackson, Geoff Keighley, Pat Sajak, Justina Machado and Craig Robinson.
It’s an incredibly unexpected star combination that offers something for everyone. While the overlap of Jackson and Sajak fans may be slim, viewers will likely be able to pick at least a few of the famous faces.
Ed Asner (The Ghost of Claude)
As the warden sings the song “Rest in Peace”, the ghosts of those buried in the graveyard show up as he explains how they each died. In this setting, legendary actor Ed Asner makes an appearance as the ghost of Brother Claude. He does not speak but raises a glass with a toast.
Although the appearance is brief and he doesn’t have much to do, this is one of the late actor’s last roles. For fans of the icon, even this brief appearance is a treat. The end credits also include a photo of Asner with the text “In memory of our friend”.
Chrissy Metz (The Ghost Of Harriet)
It’s us Star Chrissy Metz has an appearance as one of the most colorful ghosts in the cemetery footage. She plays Harriet, an opera singer dressed in a Viking costume. Its high note is so piercing that it shatters Brother Claude’s glass, much to her embarrassment.
It’s a silly, playful moment that embodies the combination of the Muppet’s sense of humor with the Haunted Mansion aesthetic. Of all the ghosts, Metz cameo is one of the best because she has more to do than the rest.
Alfonso Ribeiro (The Ghost of Fred)
The first ghost to appear during “Rest in Peace”, Alfonso Ribeiro has an appearance as Fred, a man who was crushed to death when a stone fell on his head. To reflect this, the ghost is compacted as if it had been crushed.
The visual gag effectively captures the silly tone of the special while using the supernatural setting. Although it has no line, the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air the star gets to grips with his facial expressions as the Guardian explains how he died.
Danny Trejo (the ghost of Huet)
Known for his badass roles, Danny Trejo makes an appearance as Cousin Huet’s ghost during the graveyard scene. He appears behind bars dressed in a prison jumpsuit and winks sly to the camera as the guard sings the line “Rest in peace, cousin Huet. We all know you didn’t.” “
Despite his intimidating look and the lack of children’s titles in his filmography, this isn’t the first time Danny Trejo has been invited with the Muppets. He has already appeared in a Muppets now segment and was easily one of the best parts of the show. It’s great to see him re-team with the Muppets, even if it’s only in a brief appearance.
Sasheer Zamata (the ghost of Mary)
Old Saturday Night Live Actor Sasheer Zamata plays the ghost of Mary, a mysterious writer who died of ink poisoning. During the song “Rest in Peace”, she recreates her death, absently putting the quill in her mouth before rocking.
Zamata is a talented actress who is able to communicate the joke through her exaggerated facial expressions. While cameos and visual jokes quickly follow each other in the song, his appearance stands out as one of the funniest.
Kim Irvine (Haunted Mansion Maid)
When Madame Pigota calls a maid to clean her crystal ball, imaginary Kim Irvine gets the opportunity to make an appearance on the special. While she may not be the biggest star, she is an important figure in Haunted Mansion history.
Not only is she the daughter of Leota Toombs, the actress who plays Madame Leota’s face in the attraction, but she’s also the model of Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. Given its generational ties to the Haunted Mansion, Irvine’s cameo in the special is a big nod to the ride’s history.
John Stamos (famous person)
Throughout his time at the Haunted Mansion, Pepe is on the lookout for other famous people to hang out with. This leads him to the “Famous Peoples Room” where he meets John Stamos. After the two compliments exchanged, John Stamos turns into a ghost and scares Pepe away.
While most other celebrity cameos are silly visual gags, Stamos’ appearance involves a really effective fear of jumping. It’s a nice change of pace that surprises the viewer and gives the special a much needed fright.
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