34 Times Celebrities Made Cameo Appearances In '80s Music Videos

Since the dawn of the MTV era, celebrities have made cameo appearances in music videos. Of course, adding a famous face to your video in the '80s most likely boosted its chance to be played more often on the 24-hour music channel. However, sometimes I think the reason that movie stars chose to do cameo roles in videos was to just mingle in the rock-n-roll lifestyle. Even now after the death of MTV as we know it, movie stars like Johnny Depp and Robert Downey, Jr. still try to dabble in the music industry. But for whatever the reason, those celebrity cameos became a fun part of MTV for several years. 

Now before we rediscover some music videos, let me first define what exactly I mean by a cameo role so you won't be confused. I'm not talking about those early sightings of celebrities before they were famous like Courtney Cox being pulled up on stage in "Dancing in the Dark", Mythbusters' Adam Savage in "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" or Patrick Swayze in "Rosanna." What I refer to as cameo appearances are those instances where celebrities are essentially hired to portray a role or playing themselves for no other practical reason than because of their famous face. The prime example is the dozen people put in the "Ghostbusters" music video that were just there to scream the answer to "who you gonna call?" into the camera.

In my online research, I've found 34 occasions where celebrities have made cameo appearances in music videos! Now, for the sake of loading all those embedded videos in this post or doing one of those annoying slide shows, I've created an 80s Music Video Cameos Playlist on YouTube that I'll embed following the list. Feel free to tell me your favorites or add more in the comments as I know I've probably missed a few. From what I can tell though, I think I've dug up the majority of these!)

The list shows the artist/song in bold followed by the (celebrities who appeared in parentheses.) Most of the videos are in the YouTube playlist below. I hope you'll enjoy rediscovering these videos as much as I did!

  • Ray Parker Jr. "Ghostbusters" (Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Melissa Gilbert, Ollie E. Brown, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk, Teri Garr)
  • Paul Simon "You Can Call Me Al" (Chevy Chase)
  • Bobby McFerrin "Don't Worry Be Happy" (Robin Williams, Bill Irwin)
  • Michael Jackson "Liberian Girl" (Beverly Johnson, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Sherman Hemsley, Brigitte Nielsen, Paula Abdul, Carl Weathers, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones, Jackie Collins, Amy Irving, Jasmine Guy, Rosanna Arquette, Lou Diamond Phillips, Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, Corey Feldman, Steven Spielberg, Debbie Gibson, Rick Schroder, Blair Underwood, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Bubbles, Suzanne Somers, Lou Ferrigno, Don King and “Son”, Mayim Bialik, Virginia Madsen, David Copperfield, Billy Dee Williams, Richard and Emily Dreyfuss, Danny Glover, Olivia Hussey, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Guttenberg)
  • Michael Jackson "Bad" (Wesley Snipes)
  • Madonna "Papa Don't Preach" (Danny Aiello)
  • Cyndi Lauper "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (Capt. Lou Albano)
  • Cyndi Lauper "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" (including Part 2) (Captain Lou Albano, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Wendy Richter, The Fabulous Moolah, The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Freddie Blassie, André the Giant, Steven Spielberg, The Bangles, various Goonies cast members)
  • Twisted Sister "We're Not Gonna Take It" (Mark Metcalf)
  • Lionel Richie "Dancing on the Ceiling" (Rodney Dangerfield, Cheech Marin)
  • Billy Joel " Uptown Girl" (Christie Brinkley)
  • Billy Joel "Keeping The Faith" (Christie Brinkley, Richard Pryor, Joe Piscopo)
  • Billy Joel "Tell Her About It" (Rodney Dangerfield)
  • Sam Kinnison "Wild Thing" (Jessica Hahn, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Slash, Steven Adler, Billy Idol, C.C. Deville, Richie Sambora, Steven Pearcy, Warren DeMartini, Robbin Crosby, Tommy Lee)
  • Cameo "Word Up" (LeVar Burton)
  • Billy Ocean "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" (Danny DeVito, Kathleen Turner)
  • Talking Heads "Wild Wild Life" (John Goodman)
  • Michael McDonald "Sweet Freedom" (Gregory Hines, Billy Crystal)
  • Go-Go's "Turn To You" (Rob Lowe)
  • Bette Midler "Beast of Burden" (Mick Jagger)
  • Julian Lennon "Stick Around" (Michael J. Fox, Joe Piscopo, Jami Gertz)
  • Starship "Sara" (Rebecca De Mornay)
  • Weird Al Yankovic "I Lost On Jeopardy" (Greg Kihn, Dr. Demento, Don Pardo, Art Fleming)
  • Run -DMC "King of Rock" (Larry "Bud" Melman)
  • Ben E. King "Stand By Me" (River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton)
  • Paula Abdul "Straight Up" (Arsenio Hall, Djimon Hounsou)
  • Billy Crystal "You Look Marvelous" (Sting)
  • John Parr "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" (Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore, Mare Winningham)
  • Ratt "Round and Round" (Milton Berle)
  • The Bangles "Going Down To Liverpool" (Leonard Nimoy)
  • Pete Shop Boys "Heart" (Ian McKellen)
  • Pat Benetar "Shadows of the Night" (Judge Reinhold, Bill Paxton)
  • Beach Boys "Kokomo" (John Stamos)
  • Clarence Clemmons & Jackson Browne "You're a Friend of Mine" (Daryl Hannah)
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