Hive Five: Surprising Cameos In Music Videos

The video for the Throne’s Otis stars Kanye West and Jay-Z, two of the modern era’s biggest rappers, was directed by auteur Spike Jones and features the cringe-inducing destruction of a rare $400,000 car, but all anyone wants to talk about is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari. Can you really blame ’em? Everyone loves a good celebrity sighting. (Even one that’s as ridiculously unnecessary as Ansari’s.) For those of us without a local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to troll for java-starved starlets, here are five more videos where you can catch actors outside the confines of their regular DVR appearances.

1. Jack McBrayer in Mariah Carey‘s “Touch My Body” video

You would expect Mariah to be able to reel in any host of big-name celebrities for a cameo in one of her videos, but she showed that she had a sense of humor to go with her insane five-octave range by casting 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer as her love interest in the “Touch My Body” video. Together they play laser tag, pillow fight and reenact the sexy food scene from 9 1/2 Weeks before McBrayer (playing a CompuNerd tech specialist) realizes that the entire romp has sadly been a fantasy. It’s too bad because the pair have a lot in common: they both love unicorns, short shorts and Mariah Carey. [Watch here.]

2. Christina Hendricks in Broken Bells‘ “The Ghost Inside”

Audiences may always associate Christina Hendricks with the ’60s, thanks to her convincing portrayal of voluptuous secretary Joan Harris on Mad Men. But Broken Bells, the collaboration between the Shins’ James Mercer and Danger Mouse, cast her completely against type (or time) in their “The Ghost Inside” video. Light-years away from Sterling Cooper Draper Price, Hendricks is a futuristic robot-woman on a fraught trip to a resort planet. Each obstacle she encounters in space — gas, tolls, ship repair — costs the funds-deficient cyborg one of her limbs to overcome. But even sitting in a spacecraft wearing a drab green flight suit and devoid of hands or feet, Hendricks can’t avoid looking like a vintage bombshell. [Watch here.]

3. Evan Rachel Wood and Terence Stamp in Bright Eyes‘ “At the Bottom of Everything”

The Vampire Queen of Louisiana and Superman’s General Zod may seem like odd bedfellows, but they make charming seatmates on a whimsical yet ill-fated plane ride in the Bright Eyes video for this song off 2005’s I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning. In the clip Wood is lucky to have been seated next to Stamp, who is a calming, reassuring presence as their plane crashes through felt clouds, Play-Doh waves and other antithetically cheery, handmade symbols of their doom. Wood and Stamp hold each other, smiling beatifically as their plane goes down; though if we were on that flight, we’d much prefer to be one of the other chocolate-eating, booze-guzzling, making-out passengers around them. [Watch here.]

4. Zach Galifianakis in Fiona Apple‘s “Not About Love”

Before he made his own Kanye video debut (“Can’t Tell Me Nothing”), the Hangover star was an unlikely mouthpiece for Fiona Apple, perfectly lip-synching all the words to “Not About Love” as he lazed about in bed with the songwriter, wandered in the street with her and goofily danced (both in water and on land) by himself. It’s not surprising in and of itself that Galifianakis would appear in Apple’s video — both are part of a scene loosely based around the L.A. club Largo — but the bearded comic is certainly a goofy counterpoint to the singer’s serious, regretful song. Perhaps she’s not as humorless as her epic album titles and petulant VMA acceptance speeches made her seem. [Watch here.]

5. John Stamos in Low‘s “Try To Sleep” video

It takes until almost two minutes into Low’s stylish To Catch A Thief-driving-scene homage before its handsome protagonist is revealed to be none other than Full House’s Uncle Jesse. While it’s shocking to see Stamos (who is better known for appearing in cheese-fest videos like the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo”) in a dreamy, classy clip from this whispery Minnesotan trio, it’s sort of perfect. (Let’s just say the man knows how to wear a fedora.) Now if only Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker could find a part in their next video for Kimmy Gibbler. [Watch here.]

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