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The 15 Nerdiest Cameos In TV Shows

March 24, 2021 695 votes 109 voters 15.3k views15 items

List RulesVote up the funniest moments when various 'nerd icons' played themselves on TV.

TV shows and sitcoms are known for having celebrity cameo appearances, but it's not every day that Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, or Stan Lee makes a cameo in your favorite series. Sometimes, famous scientists, astrophysicists, paleontologists, engineers, and CEOs like to join the fun. These distinguished and brilliant geeks made cameo appearances as themselves and stole the show, proving that they have as much of a sense of humor as we do (or at least, tried to.)

These are the nerdiest cameos in TV shows. 

  • Photo: Fox

    In 1993, The Simpsons featured Star Trek's Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, as the celebrity grand marshal unveiling Springfield's new monorail. Mayor Quimby even introduces him with a faux pas, telling him, "may the force be with you!"

    When the solar-powered monorail briefly stops due to a solar eclipe, Nimoy launches into full-on "TV special voiceover guy" mode. In the end, Homer saves the town from the malfunctioning monorail. Nimoy declares "my work is done here," and when Barney points out that he didn't actually do anything, he simply laughs and replies, "didn't I?" and beams away.

    Great cameo?
  • Stephen Hawking, who passed in 2018, not only left behind some of the most accessible readings about astrophysics and the universe, but also lent his likeness and well-known computerized voice to series like The Simpsons, Futurama, The Big Bang Theory, and Star Trek: The Next Generation

    In the Star Trek episode "Descent," Data plays a poker game with virtual holograms of Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Hawking (who happily played himself because he was a fan of the series). Hawking ends up winning the hand after Einstein accuses him of bluffing. 

    Great cameo?
  • 3

    Stephen Hawking Appears In ‘The Simpsons’ To Criticize Springfield’s Mensa Chapter (Then Leaves It To Burn)

    Photo: Fox

    World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking made his first cameo appearance on The Simpsons in the Season 10 episode "They Saved Lisa's Brain." In the episode, Lisa joins Springfield's secret Mensa society after being embarrassed by the behavior of the town's residents and her father for the last time. 

    Eventually, Springfield's Mensa members take over the local government after Mayor Quimby suspiciously leaves town. They try to change Springfield's laws for the better, but the takeover doesn't go as planned, and Hawking shows up just in time to see chaos ensuing. Hawking criticizes the attempted utopia by calling it a "fruitopia," but leaves Lisa with some words of encouragement about how everyone has a different vision for a perfect world, then takes off to have a beer with Homer. 

    Great cameo?
  • Photo: CBS

    The late Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee appeared in The Big Bang Theory in the 2010 episode "The Excelsior Acquisition" (the title is a play on Lee's famous catchphrase). Sheldon misses a chance to meet Lee at a comic book store because of a court date related to a driving infraction. Instead of waiting for a future opportunity to meet him, Sheldon, with the help of Penny, shows up at Lee's house to meet him.

    Lee is not happy to meet Sheldon and calls the police, then files a protective order, which Sheldon places on a wall next to his protective order from Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy. 

    Great cameo?