We’re so used to authors communicating to us in writing that it can be a shock to see them on our TV or movie screens. But some of our favorite authors have made guest appearances on screen – and the results have been amazing. These are 8 of the funniest, coolest, and most surprising author cameos in the history of TV and movies.
Stephen King in Pet Sematary
If the preacher about 30 seconds into this trailer looks familiar, it’s because it’s author Stephen King. King has actually made a ton of great cameos – he even delivered a one-liner over the phone in a Frasier episode – but it’s really cool to see him in his own work. You’ll have to get your hands on a copy of the movie to see the full clip, but this preview gives you a taste of King’s performance.
Stephenie Meyer in Twilight
We’ve mostly stuck with authors that make more extended appearances, but we also wanted to include one really sneaky cameo. Meyer appears for only a moment in the film adaptation of her novel Twilight. She’s sitting at the cafe bar – blink and you’ll miss her!
Thomas Pynchon on The Simpsons
Pynchon is famous for being reclusive, so it’s no surprise that he’s never made a credited appearance on screen (he’s supposedly hidden somewhere in the film version of Inherent Vice, though only a few people know where). Pynchon is apparently less guarded about his voice, though – he’s made two guest appearances on The Simpsons. This clip pokes fun at Pynchon’s reclusive tendencies.
Salman Rushdie in Bridget Jones’s Diary
Salman Rushdie makes a surprise appearance in the film version of Bridget Jones’s Diary as a witness to one of Jones’s many faux pas. This cameo came about because Rushdie is friends with Helen Fielding, the author of the original book. When suggesting the cameo, Fielding supposedly asked Rushdie, “how would you like to make a fool of yourself?”
Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson makes a guest appearance in the film adaptation of his masterwork, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Johnny Depp, playing Thompson, encounters the real-life Thompson in a surreal scene. You can spot Thompson starting around 25 seconds into the clip above.
Gore Vidal on The Simpsons
The Simpsons always has the best guest stars. In addition to that awesome Thomas Pynchon appearance we mentioned above, they also snagged Gore Vidal. He’s appears in the Season 18 episode “Moe’N’a Lisa.”
Kurt Vonnegut in Back to School
In the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School, great American satirist Kurt Vonnegut shows up to help Dangerfield character write an essay – on Kurt Vonnegut. This might be the funniest author cameo in film history. We’re glad they didn’t go with Robert Ludlum.
Main image: The Simpsons, via The Verge