-By James Dinh
Artists love to crossover into the acting realm. Heck, it’s a trend as old as time. But every now and then they take their star power over to the world of all things kids — you know, like puppetry and animation. So what happens when a rather questionable artist makes a guest appearance on a show aimed at your 3-year-old nephew? Well, two things. First off, there’s a ton of raised eyebrows, and second, a long lasting stamp of semi-ridicule because nothing ever escapes the Internet. If you need a refresher on some of the most WTF-worthy guest appearances on youngster television, we’ve rounded some of the most suspect cameos — and boy is it awkward.
Prince on Muppets Tonight (1997)
Overt sexuality has been part of Prince’s blueprint, so it’s sort of mind blogging that the sex god of Paisley Park made an appearance on Muppets Tonight back in 1997. If the muppet’s Prince-like outfits don’t make you uncomfortable then maybe his performance of “Starfish and Coffee,” a song based off a lunch menu, will do the trick.
Biz Markie on Yo Gabba Gabba! (2007)
Biz Markie is such a regular on Yo Gabba Gabba! that he has his own routine segment called “Biz’s Beat of the Day,” where he demonstrates new beatboxing beats. Grab a drink, sit back and take a look at Biz’s Halloween-themed beat of the day. It’s pretty damn scary.
John Mayer on Sesame Street (2009)
Back in 2009, he appeared on the military tribute episode of Sesame Street, but it’s sort of awkward. I mean, before his appearance, Mayer and his “white supremacist penis” had been romantically linked to Cameron Diaz, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Miss Piggy, Jennifer Aniston and that’s just to name a few. Okay, Miss Piggy wasn’t actually linked with Mayer, but would you really be surprised?
Katy Perry on Sesame Street (2010)
Katy Perry is all about being ridiculous, and most of the time, it’s not in a good way. In 2010, Perry spoofed her song “Hot N Cold” with Elmo on Sesame Street while wearing a dress that showed off enough cleavage to get parents all riled up. While her cameo still lives on YouTube, her inclusion in the episode was eventually cut.
Mya on Yo Gabba Gabba! (2007)
Oh, so thaaaaat’s where Mya went. When she’s not performing at strip clubs.
The Flaming Lips on Yo Gabba Gabba! (2010)
What happens when the Oklahoma psychedelics want to appear on a Nick Jr. show about five costumed toys that come to life and their way too energetic DJ Lance Rock? Two trippy minutes of the band’s most awkward performance of “A Fairy Tale Song” a.k.a. their 2009 single “I Can Be A Frog.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Ice Cube on Sesame Street (2014)
Ice Cube has that whole angry-for-no-reason thing going on in most of his movie roles and across his Instagram feed, so we can’t help but scratch our heads when we watched his cameo on Sesame Street. In the guest spot, he conducts a one-on-one gangster rap tutorial with Elmo. Need we say more?
Johnny Cash on Sesame Street (1973)
It only makes sense for Johnny Cash, the man who “shot a man in Reno just to watch him die,” to make an appearance on Sesame Street, right? Whether you agree or disagree, the late great country superstar had his way and appeared on multiple episodes of the PBS show for collaborative muppet performances that didn’t include lines about weapons.
Michael Jackson on Sesame Street (1978)
Bonus: Ozzy Osbourne on Bubble Guppies (2015)
In 2014, Ozzy Osbourne was announced as a guest star on the popular Nickelodeon pre-school series about animated fish. His cameo appearance has yet to air on Bubble Guppies, but if the initial announcement is any indication as to their roles, it’ll surely be worth the wait.