Like many network TV shows, Bones was no stranger to celebrity cameos. Celebrity cameos happen for myriad reasons – perhaps the most obvious being marketing and word-of-mouth. People who otherwise don’t watch a certain show learn that a popular celebrity will be appearing on it and tune in, and suddenly the show has garnered millions of more viewers, with the hopes that some of them stick around after the celebrity is gone.
Celebrity cameos often range in quality, with some genuinely part of a good story and others tending to phone in the performance for a paycheck. These are the greatest cameos found on Bones.
10 Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper may be the last person one would expect to find on Bones. The singer has enjoyed a long career in music, with her early ’80s albums She’s So Unusual and True Colors going multi-platinum. These were aided by strong singles, including “True Colors,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and “Time After Time.”
In Bones, Lauper plays Angela’s psychic, Avalon Harmonia/Stephanie Susan James. She appears in five episodes from seasons 5 through 12.
9 Zooey Deschanel
One of the most creative cameos found on Bones is that of Zooey Deschanel. Deschanel is a very famous actress, and she appears in the fifth season episode, “The Goop on the Girl.” She plays Brennan’s distant cousin, who is invited over for Christmas by Brennan’s father.
In the episode, both Max and Booth comment on her physical similarities to Brennan, saying that they could be sisters. This is a sly reference to the (perhaps obvious) fact that Zooey is Emily Deschanel’s younger sister.
8 Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry is one of the most celebrated English performers of the current age, with a career spanning four decades and numerous popular programs. He has a career in television and film, but has also made a name for himself through documentaries, travel series, game/panel shows, video games, novels, and audiobooks.
In Bones, he plays psychiatrist/culinary chef Gordon Wyatt and has starred in six episodes in 10 years.
7 Billy Gibbons
Bones loved its musical guest stars. Another prominent musician to have appeared on the show is Billy Gibbons – the bearded and sunglasses-clad lead vocalist of ZZ Top. ZZ Top is one of the most iconic bands in classic rock history, with 1983’s Eliminator being certified diamond in the United States and 1985’s Afterburner 5x platinum.
Perhaps their most famous singles are “Legs” and “Sleeping Bags,” both of which reached #8 on the Hot 100. He plays Angela’s unnamed father, appearing in seven episodes.
6 Freddie Prinze Jr.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was one of the most prominent actors of the late ’90s and early 2000s, starring in beloved teen flicks like I Know What You Did Last Summer and She’s All That, while also starring as Fred Jones in the Scooby-Doo films.
He also gained prominence for marrying Sarah Michelle Gellar, becoming one of the most iconic celebrity couples of the era. He appears in two episodes of Bones playing Danny Beck, a CIA agent and one of Booth’s old military buddies.
5 Betty White
With a career beginning in the late 1930s, Betty White has remained one of the most popular actresses of the century. Her most prominent and popular work can be found on television, as she has starred in the likes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland, and The Golden Girls.
She is the recipient of five Primetime Emmy Awards, two of which came from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She appeared as forensic anthropologist Beth Mayer in the 11th season episode, “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves.”
4 Sleepy Hollow Cast
As it turns out, Bones and Sleepy Hollow share the same fictional universe. A Sleepy Hollow series was picked up by Fox (the same network that aired Bones) and aired four seasons from 2013 to 2017. To help promote both shows, Fox concocted a crossover event that saw each shows’ cast appearing in the other.
For Bones, the Sleepy Hollow cast appeared in the 11th season episode, “The Resurrection in the Remains.” For Sleepy Hollow, the Bones cast appeared in the 3rd season episode, “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
3 Stewie Griffin/Seth MacFarlane
Perhaps the most bizarre cameo in Bones‘ history (and TV history for that matter), cartoon character Stewie Griffin appeared in the 4th season episode, “The Critic in the Cabernet.” The episode sees Booth hallucinating due to a brain tumor and interacting directly with Stewie Griffin from Family Guy.
It’s a very odd and somewhat tasteless cameo, using something serious like brain tumors to handwave away a goofy appearance from a cartoon character.
2 Kathy Reichs
Bones wouldn’t exist without Kathy Reichs. Reichs is a forensic anthropologist who wrote the Temperance Brennan novels based on her own life and experiences. As of 2021, 21 Brennan novels have been published, beginning with Déjà Dead in 1997.
By the time Bones premiered in 2005, eight Brennan novels had been published. Reichs cameoed in the 2nd season episode, “Judas on a Pole,” playing forensic anthropologist, Constance Wright.
1 Motley Crue
Motley Crue is yet another classic rock band/artist to have appeared on the show. One of the most popular and esteemed rock bands of the hair metal era, their albums Shout at the Devil, Theatre of Pain, Girls, Girls, Girls and Dr. Feelgood went multi-platinum.
Their most successful single is “Dr. Feelgood,” peaking at #6 on the Hot 100 and going certified gold. Motley Crue appears as themselves in the 4th season episode, “The End in the Beginning,” playing – unsurprisingly – “Dr. Feelgood.”
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