Family Guy really loves making fun of pop culture. A lot of its jokes center on celebrities like actors, artists, and even athletes. While some of these do indeed go far, some are very funny and even prophetic, launching Family Guy to a higher level of awareness and pop-culture savviness than most shows.
With this, it still seems surprising that they are able to attract big-name talent to lend voices to the show. Whether they are playing a scathing parody of themselves or some wacky original character, there is always some joy in seeing a big star on the show. Without further delay, here are the 10 most bizarre guest stars and cameos on Family Guy.
10 Anna Kendrick
The Pitch Perfect and Noelle star lent her voice on this small guest spot in the season ten episode, “Internal Affairs.” Here, Kendrick plays a young police officer named Nora, who has a crush on series regular Joe Swanson (voiced by Patrick Warburton).
At the encouragement of the other guys, Joe decides to have an affair with Nora in one of the more awkward scenes in any Family Guy episode. At least it’s off-screen.
9 Jon Cryer
Even though Family Guy loves to make fun of Two and a Half Men, they were not above using one of that sitcom’s stars to voice a major character. Jon Cryer voiced Kevin Swanson, Joe’s son, in the season one episode “A Hero Sits Next Door.”
What’s weird about Kevin is that he would go through different voice actors throughout the series. Seth MacFarlane would later voice him too, until the role was permanently given to American Dad voice actor Scott Grimes.
8 Elizabeth Banks
Actress and filmmaker Elizabeth Banks lent her to voice in the season eleven premiere “Into Fat Air” where she plays Pam Fishman, the wife of one of Lois’s ex-boyfriends. Here, the Griffins race to reach the top of Mount Everest before the Fishmans.
What makes this casting so much more interesting is that Banks also played Debbie, Steve’s on and off again girlfriend in American Dad for one episode.
7 Will Ferrell
It’s weird how Will Ferrell doesn’t do more voice work than he should, right? After all, he’s clearly got the knack for it.
Back in this season three episode, Ferrell provides the voice of the Black Knight. He works at a Renaissance Fair and runs this place like a jock in high school would. It’s one of those, “if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss it” performances. Still, it’s pretty funny and begs the earlier question about Ferrell’s limited voiceover work.
6 Ed O’Neill
The Modern Family and Married… with Children star guest-starred in the season fourteen episode “Papa Has a Rollin’ Son.” Here, O’Neill plays Joe’s father who has no idea his son is handicapped. Not only that, but he also has a prejudice against anyone in a wheelchair.
It’s a bit mean-spirited and implausible, especially since Peter volunteers to play Joe as his father buys it.
5 Hugh Laurie
House… Road House.
In the season eight episode “Business Guy,” Peter’s father-in-law, Carter, has a heart attack. This turn of events leads Peter to run Carter’s billion-dollar company. While he’s in the hospital, Carter is being examined by none other than Dr. House from the series of the same name. Even better, animated Dr. House is voiced by House himself, Hugh Laurie.
Laurie even speaks in a British accent towards the end of the episode, joking about how much he prefers it over his American one. Weird how he just appears as his character and not as himself. Oh well, House has never been known to play by the rules!
4 Three Different Sitcom Casts
Family Guy really loves making fun of the shows other networks put out. Throughout the run of the series, there were plenty of other shows that were gaining traction and vying for views. These include: How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Two And A Half Men.
These three CBS shows may have been popular though their critical reception is always usually negative, which led to their mockery on Family Guy. To give credit where it’s due, the Family Guy crew let these shows in on the joke, inviting the actual casts of these aforementioned sitcoms to voice hilariously heightened versions of their iconic characters.
3 Ryan Reynolds
It should be worth noting that Ryan Reynolds is the only one who voices himself here, which is kind of funny. Here, Reynolds moves to Spooner Street to play a young version of Adolf Hitler named Hotler. Over time, he becomes attracted to Peter and comes up with bizarre excuses to see him while requesting to do very weird things with him.
While the jokes are undeniably cheap and sometimes lowbrow even by Family Guy standards, the mere premise of superstar Ryan Reynolds falling madly in love with Peter is humorous enough. It goes to show that Family Guy really knows how to write certain celebrities.
2 Robert Downey Jr.
Before Robert Downey Jr.’s comeback, he had a guest spot on Family Guy. In the season four episode “The Fat Guy Strangler,” Lois discovers she has a long-lost older brother named Patrick (played by a pre-Iron Man RDJ). Patrick was sent to an insane asylum after witnessing an awful event involving his mother and actor Jackie Gleason. Lois later learns he has a distaste for overweight people, specifically Peter.
What’s really interesting about Patrick is that the idea came from Downey’s son being a fan of the show. The actor called the creators up and asked to be involved in some way, and now we have this guest spot to show for it.
1 Cate Blanchett
Of all the actors who could be considered “above” Family Guy, it’s definitely Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett. She is among the best in the profession and she’s been in some great genre fare, like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and even the Marvel Cinematic Universe through Thor Ragnarok.
Still, it’s weird to see someone of this caliber in a show full of gross-out gags, giant chicken fights, and cheap pop culture jokes, but here we are. Blanchett provided the voice of the Penelope, Stewie’s love interest in the season ten episode “Mr. and Mrs. Stewie.” Seems like some celebrities are tired of all the violence in movies and sex on TV, too!
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