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What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

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What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Old 03-26-10, 04:59 PM
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What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

When I say "special guest star", I mean a celebrity who guested on the show more than once.

I think it might have to be Friends.

Bruce Willis, Kathleen Turner, Adam Goldberg, Elle Macpherson, Giovanni Ribisi, Debra Jo Rupp, Terri Garr, Christina Pickles, Elliott Gould, Paul Rudd, Tom Selleck, Jon Favreau, Michael Rapaport, Hank Azaria, Tate Donovan, Morgan Fairchild, Aisha Tyler, Anna Faris, Dermot Mulroney...

I tried to think of another that would compete but came up pretty empty. Suggestions?
Old 03-26-10, 05:04 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

It's hurt by having much shorter seasons, but Curb has had quite a few recurring celebrities.
Old 03-26-10, 05:08 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

I'm confused by your question. You ask which show has had the most recurring guest stars and then you mention a celebrity who has guested more than once.

Are you asking about shows that have a laundry list of guest stars?

Heather Locklear was credited as a "Special Guest Star" on Melrose Place (original) even though she was technically a regular and appeared many times.
Old 03-26-10, 05:10 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

There are hundreds of actors who appear multiple times on the same show as a special guest star.
Old 03-26-10, 05:32 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Scrubs had a TON of special guest stars during its run (Keri Russell, Courtney Cox, Tara Reid, Rick Schroeder, Michael J. Fox, Tom Cavanaugh, Brendan Fraser, Michael Learned, Dave Foley, Glynn Thurman, Amy Smart, Heather Locklear, Mandy Moore, Dick Van Dyke, John Ritter, Scott Foley, Heather Graham, Matthew Perry, the Sesame Street gang, etc.). The finale was reported to have included more than 50 recurring guest stars...

Do I win anything?

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/2TblzSiImUM&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/2TblzSiImUM&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Last edited by JuryDuty; 03-26-10 at 05:46 PM.
Old 03-26-10, 05:35 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

It doesn't seem that complicated to me. He's asking about which shows had the most recurring characters played by people who were already celebrities in their own right. He even gave a pretty clear example in the OP of what he was talking about.

I was going to bring up Scrubs as another example but JuryDuty beat me to it.
Old 03-26-10, 06:07 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

I think the Simpsons will fit either having most recurring special guest stars and having more guest stars in one show.
Old 03-26-10, 06:46 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Arrested Development had a lot given it's relatively short run
Old 03-26-10, 09:35 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Originally Posted by rfduncan View Post
When I say "special guest star", I mean a celebrity who guested on the show more than once.

I think it might have to be Friends.

Bruce Willis, Kathleen Turner, Adam Goldberg, Elle Macpherson, Giovanni Ribisi, Debra Jo Rupp, Terri Garr, Christina Pickles, Elliott Gould, Paul Rudd, Tom Selleck, Jon Favreau, Michael Rapaport, Hank Azaria, Tate Donovan, Morgan Fairchild, Aisha Tyler, Anna Faris, Dermot Mulroney...
Adam Goldberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Debra Jo Rupp, Christina Pickles, Michael Rapaport, Hank Azaria, Tate Donovan, Aisha Tyler, and Anna Faris don't qualify as "celebrity" guest stars. When they appeared on Friends, they were all just hired actors --some more recognizable than others, but none were "celebrity" guest stars.

Teri Garr, Elliott Gould, Paul Rudd, Jon Favreau, and Dermot Mulroney were more famous but I don't think they would qualify as "celebrity" stars either.

Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon. Those are celebrity guest stars.
Old 03-26-10, 09:58 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

How about Lost in Space, since Jonathan Harris was listed (and appeared in every episode!) as Special Guest Star for its three-year run.
Old 03-26-10, 10:29 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

If recurring isn't actually a criterion (Friends didn't have that many that recurred as I recall), I think Will & Grace has a very good shot at topping the list. They loved the stunt casting of a celebrity for sweeps for almost their entire run.
Old 03-26-10, 10:36 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

If talk shows count, then my vote is for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Old 03-27-10, 10:57 AM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Murder She Wrote
Old 03-27-10, 05:25 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Originally Posted by KaBluie View Post
The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Murder She Wrote
I think at least The Love Boat would require a ruling as to whether appearing as yourself counts. If it does, I don't see anything beating The Love Boat. Good call.
Old 03-28-10, 03:28 AM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

ER had a number of guest stars appearing in one-shots or story arcs, including James Woods, Forest Whitaker, Sally Field, Alan Alda, etc.
Old 03-28-10, 05:39 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Originally Posted by Bronkster View Post
How about Lost in Space, since Jonathan Harris was listed (and appeared in every episode!) as Special Guest Star for its three-year run.
Actually, I'm pretty sure that was the origin of the phrase "Special Guest Star" on TV show credits.
Old 03-28-10, 05:45 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

If The Three Stooges was considered a tv show then I would mention it(Vernon Dent being one). Another would be Mission Impossible. Seemed like they recycled the same villain many times over,with special mention of William Windom.
Old 03-29-10, 08:59 AM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
Teri Garr, Elliott Gould, Paul Rudd, Jon Favreau, and Dermot Mulroney were more famous but I don't think they would qualify as "celebrity" stars either.
Teri Garr?! Oscar nominee by that point. Same with Gould. Pickles had been on St. Elsewhere for 6 years. Favreau was the talk of the town and quite famous after Swingers. My point is none of these folks were pulled out of the air... they were cast because people already knew who they were. In fact Garr was suggested jokingly as Entertainment Weekly's preference for who to cast as Phoebe's mother.

While I could argue the first batch a little bit, I completely disagree in terms of these folks.

I wouldn't count The Love Boat or Fantasy Island because I don't think the characters recurred that much (how many times did you need your "fantasy" fulfilled?). The only character that came back repeatedly that I plainly recall was the character Charo played. Of course I am no officianado.
Old 03-29-10, 02:50 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

The West Wing would seem to be right up there as well. Just about every season had 4-5 new SGS.
Old 03-29-10, 09:59 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Originally Posted by rfduncan View Post
Teri Garr?! Oscar nominee by that point. Same with Gould. Pickles had been on St. Elsewhere for 6 years. Favreau was the talk of the town and quite famous after Swingers. My point is none of these folks were pulled out of the air... they were cast because people already knew who they were. In fact Garr was suggested jokingly as Entertainment Weekly's preference for who to cast as Phoebe's mother.

While I could argue the first batch a little bit, I completely disagree in terms of these folks.
No offense, but if you think Christina Pickles stint on the always low-rated St Elsewhere qualifies her as a celebrity, then you don't know the meaning of the word.

Here's how you know when as show is having a celebrity guest star: The network runs promos trumpeting that person's appearance on the show... sometimes weeks in advance of the episode.
Old 03-30-10, 08:49 AM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
No offense, but if you think Christina Pickles stint on the always low-rated St Elsewhere qualifies her as a celebrity, then you don't know the meaning of the word.
I stand corrected. You are CLEARLY correct, and I am, as you have pretty plainly stated, a moron. Thanks for letting me know and contributing such valuable insight into this thread.

I'm so glad you decided to knit-pick that one actor whilst ignoring the other examples I suggested.

Last edited by rfduncan; 03-30-10 at 08:51 AM.
Old 03-31-10, 09:30 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Whatever celebrity status Teri Garr could claim from an early-80s Oscar nomination and regular appearances on Letterman started disappearing 10 years before she was on Friends.

Elliot Gould stopped being a movie star when Jimmy Carter was President --and he was never much of one to before that.

Swingers was a cult hit. And if anyone could claim any sort of celebrity because of it, that would be Vince Vaughn.

I'm sorry I didn't contribute more substance to the thread like:
* Posting appearance by celebrities that weren't recurring,
* Making suggestions that don't recognize the difference between an actor making recurring appearances on a show and an actor being brought on as a guest for a limited story arc,
* Completely ignoring what you meant by "special guest star" (even though you made that clear in the OP)
* Suggesting that someone named Vernon Dent was ever considered famous
Old 03-31-10, 09:55 PM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Surprised no one has mentioned Law and Order, as well as the respective spinoffs.
Old 04-01-10, 04:13 AM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

We're actually arguing whether or not Teri Garr counts as a star? She's been a household name all my life and she's in the funniest movie of all time: Young Frankenstein. It's not even up for debate. "Roll! Roll! Roll! Roll in ze hay!"


Anyway:

Barry White
Al Green
Jon Bon Jovi
Taye Diggs
Christina Ricci
Tracey Ullman
Sandra Bernhard
Anne Heche
Nell Carter
Matthew Perry
John Ritter
Marlo Thomas
Bernadette Peters
Fred Willard

all appeared on Ally McBeal more than once.
Old 04-01-10, 08:42 AM
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Re: What show had the most recurring special guest stars?

Originally Posted by Tscott View Post
...all appeared on Ally McBeal more than once.
Nice call! And don't forget Robert Downey Jr. was on for a stint as well!

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