With the ninth season of It’s Always Sunny… ready to drop today,Wednesday September 4th at 10:00 EDT,
it seems appropriate of a time as any to revisit the show’s long and awesome history of fascinating special appearances, celebrity cameos, and stunt casting.
It’s safe to say the humor of It’s Always Sunny… has largely been derived from the camaraderie of “The Gang” in front of the camera, as well as behind it. It hasn’t often needed to lean on special guests to carry jokes, but a good cameo can form a combination more magical than beer, cat food, and huffing glue.
Thus far, the cast has boasted at least two members of SNL, a Kid In The Hall, Sinbad, Puff Daddy, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Lt. Daniels and Cutty from The Wire, the dad from Unhappily Ever After, Patrick Swayze’s brother, and Bill Murray’s brother (among others).
They even got John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia (who worked for both Billy Bats and Phil Leotardo) to play the “bozo” pear vendor at the Italian market in “The Gang Hits the Road.” That said, presented before you are six choice episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with some totally sweet guest appearances.
6. “Charlie Gets Molested” (Dennis Haskins)
Dennnis Haskins is best known for playing Mr Belding, on a little show called Saved by the Bell. His time minding Bayside High is chiefly why his appearance is so kick-ass. In fact, from here on out, he will only be referred to as “Mr. Belding.”
In “Charlie Gets Molested” Mr. Belding plays Mac and Charlie’s former middle school gym teacher, who is falsely accused of molesting Charlie and the McPoyles (but not Mac). We get to see Mr. Belding cussing, talking about how much consensual “ass” he use to get back in the day, and we see him fending off Mac’s warped, vain attempts to be deemed “molestable.”
5. “A Very Sunny Christmas” (David Huddleston)
“A Very Sunny Christmas” is a hall of fame installment: Frank sowing himself into the couch (it’s a great place to catch Charlie “pounding off”), the way Mac pronounces “Poconos” and throwing rocks at trains. This episode is made all the better by having real Jeffrey Lebowski (the millionaire) play Eugene Hamilton, Frank’s old business partner.
Eugene has seemingly become a born-again Christian, and any mention of Jesus or religion causes Dennis and Dee to get increasingly agitated. It’s Christmas time on Always Sunny; there’s a lot in the mix. There’s no time for religion. They simply won’t hear of it.
Hey, while The Big Lebowski is still fresh in everyone’s mind, DaFino (the private snoop, a dick, hired by the Knutsons), appeared in “Frank’s Brother” as Gino.
Ricky Falcone, the boy who’s Omnibot was stolen by Mac’s family many a Christmas ago, is portrayed by none other than Mr. Pablo Schreiber, better known to fans of Orange is the New Black as “Pornstache.”
4. “The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods” (Tom Sizemore)
“The Gang Get Stranded in the Woods” is one of the rare cases where the guest star drives a lot of the funnier moments. Tom Sizemore, as the lot lizard loving trucker, who gives Dennis and Charlie a lift steals every scene he is in. Byron, the lonely trucker, with his struggles to resist prostitutes (or lot lizards) parallels Mr. Sizemore’s own life in a painfully funny meta gag. “I will not suck you, and I will not be sucked on by you.”
2008 Philadelphia Phillies World Series Champions, Ryan Howard and especially, Chase Utley, clown around with a wasted Dennis and Charlie, much to the chagrin of Mac. He’s gonna have to wait another day to have that catch with Chase.
3. “The Gang Cracks The Liberty Bell” (Pat Crawford Brown)
Pat Crawford Brown plays the ornery historical society lady who stops Mac from cutting out the George Washington portrait in her office. This episode really is a favorite of mine, and Pat Crawford Brown is a classic case of a “it’s that one lady from that one thing” actress. She’s been in a gazillion things, but her biggest role was just a twenty-seven episode recurring role on Desperate Housewives. I faintly remember her as Mrs. Thorkelson on Coach.
Pat Crawford Bown is cooler than Betty White. Yeah, I said it. Ms Brown has appeared in The Wonder Years, Quantum Leap, ER, Dinosaurs, Beverly Hills 90210, Sister Act, Reality Bites, Sister Sister, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Family Guy, Arrested Development, and recently, she played Andy’s grandma on Parks and Recreation.
2. “Dennis and Dee Get a New Dad” (Stephen Collins)
I grew up watching the Reverend Eric Camden thrown down life lessons every week on the WB. This Always Sunny episode introduces Dennis and Dee’s biological father, a hyper-altruistic version of Collins’ Rev. Camden character. It’s a delight to watch him in the Always Sunny universe reacting to the depravity of the “Gang,” slowly seeing him become beaten down, and finally, becoming outright horrified by the intensity of their selfishness.
Plus, Frank has a tantrum about his “whore wife”. Frank screaming about his “whore wife” will always be hilarious.
This marks the second appearance of Oscar nominee, Ann Archer as Dennis and Dee’s mom. She rhetorically remarks to her offspring, “Children, would you have rather been aborted?”
Nowadays, Ms Archer is best known as the mother of Tommy Davis, the infamous former spokesman and high ranking member in the Church of Scientology.
1. “The Gang Gets Invincible” (Faizon Love)
“The Gang Gets Invincible” is my favorite episode of It’s Always Sunny… Not even close. The McPoyles, Artemis, Green Man, Frank secretly dosing Charlie with “a shitload of acid.” This episode contains the spectacular *Bonus Casting* of Geoffrey Owens (Elvin from the Cosby Show) playing a greasy Donovan McNabb impersonating, McGriddles hustling version of himself.
But Faizon Love is my man. “If I say it one more time. If I say it one more time; if I say it one more time!”
I first realized the wicked funny powers of Faizon Love when I saw him as Wendell Wilcox in the Robert Townsend WB program, Parenthood. During my adolescence, I discovered Faizon Love in Don’t Be Menace… To Society (while Drinking your Juice, in the Hood), Money Talks, Made, and of coarse, Big Worm in Friday.
Playin’ with Faizon Love is like playin’ with my emotions.
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