Donald Trump used to be TV’s rent-a-billionaire, a celebrity who frequently popped up on American shows to demonstrate to audiences the sort of circles their characters were moving in. He gives little Macaulay Culkin directions in Home Alone 2, for example, praises Ben Stiller’s male model in Zoolander and even taunts Hugh Grant in Two Weeks Notice. Now, after a shockingly racist campaign which saw even NBC cut ties with him, Trump is President-elect of the United States. Before he moves into the White House, though, let’s rewind and look at the 20 most ludicrous cameos he made before taking up politics.
20. Ghosts Can’t Do It (1989)
Donald Trump really just played Donald Trump in Ghosts Can’t Do It, a seriously sexist and utterly forgotten 1989 movie. And so lackluster is the Donald’s performance, in fact, that he actually won a Razzie for it. So although people have likened him to Ronald Reagan, another entertainer-turned-President, the comparison falls down somewhat – as at least Reagan could act.
19. Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
During Home Alone 2, Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin rents a room at the super-swanky Plaza Hotel and asks Trump, who then owned the building, for directions. More recently, though, cunning YouTubers have edited the scene to make Trump say his infamous “p***y” quote instead.
18. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1994)
Trump popped up again in a 1994 episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But the Fresh Prince himself certainly didn’t remain buddies with him after filming. “For people to applaud [Trump], that is absolutely f**king insanity to me,” Will Smith told News Australia in August 2016.
17. The Little Rascals (1994)
Trump also appeared in the family flick The Little Rascals as Waldo’s father. His co-star Whoopi Goldberg, however, later became one of his many celebrity critics; he responded to this, meanwhile, by calling her “terrible” and “very sad.”
16. Hart to Hart: Secrets of the Hart (1995)
Uncredited, Trump showed up as himself again in the 1995 Hart to Hart TV movie Secrets of the Hart. And all the characters have awestruck, adoring reactions to him, even calling him “Uncle Donald” – which was beyond cringeworthy, even back then.
15. Pizza Hut commercial (1995)
In 1995 Trump did a commercial for Pizza Hut together with his first wife Ivana. The ad makes light of their divorce, but there was probably nothing light about their marriage: their split was approved on the basis of “cruel and inhuman treatment” on his part.
14. Eddie (1996)
Trump made yet another movie with “terrible” Goldberg in 1996. In Eddie, in fact, he claims responsibility for her character achieving success, proclaiming, “Actually, hiring Eddie was my idea from the beginning.” Hmm, it wouldn’t be the first time he claimed undue credit. Or the second, or the third…
13. The Nanny (1996)
Again in 1996, the Donald showed up on TV comedy The Nanny. Reportedly, he was an absolute nightmare for the crew and insisted that the line “Do all you handsome millionaires know each other?” was changed to say “billionaires” instead. So, so humble.
12. The Associate (1996)
Trump featured with Goldberg yet again in The Associate. Most notably, the comedic flick features a scene where Trump is visibly put out at seeing the actress – a black female – get a restaurant seat ahead of him. Some might say that this particularly racist role came easily to him…
11. The Drew Carey Show (1997)
The future 45th President of the United States also kept himself busy by dropping into a 1997 episode of The Drew Carey Show. In it, he asks the main characters, “What are you, morons?” – which seems pretty in keeping with his personality. In 2015, meanwhile, Drew Carey would go on to label Trump as “a bad person” on Twitter.
10. Nightman (1997)
The President-elect also made a couple of appearances on Nightman, a superhero show about a saxophonist “telepathically tuned to the frequency of evil.” It was the most absurd thing in the world at the time – and will likely maintain that accolade until Trump’s inauguration rolls around…
9. Suddenly Susan (1997)
A 1997 episode of Suddenly Susan not only features Trump in a cameo, but it also predicts him as taking part in the race for the presidency. And sure, it wasn’t the only TV show to do so – The Simpsons also made a scarily accurate prediction – but it’s still spooky nonetheless.
8. Spin City (1998)
The property mogul also once starred on Michael J. Fox’s Spin City, although mostly just to plug his books. Thankfully he didn’t know at the time that Fox had Parkinson’s, or he might have done an offensive impression of him – just like he once did with a disabled reporter.
7. Sex and the City (1998/9)
Trump even showed up a couple of times in Sex and the City during 1998 and 1999. Apparently, main star Sarah Jessica Parker completely forgot about this. “Was he really [in it]?”, she asked as she pledged support for Hillary Clinton. Well, we forgive her. After all, his acting really is totally forgettable.
6. Celebrity (1998)
Trump also made the time to cameo in Woody Allen’s 1998 movie Celebrity – probably because the two had moved in the same New York City circles for years. “He is always very nice and pleasant,” Allen said to The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, before continuing, “which is hard to put together with many of the things he has said in his campaign.”
5. The Job (2001)
Back in 2001 Trump appeared in the comedy The Job and had to kiss Elizabeth Hurley. And naturally, he does it in the most sleazy way possible. Perhaps remembering the horrid experience, Hurley made an ad poking fun at his presidential campaign in 2016.
4. Zoolander (2001)
A whole host of famous people showed up in Zoolander, and sadly Donald Trump was one of them. Unsurprisingly he didn’t return for the 2016 sequel – and Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson even went as far as mocking him him in character on Saturday Night Live.
3. McDonald’s commercial (2002)
Donald Trump will happily sell anything to anyone, including McDonald’s’ Big N’Tasty burgers. In a 2002 advert for the company’s dollar menu, moreover, he stars alongside lavender-hued company character Grimace. For once, then, Trump wasn’t the one with the most garishly colored face in the room.
2. Two Weeks Notice (2002)
Trump’s cameo in Two Weeks Notice, opposite Hugh Grant, shows him being just as obnoxious as his real self. Somehow, Grant remained friends with him, although the actor is also on record as saying, “I can’t pretend I share all his politics.”
1. WrestleMania 23 (2007)
Lastly, and perhaps most unforgettably, Trump also appeared at WWE’s – scripted – WrestleMania 23 and took part in the “Battle of the Billionaires.” The whole thing ended with the Donald tackling, and shaving the hair from, fellow tycoon Vince McMahon. And this is the man who is shortly going to have his finger on the nuclear button, folks.