19 Stars Who Appeared On 21 Jump Street

Total Film

As Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reprise their roles as undercover narcotics officers Jenko and Schmidt, audiences are hopeful that 22 Jump Street will be as cameo-filled as its big-screen predecessor. But the cheesy late-1980s television series that inspired it all was no slouch in the cameo department, either; the only difference being that some of their guest “stars” appeared on the show before they were stars at all. Here are 19 of them.


Season 2, Episode 20

Just a year after earning his first official screen credit on Another World, Brad Pitt put his pretty boy looks to good use in the second season of 21 Jump Street, in which he has a brief exchange with the show’s breakout star, Johnny Depp. Pitt must have made an impact. While promoting The Tourist in 2010, Angelina Jolie commented that she had never met Depp before production on the film began, but noted that “Brad and Johnny had worked together years ago so he said, ‘He's a nice guy. You're going to like him.’”


Season 1, Episode 5

Josh Brolin wasn’t exactly a newcomer when he played the unfortunately named Taylor Rolator in the first season of 21 Jump Street—he’d made his acting debut with Goonies and also starred in Thrashin’—but he was hardly a household name. Which allowed him to play the preppy slimeball to perfection.


Season 2, Episode 15

Christina Applegate was already playing Kelly Bundy when she landed a guest spot on 21 Jump Street in 1988, hence the hair. (Look for her at about the 9:03 mark.)


Season 5, Episode 21

Six years before she added the “Smith,” Jada Pinkett played a girl gangster with a heart in the series’ penultimate episode.


Season 4, Episode 9

Vince Vaughn is barely recognizable as a high schooler dealing with the murder of one of his teachers. That’s him in the burgundy mock-neck at 4:58. Grieving alongside him is Robyn Lively, just a few months after she made pop culture history as Louise Miller in Teen Witch.

The official star of this Vaughn-Lively episode is Donovan Leitch, but the real star is the gigantic box of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal he can be seen chowing down on in the episode’s opening sequence.


Season 3, Episode 17

Her last name may have been famous, but Bridget Fonda was not yet a star when she nabbed the role of Molly “Moho” Chapman, a homeless hustler, in the series’ third season.


Season 4, Episode 3

Thomas Haden Church has made a career—and earned an Oscar nomination—for playing likable (if not always bright) guys like Lowell Mather on Wings and Jack Cole in Sideways. But one of his earliest parts, and his first appearance on a television series, came in a 1989 episode of 21 Jump Street, as the trusty assistant to a drug dealer (catch him—and his unfortunate long hair—2:06 minutes in).


Season 1, Episode 12 // Season 2, Episode 4

The man who would be Brandon Walsh must have dug the vibe on Jump Street—and vice versa—as he made two appearances, as two different characters, in the first two seasons. The latter appearance featured a 1987-approved mullet (see it for yourself at the 4:27 mark).


Season 4, Episode 12

Not to be outdone by her fictional twin brother, Shannen Doherty also did the 21 Jump Street thing, though not until the show’s fourth season. And yet again, she’s playing an annoying sister (in this case, to Keith Coogan, a familiar character actor with more than 70 credits on his filmography).


Season 2, Episode 17

Before he stepped behind the camera to write, direct, and produce projects like Friday Night Lights, Battleship, and The Leftovers, Peter Berg made his living as an actor—a career that began as a smartass teen with a penchant for varsity jackets in 21 Jump Street’s second season.


Season 1, Episode 6

Blair Underwood is typically known for playing good guys. But that wasn’t the case in this 1987 episode, “Gotta Finish the Riff,” from the series’ first season. The episode premiered just a few months before Underwood joined the cast of L.A. Law as Jonathan Rollins, a fresh-faced Harvard grad who held the distinction of being the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. While rumors have long swirled that Rollins was based on Barack Obama, who really was its first black president, that simply is a rumor. Obama wasn’t even a Harvard Law student until 1988, a year after Underwood joined the cast (though he did meet Obama a few years later, when some of the show’s cast and producers met with a group of Harvard law students).


Season 4, Episode 16

A year after dancing her way through the credits of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Rosie Perez made her television debut playing Rosie Martinez in just her second credited role.


Season 2, Episode 4

Pauly Shore had not yet adopted his “Hey Buddddyyy!” catchphrase when he made his acting debut in 21 Jump Street’s second season (in the same episode as Jason Priestley’s latter appearance). And that’s a good thing.


Season 1, Episode 8

Sherilyn Fenn’s single-episode appearance in 21 Jump Street’s first season shouldn’t really be surprising, since she was engaged to Johnny Depp. The two began dating after meeting on the set of a student film, Dummies, in 1985. But a walk down the aisle wasn’t in the cards; they split up after three and a half years.


Season 3, Episode 11

In the decade before Larenz Tate landed his breakthrough role in Menace II Society, he kicked around with bit parts on a number of sitcoms, including a throwback third season episode of 21 Jump Street in which he plays a younger (and much geekier) version of Captain Fuller.


Season 3, Episode 3

Though she’ll always be best known as Dr. Frasier Crane’s producer/sidekick extraordinaire Roz Doyle, Peri Gilpin’s first real acting job was as the simply named Fitzgerald in 21 Jump Street’s third season.


Season 2, Episode 18

For nearly 25 years, Dann Florek has played the same character—Captain Donald Cragen—on Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU. But he cut his policing teeth on earlier crime procedurals like Hill Street Blues, Hunter, Matlock, and “Brother Hanson & the Miracle of Renner’s Pond,” a 1988 episode of 21 Jump Street.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
The 10 Wildest Movie Plot Twists
Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive (2001)
Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive (2001)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

An ending often makes or breaks a movie. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as having the rug pulled out from under you, particularly in a thriller. But too many flicks that try to shock can’t stick the landing—they’re outlandish and illogical, or signal where the plot is headed. Not all of these films are entirely successful, but they have one important attribute in common: From the classic to the cultishly beloved, they involve hard-to-predict twists that really do blow viewers’ minds, then linger there for days, if not life. (Warning: Massive spoilers below.)

1. PSYCHO (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock often constructed his movies like neat games that manipulated the audience. The Master of Suspense delved headfirst into horror with Psycho, which follows a secretary (Janet Leigh) who sneaks off with $40,000 and hides in a motel. The ensuing jolt depends on Leigh’s fame at the time: No one expected the ostensible star and protagonist to die in a gory (for the time) shower butchering only a third of the way into the running time. Hitchcock outdid that feat with the last-act revelation that Anthony Perkins’s supremely creepy Norman Bates is embodying his dead mother.


No, not the botched Tim Burton remake that tweaked the original movie’s famous reveal in a way that left everyone scratching their heads. The Charlton Heston-starring sci-fi gem continues to stupefy anyone who comes into its orbit. Heston, of course, plays an astronaut who travels to a strange land where advanced apes lord over human slaves. It becomes clear once he finds the decrepit remains of the Statue of Liberty that he’s in fact on a future Earth. The anti-violence message, especially during the political tumult of 1968, shook people up as much as the time warp.

3. DEEP RED (1975)

It’s not rare for a horror movie to flip the script when it comes to unmasking its killer, but it’s much rarer that such a film causes a viewer to question their own perception of the world around them. Such is the case for Deep Red, Italian director Dario Argento’s (Suspiria) slasher masterpiece. A pianist living in Rome (David Hemmings) comes upon the murder of a woman in her apartment and teams up with a female reporter to find the person responsible. Argento’s whodunit is filled to the brim with gorgeous photography, ghastly sights, and delirious twists. But best of all is the final sequence, in which the pianist retraces his steps to discover that the killer had been hiding in plain sight all along. Rewind to the beginning and you’ll discover that you caught an unknowing glimpse, too.


Sleepaway Camp is notorious among horror fans for a number of reasons: the bizarre, stilted acting and dialogue; hilariously amateurish special effects; and ‘80s-to-their-core fashions. But it’s best known for the mind-bending ending, which—full disclosure—reads as possibly transphobic today, though it’s really hard to say what writer-director Robert Hiltzik had in mind. Years after a boating accident that leaves one of two siblings dead, Angela is raised by her aunt and sent to a summer camp with her cousin, where a killer wreaks havoc. In the lurid climax, we see that moody Angela is not only the murderer—she’s actually a boy. Her aunt, who always wanted a daughter, raised her as if she were her late brother. The final animalistic shot prompts as many gasps as cackles.


The Usual Suspects has left everyone who watches it breathless by the time they get to the fakeout conclusion. Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), a criminal with cerebral palsy, regales an interrogator in the stories of his exploits with a band of fellow crooks, seen in flashback. Hovering over this is the mysterious villainous figure Keyser Söze. It’s not until Verbal leaves and jumps into a car that customs agent David Kujan realizes that the man fabricated details, tricking the law and the viewer into his fake reality, and is in fact the fabled Söze.

6. PRIMAL FEAR (1996)

No courtroom movie can surpass Primal Fear’s discombobulating effect. Richard Gere’s defense attorney becomes strongly convinced that his altar boy client Aaron (Edward Norton) didn’t commit the murder of an archbishop with which he’s charged. The meek, stuttering Aaron has sudden violent outbursts in which he becomes "Roy" and is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, leading to a not guilty ruling. Gere’s lawyer visits Aaron about the news, and as he’s leaving, a wonderfully maniacal Norton reveals that he faked the multiple personalities.

7. FIGHT CLUB (1999)

Edward Norton is no stranger to taking on extremely disparate personalities in his roles, from Primal Fear to American History X. The unassuming actor can quickly turn vicious, which led to ideal casting for Fight Club, director David Fincher’s adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel. Fincher cleverly keeps the audience in the dark about the connections between Norton’s timid, unnamed narrator and Brad Pitt’s hunky, aggressive Tyler Durden. After the two start the titular bruising group, the plot significantly increases the stakes, with the club turning into a sort of anarchist terrorist organization. The narrator eventually comes to grips with the fact that he is Tyler and has caused all the destruction around him.


Early in his career, M. Night Shyamalan was frequently (perhaps a little too frequently) compared to Hitchcock for his ability to ratchet up tension while misdirecting his audience. He hasn’t always earned stellar reviews since, but The Sixth Sense remains deservedly legendary for its final twist. At the end of the ghost story, in which little Haley Joel Osment can see dead people, it turns out that the psychologist (Bruce Willis) who’s been working with the boy is no longer living himself, the result of a gunshot wound witnessed in the opening sequence.

9. THE OTHERS (2001)

The Sixth Sense’s climax was spooky, but not nearly as unnerving as Nicole Kidman’s similarly themed ghost movie The Others, released just a couple years later. Kidman gives a superb performance in the elegantly styled film from the Spanish writer-director Alejandro Amenábar, playing a mother in a country house after World War II protecting her photosensitive children from light and, eventually, dead spirits occupying the place. Only by the end does it become clear that she’s in denial about the fact that she’s a ghost, having killed her children in a psychotic break before committing suicide. It’s a bleak capper to a genuinely haunting yarn.


David Lynch’s surrealist movies may follow dream logic, but that doesn’t mean their plots can’t be readily discerned. Mulholland Drive is his most striking work precisely because, in spite of its more wacko moments, it adds up to a coherent, tragic story. The mystery starts innocently enough with the dark-haired Rita (Laura Elena Harring) waking up with amnesia from a car accident in Los Angeles and piecing together her identity alongside the plucky aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts). It takes a blue box to unlock the secret that Betty is in fact Diane, who is in love with and envious of Camilla (also played by Harring) and has concocted a fantasy version of their lives. The real Diane arranges for Camilla to be killed, leading to her intense guilt and suicide. Only Lynch can go from Nancy Drew to nihilism so swiftly and deftly.

Jesse Grant, Getty Images for AMC
5 Bizarre Comic-Con News Stories from Years Past
Jesse Grant, Getty Images for AMC
Jesse Grant, Getty Images for AMC

At its best, San Diego Comic-Con is a friendly place where like-minded people can celebrate their pop culture obsessions, and each other. And no one can make fun of you, no matter how lazy your cosplaying might be. You might think that at its worst, it’s just a series of long lines of costumed fans and small stores crammed into a convention center. But sometimes, throwing together 100,000-plus people from around the world in what feels like a carnival-type atmosphere where anything goes can have less than stellar results. Here are some highlights from past Comic-Con-tastrophes.


In 2010, two men waiting for a Comic-Con screening of the Seth Rogen alien comedy Paul got into a very adult argument about whether one of them was sitting too close to the other. Unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion with words, one man stabbed the other in the face with a pen. According to CNN, the attacker was led away wearing handcuffs and a Harry Potter T-shirt. In the aftermath, some Comic-Con attendees dealt with the attack in an oddly fitting way: They cosplayed as the victim, with pens protruding from bloody eye sockets.


Since its founding in 2006, New York Comic Con has attracted a few sticky-fingered attendees. In 2010, a man stole several rare comics from vendor Matt Nelson, co-founder of Texas’s Worldwide Comics. Just one of those, Whiz Comics No. 1, was worth $11,000, according to the New York Post. A few years later, in 2014, someone stole a $2000 “Dunny” action figure, which artist Jon-Paul Kaiser had painted during the event for Clutter magazine. And those are just the incidents that involved police; lower-scale cases of toys and comics disappearing from booths are an increasingly frustrating epidemic, according to some. “Comic Con theft is an issue we all sort of ignore,” collector Tracy Isenhour wrote on the blog of his company, Needless Essentials, in 2015. “I am here to tell you no more. It’s time for this garbage to stop."


John Sciulli/Getty Images for Xbox

Adrianne Curry, winner of the first cycle of America’s Next Top Model, has made a career of chasing viral fame. Ironically, it was at Comic-Con in 2014 that Curry did something truly worthy of attention—though there wasn’t a camera in sight. Dressed as Catwoman, she was posing with fans alongside her friend Alicia Marie, who was dressed as Tigra. According to a Facebook post Marie wrote at the time, a fan tried to shove his hands into her bikini bottoms. She screamed, the man ran off, and Curry jumped to action. She “literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his a**,” Marie wrote. “Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip—he had zombie blood on his face—got on her costume.”


The lines at Comic-Con are legendary, so one Utah man came up with a novel way to try and skip them altogether. In 2015, Jonathon M. Wall tried to get into Salt Lake Comic Con’s exclusive VIP enclave (normally a $10,000 ticket) by claiming he was an agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and needed to get into the VIP room “to catch a fugitive,” according to The San Diego Union Tribune. Not only does that story not even come close to making sense, it also adds up to impersonating a federal agent, a crime to which Wall pleaded guilty in April of 2016 and which carried a sentence of up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Just a few months later, prosecutors announced that they were planning to reduce his crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.


Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Disney

In 2015, Kevin Doyle walked 645 miles along the California coast to honor his late wife, Eileen. Doyle had met Eileen relatively late in life, when he was in his 50s, and they bonded over their shared love of Star Wars (he even proposed to her while dressed as Darth Vader). However, she died of cancer barely a year after they were married. Adrift and lonely, Doyle decided to honor her memory and their love of Star Wars by walking to Comic-Con—from San Francisco. “I feel like I’m so much better in the healing process than if I’d stayed home,” he told The San Diego Union Tribune.


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