Fictional television shows are full of gimmickry. Some of it is good and some of falls flat. Others are subtle in-jokes. However, it can be interesting when a popular artist appears on a television show because it gives the audience a glimpse into another side of their talent (or lack thereof) that we haven't seen before. Other times, it can inspire an artist to pursue another career. It can even introduce an artist to a new generation and a new audience.
But who did well in their role playing a fictional human being? We shall see.
10. Sheryl Crow as a singing undercover cop on Cop Rock
Before she became known for hits like "If It Makes You Happy" and "My Favorite Mistake," Crow had a rather interesting series of musical odd jobs including a guest-starring role on one of the worst television shows ever to air: Cop Rock. The show itself was a crime drama and a musical -- complete with musical numbers. Crow appeared in the series finale. Luckily, she moved on to bigger and better things.
9. Sebastian Bach as Gil, the frontman of Lane and Zach's band on Gilmore Girls
In a show that mainly focused on the relationship between a middle-class single mom raising her daughter with her overbearing upperclass parents freshly back in their lives, there was the character of Lane and her husband Zach's band, Hep Alien. Gil, a sandwich shop owner, signs on as a guitarist for the band.
8. Joe Jonas as Melanie's son Will on Hot In Cleveland
Jonas brother member/Donny Osmond wannabe Joe Jonas appeared on the TVLand hit sitcom Hot In Cleveland as Melanie's (played by tv veteran Valerie Bertinelli) son Will. Will is somewhat distant from his mom, Melanie, since her divorce from his dad. Melanie keeps trying to get closer to her son but is rebuffed.
7. Reba McEntire as Reba Hart on Reba
Throughout Reba's decade-spanning career, she has been no stranger to taking forays into acting. She co-starred in Tremors with Kevin Bacon in the '80s. She also made many made-for-television movies in the '90s. One of her best acting roles was when she took on the role of Reba Hart, a divorcee that deals with the daily trials and tribulations of her pregnant teenaged daughter, her son-in-law, young son, her rebellious daughter, her ex-husband and Barbara Jean -- the homewrecker who stole Reba's husband.
6. Trisha Yearwood as Lt. Cmdr. Teresa Coulter on JAG
Multiplatinum country star Trisha Yearwood had a recurring role from 1997 to 2001 on the hit television series JAG as a forensic pathologist and navy coroner who develops feelings for Harmon "Harm" Rabb.
5. Janet Jackson as Charlene Duprey on Diff'rent Strokes
Before becoming a part of the "Rhythm Nation" in the '80s, Janet Jackson starred on hit television including Diff'rent Strokes, Fame, and Good Times. Periodically she would record during this time, like when she and sister LaToya sang backup vocals on "P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)" for older brother Michael on his massive hit album Thriller. However, it was during her time on Diff'rent Strokes that she recorded her self-titled debut album, which spawned the hit single "Young Love."
4. Issac Hayes as the Chef on South Park
Before late R&B legend Issac Hayes was known as Chef on "South Park," he was a legendary singer-songwriter and composer who wrote the theme for the classic '70s film Shaft, which won him an Oscar. On "South Park," Hayes played a soul-crooning cafeteria worker at South Park Elementary school. He even recorded a song as Chef for the show, "Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)" which garnered him a hit single. Hayes, a staunch follower of Scientology, left the show in 2005 amidst the controversy surrounding an episode that made light of Scientology's belief system.
3. Chrissie Hynde as Stephanie on Friends
Not usually known for her sense of humor, Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde made a guest appearance as Stephanie, the woman who replaces Phoebe (played by Lisa Kudrow) as the guitarist at Central Perk on the popular tv show Friends in 1995. In one hilarious scene, Phoebe teaches Stephanie how to play her self-penned swan song "Smelly Cat."
2. Phil Collins as Phil Mayhew, a sleazy gameshow host/con artist on Miami Vice
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In the episode "Phil the Shrill," Genesis drummer/lead vocalist Phil Collins plays a gameshow host/con artist who gets caught up in fraud and drug dealing. Collins' character cooperates with Sonny and Ricardo. However, as with any episode of this series, there's a catch: he's baiting them so that he can escape with the money that was being used to bait the drug dealers. Collins played the part rather convincingly. Throughout the show's run, his music was often used and this episode was no exception.
1. Roger Daltrey as Mr. Wilkinson, Fez's music teacher, on That 70's Show
Who could forget the legendary lead singer of the Who, Roger Daltrey as Fez' music teacher? Daltrey appeared in the "That 70's Musical" episode where Fez fears his friends won't attend his singing debut in the school pageant. The episode itself features many musical numbers from that era including songs by Steve Miller band and the Turtles.