You’ve got to hand it to Shaquille O’Neal. He basically took the “Yes And” approach to acting in the mid-1990s through early 2000s. There wasn’t a single project it seemed like he said no to, whether it’s popping up in Good Burger or showing up at wrestling events (like a lot).
Some of those are unforgettable in their own way, and you don’t need anyone at this point to make any more Kazaam jokes, or point out that it seems like Shaq has a signed agreement with Happy Madison to do a cameo in at least 50 feature films.
It’s the stuff that we may have let fall by the wayside which allowed Shaq to really shine. His commitment to appearing in Nickelodeon shows and movies was downright awe-inspiring. It made him an even more marketable athlete (which he already was to begin with), but it had a whole generation hooked on him. He’d never resist a chance to co-host, make a guest appearance, cameo, do an interview or a commercial.
Shaq knew how important his name and likeness was, even if he diluted that value somewhat by the sheer volume of appearances he made. Here are a few times Shaq showed up that you maybe forgot about because our brains are fallible, and the computers will eventually take over anyway:
In Living Color
This episode of In Living Color is a great one because it’s an NBA-themed episode with one heck of a special guests list. Where else will you find Danny Manning and James Worthy in the same sketch comedy show?
In Living Color
What takes this over the top is that Shaq decided to do a Fire Marshal Bill impersonation. I wonder if they asked him to do it or if it was his idea.
“Sorry, guys. I can’t be there for the show itself, but I swear, I’ll make it up to you. I’m going to do Fire Marshal Bill!”
“No, Mr. O’Neal. That’s okay. We don’t…”
“Pish posh! It’s no trouble at all. I already have the wig!”
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Maybe this one is cheating because I definitely have not forgotten that Shaq was in Curb. Larry stretches his legs out and accidentally trips Shaq during a game, and everybody thinks it was on purpose because Larry is a Knicks fan.
Nobody wants anything to do with Larry because he tripped Shaq, and this is exactly what Larry has always wanted in the first place, so he’s super happy about it. But he goes down to the hospital to give Shaq some Seinfeld tapes (yes, tapes) because he heard that Shaq is a big fan of the show.
This leads to possibly Shaq’s best acting performance, when he and his TV girlfriend – who just so happens to be Lana from Archer – argue about peanut butter being a diary product.
Aaron Carter’s “That’s How I Beat Shaq” video
Most famously known as Nick Carter’s younger brother and that kid who sang “Aaron’s Party,” Aaron Carter had a song that was essentially just him telling the story of how he beat Shaq at basketball. The twist, of course, is that it was all a dream, but he still has on an O’Neal jersey at the end of it. Wild stuff.