In his recap of last Sunday’s pants-pooping True Detective, Cajun Boy wrote, “I was fairly certain that the bartender in the strip club Hart visits to try to track down Tyrone Weems was True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘Kiss Me I’m An A$shole.’ A quick check of IMDB this morning did confirm he had an acting credit.” I thought he played the young black kid, but CB’s probably right.
Pizzolatto appearing on his own show only makes him the latest in a long line of showrunners who have done the same thing, whether because they needed an actor/actress at the last second or because they’re narcissistic monsters like Kurt Sutter. Here are 20 notable showrunner cameos, not including obvious examples like Alfred Hitchcock, Mindy Kaling, or Dog with a Blog.
Chris Carter on The X-Files
David Chase on The Sopranos
Larry David on Seinfeld
Paul Feig on Freaks and Geeks
Matt Groening on The Simpsons
Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer on The Venture Bros.
Dan Harmon on Community
Winnie Holzman on My So-Called Life
Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko on Avatar: The Last Airbender
Bill Lawrence on Scrubs
Damon Lindelof on Lost (he “played” John Locke’s hand)
Graham Linehan on The IT Crowd
David Lynch on Twin Peaks
Ronald D. Moore on Battlestar Galactica
David Simon on The Wire
Aaron Sorkin on The West Wing
J. Michael Straczynski on Babylon 5
Kurt Sutter on Sons of Anarchy
Carter Bays and Craig Thomas on How I Met Your Mother
Joss Whedon on Angel