10 Random Celebrities Who Have Appeared on the Children's Cartoon Show "Arthur"

Posted on by Karen Lo (KarenLo)
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Yes, I'm talking about that Arthur, the one on PBS. In addition to providing thoughtful and surprisingly complex children's content for the last fifteen years, the show regularly features celebrities as animated versions of themselves who stop in to offer inspiration and support in moments of crisis. All the guests voice themselves, and a few have even appeared on multiple occasions. And did you know that the show has also done parodies of MTV Cribs, Harry Potter (as Henry Skreever and the Cabbage of Mayhem), Beavis and Butt-head, and lots of other shows? But more on that later. Here are just a few of the guests who have shown up on Arthur.

Mister Rogers



Episode: Arthur Meets Mister Rogers

When Arthur hears that the legendary Mister Rogers is coming to visit Elwood City, he gets really excited but his friends all make fun of him for liking a children's show. Is my life imitating art here? Shut up, you guys. Anyway, Arthur dejectedly slinks home to find Mister Rogers himself playing the piano for D.W. Arthur is psyched but still embarrassed, so even though Mister Rogers is staying at his house, he doesn't tell his friends anything. Trying to keep his guest a secret, Arthur starts acting strangely, prompting his friends to spy on him. Unrecognized, Rogers is mistaken for a burglar, at which point the secret gets out and causes a total media frenzy. The next day, he visits Lakewood Elementary and everyone goes totally crazy and Arthur gets total bragging rights about all the awesome stuff about life and friendship that Mister Rogers taught him.

Matt Damon



Episode: The Making of Arthur

Matt Damon appears on the Charlie Rose-inspired "Casey Tulips Show" to talk about his new project, "Postcards from You" (cleverly, a real segment on Arthur which features children around the world talking about some of their local customs). This segues into the self-referential plot of Buster deciding to make a documentary on Arthur to send to Matt Damon. Arthur must learn to cope with being thrust in the spotlight, as well as decide what he personally wants to film.


The Backstreet Boys



Episode: It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

Did this picture fill your heart with gladness, or what? Boy band mania consumes Elwood as news gets out that BSB is coming to town. Muffy goes a little crazy planning the perfect meeting with her dream boy Nick Carter, and eventually gets herself alone in an elevator with him. She swoons for a nanosecond before trying to pitch him a business deal, but he gently turns her down before getting himself the hell out of there. Arthur and his friends are inspired to form their own band, which has a chance to open for the Backstreet Boys while Muffy is holding Nick captive, and they get pretty popular until fame gets to their heads and tears them apart. The Boys step in to mediate and restore peace, and Nick tells Muffy that she has the makings of a great tycoon.

Alex Trebek



Episode: Arthur and the Big Riddle

Trebek appears as "Alex Lebek," smooth-talking host of the fictitious Riddle Quest, on which Arthur is a contestant. Arthur's ego gets inflated as he does increasingly better on the show, until he is trumped by a Ken Jennings-like returning champion who brings him back to Earth.

Yo-Yo Ma

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Episode: My Music Rules

Yo Yo Ma and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman both appear in the episode where Arthur and D.W. fight over what constitutes good music. Arthur prefers jazz, while D.W. only has ears for "Crazy Bus," a song which famously plagues Arthur throughout the series. D.W. attends one of Ma's performances with Grandma Thora and asks Ma to perform his own rendition of Crazy Bus while Arthur and Francine track down Redman. At the library, where each musician is set to perform, Arthur anticipates that the stylistically different artists will get into a fight. To his surprise, they get along easily, and perform a jazz version of Crazy Bus.


Lance Armstrong



Episodes: Room to Ride, The Great MacGrady

While watching the Tour de France, Binky is inspired by Lance Armstrong and wants Elwood to install its own bike lanes. When he struggles to drive up enough interest, Armstrong swoops into town and saves the day, helping Binky campaign to install safety lanes where Binky and his friends can ride their bikes. Armstrong appears a second time in a rather serious episode where Mrs. MacGrady, the caring lunch lady, is diagnosed with cancer and has to leave school for a while. The gang struggles to deal with such a serious matter with such little preparation. When Francine discovers Armstrong is back in town, she asks him to come talk to her friends about his experiences with cancer, and how the support of his friends and family helped him cope.

Joan Rivers



Episodes: Is That Kosher?, Grandpa Dave's Memory Album

Rather than playing herself, Joan Rivers plays Francine's grandmother, who steps in to help the family celebrate Yom Kippur. Peppering her grandmotherly affection with cute Yiddish phrases, Francine's Bubbe even comes equipped with that special familial brand of anxiety-inducing backhanded compliments that we all know so well, like when Rivers-as-Bubbe greets her granddaughter Catherine by telling her that she looks, "So beautiful, even though blue isn't really [her] color."

Philip Seymour Hoffman



Episode: No Acting, Please

The thinly veiled "William Fillmore Toffman" comes to Elwood looking to cast his new play. The one children's role is coveted by Muffy, who dramatically overacts in her audition. She finishes by trying to give Toffman a pile of carefully selected head shots, but fails to make a good impression. Instead, Toffman's gaze falls to Fern, whom he convinces to read for the part even though she didn't come to audition. Immediately taken with her unpretentious reading, Toffman casts Fern in the role, who later dreams of winning "The Award for Best Dramatic Performance of a Single Line."


Neil Gaiman



Episode: Falafelosophy

English author Neil Gaiman comes to town to promote his illustrated children's poem, Instructions, a whimsical treatise encouraging the reader to be open to whatever opportunities they might face on a given adventure. Gaiman tells an enraptured audience, including Fern in the front row, "What you seek will be found. Trust ghosts...trust your heart, and trust your story." Upon meeting her, Gaiman encourages Fern to try her hand at creating a graphic novel.

Michelle Kwan



Episode: The Good Sport

When Francine loses out on the Athlete of the Year award to her classmate Jenna, Francine is enraged that her all-around athletic prowess is overlooked in favor of Jenna's figure skating, a sport that Francine thinks is childish and easy. Francine falls asleep dreaming about an unsatisfying award ceremony, which morphs into a dream with figure skater Michelle Kwan, who makes Francine try to execute several jumps and turns as both Michelle and Jenna have done, but she fails miserably. Realizing that figure skating is intensely difficult and deserves just as much respect as other sports, Francine admits defeat. At the real award ceremony, Francine graciously tells Jenna that she truly deserves the award, which is given by Michelle herself.

Who would you want to see as a character on Arthur?

14471 views & 29 votes

Debate It! 5

Lance is looking buff. Maybe a bit too buff.

Posted By diprince,

Matt Damon looks reeeeeally creepy Arthurized.

Posted By Rebecca,

his face is too symmetrical!

Posted By KarenLo,

and Joan Rivers looks AMAZING... Did she get a facelift or something?

Posted By diprince,

Andy Samberg

Posted By Russ1992,

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