Generally speaking, athletes really have it all. They're rich and famous. They've got really great jobs and no less than five months of vacation each year. They've got nice looking children, hot wives and even hotter girlfriends.
You know what they say about the rich getting richer.
Not only do they have all that amazingness in their lives, many of them are afforded the once in a lifetime opportunity to appear as themselves in cartoon form. And many of them are afforded that once in a lifetime opportunity several times!
Whether they're being parodied or guest starring and doing their own voice work, athletes are constantly popping up in animated form.
Here are just a few of the athletes who have been immortalized as cartoons.
Episode: "Homer at the Bat"
Wade Boggs is among the ringers brought in by Mr. Burns to stack the nuclear plant's recreational softball team. Unfortunately he never makes it to the game because of a heated altercation with Barney over who was the best English Prime Minister.
Sorry Pitt the Elder, looks like this round goes to Lord Palmerston.
Episode: "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire"
The late, great "Macho Man" Randy Savage voices himself in this episode. Peter takes Cleveland to a wrestling match, hoping it will serve as a lesson for his friend, who needs to put his foot down with his cheating wife, Loretta.
Best. Plan. Ever.
Episode: "The Scarlett Getter"
Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe plays an alien hunter version of himself, hot on the trail of Roger. He's tipped off by Stan, who's crazy amounts of irritated by Roger's seemingly successful wooing of Scarlett Reynolds, an unrequited crush of his from CIA boot camp.
Stan cleans out Roger's stuff and calls dibs on his attic space before heading to the ski chalet. He arrives with Shannon, who outs Scarlett as a rival alien hunter! Then Scarlett shoots Shannon, but before Scarlett can shoot Stan, she's shot by Francine, who raced to the scene after Klaus made her aware of the situation.
Francine arrives just in time to save Roger, who is already short a few organs. He's tied to the bed and blissfully unaware, having assumed he was enjoying some typical human rough sex.
Episodes: "Mother Simpson" & "Bart Starr"
Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath didn't actually guest star in "Mother Simpson," but it was his "wild, untamed facial hair" which revealed "a new world of rebellion and change" to Homer's mother. His luscious locks inspired her to ditch the family in favor of life on the lam.
In "Bart Starr" Broadway Joe wanders into the Simpsons' back yard after his car breaks down in front of the house. He finds a distraught Bart practicing and decides to give him the one key to ultimate success in football…but then his car starts! Better luck next time, kid.
Episode: "Guitar Queer-O"
Still with the Broncos when the episode aired, quarterback Jay Cutler appeared for the sole purpose of being insulted. Commenting on his prospects for the future, Stan said: "You kinda (stink), but my dad said you might be good someday."
When asked about it later Cutler was surprisingly friendly about the jab, insisting: "It was cool. I thought it was funny. They can make fun of me if they want to."
Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XVI"
While Moe is making a public service announcement for adult ILLiteracy, retired Bulls bad boy Dennis Rodman shows up to make a cameo—it counts as community service he's serving for [what must have been on helluva] speeding ticket.
Remember: Together, we can make reading a slam dunk.
Episodes: All of them
In ProStars, which aired on ESPN in the fall of 1991, superstar athletes Bo Jackson, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan were portrayed fighting crime, helping kids and even protecting the environment! It seems Bo Knows even more than we originally thought.
The athletes didn't voice their characters, but they did appear to do goofy live-action narration before each episode and would answer questions from kids at the end.
Episode: "Homer at the Bat"
Pitcher Roger Clemens misses the big game after an adverse reaction to hypnosis leaves him believing he's a chicken. He got off way easier than most of his fellow ringers.
Episode: "Da Flippity Flop"
On a ski trip Olympic snowboarder Shaun White gets antsy as hell waiting in line for the lift. He decides to jump to the single riders line, bringing along pal Jonny Mosely, who is very concerned about getting stuck sitting next to some creeper.
White learns quickly he should have listened to his friend. Instead of getting a seat next to Klaus, the goldfish with the brain of an East German ski-jumper, he ends up next to Klaus, the decaying body of an East German-ski-jumper with the brain of a goldfish.
Hate when that happens!
Episode: "Da Flippity Flop"
This is the same episode from the previous slide, so we'll skip all the details.
Let's just say that even though Shaun White ended up sitting next to a decaying corpse, Jonny Moseley didn't get off much better being seated next to loudmouth Stan. Especially since Stan's body was actually occupied by Klaus' personality at the time.
It's a long story…
Episode: "Mother Simpson"
Mother Simpson may have been a fan of Joe Namath, but Abe Simpson was "stuck in his button-down plastic-fantastic Madison Avenue Scene."
"Look at them sideburns! He looks like a girl. Now, Johnny Unitas. There's a haircut you could set your watch to." Truer words have never been spoken.
In one of the more unflattering cartoon portrayals, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is seen drowning both Lady and the Tramp in this episode. Showing up out of nowhere to drown two beloved Disney characters definitely immortalized Vick.
Not in a good way…obviously.
Episode: "Homer at the Bat"
Poor Steve Sax! The retired second baseman was loving life so much in Springfield that he was even thinking of moving there, until a chance run-in with the local police lands him in jail facing six life sentences.
Officer Eddie: "Well well, Steve Sax, from New York City."
Officer Lou: "I heard some guy got killed in New York City and they never solved the case, but you wouldn't know anything about that, would you Steve?"
Sax: "But there's hundreds of unsolved murders in New York City."
Officer Lou: "You don't know when to keep your mouth shut, do you Saxy boy?"
At least they could close the book on every unsolved crime in Springfield history. Phew.
Episode: "Bart Oates"
Retired Giants center Bart Oates appears out of nowhere to Carl, who was once a fan but later wished injury on him when he was playing for the 49ers. Supposedly he's there to make Carl a better man because those terrible wishes were the reason Oates had to get knee surgery and retire.
Oates teaches Carl how to be nice to Frylock, encourages him to bail Shake and Meatwad out of jail (even though they're locked up for stealing his car and getting busted for DUI) and forces him out to a cemetery to apologize at the grave of an old man he ran over.
As it turns out, Oates is just a machine sent by Linda Hamilton and his insides are mostly just old garbage. And Carl is only being so accommodating because he had a BB lodged in his brain, which was shot by Master Shake with Oates' encouragement.
Episode: "Bart the Lover"
Red Wings legend Gordie Howe is another superstar athlete who didn't have a speaking part on the show, but whose likeness has been forever immortalized. When Bart romances Mrs. Krabappel as a prank, he gets an attack of conscious and enlists the help of his family to break it off as humanely as possible.
Working together they pen a fond farewell letter and tape Howe's picture to it. And let us part with a love that will echo through the ages...
Episodes: "Brian Sings and Swings" & "Big Man on Hippocampus"
Dwayne Johnson doesn't actually have a speaking part in "Brian Sings and Swings." His likeness was featured after Stewie finishes explaining to Brian that if he dies from reasons relating to his raging alcoholism, he'd have to start hanging out with The Rock again.
In "Big Man on Hippocampus" Johnson appears as his real life self. FCC regulations prevent a graphic sex scene between Peter and Lois, so Rock jumps in and recreates the scene with action figures.
Episode: "Homer at the Bat"
While in town as a ringer for the nuclear power plant's softball team, likable shortstop Ozzie Smith was doing the tourist thing and taking in the sights, sounds and probably smells [like the raging tire fire] of Springfield.
Stopping off at the Springfield Mystery Spot was one tourist trap too many.
Episode: "Homecoming: A Shot in D'Arc"
Okay…so they aren't technically athletes…but as sports broadcasters Chris Berman and Dan Patrick are both athlete adjacent. Which means they totally count.
Both of them are in town to cover the big homecoming telecast at Clone High—except there isn't really a telecast. An oblivious Patrick is just throwing around nonsensical phrases when Berman chimes in to alert him that his mic isn't plugged in and there aren't even any cameras.
Episode: He's appeared in nine episodes to date.
Drederick Tatum is an obvious parody of retired boxer Mike Tyson. He has a criminal past, an oddly high-pitched voice, a speech impediment and a big ass mansion with plenty of exotic animals.
Tyson's actual name appeared on the promotional flyer for the fight of the century, which was between him and famed race horse Secretariat. They were both drunk.
This one is more of a story of what could of been. Recently it was reported that embattled Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez would be cut out Henry & Me, an upcoming animated film in which he did his own voice work.
The movie's producers decided A-Rod appearing in the movie would do more harm than good, which is why they spent a small fortune taking him out. It's a damn shame too...because that picture is just too amazing for words.
Episode: "Homer at the Bat"
Former Bash Brother Jose Canseco was lured to Springfield by Mr. Smithers, who tracked him down at an autograph signing and offered a cool $50k to play in the big softball game. Canseco took a pay cut out of the kindness of his heart.
Unfortunately, he misses the game because he's suckered in to saving a house full of appliances and furniture from the burning home of a very demanding woman. Canseco and that famous heart of gold...
Episode: "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls"
Tennis beauty Maria Sharapova makes a memorable cameo in Steve's dream. She doesn't have any speaking lines, but she does an awful lot of grunting.
It's not quite as pervy as it sounds. Still pretty pervy though.
Episode: "The Juice is Loose"
A murderous O.J. Simpson character has appeared or been referenced in a number of Family Guy episodes, but "The Juice is Loose" is definitely his swan song.
Early on Peter stumbles across a raffle ticket from 1989, which entitled him to one round of golf with legendary running back O.J. Simpson. Initially hesitant about cashing in the ticket, ultimately he decides to use the outing as an opportunity to get O.J. to confess to the double murder everyone in Quahog knows he's guilty of.
After a nice day out, Peter eventually blows his cover and his new pal is devastated to learn of the betrayal—he bursts into tears. Peter invites O.J. to come live with the Griffins, which infuriates everyone in town, including Mayor Adam West. They eventually chase him out of town—but O.J. gets the last laugh by murdering three people on his way out.
I guess he did do it!
Episode: "Tis the Fifteenth Season"
As his own form of Christmas, Mr. Burns is passing out $5 vouchers to employees at the nuclear plant when he overhears Homer talking mad trash about him. For some reason old man Burns suddenly finds being hated less palatable and decides to give Homer a Joe DiMaggio rookie card instead.
It turns out to be way better than Homer imagined when he takes it down to Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop and Comic Book Guy offers him all the money in the store.
Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley was one of a number of NFL players featured in the episode, which made mention of the infamous replacement referee debacle of 2012.
Episode: "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?"
Bart is sick of fashion shows and makeovers and becomes totally desperate for a little brother. He becomes so obsessed that he even dreams about a park called Bro-Town USA, which is where Peyton and Eli Manning like to play keep away with brother Cooper.
Something tells me they didn't stray far from reality on that one.
Episode: "Save the Clam"
Much like their appearance in The Simpsons, the Manning boys have a brief family-focused cameo in "Save the Clam." Completely unrelated to the story, Meg uses the brothers as an example of siblings who stick together.
Poor Meg…she tries so hard.
Episode: "The All New Adventures of Mr. T"
"The All New Adventures of Mr. T" is a parody of the classic Mister T Saturday morning cartoon, which starred the man himself…as the coach of a gymnastics team. Seriously. That happened.
In the updated SNL version, Mr. T and the rest of The A-Team are out looking for work. No local theater production or tampon commercial is too small! Mr. T ain't got time for the jibber-jabber—he needs work!
Episodes: "Homer at the Bat" & "MoneyBART"
No one was happier to be playing for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team than Mike Scioscia. Only because he loved the low pressure environment of working with nuclear waste! Sadly he misses the game when he's hospitalized with radiation poisoning.
Apparently he recovered at some point though, because Marge and Bart ran into Scioscia at an amusement parti in 2010. He offered Bart some words of wisdom about the importance of truly loving the game.
Episodes: "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater" & "Road to Germany"
Legendary Steelers defensive tackle "Mean Joe" Greene appears as himself in "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater". Greene's famous Coke commercial is re-imagined, but with a decidedly less cute Peter Griffin standing in for the little kid.
The real difference being that in this version Greene doesn't stop at throwing his jersey. He strips down and throws everything at Peter, including his underwear.
Greene voiced himself again in "Road to Germany," when he hooked Stewie up with some enriched uranium for his time machine. Mean Joe's got what you need…even in Nazi-era Germany.
Episode: "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes" & "Homer's Paternity Coot"
In "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes" we learn that Homer has become sterile after prolonged exposure to radiation. Desperate to avoid a lawsuit, Mr. Burns hooks him up with a ridiculously made up award and $2,000—provided Homer signs a legal waiver of liability. To provide some credibility Burns brings in legendary boxer Joe Frazier to host the lavish ceremony.
In "Homer's Paternity Coot" various mishaps and foibles lead Homer to mistakenly thinking Abe isn't his biological father, but of course he is. Frazier appears in a TV commercial for the Smoke Damage Outlet Store. Stop! You had me a smoke damage...
Episode: "Homer Defined"
Homer narrowly averts a plant meltdown by frantically pushing a random button with just seconds to spare. Initially everyone mistakes it for an act of competency and he becomes a national hero.
The whole thing was such a big deal that Lakers star Magic Johnson used the team's last timeout to call Homer and graduate him on "averting that nuclear holocaust."
Episodes: "Boys Do Cry" & "Excellence in Broadcasting"
In "Boys Do Cry" Peter drops a Chuck Norris fact on Brian, who is more than a little skeptical of the rumor that Norris has no chin, only another first. As if being touched by the hand of God himself, Brian soon feels a tap on his shoulder. He turns around and comes snout-to-face with Norris, who promptly punches Brian in the face with his epic chin fist.
In "Excellence in Broadcasting" Norris makes a cameo in the big musical number, "Republican Town."
Episode: "Homer at the Bat"
Darryl Strawberry is the only ringer that actually manages to show up for the big game with an acceptable haircut and not acting like a chicken. He shows his softer side by responding to Bart and Lisa's heckling with a single tear.
Strawberry plays most of the game, but with the scored tied, two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Mr. Burns pulls some sabermetrics BS. He puts Homer in to pinch hit because he wants a right-handed hitter against a left-handed pitcher.
Giants fan Carl and vampire spider enthusiast Markula are renting out the Aqua Teens house when a disagreement about sports (Markula says no one likes them, Carl disagrees) prompts Carl to go home next door and watch some porn in the nude.
Unfortunately his plans are foiled when he finds Siren sisters Chrysanthemum and BJ Queen have been living in the house with former Phillies player John Kruk, who they kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery. Kruk faces sexual horrors so unspeakable that they terrify Carl.
Don't worry though! It's not all bad news for Kruk. He does get to settle an old score with Carl, who once through a battery at him in Shea Stadium.
Episode: "Barting Over"
Bart becomes emancipated from his family, who are forced to foot the bill for his wicked downtown loft. It just so happens that cool guy skateboarder Tony Hawk is living in the same building—he immediately becomes Bart's new idol. Cool guy loft parties will wow anyone.
An increasingly frustrated Homer seeks to win back the boy's affections by enlisting the help of Hawk, who agrees to let him win in a skate-off. Then it's Hawk who becomes frustrated when Homer shows him up big time on the super-powered board he let him borrow.
Episode: "Saving Private Brian"
You'd think this was an obvious parody of Saving Private Ryan, but it really isn't. The plot is surprisingly complicated and at one point Stewie mentions the military's "Be All That You Can Be; Unless you're gay. Although if you're gay and not too fancy about it, that might be alright" policy.
He says it's better than having a telegram delivered by infamous French headbutter Zinedine Zidane, who was also known to play a little soccer when he wasn't headbutting people. Annnnnd cut to Zidane headbutting the hell out of some poor old lady on her birthday.
Episode: "Ray of Light"
The episode is described as "loosely based on" the murder case of recently retired Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis—which looks fairly accurate. It features Lewis singing in a variety of classic Disney pictures, but he runs for the hills and speeds off in a limo every time a character is killed.
Better to be safe than sorry!
Episodes: "Brother's Little Helper" & "Treehouse of Horror X"
Bart is diagnosed with ADD and is prescribed Focusyn which makes him crazy paranoid that Major League Baseball is spying on Springfield with their satellites. As it turns out…he was right! Mark McGwire plays Bud Selig's not-so-stealthy henchman.
In "Treehouse of Horror X," McGwire is one of the celebrities seen waiting in line for the good rocket to escape Earth. The bad rocket contains Tom Arnold and Pauly Shore and is heading directly for the sun.
Episode: "Stanny Tendergrass"
Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan is one of the self-made men Stan the Man so admires. Which is why Steve brings him in to teach his dad a lesson after the he and his alien friend Roger's scheming to join a country club gets out of hand.
The Hulkster teaches Stan there are far more important things in life than money. And then they beat up some rich people! In the end Hogan walks naked into the sunset.
Episode: Various episodes and the movie
American figure skater Brian Boitano is a semi-recurring character in the series. His various superhero endeavors were highlighted in the delightful song "What Would Brian Boitano Do?," which was one of the many epic musical numbers in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. So what would he do?
Well…when Brian Boitano was in the Olympics skating for the gold, he did two salchows and a triple lutz while wearing a blind fold. And…when Brian Boitano was in the Alps fighting grizzly bears, he used his magical fire breath and saved the maidens fair.
So what would Brian Boitano do if he were here right now? He'd make a plan and he'd follow though—and I think he'd kick an ass or two—that's what Brian Boitano'd do.
Episode: "Homer at the Bat"
Don Mattingly becomes the target of Mr. Burns because his seemingly non-existent sideburns are making the old man positively irate. Mattingly makes several attempts to appease Burns, before buzzing a ridiculous horseshoe shape across his dome out of frustration.
Thankfully the former Yankee is well equipped to handle the irrational ire of surly old men—even after getting booted from the team in disgrace, Mattingly still prefers Mr. Burns to the late George Steinbrenner.
Episode: "Patriot Games"
Peter's girth comes in handy when he meets up with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at his high school reunion. In an urgent race to the bathroom he tackles everyone in his path and Tommy Terrific offers him a job blocking for the Pats.
Peter is surprisingly good, but patience quickly runs thin for his showboating antics—not to mention his over-familiarity with Brady. Eventually he gets canned and is forced to play for the girlish London Silly Nannies.
**Speaking of Silly Nannies...you are definitely one of whatever they are if you don't follow me on Twitter: Follow @blamberr