Promotional Cameos of the 80s

There were crossovers. There were guest stars. And then there were promotional cameos, when a (usually music) star appeared in a (usually sitcom) TV show to shamelessly plug themselves or their recent products. My favorite promotional cameo of all time was Ray Parker Jr.’s appearance on Gimme A Break. The script kept finding ways for Parker Jr. to ask, “Who you gonna call?”, to which the girls all gleefully shouted, “Ghostbusters.” The entire episode can be seen here.

There were many others, though. Here are a few I could remember and find:

There were many more than these, of course. I doubt any were as cheesy, but I doubt any were as effective, either. Yes, obvious though these promotional cameos were, they still achieved their goal of making you want the (advertised) product. In fact, they’re still achieving that goal today. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go listen to “Two of Hearts” right now.

Ann Margrock on The Flintstones

Since I didn’t know who Ann Margret was, I didn’t know who Ann Margrock was supposed to be. Still, I enjoyed seeing her on the syndicated Flintstones episodes I watched on summer mornings, and I never forgot this song.

P.S. I would learn who Ann Margret was when I was in the hospital recovering from an appendectomy. There were only three channels on the hospital TV, so I was forced to watch Viva Las Vegas and realized that the woman dancing and singing with Elvis was the inspiration for the woman dancing and singing with Fred and Barney.