Politicians' Television Cameos

Condoleezza Rice will guest-star as Jack Donaghy's ex on 30-Rock this week. From Giuliani's Seinfeld stint to Nixon's comic turn on Laugh-In, watch more political TV cameos.

The Plain Dealer / Landov

Condoleezza Rice on 30 Rock

Now that she's no longer responsible for world peace, former Bush administration Secretary of State Condi Rice is unwinding with some acting. Tina Fey confirmed that Rice is filming a cameo on NBC's 30 Rock, a show known for its hilarious incorporation of celebrity cameos. Rice's appearance will be especially anticipated because of the show's running joke about her: She is mentioned repeatedly as the ex-girlfriend of GE executive Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin. Fey said Rice's cameo will be "amazing..Every now and then we hear that someone wants to come," Fey said, "but usually we try and do it where we write the part first so that we have something good to offer them, because all actors like to see, you know, a juicy part."

Kevin Mazur, WireImage / Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani on Seinfeld

An episode in Seinfeld's fifth season incorporated the contentious 1993 New York City mayoral election between David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani amidst the characters' obsession with non-fat yogurt. In his brief cameo, Giuliani admitted that he, too, had been eating lots of non-fat yogurt, and when the yogurt was proved to contain fat, vowed to ban false advertising in the city. The episode also shows him delivering a fake victory speech that mirrored the actual victory speech he had given the night before filming the episode. The Seinfeld crew wrote two versions of the episode to be used depending on the victor—but Dinkins declined to film his cameo.

Ron Galella, WireImage / Getty Images

Betty Ford, The Mary Tyler Moore Show

In this 1976 episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary and Lou travel to Washington, D.C., where Lou tries to convince Mary he has plenty of contacts from his days there. In one of the most memorable lines of the series, First Lady Betty Ford calls Mary, and an incredulous Mary sarcastically quips, "Yeah and this is Mary … Queen of Scots." Despite the hilarity, the episode marks a troubled period for Ford: Moore revealed in her memoir that the first lady was drunk while filming the episode.

CBS / Landov

Newt Gingrich on Murphy Brown

Murphy Brown couldn't keep itself out of politics in the '90s: Vice President Dan Quayle famously denounced the show in a campaign speech for its supposed glamorization of unwed motherhood. In March 1996, another conservative titan, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich made a cameo on the progressive show, leading star Candice Bergen to gush about his "natural talent."

Martin Simon, CBS / Landov

Ted Kennedy on Chicago Hope

The late Sen. Ted Kennedy made only a few appearances on scripted television shows during his life. One of these rare appearances was on the medical drama series Chicago Hope in which Kennedy played himself and argued on behalf of a subject he felt very strongly about: health care. In the episode, Tommy Wilmette (Ron Silver) flies to Washington to testify on behalf of a children's health-care bill. In a quick scene, Kennedy makes a plea to insure some 10 million children without access to health care. "Do we have the political will?" Fourteen years later, the issue is still being debated.

David Sutton, NBCU Photo Bank / AP Photo

Michael Dukakis on St. Elsewhere

Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis may have lost the 1988 election to Reagan's Vice President George H. W. Bush, but the native Boston boy had two long runs as the 65th and 67th Governor of Massachusetts. He also had a brief "run" on television. In 1985 Dukakis made an appearance in the third season of the medical drama St. Elsewhere, which takes place at a decaying, "dumping ground" fictional hospital in Boston's South End neighborhood. When Dukakis limped to the hospital desk on the show, doctors refused to treat his jogging injury because they didn't believe he was the governor of Massachusetts.