Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman led 1995’s Casper, a film that mixed live-action and CGI that also crossed genres. It was comedy! It was fantasy! It was sci-fi! And, if you were a tween, it was also a very complicated romance. But enough about ghost kisses, let’s talk about the film’s ridiculous amount of cameos.
Based on Harvey Comics’ Casper the Friendly Ghost — created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo — Casper was directed by Brad Silberling, who would later go on to make another spooky romance, City of Angels, as well as Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. It was written by Sherri Stoner, Deanna Oliver, and…an uncredited J. J. Abrams.
Besides all the nostalgic middle-school memories that came flooding back during a recent Halloween-themed rewatch of the Amblin film, what I reacted to the most were the sheer number of cameos. The fact that they were able to wrangle all these actors and varied franchises, even if for the briefest of appearances, reminded me of the first time I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit (you can thank Steven Spielberg for a few though).
Here are the actors you can look out for next time you watch the ghost boyfriend movie. They’re…fairly easy to spot.
You’re better off making a list of films this bozo hasn’t cameod in.
Father Guido Sarducci
Don Novello played Father Guido Sarducci, the character he made famous on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, at the start of the film. He did not do so well trying to rid the famously haunted Whipstaff Manor of ghosts.
Of the two early cameos, Dan Akyroyd reprising his Ghostbusters role of Dr. Raymond Stantz is the far superior in my mind. But he told Cathy Moriarty’s Catherine and Eric Idle’s Paul they’d have to call someone else to take care of these particularly tricky ghosts.
“I’m going to kill you, your momma, and all her bridge-playing friends.” Yikes.
I’m pretty sure I knew who Rodney Dangerfield was in 1995 but I have a feeling most of these cameos were meant for the adults in the audience anyway.
Maybe they can recast this one for the 4k release…
The Crypt Keeper
The voice of the Crypt Keeper, John Kassir, didn’t have much to do for his cameo besides scream in an ode to another ‘90s classic, Home Alone. (Brock Winkless provided the puppetry work.) But this was probably the scariest part of the whole thing.
In case you were wondering, sure, Amy Brenneman (who played Kat’s dead mum) and Devon Sawa (Casper in human form) technically count as cameos, but they’re part of the actual plot. If you’d like, we can also count Fred Rogers — appearing in an in-film showing of Mr. Roger’s Neighbourhood — and Hard Copy’s Terry Murphy, who took part in a fake news broadcast. Fun fact: Steven Spielberg filmed a bit for the mirror shifting sequence but it was left on the cutting room floor.