Bojack Horseman, the brilliant animation about an anthropomorphic horse who was once the star of a corny Nineties sitcom called Horsin’ Around, has returned for a fifth season on Netflix.
Over the years, a variety of celebrities have willingly (and unwilling) appeared on the show: some voicing new characters, others appearing as themselves, and a few even impersonating their fellow stars.
To celebrate the release of the exquisite new series, we have rounded up some of the best celebrity appearances from the previous four – with some minor details on who is starring in season five.
Celebrities playing themselves
No other celebrity cameo has become as synonymous with BoJack as Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale. A running gag throughout the series, Martindale’s criminal antics have landed the leading alcoholic horse in heaps of trouble, with Martindale in prison (for a time) after trying to steal Diane’s (Alison Brie) engagement ring. Does she make an appearance in season five, having been absent from the show since crashing a cargo ship that’s importing pasta? You will have to wait and see.
Yes, the former Beatle really does appear in BoJack. The season two episode “After Party” features a joke about Macca being hidden in Diane’s birthday cake. However, things do not go as planned, and everyone ends up leaving, McCartney only popping out of the cake when the room’s empty. “Hello? Anybody? This is Paul McCartney,” he says. “I came all this way to jump out of a cake? Honest. With a new suit on. Aye-yai-yai,”
And while some viewers initially thought that was an impersonator, it was actually the real McCartney, his team apparently loving the script and recording the lines while in New York.
Radliffe makes an appearance on the fictional show Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things?? Let’s Find Out! as BoJack’s opponent, the stubborn horse pretending to not know who the Harry Potter actor is and purposely confusing him with Elijah Wood.
Watts ends up playing Diane in a short biopic of BoJack’s life, only for the pair to seemingly fall in love. Unfortunately, though, Watts was only doing her job as an actor and immediately leaves BoJack when the producers replace her with a ball on a stick. (Also of note from the same episode: Wallace Shawn plays BoJack in the film.)
Mr Peanutbutter (Paul F Tompkins) has two ex-wives who Diane must reckon with, and the better known of the pair is Jessica Biel. After divorcing around 2007, she would go on to marry Justin Timberlake and then run for governor of California, only to lose. Biel requested the showrunners make her an awful person. She also hates avocado in real life.
The Sideways actor briefly appears in season, portraying Bojack Horseman on another fictional true-story programme, American Dead Girl: The Sarah Lynn Story. It’s brief, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming a fan favourite.
Living underneath Bojack’s house, Huffman gradually gets more and more annoyed at the annoying neighbour. Eventually, they end up working together on the show Felicity Huffman’s Booty Academy: Los Angeles, where both of them judge people’s bottoms with Sir Mix-A-Lot (also voiced by himself).
Braff is one of the more famous people to attend Mr Peanutbutter’s season four fundraiser. The Scrubs actor just wants to get his parking ticket validated when he ends up underground and eventually being killed by another cameoing celebrity, Jessica Biel, who sets him on fire. His corpse is then eaten by starving partygoers…
Andrew Garfield – Paul F Tompkins
When actors decline to appear on Bojack, the writers often decide to have the fictional version of their character end up hurting themselves somehow. Garfield makes for a good example. After breaking up with Sarah Lynne (Kristen Schaal), the poofy-haired Spider-Man actor ends up in hospital. The Bojack version of Garfield also loves lasagne but hates Mondays – the same character traits as the cynical animated cat Garfield.
Beyoncé – Yvette Nicole Brown
Another example of things ending badly for a celebrity who did not appear as themselves. Community‘s Nicole Brown took on the duty of voicing American singer-songwriter Beyoncé who ends up hospitalised after slipping on a single dollar. She later appears at athe end of season one with a visibly broken ankle.
J.D. Salinger – Alan Arkin
The famed author of Catcher and the Rye passed away in 2010, but that didn’t stop Bojack bringing him back. The writers even went one further, portraying Salinger as a television producer who faked his own death, only to be discovered by Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) working at Joe Nobody’s Shop For Tandem Bicycles. He goes on to run Holywoo Stars And Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things?? Let’s Find Out!. To portray the iconic author they brought on the Oscar-winning Alan Arkin.
Every frame of Bojack is packed with visual gags and references, making each re-watch all the more enjoyable. Some of the best sight gags include famous faces, such as Cameron Crowe, who – despite his last name – is actually a raven, as he points out many times during a meeting with Princess Carolyn.
The Lost actor is portrayed as a feral wold who is unable to articulate any actual words while presenting the 1994 Animal Choice Awards. Meanwhile, Scott Wolf is a well-spoken fox.
Mitt Dermon/Bread Poot/Lernernerner DiCapricorn/Jurj Clooners
Bojack faces some stiff competition for the best actor Oscar in season two, facing four delightfully named spoofs of A-list actors. Better yet, all four have exactly the same face, just their hair and eyes are changed. Jurj Clooners ends up coming back to the show in season four, voiced by Jerry Maguire actor Jay Mohr.
Angela Bassett – Ana Spanakopita
Bassett’s on stunning form as Bojack’s ruthless publicist, offering a memorable voice performance as the no-nonsense masochist. She’s just as excellent in season five.
Patton Oswalt – Pinky Penguin
As the timid head of Penguin Publishing, Oswalt makes for a delightful choice of actor. This is a tenuous connection but Oswalt also played the Batman villain Penguin in an online skit.
Jeffrey Wright – Mr Cuddlywhiskers
The Westworld actor voices the showrunner of failed The BoJack Horseman Show, offering some sage advice for our eponymous character (”Sometimes you need to take responsibility for your happiness” is just one of his great lines).
Weird Al Yankovic – Captain Peanutbutter
Born five minutes before his brother, Mr Peanutbutter, Captain Peanutbutter is slightly wiser, but just as loveable. Best of all, it’s the world renown comedian Weird Al Yankovic behind his voice.
Kristen Schaal – Sarah Lynn
Sarah Lynn plays such a signifiant part in the show, her death in season three leaving BoJack with a deep sadness that haunts him – no matter how much he drinks. Kristen Schaal (also the voice of Louise Belcher on Bob’s Burgers) voices the former child star-turned-drug addict to perfection, helping bring the emotional gravitas that makes her final scenes so heartbreaking.
Stanley Tucci – Herb Kazzaz
Another heavy moment of season three comes before Sarah Lynn’s death, with the funeral of Herb Kazzaz, the writer of Horsin’ Around and best friend of BoJack. Oscar-nominated actor Tucci voices the character in eight episodes.
Lisa Kudrow – Wanda Pierce
BoJack has a few girlfriends throughout the series, but perhaps the most memorable is Friends actor Kudrow’s owl, Wanda Pierce. Having missed decades of her life after being in a comma, she brings joy to the show but cannot offer the solace Bojack needs.
Kimiko Glenn – Stephanie Stilton
Voicing the editor of Girl Krush, the Orange Is the New Black star manages to voice the annoying click-hungry mouse to great effect – and returns once more as Diane’s boss in season five.
Maria Bamford – Kelsey Jannings
Comedian Bamford’s character directs BoJack’s big comeback, Secretariat, becoming a major player in season two and being seen (not heard) in the silent episode “Fish out of Water”.
JK Simmons – Lenny Turtletaub
The Whiplash actor plays the Secretariat-producing turtle to hugely comic effect, his dry wit making every scene a delight.
John Krasinski – Secretariat
Speaking of Secretariat, BoJack’s hero is voiced by another famous face: The Office and A Quiet Place’s John Krasinski.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg – Charley Witherspoon
BoJack creator Bob-Waksberg gives himself the great role of Charley Witherspoon, the dithering frog whose father, Mr Witherspoon, just happens to leave him the agency Princess Carolyn works for in his will.
Stephen Colbert – Mr Witherspoon
Witherspoon senior also has a famous face behind the voice: late-night host Stephen Colbert.
Wendie Malick – Beatrice Horseman
Although BoJack sees his mother as a despicable person, come the end of season four and we learn the heavy truth, the penultimate episode “Time’s Arrow” making for a stunning 20-minutes of television. Dream On‘s Malick voices the elderly horse, striking a perfect balance between being a harsh critic of BoJack’s and woman dealing with a horrendous past.
Ken Jeong – Dr Allen Hu
Another Community actor brought in for a short role, Jeong plays an erroneous doctor who gets Sarah Lynne and BoJack the drugs they need for there huge binge.
Keegan-Michael Key – Sebastian St Clair
The Key & Peele comedian voices the arrogant cat who employs Diane to write a book about his charitable escapades in Cordovia.
Ben Schwartz – Rutabaga Rabitowitz
The overly energetic rabbit who strikes up a romance with Princess Carolyn. Parks and Recreation‘s Schwartz imbues the role with a youthful zest, making the floppy-eared publicist one of the show’s most memorable side characters.
Olivia Wilde – Charlotte Moore
Another season three arc that left BoJack devastated concerned Charlotte Moore, a former friend who the horse loved deerly (she’s a deer, FYI). Who better to play someone to steal BoJack’s heart than House actor Olivia Wilde?
Ilana Glazer – Penny Carson
Speaking of Charlotte, her daughter, Penny, is also voiced by a notable name; Ilana Glazer, the co-creator of Broad City.
Kristen Bell – Ruthie
The Good Place and Frozen actor makes a brief appearance as Princess Carolyn’s distant descendent who tells her class about Carolyn.
RuPaul – Queen Antonia
When things go wrong at Mr Peanutbutter’s party and they all end up underground, the ants come to the rescue, led by their Queen, RuPaul. A fitting cameo for the drag star.
Ricky Gervais – Hedgehog
Despite his character not having a name, you can immediately tell The Office star is voicing the hedgehog in charge of the Jerb Kazzaz Memorial Orphanage (intended to be named after Herb Kazzaz, but misspelled due to BoJack’s email), mainly thanks to his signature giggle.
Aparna Nancherla – Hollyhock Manheim-Mannheim-Guerrero-Robinson-Zilberschlag-Hsung-Fonzerelli-McQuack
Bojack’s secret cinema is voiced by Nancherla, best known for her work on Inside Amy Schumur.
Andre Braugher – Woodchuck Couldchuck-Berkowitz
Brooklyn Nine-Nine standout Braugher plays Mr Peanutbutter’s adversary in the California elections, the beaver Woodchuck.
Lin-Manuel Miranda – Crackerjack Sugarman
The Hamilton writer managed to make time to voice Crackerjack Sugarman, BoJack’s uncle seen in the episode “Time’s Arrow”.
Hannibal Buress – Miles
Hollyhock’s boyfriend (who’s actually just trying to get a script to BoJack) was voiced by the always great Buress.
Natalie Morales – Yolanda Buenaventura
Having been featured in three episodes in season four, playing Tod’s asexual partner, Morales has a signifiant role going forward into season five. One episode that revolves around her family makes for particualrly great watching.
Rami Malek – Flip McVicker
Although just a cameo in season four, the Mr Robot actor comes into play in season five as writer and director of the Bojack’s new detective show Philbert.
Stephanie Beatriz – ???
Seeing as her casting has only been briefly mentioned elsewhere, we will not spoil who the Brooklyn Nine Nine star is voicing. However, it’s a great character who has a huge impact on BoJack’s life.
BoJack Horseman is on Netflix now
BoJack Horseman is on Netflix now