David Bowie is gone, but he’s left behind an unforgettable body of work. Bowie’s many artistic endeavors have been and will continue to be an inspiration to countless fans and creators.
A master of the wonderfully weird, Bowie constantly pushed boundaries and gave us fresh glimpses of his genius. He’ll be remembered most for his groundbreaking music and signature film roles, but we’ll never forget some of Bowie’s minor pop culture contributions — small moments when he used his iconic “odd” image to intrigue and entertain us.
Here are five times Bowie cameos made us smile:
When filmmaker Christopher Nolan wrote the part of famed inventor Nikola Tesla in his 2006 film The Prestige, it was Bowie that he had in mind. And from the magical moment when Bowie first appears on screen, walking unfazed through a field of electric current, you can see why. Bowie initially rejected the role, but when Nolan personally visited him and told him he was the only choice, he took the part. We’re glad he did.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
In a cinematic moment that feels almost predestined, Bowie showed up briefly in David Lynch’s 1992 Twin Peaks movie, Fire Walk With Me. He plays long-lost FBI agent Phillip Jeffries, who appears to Agent Cooper and Chief Cole to tell them about a meeting he witnessed involving the Man from Another Place, BOB, and Mrs. Chalfont. It’s a truly bizarre moment, even by Twin Peaks standards, that’s only made stranger by Bowie’s outrageous style and exaggerated Southern accent.
In a brilliantly whimsical turn, Bowie lent his voice to the SpongeBob SquarePants season five episode, “Atlantis SquarePantis.” ICYMI, the story tells what happens when SpongeBob and Patrick find themselves in the lost city of Atlantis which is ruled by Lord Royal Highness, voiced by (you guessed it) Bowie. He plays the flamboyant ruler who’s friendly to SpongeBob and Patrick until they destroy a prized possession — the world’s oldest bubble.
Bowie made a brilliant short appearance on the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras in 2006 playing an exaggeratedly arrogant version of himself. Gervais’ character, Andy, approaches Bowie at a bar, leading to a hilarious exchange between the two. Ultimately, Andy becomes the subject of a new Bowie song called “Little Fat Man.”
In what is arguably his most memorable cameo, Bowie hilariously pops up alongside Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Zoolander. When Derek and Hansel need someone to judge their “walk-off” runway challenge, Bowie emerges from the crowd. “If nobody has any objections,” he says as he cooly removes his sunglasses, “I believe I might be of service.” Of course he can, there’s no one cooler than the Thin White Duke.