The Top 5 Leonard Nimoy Guest Spots

By Brandon Engel: The world is still mourning Leonard Nimoy. While he will be remembered by fans of the original “Star Trek” for his role as Mr. Spock, he was also a man who had established himself as a poet, photographer, and songwriter in his own right, and was also something of a “science communicator” along the lines of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson. He will also be warmly remembered for his many guest appearances on various programs.

The Daily Show

Friends and family of Nimoy claim that the loved nothing more than a good laugh. Here, he parodies his In Search Of series, by using his deadpan narration skills to aid Jon Stewart in a mockumentary of the 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He even croons a little, for good measure.

The segment, entitled “Mitt Romney: A Human Being Who Built That,” parodies the usual flag-waving, heart-warming biopics shown at national political conventions – Democrat or Republican. The four minute film lampoons Romney’s life and the 2012 election itself.

The Big Bang Theory

It was inevitable that a show about geeks, The Big Bang Theory, would nab Nimoy for a memorable cameo appearance as Sheldon’s conscience. After-all, the award-winning comedy had previously nabbed many other former Star Trek cast members.

However, only Nimoy’s distinctive voice would appear as a Mr. Spock action figure talking to Sheldon. The show paid tribute to Nimoy shortly after his passing, by showing a static image of Nimoy along with this caption: “The impact you had on our show and our lives is everlasting.”

Columbo

Just one more question, ma’am – when was Leonard Nimoy on the beloved detective series Columbo, starring Peter Falk? He starred as the baddie in a two-hour episode called “A Stitch in Time.” He played a dapper surgeon who is so narcissistic, that he thinks he can get away with murder. He attempts to kill a rival surgeon by mending his heart post-surgery with dissolving sutures.

Nimoy wasn’t the only Star Trek actor to appear in Columbo. Both William Shatner and Walter Koenig also appeared, but unfortunately not in this episode. Anyway, the point is that Nimoy could actually play a human being. Thankfully, you can stream both episodes through Netflix.

The Simpsons

Nimoy appeared twice on the seemingly eternal animated series The Simpsons. Nimoy’s voice was synched up to a Simpsonesque animated caricature. His first appearance was the 1993 episode “Marge Vs the Monorail” (penned by a young Conan O’Brien) where Nimoy rambles aimlessly like a parody of Spock.

Nimoy’s second appearance was the 1997 episode “The Springfield Files” a spoof on The X Files. Nimoy book-ends the episode with a faux In Search Of narration. The episode also featured guest appearances from X Files stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

“Marge Vs. The Monorail,” incidentally, is regarded by many fans as among the all-time best episodes of the Simpsons (click here to see where IGN ranked it), and both episodes are still shown regularly on the FXX Network (click for DirecTV listings).

Saturday Night Live

Although SNL has had many forgettable sketches in recent years, arguably one of the best was an appearance to tie into the 2009 Star Trek film featuring extremely young mutations of Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise gang. During the news segment, stars Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) try to allay the fears of older fans about Star Trek’s newest incarnation.

The pair clearly is clueless, until Nimoy appears behind them to steal the show – to the delight of the hard-core ST fans in the audience. It perhaps is the only time Nimoy says “d***heads” on tape. That makes this appearance priceless. SNL also paid tribute to Nimoy shortly after his passing.

3 thoughts on “The Top 5 Leonard Nimoy Guest Spots

  1. Brandon missed a really great one nobody knows about: Nimoy and Shatner together in The Man from U.N.C.L.E, several years before Star Trek.

  2. I learned that via IMDB when I wrote my Nimoy obit (and mentioned it). However, only today did I discover a clip of their joint appearance on YouTube:

  3. Play a human? He did that frequently, but no role he ever did held him tightly as did his role as Mr. Spock. Pity that Hollywood itself looks at typecasting and seems to do little to discourage it.

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