As well as being a movie star, Danny DeVito has made multiple appearances on the small screen. He’s been in high demand for decades, so these are predominantly guest-starring roles and cameos, but a precious few have managed to land him as a series regular.

Throughout his career, he’s appeared in renowned sitcoms, dramas, documentaries, kid’s TV shows and more and has played himself on multiple occasions. He also endeared himself to a younger generation and made a name for himself all over again with his glorious foray into the 21st-century comedy renaissance. This list excludes TV movies, as he’s appeared in as many of them as he has TV shows.

10 Taxi (7.6/10)

After 1975’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest put him on the map, DeVito started to move into TV with the odd guest role, including John “John John the Apple” DeAppoliso in an episode of Starsky and Hutch. But Taxi was the first show — and one of the few — to land him as a series regular. The show ran from 1978-1983 and DeVito appeared in all 114 episodes.

Devito dominated the screen as Louie De Palma, the cab company’s no-nonsense dispatcher who was always dialed up to 11. And like all great sitcom actors, he brought a humanity that resonated through the wacky comedy. Taxi was also where DeVito met series regular Andy Kaufman.

9 Biography (7.7/10)

Biography is a respected documentary series that’s been going since 1962. It’s been through several incarnations and has been and gone a couple of times, but it was recently revived in 2017 and is still going.

DeVito guest narrated on two occasions, in 1999 and 2000, while Harry Smith was the regular host. They were both Andy Kaufman biopics, one named “Andy Kaufman’s Really Big Show” and the other, simply, “Andy Kaufman”. Both featured archive footage of the comedy legend and interviews with previous collaborators, as well as Jim Carrey, another huge fan of Kaufman’s who went on to play him in 2000’s Man on the Moon, a project DeVito set in motion.


8 The Associates (7.9/10)

The Associates was a short-lived sitcom that ran for one season from 1979-1980. It was set at the Bass and Marshall law firm and featured an eclectic cast, including a young Martin Short. The show had comedy and romance, with the story revolving around the nitty-gritty of legal prosecution.

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In the final episode, “The Out of Town Trip”, the crew head to Akron, where the head of a tire and rubber co-operation has been accused of misusing funds by a shareholder. DeVito joins the fun as Alan Swathmore, said shareholder’s attorney, though he’s uncredited.

7 Sesame Street (8.1/10)

Sesame Street has been a king among kid’s TV shows since 1969, with muppet-Esque icons such as Big Bird and Elmo as series regulars. The show also boasts a staggering number of prolific guest stars, mainly actors and musicians. You could argue you haven’t truly made it until you’ve guest-starred on Sesame Street.

Danny DeVito got his turn in 1988, in a skit with Oscar the Grouch. DeVito shows up at a bus stop. Oscar then appears and reveals it is actually a ‘grouch bus stop’. DeVito soon realizes what this means when the bus speeds by without stopping. Oscar then explains the service exists to let grouches let out their frustration by yelling at the driver, leading to DeVito joyously yelling family-friendly insults after the bus. “Where’d ya get your license? A cereal box?!”

6 The Kominsky Method (8.2/10)

Netflix’s The Kominsky Method stars Michael Douglas as renowned acting coach Sandy Kominsky and follows his day to day life as he deals with family, relationships and the aging process whilst perpetually bugging his agent — played by Alan Arkin — to find him some screen work. The show is helmed by Chuck Lorre and takes a traditional approach to comedy.

DeVito is one of many guest stars, playing the crass but competent enough Dr. Wexler in two episodes. His primary function in the show’s narrative is to give Michael Douglas a prostate exam. He then reveals, two episodes later, that there are some slow-moving prostate cancer cells, but they’re nothing to worry about because, at his age, he’ll likely die of something else before they become a problem …

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5 The Larry Sanders Show (8.4/10)

The Larry Sanders Show was a fun meta behind the scenes mockumentary of a fictional talk show that ran for six seasons in the mid-90s. It starred Gary Shandling as the titular character and also featured Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor. The show’s format also allowed for a variety of guest stars, playing themself.

In episode 304, “The Gift Episode”, booking agent Paula, played by Janeane Garofalo, lands DeVito as a guest, who agreed in order to promote Junior. But when DeVito pulls out, she lies to Larry and says he’s still coming, for fear of losing her job. She then precedes to haunt Danny DeVito throughout the episode, as he continues to resist.

4 Amazing Stories (8.4/10)

Amazing Stories was a Steven Speilberg TV show that ran from 1985-1987. Each episode was it’s own self-contained story with a new set of characters, allowing for a colorful variety of distinct episodes, many in the vein of a Stephen King horror. Speilberg also drew in a lot of big-name actors and directors to guest star.

DeVito directed and starred in “The Wedding Ring”, alongside his real-world wife Rhea Perlman, a fun gimmick the couple would later repeat in Matilda. DeVito plays Herbert, who gives his wife Lois a mysterious ring for their anniversary, which transforms her from a tired, miserable waitress into a sex maniac until things take a turn for the deadly. The couple goes for a pantomime style as the cheesy horror ramps up to the inevitable confrontation. It’s a fun watch.

3 The Simpsons (8.7/10)

The Simpsons is the definitive cartoon sitcom and has been a pop culture icon since 1989. And it isn’t slowing down, with season 31 well underway. In three decades, the show has amassed an impressive list of guest stars — some playing themselves, some playing guest characters.

DeVito plays Herbert Powell, Homer Simpson’s long lost half-brother, who first appeared in “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” in 1991. After a near-fatal heart attack, Grandpa Simpson reveals this brother’s existence and the family sets out to track him down. They find Herbert on the tail end of a real riches-to-rags tale and bring him into their home, enabling him to put his life back together. The episode is a classic, as so many of the 90s episodes were. DeVito would go on to reprise his role as Herbert in 1992’s “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?” and 2013’s “Changing of the Guardian”.

2 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (8.8/10)

Always Sunny may be the outright funniest show on TV. It took a while to catch on and one of the conditions on getting season two greenlit was that they needed to cast a famous face. Creator Rob McElhenney, who also stars in the show as Mac, resisted this idea at first, as he thought the cast had something special and he didn’t want to taint it, but in the end, he gave in to the pressure.

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The casting of DeVito as Frank Reynolds turned out to be a stroke of genius and resurrected a career that was already alive and kicking. DeVito goes all out and proves there’s nothing he won’t do for the noble cause of sheer entertainment and quickly found a unique place for himself among the rest of the cast, most often paired with the singular Charlie Day, giving an equally selfless performance.

1 Friends (8.9/10)

Friends is the most iconic and beloved sitcom ever created, redefining the genre and spawning many imitators. It used to be the biggest thing on television and they had their pick of A-listers for guest stars.

DeVito plays the subtly named Roy The Stripper, in the episode subtly named “The One Where The Stripper Cries”. The tone of the episode hasn’t aged well, but it’s as hilarious as ever to see Roy’s Officer Goodbody persona in action and DeVito and the regulars are clearly having a whale of a time.

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