Deion Sanders is currently taking the college football world by storm as the head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, but the man known affectionately as "Prime Time" has been a sports and pop culture icon for decades. Having excelled in both professional football and baseball in his heyday, Sanders was known for his flashy style both on and off the field. By the late '80s, he was already pretty much a household name, but in the mid-'90s his star power had exploded, as he made a World Series appearance in 1992 and won back-to-back Super Bowls in '94 and '95.
Needless to say, network executives wanted to see Prime Time in prime-time, and as a result, he quickly became a hot commodity in the entertainment industry. Of course, he hit the late-night television circuit and hosted Saturday Night Live, but then he eventually made his way into sitcoms, serialized drama shows, and even movies. Here are 12 times that Deion Sanders starred as himself in the small and big screens.
Living Single (1994)
Living Single was a massive sitcom for Fox from 1993 to 1998. It came out a year before Friends and followed the lives of six friends, four women and two men, as they navigated their personal and professional lives in New York City. Given the show's massive popularity, you'd never know when a celebrity might stop by for a cameo appearance, with the likes of Nia Long, Terrence Howard, and Will Ferrell all guest starring on the show at one point or another.
As for Sanders, he briefly joined the Living Single cast in season two for an episode called "Thanks for Giving," which, in case you couldn't tell from the title, takes place during Thanksgiving. Spoiler alert: he doesn't end up sticking around for the turkey and mashed potatoes.
In a season one episode of the UPN sitcom Moesha, starring R&B singer Brandy Norwood in the title role, Sanders shows up as himself and ends up briefly dating Moesha's friend Andell (Yvette Wilson). As you can see from the episode's promo clip, Sanders pulls out all the stops in his attempts to woo Andell, who was also featured as a main character in the UPN spin-off sitcom The Parkers.
Celtic Pride (1996)
Prime Time made his big-screen debut in the 1996 sports comedy movie Celtic Pride. Written by stand-up comedian and former SNL star Colin Quinn and a not-yet-famous Judd Apatow, the film stars Dan Aykroyd and Daniel Stern (Marv from the Home Alone movies) as two diehard Boston Celtics fans who kidnap fictional Utah Jazz shooting guard Lewis Scott (played by Damon Wayans).
The two bumbling Bostonites end up befriending Scott and avoiding jail time for their crime, but they just can't seem to get away from the whole kidnapping thing. In the movie's final scene, the duo breaks into Deion Sanders' hotel room, seemingly kidnapping him. Now that's a sequel we'd pay to watch.
In the House (1996)
Starring LL Cool J as a former professional football player, the sitcom In the House had a fairly tumultuous run, lasting only a year on NBC and airing for just two seasons on UPN. Despite its short lifespan, the show, which also featured Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribiero and In Living Color cast member Kim Wayans, did include its fair share of celebrity cameos and guest stars.
On the season two episode called "Home Again," Sanders was joined by comedian and ventriloquist Willie Tyler, who also played himself, as well as guest stars Gilbert Gottfried and Daryl Mitchell.
Walker, Texas Ranger (1999)
Deion Sanders made his foray into dramatic television acting with not one, but two appearances on Walker, Texas Ranger in 1999, playing himself on the season seven episode "Special Witness" and on the season eight episode "Rise to the Occasion."
Sharing screen time with action movie icon Chuck Norris, who's had a couple of memorable cameo roles of his own in recent years, must've been a real thrill for Sanders, though he probably would've liked to have tried his hand in at least one fight scene.
Ostentatious title spelling aside, Arli$$ was actually a pretty solid show about sports agents and served as a precursor to more popular shows like Entourage and Ballers. Created by and starring Robert Wuhl as sports agency president Arliss Michael, the seven-season HBO show was absolutely stacked with cameos, with over 400 celebrities (!) making appearances during the show's run.
Sanders finally got his shot at an Arli$$ guest spot on the fourth episode of the final season, sharing the screen with television host Jillian Barberie and former NFL quarterback Kordell Stewart. As it turns out, two years later, Stewart and Sanders would finish their professional football careers together, playing for the Baltimore Ravens in 2004 and 2005. They must have really hit it off on the Arli$$ set!
Are We There Yet? (2011)
Ice Cube's willingness to shed his tough image and star in more family-friendly films paid off big for the former N.W.A. rapper in the mid-2000s, as the 2005 road trip movie Are We There Yet? not only spawned a sequel, but also led to him creating and producing the TBS sitcom of the same name, which ran for three seasons from 2010 to 2013.
Ice Cube and Sanders have cultivated a solid friendship over the years, and the latter stopped by the show in season two for "The Mr. Almost Episode," in which Nick (Terry Crews) teams up with Prime to launch an energy drink. Now, Sanders knows a few things about business and marketing, with his iconic sunglasses alone earning him millions of dollars. But, it wouldn't have been a situational-comedy show if everything worked out, so Sanders' fictional would-be business venture doesn't end up coming to fruition.
The League (2012)
Fantasy football skyrocketed in popularity following the debut of The League in 2009, and like Arli$$, the FX comedy welcomed countless celebrity guests during its seven-season run.
In the season four episode "12.12.12," Andre (Paul Scheer), a rich plastic surgeon who bears the brunt of pretty much every joke, discovers that the buyer of his old loft is none other than Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. In his end-of-episode cameo, Sanders walks into the loft as hilariously-deranged deadbeat Rafi and adult film director and Rafi's best friend Dirty Randy (Seth Rogan) are in the middle of filming a scene for an apocalypse-based porn parody. Sanders' shocked reaction is as classic at it gets.
White T (2013)
Sanders played the role of "Prime Time" in the 2013 comedy White T, which centers around twin brothers (played by actual twins Jamal and Jerrod Mixon) who chase their dreams of making it as hip-hop superstars.
Sanders actually dabbled in the rap game himself, and even released an album, 1994's Prime Time, that peaked at No. 70 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. His friendship with MC Hammer also earned him a featured credit on the song "Straight to My Feet," a song that was included on the Street Fighter soundtrack.
Draft Day (2014)
Draft Day tells the story of fictional Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) and the dilemma he's faced with after his team acquires the first pick of the NFL draft. Sanders, who was selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the fifth overall pick in the 1989 Draft, has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo early on in the film, playing the role of Sanders, the draft analyst.
While Draft Day received mixed critical reviews and underperformed at the box office, it's important for its association with another former pro football player, as it featured late NFL legend-turned-actor Jim Brown in his final big-screen role.
The Soul Man (2014)
Deion Sanders in an afro? Now this we have to see! A spin-off from the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland, The Soul Man was a short-lived series starring Cedric the Entertainer as Reverend Sherman Boyce Ballentine, a former R&B star who becomes a minister, and Niecy Nash as Lolli, Sherman's beauty salon-owning wife.
In the flashback episode "Back in the Day," we get a look at one of Lolli's more famous ex-boyfriends. In the words of Sherman, it's "Deion mother******* Sanders." Sanders may have had a lot more hair back in the day, but the show's costume department went a little overboard with his hairpiece in this episode.
In the pilot episode for the Fox sitcom Grandfathered, in which John Stamos plays a confirmed bachelor and restaurant owner who discovers he's both a father and a grandfather, Sanders and legendary comedian Don Rickles stop by the restaurant for an incredible cameo scene.
One thing's for sure: it must've been tough to wrap shooting that day on set, as the notoriously quick-witted Rickles must have had the entire cast and crew in stitches in between takes. The guest-starring role was Rickles' final on-screen credit, and the notorious insult comic passed away two years later at the age of 90.