Everyone loves cameos. There's nothing that adds spice to a movie like a good 'Hey, was that John Malkovich?' moment. Asterix is full of these special guest appearances - we count down the best 24. (Why 24? Because it was only after I finished that I realised Erix the pirate was Tony Curtis...)
(Please note, the internet will tell you there were cameos by Harold Wilson, Albert Steptoe, and Charlton Heston - I don't believe it for various reasons too dull to go into.)
24. Annie Cordy as Bonanza
Apparently the only woman interesting (i.e. buxom) enough to be caricatured in the entire series, Annie Cordy played the wife of the Belgian chief (in Asterix in Belgium, naturally). In real life she was an actress and singer and very popular in France.
23. Otto von Bismarck as Metric
At first I thought this cameo was lame, but it has grown on me. Bissy plays Gothic chief Metric in Asterix and the Goths. As in real life, he had dreams of pan-European Germanic hegemony and enjoyed spiky hats. He's called Metric because of Bismarck's attempts to create a coherent metric system (and a single currency for the Germanic states).
22. Arnie as a thing from that Asterix book you can't believe was made
Appearing in the risible episode 'Asterix and the Childhood-Murdering Cash-In' as a space robot thing, we have Arnold Schwarzenegger. The only reason this gets included in the list is that it's a pretty good drawing. You can even hear his voice: 'I'll be whack.'
21. Gérard Calvi as a conductor somewhat less aggressive than the one in Whiplash
He appears conducting a circus band in Asterix in Spain. Gérard Calvi is a composer famous for his work on Asterix movies. So that's fair enough.
20. The Beatles as Four Blonde Mopheads
One of the smallest cameos, The Beatles appear - obviously - in Asterix in Britain. Meh.
19. Sigmund Freud as Psychoanalytix the Druid
Playing a vital role in Asterix and the Big Fight, Psychoanalytix is Asterix's last hope to cure Getafix. While they wait, we see the results of Psychoanalytix's therapy on a string of oddballs and lunatics. I wonder what my mother would make of that?
18. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza as Themselves
Appearing in Asterix in Spain, with windmills in the background and a tilted spear in hand...
17. George Fronval as Odius Asparagus
Fronval was immortalised in Asterix the Gladiator because he was able to get John Wayne to visit the Asterix studio. Apparently Uderzo was nutty about Wayne and was eternally grateful to Fronval for making it happen.
Sadly Uderzo wasn't in the office that day, so he missed his big chance. Lol. Typical.
16. Laurence Olivier as Laurensolivius
Olivier sneaks ahead of Fronval into sixteenth place because a) I know who he is, and b) he's got a great role in the story. In Asterix and the Cauldron he hams it up as an act-or.
15. Thomson and Thompson as Thompson and Thomson
An unexpected crossover as the bumbling Tintin characters pop up in Asterix in Belgium.
14. Goscinny, Uderzo, and their friend Pierre Tchernia as Some Drunks
Goscinny and Uderzo often drew themselves into the story, sometimes with their friend Pierre Tchernia blind drunk. This one is from Obelix and Co.
Interestingly (and brilliantly), Tchernia starts in Asterix the Legionary as a Roman general and is demoted in every book he appears (Corsica, Caesar's Gift, Obelix and Co., Belgium), so that he finishes his career as a lowly legionary.
13. Mussolini as Nebulus Nimbus
He's squat, aggressive, and shouts all the time (there are literally three occassions where he isn't yelling). Has a major role in Asterix and the Big Fight.
12. Jean Marais as Tragicomix
Playing the heartthrob Tragicomix in Asterix the Legionary, Jean Marais positively smoulders even in cartoon form. Phwoar, ladies, right? Am I right? Well he was gay. So there.