Chuck follows the underachieving but lovable computer geek Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), who works at a store called Burbank Buy More, which is basically Chuck’s version of Best Buy. Chuck’s life is upturned when he receives an encrypted email from an old friend working for the CIA. This email contains a vast database of the United States government’s greatest spy secrets and classified information. After this information is inadvertently downloaded into his brain, Chuck is thrust into the world of espionage as various government agencies, like the CIA and NSA, use him for top-secret missions.
It’s a fun show that balances comedy, drama, and action, though struggling ratings always made its future uncertain. During its five season run between 2007 and 2012, Chuck featured a number of famous guest stars. Some of them play characters, while others plays fictionalized versions of themselves. Here are some of the most famous actors and actresses who appeared on Chuck and probably made you chuckle.
10 Michael Strahan (Season 2, Episode 3)
Michael Strahan is more known as an NFL star and TV personality than as an actor. But he has grabbed a few acting roles over the years, appearing in 2019’s Charlie’s Angels and a 2008 episode of Chuck. In the season 2 episode “Chuck Versus the Break-Up”, Strahan portrays Mitt, who leads a group of bullies called the Mighty Jocks from a competing sporting goods store.
In this episode, Mitt and his jock friends can be seen playing Madden NFL 2008 (2007). And in a funny move, Mitt is playing as Strahan’s own 2007 Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Mitt is a big dude, but at the end of the episode, he fights supporting character Anna Wu (Julia Ling), who uses a camera tripod like a bō staff and skilfully beats him down with it.
9 Stan Lee (Season 5, Episode 7)
An actor isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Stan Lee. He’s arguably the most important writer and publisher in the comic book industry, responsible for co-creating iconic Marvel superheroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, X-Men, and so many others. Nearly every Marvel and MCU film exists because of this guy right here. He’s also famous for his cameos in those films, so technically, he is an actor.
Stan Lee plays a fictionalized version of himself in the Chuck episode “Chuck Versus the Santa Suit”, where he comically pops up at a CIA Christmas party, drunkenly hits on another character, and then gets scolded for it. “Stan Lee is a spy?” Chuck whispers in bewilderment afterward. “That’s so weird!” It’s one of the more memorable cameos in the show, especially because he plays himself.
8 Olivia Munn (Season 4, Episode 1)
Olivia Munn was still a rising star in the early 2000s. She didn’t truly get her big break until HBO’s The Newsroom in 2012. But two years before that, she gust-starred in the Chuck episode “Chuck Versus the Anniversary” as a staff member of the revamped Burbank Buy More. Later in the season, in the episode “Chuck Versus the A-Team”, it’s revealed that “Greta” is actually a code name for undercover CIA agents who work at the Burbank Buy More. There are multiple Agent Gretas throughout Chuck. Olivia Munn’s character has since become known as Greta 1 and eventually leaves Chuck for a secret mission in Thailand.
7 Dave Bautista (Season 4, Episode 5)
Along with Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Dave Bautista is one of the few WWE wrestlers to successfully transition into acting. He’s been in a number of films and TV shows, most notably as the sarcastic-less Drax from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and has delivered some impressive dramatic performances, But back in 2010, Bautista was still working to break into Hollywood. Chuck was one of his earliest roles, where he guest starred in the episode “Chuck Versus the Couch Lock”. Here, Bautista plays T.I., a member of a special forces team that serves as an homage to NBC’s 1980s action-adventure series The A-Team.
6 Robert Englund (Season 4, episode 6)
Robert Englund is famous for playing horror icon Freddy Krueger, the villain who haunts the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. So it’s only fitting that Englund’s guest appearance on Chuck occurs in a Halloween and horror-related episode called “Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror”. Here, Chuck has to stop scientist Dr. Stanley Wheelwright (Englund) from releasing a nightmare-inducing toxin. In other words, this character is basically Freddy Krueger. You know, minus the hideously scarred face, the bladed glove, the striped red-and-green sweater, and the whole undead thing.
5 Michael Clarke Duncan (Season 2, Episode 1)
Michael Clarke Duncan rose to prominence for his role as the kind-hearted convict John Coffey in The Green Mile. Since then, he’s starred in a number of films and TV shows, including Armageddon, Sin City, Planet of the Apes, and of course, Chuck. Duncan appears in the first episode of season two, “Chuck Versus the First Date”. He plays Colt, a mercenary who was hired by the hostile espionage organization Fulcrum to extract information from Chuck. Colt is a humorous character, who’s determined to seem as imposing as possible. Duncan’s career was cut tragically short at 54 years old from respiratory failure. But his legacy lives on in film — and in Chuck.
4 Carrie-Anne Moss (Multiple Episodes)
Carrie-Anne Moss snagged a number of film and TV roles throughout the 90s. But it was her portrayal as Trinity in The Matrix, which has been hailed as one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time, that made her a recognizable name. Unlike other entries on this list, Moss was more than a one-episode cameo. She was a recurring character, who appeared in four episodes between 2011 and 2012.
Moss first appeared in the second episode of season five, “Chuck Versus the Bearded Bandit”. She plays Gertrude Verbanski, the CEO and founder of the rival spy organization Verbanski Corporation. She tries stealing agents away from Chuck’s own Carmichael Industries and has a romantic past with Chuck main character John Casey (Adam Baldwin). At the end of the series, Casey leaves Burbank to meet Gertrude in Dresden, where they supposedly rekindle their relationship.
3 Mark Hamill (Season 5, Episode 1)
Throughout the show’s five season run, Chuck would often drop quotes and references to Star Wars. So it was only fitting when Chuck brought in none other than Luke Skywalker himself for a guest appearance (this episode also has a few Star Wars mentions in it). Mark Hamill kicked off the show’s fifth and final season in the episode “Chuck Versus the Zoom”. It’s a very different Mark Hamill from what we’re using to seeing. Here, he plays Jean-Claude, a villain with slicked back hair and a questionable foreign accent who wants Chuck dead. Naturally, that plan doesn’t work out. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been a fifth season.
2 Christopher Lloyd (Season 3, Episode 16)
Generations of fans are familiar with the actor Christopher Lloyd. And depending on who you ask, each generation would probably give a different answer about where they know him from. Boomers might say they know him from the popular TV sitcom Taxi,which also stars big names like Danny DeVito, Tony Danza, and Andy Kaufman. Millennials better know him as the iconic Doc Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy. And maybe a handful of people (a very small handful) might know him from his guest appearance on Chuck.
Lloyd appeared in the season three episode “Chuck Versus the Tooth”. He plays Dr. Leo Dreyfus, a CIA psychiatrist who takes on Chuck as a patient after he experiences potential premonitory dreams. The show pays homage to Lloyd’s Doc Brown character by making a few Back to the Future references in this episode.
1 Chevy Chase (Multiple Episodes)
Carrie-Anne Moss isn’t the only actor on this list who appeared in more than one episode of Chuck. Chevy Chase appears in three episodes as the season two villain Ted Roark. Long before that, Chevy Chase rose to fame as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, along with comic legends John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. He’s also known for classic comedies like Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise, and Spies Like Us.
Funny enough,Chuck actually watches Spies Like Us in the aforementioned season three episode “Chuck Versus the Tooth”. While watching the movie, Chuck jokes that his agent bodyguard Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) could learn from “spies like these” and later goes on to clarify, “Sweetheart, I’m not actually implying that you could learn anything about being a spy from Chevy Chase or Dan Aykroyd, I was just simply making a joke.” Chevy Chase is Chuck’s only guest star to be referenced by his actual name. Apparently, Chuck lives in a universe where a villainous software magnate looks exactly like Chevy Chase.