It’s a guest star-studded season on “The Mindy Project,” with appearances by James Franco and Kim Kardashian’s ex, basketball player Kris Humphries, already in the can. The next stars to hit the Fox sitcom? Brooklyn’s own The National, who are joining an already eclectic roster of bands and artists who have made their foray onto the small screen.
The National’s episode airs Tuesday, and according to a recent behind-the-scenes video, they’ll do more than just perform. The band will headline a fictional music festival — whimsically titled the Pennyfarthing Music Festival — that the “Mindy” gang attends in support of the surly malcontent Danny Castellano, who is a huge fan of Matt Berninger and Co.
The feeling between the band and Danny’s character is mutual, Berninger revealed, saying, “I’m a big fan of the show and in interviews, they would ask me what I’d been reading lately…. I kept saying ‘The Mindy Project’ because I watch more TV than I read… We became really big fans of the show, so they invited us on.”
This isn’t the first time the band has contributed to a TV show or movie — they’ve penned tracks for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Game of Thrones” — but their “Mindy” appearance is certainly their most significant crossover role. Apparently, Berninger has three lines of dialogue on the show and the band performs “This Is the Last Time,” off of their new record Trouble Will Find Me.
In honor of The National’s breakout role, MTV News has assembled five of our favorite musical guest stars — as well as two upcoming appearances we’re looking forward to in the coming months.
Lady Gaga Hits ‘Gossip Girl’
Mother Monster got back to her NYU roots — a school she briefly attended — in 2009 when she appeared on an episode of “Gossip Girl” (the college years). After Blair Waldorf is shunned by the denizens of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she pulls some strings to get the snooty actors a backstage look at Gaga rehearsing “Bad Romance,” an elaborate affair featuring a dramatic red dress and plenty of smoke machines.
Naturally, Gaga had very specific guidelines for her performance, not wanting it to come off as a random occurrence during an otherwise normal episode. “I really sat down with the writers,” she told MTV News. “I was like, ‘Look, I want to do this, and the reason I want to do this is because I am trying to say something that is not mainstream in a mainstream capacity. So, if I can say it on your show, that would be, like, a real coup d’état for me as a performance artist.’”
My Morning Jacket Plays ‘Vampire Diaries’
The creatures of “The Vampire Diaries” defied all stereotypes by booking the band My Morning Jacket for an impromptu Homecoming party. Get it, morning? Because vampires hate the sun. Moving on…
Without getting into all the complicated storylines of the popular CW show, we’ll just say that Klaus, one of the original and most powerful of vampires — who also just happens to be part werewolf — uses his many wiles to throw together the soiree, where jams like “Holdin’ On To Black Metal” and “First Light” score the ominous proceedings.
Coldplay’s Drummer Gets Medieval On ‘Game Of Thrones’
The “Red Wedding” episode of “Game Of Thrones” is likely haunting a lot of dreams, and making a cameo in those reveries — or, nightmares, rather — is Coldplay’s Will Champion, who played a drummer during a banquet scene on the bloody show. His moment in the sun is rather brief, but he does get to wear a pretty awesome costume. He’s also pretty much the only one who doesn’t die, so that’s a win!
Taylor Swift Guests On ‘The New Girl’
Taylor Swift, sadly, didn’t get to perform when she guest-starred on the season finale of “The New Girl” last spring (we’ll leave all the crooning up to Zooey), but she does have a pretty important role on the sitcom: wedding crasher. Yup, when Cece is on the brink of marrying Shivrang, Taylor (who plays “Elaine”) does not let her finish, effectively winning back her lost Indian love.
Kanye would be proud.
The Shins Rock ‘Gilmore Girls’
This one’s an oldie, but a goodie — back in 2004, The Shins made a special appearance on the Spring Break episode of “Gilmore Girls,” rocking out at a bad decision-fueled party where Paris kisses Rory to make boys pay attention to them. You could say they were “Wincing The Night Away.”
More Appearances We’re Looking Forward To
Sigur Rós On ‘Game of Thrones’
It’s as-yet unclear what their roles will be, but the Icelandic band is slated to appear on season four of “Game of Thrones.”
Kim Gordon On ‘Girls’
In addition to releasing Coming Apart, the first LP from her new band Body/Head, Kim Gordon — of Sonic Youth fame — is set to appear on an episode of Girls when the show returns in 2014. In the past, Gordon has also appeared on “Gossip Girl” and “Gilmore Girls,” leading us to wonder, is “Two Broke Girls” next?