John Munch strikes again!
So who saw this past Sunday's episode of The Wire? If you did, then you probably saw the quick little cameo by Richard Belzer as a bar patron near the end of the episode. After I watched it, one question came to mind: was he playing John Munch? According to this NPR article, he was. However, the basis for the logic was subtle and only a serious TV buff would have picked up on it. Not even I caught it and I'm a huge Wire and Homicide fan.
At one point during his conversation with the bartender (as Clark Johnson's character Gus Haynes walked by) Munch mentioned that he owned a bar once. Now if you recall, in the later seasons of Homicide, Munch did own a bar. Here's where it gets interesting though. Do you remember who he owned the bar with? Detective Meldrick Lewis... played by Clark Johnson. Crazy, huh?
Anyway, here's the real point of this post. With this appearance on The Wire, Belzer has now played Munch on eight different programs. That's insane! The only other characters to come close to that are Norm and Cliff (George Wendt and John Ratzenberger) from Cheers with seven distinct appearances each. Read on for more...
Where else have you seen John Munch? Here's the list:
- Homicide: Life on the Street
- The X-Files
- Law & Order
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Law & Order: Trial by Jury
- The Beat
- Arrested Development
- The Wire
I think what surprises me the most is that he's never guested on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Or for that matter, an episode of The Simpsons. Regardless, it's still pretty impressive.
UPDATE: Make that ten different series. According to this USA Today post dated 8/5/07, Belzer has played Munch on The Simpsons as well as Sesame Street. Hilarious. [Thanks to Nate for the tip!]