Depending on the type of font you’re comfortable with, Alice Cooper’s list of acting credits on IMDb is longer than Kachina, his pet snake which features on the sleeve of his 1971 album Killer. Unlike his late boa constrictor, his acting chops have gone from strength to strength, even though he was cruelly snubbed by the Academy Awards for his cameo in the 1992 film Wayne’s World, where he taught young metalheads around the world the correct pronunciation of a certain Wisconsin city.
Given that his live performances leaned heavily on the side of theatrical, it came as no surprise that he’d be a shoo-in at many Hollywood casting calls. He’s appeared in many full-length features over the years: his own band appeared as themselves in the X-rated 1970 drama Diary Of A Mad Housewife, and later as a singing waiter in the 1977 comedy Sextette, alongside Mae West and The Who drummer Keith Moon. Other acting credits include Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), vampire horror comedy Suck (2009) and most recently voice of Windy Pete in the 2020 kid’s cartoon Bubble Guppies. He’s also made cameos in The Muppet Show and The Snoop Sisters, too.
However, one TV appearance has been sorely overlooked.
Following the release of the first episode in the fourth season of Stranger Things in May 2022, fans of Dungeons & Dragons were thrilled when the character Eddie Munson hosted a role-playing fantasy night called Hellfire Club. Finally, this table-top game was given a voice, they’d think, before blowing on a 20-sided die to bash an orc or whatever.
But two decades before Munson made slaying mythical beasts cool again, Alice Cooper was championing the cause in his own effortlessly cool way.
On February 6, 2001, Coop appeared as himself in an episode of That 70s Show titled Radio Daze. In the story, Donna – played by Orange Is The New Black star Laura Prepon – gets the opportunity to intern at a local radio station and meets the shock rock legend at a work party. During the closing credits, it’s revealed the vocalist loves some fantasy role-playing as much as the next person and is shown enjoying a campaign in a cramped room along with radio DJ Jerry Thunder and his anxious colleague Max.
During the closing scene, Thunder tells Max that he’s face to face with the Dragon Of Fear and the absence of a Gauntlet Of Ogre Strength will prove to be costly mistake. Like, fuck. They call upon the wisdom of Cooper – who has assumed the name Mandar – to get them out of this mythical mess.
“Well, there's my Rod Of Cancellation,” he ponders, “but it's chancy. Cheer up, King Zintar the Great. Let's get out there and slay that dragon.”
If Munson makes a return in the fifth season of Stranger Things, we would pay good money to see an origin story featuring the Hawkins delinquent go head-to-head with the Coop over the classic board game.
Watch Alice Cooper's cameo in the clip below.