Five times metal bands killed it on prime time TV

Primetime TV producers usually keep metal culture at arms length. Understandable in some ways: it's hard to imagine the uproar if cult Japanese grindcore lunatics Bathtub Shitter suddenly popped up in an episode of Eastenders (even though we'd pay good money to see that one). But bands and musicians do occasionally slip through the nets and rock up on the small screen when you least expect it. Here are rock and metal's five most memorable TV takeovers…

Eddie Van Halen on Two And A Half Men

Despite Two And A Half Men being the epitome of everything wrong with sitcoms, its audience is massive. Millions of people tune in to watch Ashton Kutcher (or Charlie Sheen if you’re watching a repeat) and co. be wacky fellas. Small wonder then they nabbed Eddie Van Halen for a scene and (more importantly) a poo joke. A poo joke with a guitar solo. What more do you need?

Anthrax on Married With Children

Less of a cameo, more of an awkward performance from the thrash legends. Setting up in Al Bundy’s living room (for reasons never fully explained) Anthrax rattle through In My World while the kids bop around and headbang for a bit until Joey Belladonna smashes a bottle over his face and a lamp gets twatted with a guitar – as you do. Of course this is the reaction we’d have to Anthrax showing up in our house, only we haven’t had our lamps replaced since the last impromptu Big Four gig.

Marilyn Manson on Sons Of Anarchy

Something a bit grittier than American family sitcoms for The God Of Fuck, Marilyn Manson steps into the world of biker gangs and generally not very nice people in Sons Of Anarchy. While this isn’t strictly a cameo as he’s in the series substantially longer than one scene, it’s a sign o’ the times that the man who made grannies and idiots quiver with fear at the mere mention of his name (like a goff Voldemort) can slot neatly into one of the biggest shows on American TV without torchbearing hordes coming for his head. And to be fair to him, he’s bloody good in it.

Megadeth in Duck Dodgers

Much further removed from Sons Of Anarchy, Dave Mustaine and the rest of Megadeth took the decision to promote 2004 album The System Has Failed in Duck Dodgers through a live performance of Back In The Day. Originally billed as MegaDuck with Daffy and Porky Pig forming part of the band, Megadeth come storming in to fight off the alien invaders in the only way they know how – firing lasers from their guitars and making a loud enough racket to send sonicbooms throughout the galaxy. In space no-one can hear you scream, but they can hear you shred.

Iron Maiden in The Sooty Show

Okay, it isn’t strictly all of Iron Maiden, it’s Nicko McBrain challenging the nation’s favourite hand-warmers to a drum-off. It’s only a short segment but you’ve gotta love Nicko for doing this, it’s one of the biggest British metal bands of all time infiltrating the most British of children’s TV institutions. We’ve gotta say though, Nicko, Sweep might have just edged you on this one. Maybe a rematch is in order?

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.