Whether she's pushing her acting ability in new and exciting directions, or hamming it up as herself in a just-OK-if-not-for-her comedy sketch, Jennifer Lopez has had her share of unforgettable TV appearances. Today, we're chronicling 13 of our favorite moments when this big time star had us glued to our small screen.
It's easy to forget that dance - not acting or singing - was J Lo's true road into show business. And one of her biggest breaks came in the early 90's when she got a job as a sexy background dancer on the mega-hit comedy-variety show In Living Color. We couldn't take our eyes off her, but while we were enjoying her, Lopez was no doubt learning everything she could from the Wayans Brothers, Jim Carrey and other soon-to-be-superstars who appeared on the show.
At the beginning of the 21st Century network TV was in the tail end of its Golden Age - and NBC was still the dominant force in hour-hour situation comedies. Their biggest show in 2004 was Will & Grace, which was right about the time J Lo made her hilarious cameo - playing...Jennifer Lopez: The Wacky Neighbor Who Just Happened to Be Jennifer Lopez.
You could always typecast the judges on American Idol pretty easily. Simon was the "mean" one, Paula was the "sweet" one, etc and so forth. But Jennifer Lopez brought something very different during her term as a judge on the #1 music audition show. Sometimes she was kind and supportive, other times off the wall goofy - and she even had it in her to be Simon-like-cruel on occasion. That personality mash-up, along with the sexy outfits we couldn't take our eyes off of, made J Lo our all time favorite judge (yes, even more than Randy).
She was also an expert in making the male contestants very, very nervous...
This one is a keeper - and it proves that Lopez is never satisfied with maintaining the status quo. Her role as a cop caught up in the intrigue of NYC police work is actually pretty darn riveting. We're rooting for a nice long run for this one...especially since Lopez is also an Executive Producer on the show!
It was an all-too-brief part, but J Lo stands out as one of the best guest stars this huge CBS hit ever had.
Although she had appeared on the late night comedy stalwart almost a decade earlier as the musical guest, it wasn't until her hosting gig that we got to see just how much J Lo could make us laugh - and under the hot lights of a live studio audience no less! Her appearance in 2001 had the better supporting cast, but Lopez herself was MUCH funnier almost a decade later when she hosted in 2010.
Wow, where did THIS come from? Host James Corden had been doing his celebrity car pool sing along for a while, but J Lo totally took it to another level - not only busting out some great tunes with the Brit, but becoming a viral sensation when she ratted out the womanizing ways of Leo DiCaprio -- practically giving away the poor guy's cell number in the process.
This cheese-ball evening soap opera didn't last long - but at least it was around long enough to give our girl some screen time. In an odd turn of events, it wasn't the poor ratings (although they didn't help) that brought down the show, but rather the Northridge earthquake that devastated Southern California in January, 1994. Most of the sets for the show were destroyed in the quake - and the decision was made to just let the thing die.
But J Lo (as she always does) made an impact on the show's producers and the network - playing a sassy girl from the other side of the tracks. Rather than letting her sassy "Melinda Lopez" character die with the show, she was picked up and moved to a completely different series...
It may have only lasted six episodes, but Jennifer's turn as Melinda Lopez on Hotel Malibu was even sassier than her work on Second Chances.
Back in the 90's the FOX Network sure knew how to push the envelope - especially with it's sitcoms. South Central was not only a very funny show, but also a somewhat dark one - offering up about the most realistic portrayal of life in the hood at the time on network TV. Lopez lent her own street cred to the show as recurring character Lucille, but her stardom would outlive the series run - one that lasted only
If you can stomach watching The Office's John Krasinski channeling his inner-Tina Turner, stick around for Anna Kendrick's performance on this sassy video. Kendrick, afraid that her synced rendition of "Booty" isn't going to be enough to take down Krasinski - so she calls for some serious backup in the form of one Jennifer Lopez.
On the surface, this hokey 1993 ripped from the headlines made-for-TV movie didn't have much going for it. Except that is for a small role, delivered with way more passion than the source material ever deserved. Like the trailer says, "She never dreamed their mission of mercy would become a race to survive!" Of course, we felt exactly the same way about watching this thing...
Jimmy Fallon has created plenty of unforgettable characters over the years - but none quite as spot on as the host of fictional local-access cable sensation "Ew!" We won't get into detail about how great J Lo was as a "guest Ew" on the show - just watch the darn thing already!