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TV hosts who played themselves – Reyka

11 January 2024
From Watts to Winfrey.
two people sitting in television studio conducting an interview

In the first episode of Reyka’s second season, we got all the action and suspense we’ve come to expect from this show – plus, there was even a dash of romance. What came as a great surprise was seeing Carte Blanche incorporated into the show, as Reyka gathers the courage to share her difficult story. Watch a snippet below.

This is not the first time this has happened on screen. Movies and television have long made a habit of using real news and talk shows in their stories – and with these real-life shows come their real-life counterparts, usually playing themselves. Since we saw Claire Mawisa playing herself on Reyka, we thought we’d take a stroll through film and TV history for more of these meta moments.

Derek Watts

Mawisa is not the first Carte Blanche anchor to have appeared in a local scripted series. In 2020, the late, great Derek Watts appeared in an episode of Legacy. Like Mawisa, he played himself; however, he appears on a show called The 24th Hour, interviewing Angelique Price played by the legendary Michelle Botes. Watch it below.

It was an experience Watts called “fascinating and frightening”. Here he is, reflecting on the experience.

Larry King

He had a radio show and a talk show named after him, and over his decades-long career interviewed big names like Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Vladimir Putin, and Lady Gaga. But King was as famous and recognisable himself, which was why he was a popular addition to many movies and shows whenever a character needed to be grilled or a story given extra weight. His first appearance as himself in a feature film was in 1984’s Ghostbusters. Since then he also appeared as himself in Contact, The Stepford Wives, Enemy of the State, Spin City, and Frasier. Like many a celebrity, he lent his voice to The Simpsons, also as himself. But despite mostly appearing as himself, he did occasionally portray a character, like voicing one of the ugly stepsisters in three of the Shrek films.

Jerry Springer

While in a different league to King as far as the content of his famous (or should that be infamous) Jerry Springer Show, he was nevertheless just as renowned. Springer was also known for playing himself, often bringing an extra level of comedy to many a film and series. Throughout his career he made memorable appearances in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Domino, The X-Files, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Like King, he also played himself in The Simpsons.

Oprah Winfrey

Although an established actress in her own right, appearing to much acclaim in The Color Purple, Beloved, and Selma, her successful talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, meant that she often appeared as herself too. These credits include Throw Momma from the Train, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Ocean’s Thirteen, and 30 Rock. While she’s never appeared in The Simpsons as herself, the show did parody her with the character Opal. Plus, when Winfrey interviewed creator Matt Groening on her own show, the segment included a visit to Springfield to interview the Simpson family in which she herself became animated.

Missed Claire Mawisa in the first episode of Reyka season 2? Catch up on DStv Stream here.
Reyka season 2 airs on Thursdays at 20:00 on M-Net channel 101. Join the conversation on FacebookXInstagram, and TikTok using #ReykaSA.