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Familiar Faces: These Are The Best 'Psych' Guest Stars

Over the years, some pretty popular actors and actresses made their way to Santa Barbara on "Psych."

By Tyler McCarthy
Psych Cast image

Psych” ran for an impressive eight seasons (not to mention its three post-finale movies) and amassed a dedicated fan following. When a show gains as much popularity as Shawn and Gus’ adventures did, naturally, it attracts an impressive litany of guest stars. 

Over the years, many of Hollywood’s biggest stars made their way to Santa Barbara where they either enlisted the help of the Psych private detective agency or had its services used against them and their criminal endeavors. 

There have been dozens of well-known actors and actresses who appeared on “Psych” between its premiere in 2006 and finale in 2014. However, there were a handful of standout guest stars who were not only well-liked by fans but played key, integral roles in the lives of the characters. To highlight their contribution to the Psych-os out there, below is a rundown of the best guest stars to ever appear on the show. 

Kenan Thompson

Psych Kenan Thompson

Thompson has been famous for doing the kind of comedy that “Psych” fans truly love for many years. So, he was a natural fit to join the cast as a guest star in the Season 4 episode “High Top Fade-Out” as one of Gus’ estranged college friends from his acapella group, Blackapella. Also joining the “Saturday Night Live” alum was “Family Matters” star Jaleel White. 

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Together, they embark on a wild adventure when it comes to light that one of their own was murdered for stumbling upon some encrypted information that a major company didn’t want to get out to the public. Not only are they able to solve the case, but Shawn helps Gus mend fences with the other members of Blackapella to properly eulogize their departed friend. 

William Shatner

Psych William Shatner

Shatner appeared in two episodes as a vital character to Shawn and Juliet's lives — her father. The former “Star Trek” actor was introduced as Frank O’Hara in the Season 6 episode “In for a Penny” where it is revealed he and his daughter are often on opposite sides of the law. 

Frank is a con man who Juliet feels spent her entire life letting her down. When Shawn forces a reconciliation on them, it doesn’t go very well at first. However, his talents as a master criminal prove useful to the Psych agency, so Shawn and Gus keep him around only to discover that he really can’t be trusted. 

However, Shawn’s positive influence rubs off on Frank and he does the right thing to help his daughter. Frank returns again to prove that he really does care about Juliet when he challenges Shawn to be a better man before giving him his blessing to propose.

Tim Curry

Psych Tim Curry

Perhaps one of the most beloved names to ever grace the “Psych” set was legendary “Rocky Horror Picture” show actor Tim Curry. He appeared as the character Nigel St. Nigel in the Season 2 episode titled “American Duos.” 

In it, Curry plays a Simon Cowell-type judge of a reality competition show who has a reputation for pulling no punches in his critiques of the contestants and their talent. Naturally, this leads to someone wanting to make an attempt on his life. So, he enlists Shawn and Gus’ help to protect him and figure out which of the people he’s wronged recently are out to get him. 

He is insufferable yet still so much fun to watch, which is a true testament to the talents of the actor and his immense talent and fearlessness to play someone who fully unlikeable.  

Phylicia Rashad

Psych Phylicia Rashad

The actress played Gus’ mom in three episodes of “Psych,” making her debut as Winnie Guster in the Season 2 episode “Gus’ Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy.” Her appearance is a bit of a meta wink to the audience given that a recurring joke on the show is that Shawn used to tell people that his best friend played the character Bud on “The Cosby Show” (actually played by Deon Richmond). Rashad, as most people know, played Clair Huxtable on the show for its entire run. 

On “Psych,” she plays Gus’ loving mother who feels, somewhat correctly, that Shawn is a bad influence on her boy. However, when the family runs into trouble and is put on the hook for a murder they didn’t commit, Shawn uses his skills to save the day, thus ingratiating himself to the Burton clan once and for all.

Cary Elwes

Psych Cary Elwes

At last, we’ve landed on the greatest recurring guest star, and possibly secondary character, on “Psych,” Pierre Despereaux. 

The “Princess Bride” actor was first introduced as the art thief extraordinaire in the Season 4 episode “Extradition: British Columbia,” where he recognizes him from Lassiter’s personal most wanted list. However, Despereaux does what few have been able to do, outsmart Shawn. 

Fortunately, he’s eventually caught but manages to escape prison and continue to challenge Shawn to elaborate cat-and-mouse mystery games throughout the series. As their story progresses, the duo develops mutual respect despite being on opposite sides of the law. 

Catch up on all of the USA Network original series "Psych" on Peacock right now.

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