Today in 1934, Leonard Cohen was born.

His music and poetry have influenced other songwriters and poets for decades – but today we’re talking about another part of his career, and maybe the weirdest part.

Leonard Cohen once guest starred on the 80s action series “Miami Vice.”

It’s not as well known today, but in its heyday, “Miami Vice” was a big deal, and the producers liked to bring in big name musicians for guest roles.

As artist and writer Daniel Holland tweeted, casting director Bonnie Timmerman put together a who’s who of musical guests for the show: Phil Collins, Little Richard, James Brown, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Gene Simmons, the list went on and on.

Willie Nelson played a drug lord who beat up Steve Buscemi in one episode!

But Leonard Cohen may have been the strangest name on that list, for several reasons.

For his part, Cohen said he took the role because his son was a big “Miami Vice” fan and he thought it would be fun for him to see his old man on one of his favorite shows.

If so, he would’ve had to watch closely.

Originally the show cast Cohen as the lead villain of an episode, a French Secret Service agent turned bomber.

In the end, he only appeared in two short phone conversations and another actor took the rest of his scenes.

At least he had music to fall back on.

so long, Crockett and Tubbs, it’s time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again…

Today in 1997, the last hurrah for Fred the Baker, the TV pitchman for Dunkin who said when it was “time to make the donuts.”

In Fred’s honor, the chain said it would give away millions of free donuts, though poor Fred still had to get up at 4 am to make them.

Revisiting Leonard Cohen’s fantastic cameo appearance in ‘Miami Vice’ (Far Out)

Doughnuts for everyone, on Fred Pitchman: Fred, the star of Dunkin’ Donuts TV ads for 15 years, gets a sweet send-off today as the company gives away doughnuts at its 3,300 U.S. locations. (Baltimore Sun)

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