Top 20 Greatest Stan Lee Cameos

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Top 20 Greatest Stan Lee Cameos

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
This iconic comic book writer never failed to show his face in one of his adaptations. For this list, we'll be going over the occasions when Marvel comics writer Stan Lee appeared in small roles in movies and TV shows. Our countdown includes “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies”, "Mallrats", "Iron Man", “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, and more!
Transcript

Top 20 Stan Lee Cameos


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 20 Stan Lee cameos.

For this list, we’ll be going over the occasions when Marvel comics writer Stan Lee appeared in small roles in movies and TV shows.

If there’s a Stan Lee appearance we somehow overlooked, head into the comments true believers!

#20: A Master of Subtlety

“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” (2018)
Stan Lee may be known for his cameos in Marvel movies, but just once he shows up in a DC property. When the Teen Titans go to a studio backlot, they walk by Stan Lee, who at first appears in the background but then shoves his way into the center of the shot; poking fun at how “subtle” his cameos are. However, after being informed that it’s a DC movie, he promptly books it. That isn’t the end of his appearance. Lee even shows up during a later chase sequence, leaping onto the Titans’ golf cart as they make their escape. The guy loves cameos, and we love seeing him in them, so we can hardly blame him.

#19: Security Guard

“Hulk” (2003)
This cameo is two for the price of one! The 2003 “Hulk” film is known for a lot of things, from being somewhat divisive, to its comic book framing. One of its lesser-known notable moments occurs when Bruce Banner visits an institute. Upon his arrival, he’s greeted by one of two security guards, played by Stan Lee. The best part is that he’s telling his colleague that security needs to be beefed up. Of course, his fellow guard is played by former Hulk actor, Lou Ferrigno. There’s probably enough beef in the security with Ferrigno on staff, Stan!

#18: Stan the Man

“Thor” (2011)
Yes, that’s literally what he’s credited as! After Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, crashes into the New Mexico desert, it creates something of a stir. A bunch of guys decide to try their hands at removing the hammer from the rock it’s stuck in. They make a day of it, cooking out and generally doing what guys do when there’s something pointless and dumb to be done. None of them prove worthy, but one proves enterprising enough to use his pickup truck to try to remove the hammer. Unfortunately, it takes his entire truck bed along with it! We feel like Stan the Man could do it if he used his hands.

#17: Himself

“The Big Bang Theory” (2007-19)
The protagonists of “The Big Bang Theory” are huge comic book geeks, so when their local comic store manages to secure a signing by Stan Lee, they’re naturally thrilled. However, Sheldon Cooper is devastated, since he needs to appear in court on the day in question. Not only does he miss Lee’s signing, he also ends up in jail. To rectify the situation, Sheldon’s neighbor Penny takes him to visit Stan in person. However, Sheldon’s lack of personal skills leads him to take Stan’s sarcastic invitation to come in seriously, leading to a restraining order. Although Sheldon is weirdly thrilled about receiving it, we’re more excited about how well Stan Lee pulls off those Fantastic Four pajamas.

#16: Shrunken Car Man

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018)
Stan Lee has cameoed as some swinging characters who embody the “make love, not war” attitude of the ‘60s in the MCU. While it was tempting to choose his brief appearance in “Avengers: Endgame,” our pick goes to a cameo that details the end result of the ‘60s lifestyle. During a chase through the streets of San Francisco, Wasp fires her shrinking weapon at her pursuers. She misses them a few times and hits the car of a man played by Stan Lee. His reaction is a perfectly hilarious response to having your car shrink before your eyes.

#15: Hot Dog Vendor

“Phineas and Ferb” (2007-15)
“Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel” is the Marvel crossover episode of “Phineas and Ferb,” and it’s one of the strangest crossovers to ever happen. Still, it would be weirder if Stan Lee didn’t join in on the fun! Lee provides narration for the special, but he also has a cameo role. Stan shows up several times during the story as a New York City hot dog vendor. After having his cart stolen from by several Marvel villains and Doctor Doofenshmirtz, the purveyor of questionable meats relocates to Danville, only to have his cart shrunk by the same villains! And when the heroes win, it’s hot dogs for everyone! Excelsior!

#14: Husband & Wife

“X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016)
This “X-Men” film may have proven divisive, but Stan Lee’s cameos are something most of us love. The titular blue villain of the film, Apocalypse, decides to launch all of the world’s nuclear weapons at once. Among those shown reacting to the missiles firing, is a man played by Stan Lee. While the cameo isn’t as humorous as most others, in this case it’s who he’s with that makes it so special. Clutching Stan is a woman played by his real-life wife, Joan, in her first appearance on the big screen.

#13: Strip Club D.J.

“Deadpool” (2016)
When Wade Wilson and his buddy Weasel visit the strip club that Wade’s girlfriend Vanessa works at, the DJ not only announces an ironically named stripper, but he also proves to be played by Stan Lee. Stan Lee’s cameos are usually quite wholesome. Naturally, “Deadpool” flips that on its head! The cameo, like many, is a brief one, but the image of the comics legend in such a sleazy environment is quite a hilarious contrast. We have to wonder if this is a recent career move for Stan’s character, or if he’s a veteran of the field.

#12: Fred’s Father

“Big Hero 6” (2014)
“Big Hero 6” sees a group of young heroes don costumes to fight crime using gadgets and robots. In a post credits scene, one of them, Fred, stares at a portrait of his father, played by Stan Lee, and laments that he can’t be open about his accomplishments as a hero with him, as he’s never around. Lo and behold, Fred discovers a secret room behind the portrait that indicates that his dad is a superhero too. His father then shows up and the two of them share a hug after discovering how much they have in common. We’ve always known Stan Lee is a hero in the figurative sense, this movie just made it literal!

#11: FedEx Driver

“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
The ending of “Captain America: Civil War” is quite heavy – the Avengers are broken up and Rhodey is having a difficult time with physical therapy after a spinal injury, assisted by Tony Stark. Fortunately, some much needed levity arrives in the form of a special delivery. A FedEx driver, with a striking resemblance to Stan Lee, arrives with a delivery for a “Tony Stank.” We’re not sure which is funnier -the idea that the driver has never heard of world-famous Tony Stark, or that he got the name wrong on purpose! Rhodey will never let the name go, and we’ll never forget this cameo.

#10: The Watchers’ Informant

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)
Over the years, many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have speculated that the characters played by Stan Lee are the same person. And this movie confirmed this idea! When Rocket, Groot, and Yondu are flitting through hyperspace, they pass by a group of Watchers listening to a report by this very man. The informant recalls the time he worked for FedEx. The post-credits scene follows up on this and sees the Watchers abandon the man in the spacesuit, leaving him stranded. It’s a hilarious shoutout to the fans’ many theories and a great nod to Marvel lore.

#9: Hugh Hefner

“Iron Man” (2008)
Tony Stark runs into a lot of celebrities, given that he is one himself. While it was tempting to talk about his encounter with “Larry King” in “Iron Man 2,” the original “Iron Man” movie has a more amusing cameo by a “celeb.” When attending an event, Tony compliments a man in a smoking jacket with two women on his arms, calling him “Hef,” as in Hugh Hefner. However, the character is again played by Stan Lee. What we’re wondering is if Hugh Hefner is being impersonated by the same Watcher Informant character. Or maybe he is just the MCU version of Hefner and King. Or Tony Stark made a mistake. All these options are funny, though.

#8: Stan

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018)
This animated masterpiece is full of cameos and Easter eggs, so it’s only fitting that Stan Lee gets one as well. While Stan appears several times during the film, including as a portrait and on the subway, his most prominent appearance occurs right after the death of his universe’s Peter Parker. Miles Morales goes to a costume shop run by Stan. Stan claims to have been a friend of Peter/Spider-Man’s and sells Miles a Spider-Man costume. While it’s more likely to be about his no-return policy, Stan’s advice on the Spider-suit fitting eventually applies to Miles’ situation as a new Spider-Man perfectly.

#7: Himself

“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (2007)
Stan Lee has shown up in both of the 2000s “Fantastic Four” films. Although his appearance as Willie Lumpkin, a character he created, in the first “Fantastic Four” movie is worth noting, his appearance in “Rise of the Silver Surfer” is more notable. At Sue and Reed’s wedding, Stan Lee shows up and believes that he, Stan Lee, should be on the reception list. Not only is it wild that Stan Lee exists within the movie’s universe, but it’s also a great callback to a “Fantastic Four” comic book, in which Lee and Jack Kirby were also turned away from their wedding.

#6: WWII Veteran

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
The Avengers certainly know how to party. Although their bash in Avengers Tower features plenty of notables, our focus here is for one of the elderly veterans in attendance, no doubt invited by Captain America. The vet, played by Stan Lee, is unimpressed by Thor talking up a particular liquor he brought with him to the event. However, he soon discovers that the god of thunder wasn’t lying about its potency, as he has to be led away, since he is barely able to stand. Who would have thought Stan Lee would be getting drunk on screen with heroes he created? Excelsior indeed!

#5: Smithsonian Guard

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)
Things look pretty dire in Captain America’s second solo film. S.H.I.E.L.D. has been infiltrated by Hydra and Cap’s buddy Bucky is a brainwashed killing machine. It’s just Cap, Widow, and Falcon against the world. But Steve Rogers knows about fighting wars, and to do so, he needs the right uniform – specifically, his old one from the Smithsonian. When the security guard, played by an all too familiar face, discovers it’s missing, he has…concerns. It’s a perfectly timed bit of comedy before the final, action-packed battle and Stan Lee delivers it perfectly. He always lands on his feet though, so we’re not worried about him finding work.

#4: School Librarian

“The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012)
This version of Peter Parker’s first archenemy as Spider-Man is Curt Connors, a.k.a. the Lizard. Upon discovering Peter’s secret identity, the Lizard goes searching for the wallcrawler at school. Nearly everyone evacuates the school, thankfully, but some get left behind. As Spidey and the Lizard brawl through the school library, Stan Lee, as the school’s librarian, obliviously goes about his job while listening to music. The single continuous shot of superhero and supervillain fighting behind Stan Lee and his complete lack of awareness of his surroundings is both cool and extremely funny.

#3: Himself

“Mallrats” (1995)
One of Stan Lee’s most heartfelt appearances is also one of his longest. It’s also one of the few cameos to get a nod in another cameo, as Stan is seen practicing for it in “Captain Marvel.” In this film, he approaches one of the protagonists, Brody. He listens to Brody’s woes on romance, and many questions on superhero genitals. Stan also claims to have crafted many of his Marvel comics characters in response to his experiences of heartbreak and regret. This is soon revealed to have been a speech from a “Spider-Man” comic he repurposed to help Brody at the request of his buddy, but regardless of its source, it’s still some great advice that really helps Brody pursue the woman he loves.

#2: Himself

“The Simpsons” (1989-)
If this were a list of shows that Stan Lee has cameoed on the most, “The Simpsons” would easily take the top spot. Stan has appeared in one of the show’s famous opening couch gags. He has also acted as a spirit guide and wedding officiant for Springfield’s resident Comic Book Guy. Stan’s most notable cameo occurs when he shows up to give a critique on Bart’s comic strip. Although he doesn’t like it, he still encourages Bart to keep trying. However, he also doesn’t leave Comic Book Guy’s store, running children’s toys, and even tearing off his shirt under the belief that he’s the Hulk. We like him, whether he’s angry or not!

#1: Himself

“Spider-Man” (1994-98)
Before there was a Spider-Verse on the big screen, this ‘90s cartoon did it first! In the finale of the show, a Spider-Man from the “real” world brings Peter Parker to meet his maker – literally. Spidey drops in on Stan Lee in his office and takes him for a web swing. It’s inspiring not only for Stan Lee to meet one of his creations, but also for Spider-Man, who sees that his heroism is appreciated after all. Stan also has another onscreen encounter with his wife, who plays Madame Web. It’s the ultimate comic fantasy wrapped into a few minutes, and it’s wonderful to see someone who inspired so many true believers get his own beliefs confirmed for him.
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