Hey, guys! Y’know, I’ve done top 10 lists for a few blogs now, yet I’ve only done one for my own (see: this list of my TV crushes), and I find that to be kind of a bummer. So because I had nothing else planned for today and because I’m on a bit of a Marvel high after the awesomeness of Guardians of the Galaxy, I thought it would be fun to write up a list of my favorite Stan Lee cameos. You guys know Stan Lee, right? One of the masterminds behind Marvel Comics? He co-created a lot of the most famous Marvel characters, and because of that, he’s been honored with cameos in almost every Marvel movie. You gotta hand it to the guy—for a 91-year-old, he’s pretty darn spry.
#10: Hapless Citizen (The Incredible Hulk)
The Incredible Hulk is not my favorite Marvel movie by a long shot, but it isn’t terrible—better than its Hulk predecessor from what I understand (I’ve never actually seen Ang Lee’s Hulk, and I don’t really want to change that). However, one of the brightest spots of the film for me is when solemn General Ross receives word that some poor soul unknowingly ingested soda with gamma poisoning. The film cuts to this hapless citizen, and who should poke his head into a soda-filled fridge but Mr. Stan Lee himself? Poor fella gets a bit of a shock…
#9: Xandarian Ladies’ Man (Guardians of the Galaxy)
This cameo is so brand-spanking new that I can’t find a clip or even a picture of it! You’ll just have to make do with the gloriously photoshopped pic above. Basically, Lee gets to be an outer space player. On the planet Xandar, we meet Rocket and Groot, who are scanning the crowd and chatting. Well, Rocket chats—Groot doesn’t say much. Anyway, Rocket comes across Stan the Man talking to a pretty young lady. Rocket calls him a perv. Heh.
#8: Larry King (Iron Man 2)
This is possibly the briefest cameo on here, but I had to include it because I think it’s adorable. As a whole, Iron Man 2 was a pretty big disappointment for me (and you can see a little rant about why in this post), but I have to admit that Stan Lee’s little cameo is pretty great. Sporting suspenders, a tie, and glasses, Lee is a dead ringer for the famous TV and radio host. And doesn’t he just look precious in suspenders?
#7: Willie Lumpkin (Fantastic Four)
Again, Fantastic Four is not my favorite Marvel film, but I love this cameo because Lee gets to play an actual character from the comics that he helped create. Willie Lumpkin is mailman to the four superheroes—not a huge character in the comics from what I understand, and not a huge character in this film either. He’s just a sweet, happy ol’ guy who pops up for a delivery. As precious as Lee looks in suspenders, he looks even more adorable dressed as a mail carrier.
#6: Mental Ward Patient (Thor: The Dark World)
When Erik Selvig goes a teensy bit crazy in Thor: The Dark World and finds himself institutionalized, it allows for the perfect opportunity for a hilarious Stan Lee cameo. Selvig uses props to give a long, ridiculous science rant to a…erm…we’ll say “captive” audience. At the end of Selvig’s spiel, Lee timidly asks for one of those props back. It makes me smile.
#5: Pickup Truck Driver (Thor)
For some reason I couldn’t find a clip of this…weird. Anyway, this is from the first Thor, which I don’t find quite as enjoyable as The Dark World, but I do think Stan Lee’s cameo is great. When Thor is kicked out of Asgard and booted to Earth, he loses his hammer in the middle of the desert, and when a few of the locals find it stuck in the ground, they do their best to pull it out…to no avail. They even hook it up to a pickup truck, and when that fails, too, the oblivious driver pokes his head out the window and asks, “Did it work?!” Guess who?
#4: Smithsonian Guard (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
I adore this cameo. Captain America is in need of new threads, so he steals the only other uniform he can find—the one on display at the Smithsonian. However, when poor security guard Stan comes by for his nightly rounds and realizes the uniform is gone, he knows he’s in serious trouble.
#3: Hugh Hefner (Iron Man)
Marvel sure does like to make Stan Lee a player. And there are no bigger players than Hugh Hefner, right? This moment is just…perfect. Tony Stark shows up at an event and sees an elderly gentleman in a red velvet robe turned away and chatting up two blondes. Tony assumes the man is Hef, so he says hello as he passes by. Little did Tony know he was actually saying hello to his co-creator, who looks baffled to be associated with the founder of Playboy.
#2: Random Citizen (The Avengers)
Stan Lee doesn’t always get to speak during his cameos, but when he does the lines are always used for lovely comedic effect. This cameo is my favorite of his speaking roles. The Avengers have just saved New York from an alien invasion, and the camera pans across several screens showing news broadcasts reporting on the aftermath. One screen shows an interview with Lee’s character, who clearly has doubts about this whole superhero nonsense. Ah, the irony.
#1: Librarian (The Amazing Spider-Man)
For me, this is the king of cameos. It never fails to make me laugh. Spider-Man is in an all-out brawl with the monstrous Lizard, fighting through the halls of Spidey’s high school. Eventually, they find their way into the library, where Stan the Librarian is hard at work. However, he’s got a huge pair of headphones on and his back is turned, completely blocking out the intense fight behind him. Blaring classical music and stamping books, Lee is utterly oblivious to the fact that he very narrowly escapes serious injury. I distinctly remember the theater erupting in laughter when I saw this the first time. It’s wonderful.
Bonus: Security Guard (Hulk)
I just had to include this one somehow. It’s not in my top 10 because as I said, I’ve never actually seen the whole movie, but this clip is pretty irresistible. I’m not sure the exact context of this scene, but Lee plays a security guard talking with another guard about the need to up security measures. The other guard? TV Hulk Lou Ferrigno. I love it.
Also, this doesn’t directly pertain to Stan Lee, but because I found this and couldn’t stop laughing…