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The Cameo / Stan Lee

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"I'm a frustrated actor. My goal is to beat Alfred Hitchcock in the number of cameos. I'm going to try to break his record."note 
— 2006 interview

The late comic book creator Stan Lee always enjoyed making cameos, both in the comics themselves and in related media. He had contractually-obliged cameos in almost every movie based on one of his works, and usually appeared in Marvel-based movies he wasn't contractually obliged to get cameos in, including works featuring characters he didn't even contribute to create or shape. It's been joked that he had the superpower to appear in any media, and some non-Marvel related works didn't hesitate to play with this and cast him.

There have been a few posthumous tributes to him since his passing, and this trend might continue in the future.

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    Marvel Cinematic Universe 
Stan Lee has had many cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the last years of his life, he filmed a number of them in advance preparing for the inevitable, which eventually happened on November 12, 2018. He has his own MCU character sheet here.

  • Iron Man: He plays a person who was mistaken for Hugh Hefner by Tony.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The civilian who is poisoned by Bruce Banner's irradiated blood in the beginning. Considering how his The Simpsons persona is a Cloud Cuckoolander who thinks he can actually turn into Hulk like described below, it's amusing to think him actually doing so in the movie as well.
  • Iron Man 2: He is mistaken for Larry King. Whether he is actually supposed to be these people is unknown.
  • Thor: He plays a New Mexico local with a truck trying to pull Mjölnir from its spot, only to destroy his truck in the process. Credited as Stan the Man.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: He plays an Army general in a crowd who loses the opportunity to see Rogers because he left on another mission, but mistakes the messenger for Capt. "I thought he'd be taller." This is a semi-exception as, while Lee didn't create the character, he did serve as Timely Comics' editor during the Golden Age, not to mention introducing Cap to the Silver Age and creating Cap's trademark move of throwing his shield.
  • The Avengers: Near the end of the film, Stan shows up as a man playing chess in the park, who is interviewed by a news crew regarding the events of the movie's finale. His character believes it all to be a hoax. He also pops up in one of the deleted scenes as a guy at a cafe who alerts Cap to the waitress's interest.
  • Iron Man 3: He appears in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment as the judge for the Beauty Contest on one of the screens in the news van that Tony temporarily hijacks.
  • Thor: The Dark World: As a patient at a mental institute with Dr. Erik Selvig. Credited as himself.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: As a Smithsonian guard who fears that he's going to be fired (we don't know if he ended up being fired or not) upon discovering that Cap stole his outfit back.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): He pops up as a Xandarian flirting with a lady. Credited as the "Xandarian Lady's Man".
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron: He is a WWII vet who attends the party at Avengers tower and gets stupor drunk after taking a sip of Thor's Asgardian mead (Lee himself served as a communications repairman and instructional film producer during the war, never actually seeing combat).
  • Ant-Man: He's one of the friends who talked to one of the friends of one of Luis' friends about a job the Falcon has for Ant-Man.
  • Captain America: Civil War: He's a FedEx driver delivering a package to Tony Stark, mispronouncing his name as "Tony Stank."
  • Doctor Strange: He's a passenger inside a bus that Strange and Mordo smack into. He's reading the book The Doors of Perception and laughing himself silly.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: He's in a spacesuit telling the Watchers about his many adventures, in homage (confirmed by Gunn here) to the fan theory that Lee is actually playing the Watcher in all his cameos. He even mentions his role as the Fed-Ex deliveryman in Civil War, hinting that all of his roles really are the same person. The Watchers eventually get bored and leave him, causing him to protest that they were supposed to be his ride home.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: He's one of the neighbors chastising Spider-Man after Peter webs a guy who locked himself out of his own car and was trying to pick the lock, thinking he was stealing it. Stan then flirts with one of the other neighbors. He also appears in "Tony Stark's Party," a commercial for the film.
  • As an aside, his cameos in Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spider-Man: Homecoming were all filmed at the same time (and directed by James Gunn), due to his advanced age.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: He's the barber who cuts Thor's hair on Sakaar.
  • Black Panther: He's a casino patron sitting next to T'Challa. When T'Challa leaves the table to fight Klaue's men, he swipes T'Challa's chips.
  • Avengers: Infinity War: He's the bus driver for Peter Parker's class. When Thanos' forces invade and Peter's class is panicking while Peter jumps out of the bus to become Spider-Man, he scolds them and asks if they haven't witnessed an invasion before.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: He's a San Francisco local who saw his car get shrunk because of Hope during a car chase scene and believes that he's seeing things because of the 60s.
  • Captain Marvel: He's actually playing as himself, rehearsing his lines for his appearance in Mallrats. Carol Danvers briefly runs into him on a train. Since this film was shown after Stan's death, the scene was changed in post-production so that Carol smiles at him to make the moment more special.
    • Before that, right before the film opens, superheroes of the Marvel Studios logo have all been replaced by pictures of Stan from his MCU cameos, which is followed by a "Thank You Stan" message.
  • Avengers: Endgame: During the time traveling to the past in 1970, he appeared in a muscle car shouting "Make love, not war!" to an army base, a reference to his sympathetic ear towards '70s counterculture. Notably, he appeared with brown hair and mustache, looking like his younger self. It was confirmed that this was the last cameo appearance that was filmed before his death. The woman next to him is also confirmed to be the likeness of his late wife Joan. Fittingly the car features a number sticker reading "Nuff Said".

Live Action Television

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Stan appears in the episode "T.R.A.C.K.S." as a passenger on the train that the team is infiltrating.
  • Agent Carter: He gets his shoes shined next to Howard Stark, and asks for the sports section of his newspaper.
  • Daredevil is particularly devious, with him appearing in a photograph in the background and out of focus in the Season 1 finale. The same picture also serves as his cameo for Jessica Jones. The motif continues in Luke Cage and Iron Fist as he appears on a poster urging people to report crimes to the police (his name here is Irving Forbush).
  • He pops up in an episode of Runaways as a limo driver.
  • Episode 9 of Cloak and Dagger, "Back Breaker", features an Andy Warhol-style portrait of him.
  • Even after his passing, Stan isn't quite done with the MCU: a stylized drawing of him appears on a mural in the TVA courtroom in the first episode of Loki.

    Fantastic Four 
  • In Fantastic Four, he showed up at the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm with Jack Kirby — only to be denied entry!
  • In a much later story (vol 3 #9 in 1998) he runs Uncle Stan's Sausage Shack, Franklin Richards's favourite hot dog stand.
  • Fantastic Four (2005): Willie Lumpkin, the Baxter Building's mailman. This marks the only time he's actually played one of his own characters. In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, he plays himself trying to get into the wedding, a Call-Back to the same thing in the actual comics.
  • Averted in Fantastic Four (2015), where he makes no appearance because of its Troubled Production, and has joked this was the reason it didn't perform well.

  • His first cameo came in The Trial of The Incredible Hulk, the second of three reunion Made-for-TV Movies based on the series. Stan plays a jury foreman in a nightmare David Banner has that causes him to Hulk out.
  • Hulk: A security guard walking out of the Berkeley Institute with Lou Ferrigno. Notable for being his first speaking appearance in a theatrical Marvel film.

  • He narrated episodes of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, though some of these narration bits were removed in later reruns.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
  • He appears as himself in the series finale of Spider-Man: The Animated Series when Madame Web brings together several Spider-Mans from alternate universes, one of whom is an actor who plays him in the real world. His wife Joan Lee voiced Madame Web, and the animated Stan asks, "Who is that exotic lady?" when he sees her. In turn, Madame Web tells Spider-Man that Stan is a special person. Spider-Man thanks Stan for creating him and takes him web-swinging through the city. Eventually, Madame Web teleports Spider-Man and herself away, and Stan suddenly realizes he's now stranded on a rooftop. He ruefully wonders if the Fantastic Four will show up to get him down.
  • He voices a dock worker who's also modeled after him in The Spectacular Spider-Man.
  • He plays Stan the Janitor in Ultimate Spider-Man (2012).
  • In Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, he voices a hallucination urging Peter to kill Kraven.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man:
    • During Spidey and the Lizard's fight in the first movie, he plays an oblivious librarian who listens to classical music with noise-cancellation headphones while the fight goes on behind him. He reprises the cameo in How It Should Have Ended's episode on the movie where he blames the Avengers for the mess and warns them he's got his eyes on them.
    • The Amazing Spider-Man 2: One of the audience members of Peter's high school graduation. He spots Peter coming in while wearing his Spider-Man mask and exclaims "He knows that guy!" (He also appears in an ad for the U.S. Postal Service as a projectionist for ASM2's premiere, who is saved when Spidey helps deliver the film cannister.).
  • In Marvel's Spider-Man, he's the cameraman/interviewer for So You Want To Be a Wrestler. He makes a later appearance in "Bring on the Bad Guys" as the cameraman for J Jonah Jameson's news show.
  • Sony's Spider-Man Universe:
    • Near the ending of Venom, Stan tells Eddie Brock not to give up on his ex-girlfriend. Eddie apparently doesn't know who the old man is and Venom seems to be interested in eating Stan's dog. This was his last cameo shown before his death, although he did finish filming a few more for upcoming Marvel films that was shown posthumously.
    • A posthumous homage to him in Venom: Let There Be Carnage: when Eddie/Venom enter Mrs. Chen's shop, a tendril of Venom prevents a magazine with Stan's face from falling and puts it back in its place.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:
    • The first of three films to feature him posthumously, Stan is the clerk of a shop called Stan's Collectibles, where Miles Morales goes to buy a Spider-Man costume. Stan says he'll miss the original Spider-Man, who had passed away, saying he was a friend. Miles asks if he can return the costume if it doesn't fit, but Stan says, "It always fits, eventually." Miles gets annoyed when he notices the shop has a "No Returns, No Refunds" sign.
    • Additionally, he also appears several times as a random bystander throughout the film.
  • He makes an appearance in the Spider-Man newspaper strip, where for added metafictional fun, he's making a cameo in the superhero movie MJ is starring in, because he created Marvella.
  • The Dutch Spider-Man/Disney Ducks Comic Universe crossover Donald Duck: Superhelden Special features a cameo by a Dogface version of Stan Lee.

  • In #98 of the Uncanny X-Men, Stan and Jack Kirby show up and watch Scott Summers and Jean Grey, commenting how much the two's relationship has progressed since they worked on the book.
  • In Pryde of the X-Men, he was the Narrator.
  • Cameos from the X-Men Film Series
    • In the first film, he's a random beachgoer serving hot dogs at a stand who watches Senator Kelly emerging from the ocean.
    • In X-Men: The Last Stand, he appears in the prologue as a neighbor of a young Jean Grey watering his lawn (a scene in which fellow X-Men writer Chris Claremont also cameos), watching his hose's water go upwards due to Jean Grey's burgeoning psychokinetic powers.
    • As an aside, he couldn't make a cameo in The Wolverine because of the movie's overseas filming in Australia and Japan, and deliberately sacrificed a cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past (filmed in Montreal, Canada) so that he could attend the Fan Expo 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
    • For X-Men: Apocalypse, he and his wife are one of the many shots of frightened citizens watching the nuclear missiles launch into space.
    • Deadpool: He's the M.C. at a strip club. Notable for being a rare cameo in a Marvel film not based off a character Stan created, since he had nothing to do with Deadpool. His appearance in the movie is jokingly referred to as "A Gratuitous Cameo" in the opening credits, and apparently he was disappointed that they were green-screening him in and didn't use a real club.
    • It gets even more gratuitous in Deadpool: No Good Deed, where he appears out of nowhere to comment on Deadpool's suit, only for Deadpool to stop and shout, "Zip it, Stan Lee!"
    • Deadpool 2: Though he was unable to appear in this one, there is a blink and you miss it scene where Deadpool knocks over a bust of him in the X-Mansion, as well as his face on a mural when Domino is parachuting through the city. His portrait is also seen in the corner of the 2017 Thanksgiving-themed teaser poster, which appeared in the "Wet on Wet" trailer parodying The Joy of Painting.
      • After its end credits, Once Upon a Deadpool (Deadpool 2's PG-13 cut) pays homage to him with several unused humorous takes from his cameo in Deadpool: No Good Deed and interviews.
  • In the pilot episode of The Gifted (2017), he walks out of a bar as Reed Strucker goes in for his first meeting with the Mutant Underground.

    Video Games 

  • Daredevil (2003): A man reading a newspaper who almost walks out into traffic only to be stopped by the blind kid Matt Murdock. His cameo was first seen in the trailer.
  • In 1997, almost every Marvel Comics series had a special issue as part of a campaign called Marvel Flashbacks. Stan appeared in each story as the Narrator.
  • A series of 2006 one-shots called Stan Lee Meets (e.g. Stan Lee Meets the Thing, Stan Lee Meets Doctor Doom, etc.) was built around this trope.
  • Shows in Vol 1 of Marvel Mangaverse along with fellow creator Jack Kirby as one of Captain Marvel's neighbors.
  • Big Hero 6: He appears in Fred's family portrait and then a post-credits sequence voicing Fred's often-absent father. He reprises this role in Big Hero 6: The Series.
  • The "Mini-Marvels" Spin-Off Babies strips that used to run at the bottom of Bullpen Bulletin featured him as "Principal Stanley."
  • Stan's first comics appearance was in a text story in Marvel Mystery Stories #23. His first drawn appearance was in Patsy and Hedy #78, along with artist Al Hartley.
  • Stan showed up (with artist Stan Goldberg) in one Millie the Model story, as the creators of a comic book starring Millie.
  • One of the more infamous examples comes from the music cd tie-in oneshot Nightcat, which Stan Lee not only wrote but appears in one scene in-universe where he offers to write a comic about the titular singer/superheroine. Linkara listed it as one of his biggest "WTF" moments in comics.
  • In The Super Hero Squad Show, he voices the Mayor of Super Hero City.
  • He cameos as himself as a hot dog vendor once again in episode 13 of the first season of Marvel Future Avengers.

  • Also showed up in Mallrats. One of the first few times he did a cameo in a movie that wasn't based on a Marvel property.
    • Funnily enough, his cameo in Captain Marvel has him rehearsing his lines for this one.
  • The Eureka episode Glimpse has a cameo for him, who provides a Shout-Out to The Hulk. He appears as Dr. Lee, specializing in the effects of gamma radiation, you can call him Generalissimo, and "Don't make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry."
  • The Chuck episode "Chuck Vs. the Santa Suit" has him cameo as himself, where it turns out he also operates as a spy to Chuck's astonishment.
  • In the first episode of Stan Lee's Lucky Man he is seen as himself signing autographs in London's Forbidden Planet comic store.
  • He appeared twice on the game show To Tell the Truth - once in 1971, and again in 2000.
  • He appeared as a bus driver in Heroes.
  • He cameos in Heroman, an anime that somewhat involved him.
  • In Ultimo he's actually the Big Bad!
  • He cameoed as a wedding guest in, of all films, The Princess Diaries 2! (And this was years before Disney bought Marvel, even.)
  • The Simpsons:
    • "I Am Furious Yellow": Stan voices a seemingly senile version of himself who looks down on Comic Book Guy's DC Comics merchandise, though he looks over a comic Bart drew and tells him not to give up on it. When Homer gets covered with green paint and goes on a rampage, Stan claims Homer is a fake and that he is the real Incredible Hulk. He tries to transform and fails, and Comic Book Guy mocks him. In future episodes, Comic Book Guy has added Stan to his store's "Banned For Life" sign.
    • "Married to the Blob": Comic Book Guy has a hallucination where Stan encourages him not to give up on love. When he meets a girl named Kumiko Nakamura, Stan encourages him to ask her out. At the end of the episode, the real Stan is the priest of Comic Book Guy and Kumiko's wedding.
    • "The Caper Chase": The Couch Gag has the family cosplay as X-Men characters. Stan then walks up and says, "There's nothing too short that I can't cameo."
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In the episode "Apokolips... Now! Part 2", Lee is seen attending the funeral of Dan Turpin, a character created by and modeled after Jack Kirby; as such, characters created by Lee and Kirby also make cameos in the crowd. This scene was re-edited in later screenings and home releases of the episode, presumably to avoid legal trouble with Marvel.
  • By far the most unexpected cameo he has ever been in is Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, where he declares his cameo before realizing that he's in a DC movie and runs away, later returning just because he loves cameos.
  • His first posthumous cameo is in Ralph Breaks the Internet, where he appears while Vanellope is at Oh My Disney.
  • In the Muppet Babies episode "Comic Capers", he makes a live action appearance when Rowlf and Skeeter pretend to be Spider-Man, saying there's only one Spider-Man. (The show was produced by Marvel Productions, explaining the cameo.)
  • In the "On the Street" back up feature in Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating Superman, Stan makes an appearance as the Only Sane Man working at "Fly By Night Comics", the company making an unlicenced Superman book.

  • He appears in every Marvel-themed episode of Bad Days, and eventually starts making cameos in episodes focused on characters not created by Marvel.
  • A Robot Chicken sketch about a musical starring the Avengers has him play the piano, and also share a fact that adds a touch of irony to shipping Black Widow and Hawkeye.
    • Stan's shown up in a couple other skits here and there, including him co-hosting Superheroes Tonight with Pamela Anderson.
  • He was also in the Phineas and Ferb crossover special, Mission Marvel as a hot dog vendor yet again. Of course, the stand was labeled "Excelsior Hot Dogs."
  • In the fifth chapter of the volume 67 of the Malaysian comic series Profession (Chinese: 职业人气王 Zhíyè rénqì wáng), an expy of Stan Lee alongside expies of Thor and Iron Man makes a cameo appearance in one panel.
  • In Super Power Beat Down, he is a man in an apartment who hears Spider-Man and Darth Maul fighting on the floor above his. He yells at the "neighbors" to keep it down.
  • He appeared in How It Should Have Ended in the Spider-Man Trilogy and The Amazing Spider-Man Series-related episodes. Lee voiced his own self in the Amazing Spider-Man episodes.
  • In Ensign Sue Must Die, he appears in the sequel (when the cast are in the Marvel universe), walking down the streets of New York.
  • He appears in Bart Baker's parody of "Elastic Heart" by Sia where he makes a superhero movie with the singer.

"Hey everybody, look at me! I'm Stan Lee, doing my subtle cameo!"
Stan Lee, Teen Titans Go! To the Moviesnote