Sunday, 16 September 2012

Episode 22: Stan Lee - King of the Cameo

        What's happening people? Today, I'll be writing about one of my role models, Mr. Stanley Martin Lieber, popularly known by his pen name Stan Lee. Stan is a writer, editor, publisher, actor, television personality and producer and contrary to what some of my friends think (I'm looking at you Stanley Ejiogu), he's not an artist. He co-created most of Marvel's most popular characters such as Spiderman (my fav!), the Fantastic Four, Thor, Ironman, the Hulk and the original X-men. He didn't create Captain America (he was still an errand boy at Marvel, then known as Timely Comics) but he did co-write Captain America Comics #3 at the age of 19, where he first used the pen name "Stan Lee". 'Nuff said. You could get more info than I can give at Wikipedia, so I'm not going to try to write a biography. I'll be talking about Stan Lee's cameos.
       A cameo is a brief appearance by a famous actor in a movie or TV show. Imagine you're watching an episode of your favorite sitcom and suddenly see Will Smith playing a very random, unimportant role. That's a cameo. Stan has made many cameos in movies, television shows, even cartoons and comic books (even in a DC Comics show, he attended someone's funeral in Superman). He played a bus driver in the TV series "Heroes", played himself in an episode of "Big Bang Theory" and so on, so I'm going to limit this article to his appearances in Marvel movies. So sit back, read, laugh and enjoy!

                Here is a video showing all his Marvel movie cameos, courtesy youtuber "rogerio16juni1998"

EDIT: I'm sorry, I noticed that some of the images on this article are no longer showing. Please be patient and check back while I fix that and update this page with Stan's 2014 cameos.

The Trial of the Incrdible Hulk (1989)
     Stan appears as a jury foreman in the trail of Dr. Bruce Banner. Man, movie special effects have come a long way since 1989. You need to see the skinny Hulk in this movie. They simply painted some buff guy green!

X-Men (2000)
     After Senator Kelly escapes from Magneto and emerges naked on a beach, everyone on the beach stares at him in shock, including a hot dog vendor played by Stan.

Spiderman (2002)
       This was the first one I noticed myself. When Spiderman first fought the Green Goblin, I noticed that Stan was the old man that pulled a little girl out of the way of some falling debris.

Daredevil (2003)
      Young Matt Murdock uses his cane to stop a man reading a newspaper from crossing the road without looking. When the bus that would have hit the guy passes, the guy drops the newspaper and looks at his savior in shock and you suddenly notice "Hey! That's Stan Lee!"

Hulk (2003)
       Lee's first speaking role in a film based on one of his characters, two security guards leaving Bruce Banner's lab are talking as Bruce arrives. The one that greets Dr. Banner is Stan while the one that stays silent throughout is Lou Ferrigno, who was painted green in that 1989 Trail of the Incredible Hulk movie. Two cameos at once!

Spiderman 2 (2004)
       Same as the first Spiderman cameo, but this time he pulls a young lady away from falling debris. He did it so fast that I didn't notice it was him when I saw this movie. In a deleted scene that is shown in the movie's DVD, he has another cameo in which he says "Look, Spiderman stole that child's sneakers!"
Picture blurred due to speed. See?
Fantastic Four (2005)
     Playing a character he created for the first time, Stan is postman Willie Lumpkin, who delivers a letter to the Fantastic Four as they enter the Baxter Building.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
       For the first time, Stan's name appears in the movie credits as having played "waterhose man". Don't worry, that's not a dumb superhero name, Stan played a neighbor of Jean Gray's who was watering his lawn when Jean telepathically levitated nearby vehicles and the water from his hose went skyward instead of towards the ground.

Spiderman 3 (2007)
         Peter Parker and an old man (guess who) read a news bulletin about Spiderman and the old guy says to Pete  "You know, I guess one person can make a difference". Then he uses his catchphrase which he uses in real life, "Nuff said!".

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
      This one's my third favorite. Stan shows up at Reed Richard' and Susan Storm's wedding and when the bouncer stops him asking for an invitation, he says "I should be on that list" "Name?" "Stan Lee". The bouncer laughs and turns him away saying "Yeah, uh nice try buddy!" "No, really, I'm Stan Lee!". This one made me laugh :)
Nice try buddy! Dude acting the guard is almost laughing himself!

Ironman (2008)
          Lee (credited as "Himself") appears at a gala chilling with three blondes where Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner. Tony walks by and pats him on the back saying "you look great Hef" and walks on without stopping. Stan turns run to look for the person that greeted him and I remember laughing the moment I noticed who it was that was puffing on a pipe!
Another reason he's a role model. Three blondes!

 I heard another version was filmed where Stark realizes his mistake but Lee responds "That's okay, I get that all the time!"
I wonder how I can see this version of the cameo?
 The Incredible Hulk (2008)
           Yes, I know, three different Hulk movies that don't tie into each other. This is the one that ties into The Avengers though. Stan innocently drinks a soft drink that has a drop of Bruce Banner's blood in it, leading to the discovery of Banner's location in a bottling plant in Brazil.
One sip, exclaims "wow!", and drops the bottle dramatically!
Ironman 2 (2010)
       At the Stark Expo, Stan wears a red shirt and suspenders and Stark mistakes him for Larry King! The scene was only like 2 seconds long because he wasn't the only one Tony greeted on his way out so I didn't even notice it was him.

Thor (2011)
       This one's my second favorite. A crowd had gathered at the landing site of Mjolnir (pronounced 'maul-near'), Thor's hammer, and people were taking turns trying to lift it. Someone chained the hammer to the back of a truck and the truck moved until its entire back was ripped off by the hammer! The driver turns back and with a ridiculous smile, asks "Did it work?", making everyone laugh. That was Stan of course :)

Did it work?

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
      Captain America is called on stage to receive an award but someone else comes on stage to whisper to the announcer that Mr. Steve Rogers (Cap) wouldn't be able to make it. A general in the army, played by Stan, tells his colleague "I thought he'd be taller", mistaking the man that came on stage for Captain America.

The Avengers (2012)
        Personally, this cameo disappointed me. After how awesome and funny this movie was, I was expecting a really funny cameo, but it was just plain. Close to the the end of the movie, they show a reel of TV interviews asking people what they thought of the team that just fought off the Chitauri invasion. An elderly man played by Stan replies "Superheroes in new york? Give me a break!" then turns back to face the game of chess he was having with another elderly citizen. I guess the joke here is that the man that created these characters doesn't believe they exist. Meh.

The Amazing Spiderman (2012)
      This is definitely my favorite Stan Lee cameo! Spiderman was fighting the Lizard when the fight broke into the library. The librarian, played by Stan, was wearing headphones and listening to some orchestrated classical music, totally oblivious to the fight happening behind him. The lady next to us in the cinema couldn't understand what my brother and I were loudly geeking out about, looking at us like "are these guys ok?"

Oh, the bliss of ignorance! See that table the Lizard is about to toss at his head!
     The Lizard even tossed a table that went straight at Stan once Spidey dodged it, but Spidey was quick enough to catch it with his webbing just before it hit and toss it back. All the while, the goofy classical music just made this scene funnier. The guy walked out of the library without ever noticing anything happened!
Table held back by Spiderman's web just inches away from hitting the guy!

Thor: The Dark World (2013)
 There's a scene where Dr. Elrik Selvig is explaining the scientific relevance of the convergence of the nine realms to a group of bored-looking old men, using some shoes to represent the worlds as he tries to illustrate his point. At the end of his lecture, no one cared about anything he said apart from one guy that said "Can I have my shoe back?". Stan, of course :) The movie is still in the cinemas so there are no videos or pictures of the cameo online yet. Non that I could find anyway.
              So that's all 18 of them! I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed watching/researching them. These articles take longer to put together than one would think on the outset, but I guess the smiles make it worthwhile! When I'm age 90, I want to be like this man. He loves what he does and he's created franchises and characters that will outlive him! I want to do the same thing in the video game industry.


  1. haha, i laughed when you mentioned stanley ejiogu.

  2. This has gotta be ur best article yet, I enjoyed it all the way! These are the kinda stuff peeps pay for to read in mags and here it is, well documented for free! My fav cameo was also from the Amazing Spiderman (2012) and I was surprised at how many of the cameos I've seen but didn't actually notice...nice one! :)

  3. Thanks! Most people think the Cross River one was my best but you were actually a part of that trip, so you wouldnt have felt the article the same way.

  4. big ups mate...ur write-ups r always fun to read..rili captivatin


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