Marvel’s superhero movies have certainly made their mark on the cinematic landscape. One of the real treats for comic book fans has been the inclusion of cameos by the man himself Stan Lee in almost every Marvel movie that has been made. So in honor of the man who created so many of these characters that many of us grew up reading and now enjoy watching, I thought this week I would focus on his best cameos. Now considering the number of cameos he has done I wouldn’t call this the definitive list. But there’s no denying that these five Stan Lee cameos and most certainly phenomenal.
#5 – “Hulk”
There aren’t many good things I can say about Ang Lee’s long, boring, and at times infuriating 2003 film “Hulk”. It was a monumental disappointment and, aside from some pretty good performances and a great Stan Lee cameo, I consider it one of the worst Marvel movies. But Stan’s cameo is a blast not so much for anything that happens. Lee is walking out of a building with none other than Lou Ferrigno. Both are security guards which provides a hilarious contrast. The small elderly guy and the hulking giant (pun absolutely intended). Watching these two, men who are ingrained in Hulk’s history, discuss security concerns is such a hoot.
#4 – “Iron Man”
When Tony Stark arrives at a big public gala you can expect a number of things: nice cars, beautiful women, camera flashes, and the quick, dry wit that only Downey, Jr. could bring to the character. Stark briskly strolls through this sea of attention, taking time to insult one woman and intentionally mistaking one man for Hugh Hefner. We see the man from behind. He has slicked back gray hair, a fancy smoking jacket, and he’s bookended by two gorgeous woman. Obviously it’s Hefner, right? Nope! The man turns around and it’s none other than our guy, Stan Lee. It’s a hilarious scene as Lee confusedly looks around to see who just walked by.
#3 – “The Amazing Spider-Man”
I wasn’t too keen on there being a Spider-Man reboot so soon but that’s what we got in 2012. “The Amazing Spider-Man” was an okay movie (head and shoulders above this year’s lame sequel) but certainly not at the top of the superhero movie list. But one great thing it did have was one of the best Stan Lee cameos of them all. Spidey and the Lizard are engaged in a pretty brutal scrap which boils over into a library. The librarian is none other than Stan the Man. He is checking in some books while listening to music through noise-cancelling headphones that Stark Industries must have created. Behind him a huge fight is going on with tables and books flying everywhere. But he doesn’t see it. He just carries on with his duties.
#2 – “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”
The Fantastic Four films were Marvel movies that had some really strong moments but are ultimately forgettable especially when compared to the better superhero movies out there. But the second film, Rise of the Silver Surfer, featured a Stan Lee cameo that I just can’t get enough of. The film starts with New York’s wedding of the century. Reed Richards and Sue Storm are about to be married and all of the guests are arriving. Well up walks Stan Lee, only the man who CREATED the Fantastic Four. He’s greeted by a strict doorman who stops him. Stan says “I must be on that list” and then gives him his name. The doorman will have none of it and pushes him back all while Stan keeps pleading his case. Great scene.
#1 – “Thor”
“Thor” was one of the Marvel movies that I thought had a real chance to flop. It was such fantastical material and it could have been a disaster when brought to the big screen. But Marvel knew what they were doing and they knew the tone the film needed. That’s why I thought it really worked. It also featured what is my favorite Stan Lee cameo. Thor’s hammer, the deceptively pronounced Mjolnir, has crashed to Earth. It has been found in New Mexico by a redneckish crowd who have brought out the pickup trucks, beer, and lawn chairs. As hard as they try, none of them are able to lift Mjolnir so they tie a chain to the back of a truck and floor it. The back end flies off of the truck and the driver looks out the window. Of all people it’s Stan Lee who simply asks “Did it work?” No Stan it didn’t, but you did give us what I think is your very best cameo!
So those are my choices. Do you see a Stan Lee movie cameo that I missed? Please share you thoughts on these or others in the comments section below.
I think it would have been great if you would have bucked the trend a little bit and gone with his cameo in Mallrats. That was a great scene. My favorite in the Marvel Universe has got to be hot dog vendor in X-men! Just kidding, my fave is Amazing Spider-Man.
The Amazing Spidey one is an absolute blast. It makes me laugh any time I see it. I like Stan’s brief scene better than the big fight itself.
Very cool. I never knew Stan Lee made cameos in his films. Completely stumped. Awesome. 🙂
He really doesn’t have anything to do with the movies but he is such an icon in the comic industry. He’s one of the best Easter Eggs you’ll ever see. Full fan service but sooo worth it! 🙂
LOVE Stan Lee! He always made me laugh in all his cameos. I love the one in Thor and that one in Iron Man w/ him disguised as Hugh Hefner is a hoot!
Two of the Iron Man movies had Tony Stark intentionally mistaking Lee for someone else. Remember the one where he is referred to as Larry King? Hilarious!
That’s easy… Thor: The Dark World where he asks Stellan Skarsgard for his shoe back.
In the mental hospital? Yep, that’s a really good one too. Always worth a good laugh!
Great list. I’ve been contemplating doing one of my own for a while, but you beat me to the punch. If I ever get around to it, his brief moment in The Amazing Spider-Man will probably earn top honors.
I had to include it too. Love that moment. It’s so perfectly executed. Perfect timing. Perfect effect.
Love this list! It’s so great seeing a Marvel film in the cinema and hearing an audible cheer for Stan Lee’s cameo! Thor and The Amazing Spider-Man are my favourites 🙂
Thanks Allie! I honestly find myself anticipating every cameo. And on the rare occasion where he doesn’t appear, I actually find myself a little disappointed. Gotta love Stan!
I know it’s not Marvel but I love him in Mallrats.
SOmeone else mentioned him in Mallrats. Is that the scene we he philosophizes?
Sterling choices here man.
I’m not sure if I’ve said it before, but man do I love this feature! 🙂
Thanks for saying that (and I really mean it bro). I’ve thought about shutting it down for a while. I was wondering if people may be getting tired of it. Always encouraging to here things like this!
What a fun segment of the Phenomenal Five, Keith! Love this. I always like to keep an eye out for Stan Lee cameos, and you’ve named some of my favorites, including both The Amazing Spider-Man and Iron Man. One of my absolute favorite cameos is in Thor 2, when Lee asks for his shoe back from Professor Selvig. I just love that scene!
And also, I wasn’t a big fan of a Spider-Man reboot. I actually enjoyed ASM2 more than 1, but I truly wish they were never remade. Oh well.
That scene is Thor 2 is a hoot. Stan delivers that line perfectly and I’m finding myself chuckling right now thinking about it!
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I always love his cameos!
They’re so much fun.
“Oh, I am so fired!”
And “I have a package for Tony STANK”
I’d have to say that my favourite Stan Lee cameo (that I’ve seen so far) is probably in Big Hero 6.