Watch 30 years of Stan Lee cameos in 10 minutes
The iconic Marvel Comics co-creator editor passed away at the age of 95
One of Stan Lee's earliest cameos on film was Mallrats, Kevin Smith's 1995 cult classic about young men who are struggling to grow up. In it, Lee, playing himself, gives Brodie, played by Jason Lee, relationship advice, telling him that he invented some of his most famous characters because of a girl that got away.
"A normal guy one minute, a rage of emotions the next," he says while explaining the Incredible Hulk. "Just like me when I thought about what I'd given up."
Since then, Lee has made an appearance in every major Marvel picture, playing roles such as an unsuspecting onlooker, a security guard, a mailman, an U.S. Army officer, a strip club DJ, a game show contestant, even Hugh Heffner and Larry King. As time passed, Lee's cameos only seemed to get more meta, to the point where he played himself trying to get past a wedding bouncer in 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
"I should be on that list: Stan Lee," he tells a bouncer before being escorted off the property.
In a way, it wasn't a Marvel movie until you spotted the cameo by Lee. He became the Where's Waldo of the Extended Marvel Universe, a media empire he helped create and which has topped more than $16 billion worldwide from its Marvel Studios division alone.
The YouTube channel SuperHeroesEvolution has compiled all of Lee's cameos, whether he was swinging around on a cartoon Spider-Man's back in 1995 or giving Tobey McGuire's live-action Peter Parker advice in 2007. "I guess one person can make a difference," he says. "Enough said."
Watch the full cameo reel below, which was made before his appearances in films such as Thor Ragnarok, Avengers Infinity War, Black Panther, Venom, Ant Man and the Wasp and even DC's Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, where he makes fun of his Marvel cameos. Before his death, Lee had also already shot his cameo for Avengers 4, due in April 2019.
Watch the cameo reel below.