Hey there, Brigadiers! Recently, we found ourselves in the thralls of uncovering some of Stan Lee’s lesser known cameos among a torrent of television shows. And what a tough time it was whittling it down to only 5 choices. Well, today we thought why not try it again, but this time with movies!
Stan Lee appeared in almost every one of Marvel’s big budgeted blockbuster bonanzas, but there are a whole slew of non-Marvel movies the mustache has popped up in in the past. Hold on to your No-Prizes as we delve into these delightfully distinguished appearances (in no particular order).
Yoga Hosers (2016)
Kevin Smith met and became lifelong pals with Stan Lee when he first cast The Man in his cult classic film Mallrats back in 1995. That mighty View Askewniverse mainstay doesn’t quite make this list because Stan had more than just a cameo in the movie; he was featured in two whole scenes bursting with Kevin Smith dialogue! But what does make the list is a more recent Smith flick, Yoga Hosers from 2016. In the film, two teenage convenience store clerks (both named Colleen) unearth an ancient evil in the form of miniature monster Hitlers (yes, plural) made out of bratwurst. The two girls call 911 for help from the sausage Nazis and a certain Generalissimo answers the call, name dropping Doctor Doom and Darth Vader in the process, no less. Bonus: They are some hilarious outtakes from said scene if you can track them down on YouTube.
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
If ever there was a movie that you wouldn’t expect Stan Lee to pop up in, it would be The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Stan has no creative connection to the Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews franchise beyond a friendship with the late great director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride). Marshall had a number of meetings with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment about developing some of Stan’s non-Marvel properties in the early 2000s. The two became friends and when Marshall was shooting The Princess Diaries 2, he asked Stan if he would like a small part in the movie. Boy, did he! Stan got to ham it up playing a foreign wedding guest whose only knowledge of the English language came from watching The Three Stooges.
The Ambulance (1990)
The Ambulance is a B-movie directed by the late horror master Larry Cohen (It’s Alive, The Stuff), and stars none other than Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) and James Earl Jones (Star Wars, The Sandlot). The film revolves around a Marvel Comics artist trying to track down a woman who, after an accident, was taken away by an ominous ambulance and never heard from again. The film has an intriguing premise but never fully takes off into cult classic territory like so many of Cohen’s other works. The highlight of the film is—of course—Stan, who plays himself as Marvel Comics’ Editor-in-Chief and hard-nosed boss to Roberts’ artist character. We can’t tell for sure, but we think we can glimpse some other uncredited famous Marvel Comics artists and writers in the blurry background of the bullpen scenes.
Ralphs Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (2018)
Wreck-It Ralph was a massive hit for Disney Animation back in 2012. The story of a 1980s vintage arcade game villain who no longer wants to play the bad guy resonated with old-school gamers and noobs alike. In the 2018 sequel, Ralph’s best friend Vanellope feels the call of a new life outside her arcade console and embarks on an adventure into the wilds of the internet. Once inside the world wide web, Vanellope and Ralph get a quick job dishing out pop-up ads. They’re soon caught in a Disney-owned website without authorization. Vanellope is chased by a group of First Order stormtroopers from Star Wars and in her rush to escape runs through a Marvel-themed area. She bumps into an online avatar that turns out to be non-other than Stan Lee!
The Concessionaires Must Die! (2017)
The Concessionaires Must Die! is a delightful little indie flick directed and co-written by America Young. You might know her as a geek of all trades with a plethora of credits ranging from voice acting to writing to even stunts! Young’s ties to Stan Lee date back to his YouTube channel, World of Heroes. There, she co-hosted a nerd-news series titled Mask & Cape. Concessionaires is the story of a band of minimum wage movie theater employees fighting to keep their beloved single screen indie theater from being shut down… kind of like the Empire Records but for movies! Stan was honored to play the role of Grandpa Frakes, the wise sage who bestows life advice on the movie’s main character. He was also an Executive Producer on the flick and even shot a little bearded trailer intro which you can watch above!
Phew, that was tough one! In forming our top five lesser known Stan Lee movie cameos list we were forced to leave out some big ones like Big Hero 6 (2014), or dare we say… Jugular Wine: A Vampire Odyssey (1994). Did we overlook any deep album cut cameos? Let us know! Excelsior!