There are three things you can count on in life: death, taxes and Stan Lee's cameo in the latest Marvel movie. I for one can't wait to see how the Marvel mastermind will pop up in the studio's latest movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, which officially opens in the United States on Friday.
Until then, this is as good a time as any to revisit all of Lee's cameos in 22 Marvel, from X-Men in 2000 to, most recently, Big Hero 6, which came out at the end of 2014. Lee has taken on many different kinds of cameo roles throughout the years, from a mail carrier to a gamma radiation poison victim to iconic talk show host Larry King, of all people. For some reason, Lee often takes on kind of a "dirty old man" role in his cameos too. Go figure.
Lee is such a cameo legend, he even recently taught pupils such as Kevin Smith, Tara Reid, Jason Mewes and Michael Rooker how to perfect their cameo acting techniques at his illustrious cameo school in a spot for Audi. If you're going to do a cameo, you've got to learn from the master, after all.
With many more Marvel movies to come, we're soon going to have more Lee cameos than we'll know what to do with, some of which are likely to knock our socks off. But for now, here are the seven best Lee cameos that were pretty much the greatest things about the movies they were in.
1. Hulk (2003)
With a bonus cameo from the actor who portrayed the Hulk on TV, Lou Ferrigno, Lee's appearance in 2003's Hulk is nothing short of incredible.
2. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Maybe if he didn't have so many cameos as other people in movies, Lee would actually be recognizable as himself. Le sigh.
3. Iron Man (2008)
This was probably the first and last time Lee reminded you of Hugh Hefner.
4. Thor (2011)
Man, Lee really wants that hammer, doesn't he? This cameo is unexpected and delightful.
5. The Avengers (2012)
Oh, Lee, playfully scoffing at superheroes in New York. I see what you did there.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Most Lee cameos in Marvel movies are quick and cute. However, it's great to see Lee finally incorporated into a fight scene in a Marvel movie, especially one as beautifully choreographed as the one in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man.
7. Big Hero 6 (2014)
Since Big Hero 6 is Marvel Studios' first animated feature, many people wondered how Lee would show up in it, if at all. You had to wait until Big Hero 6's after-credits scene to find out, but Lee's most epic cameo yet was definitely worth the wait.
Watch all of Lee's cameos, with the exception of his appearance in Big Hero 6, in chronological order below.