Stan Lee might well be America’s best-loved nonagenarian. The creator of The Avengers, Spider-Man, The Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and more has always managed to keep himself in the public eye–a rare position for a comic book writer–by bringing his S-T-A-N persona to every project he can. Hence an IMDB credits page that features 85 acting credits.
Lee’s most famous roles (sorry, Adventures Of Cinderella’s Daughter)) are the Marvel cameos he’s made over the past 15 years, as the company’s properties have gone from “basically unfilmable” to “the defining entertainment in Hollywood.” He was a hot dog vendor in X-Men, a security guard in Hulk, a general in Captain America, and a Xandarian ladies’ man in Guardians of the Galaxy. And in a new spot from Audi–directed by Kevin Smith, who crafted one of Lee’s more memorable cameos in 1995’s Mallrats–he passes on the cameo knowledge to others by taking them to Stan Lee’s Cameo School.
The two-minute spot, which is Smith’s first time directing an ad, is decidedly meta–in an ad about acting cameos, Lee is joined in brief appearances by Michael Rooker, Tara Reid, Lou Ferrigno, Jason Mewes, and Smith–but it also gives Lee the lead for once, which is fun to see. As always, Stan Lee appears to be having a ball even as he’s not entirely sure how he ended up there.