And Stan the Man is starring in those blockbusters, himself. Now, in addition to his beloved cameo appearances in films that include Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, X-Men and other Marvel superhero films, Lee is driving viewers to his new YouTube Channel, “Stan Lee’s World of Heroes.”
The YouTube channel boasts nearly 40,000 subscribers, 123 individual videos and more than 1 million views, offering fans the chance to see the father of comics in his favorite environment—in front of the camera.
Lee’s favorite YouTube offering is “Cocktails with Stan,” a celebrity talk show with vodka on the side. Past show guest stars include geek royalty such as Felicia Day, Elvira, Adam Baldwin, and Jane Espenson.
It’s easy for fans to see where Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men draw the strength to stay relevant for decades—The actor, producer, writer and publisher, Stan Lee.
Daily Sundial: What inspired you to take a crack at YouTube?
Stan Lee: Greed! (laughs) I think it can be very successful and a great financial opportunity. It seemed like a great idea since we can reach out to the fans and correspond with them at a much faster level.
DS: What will fans get in “Stan Lee’s World of Heroes” that they won’t get anywhere else? Do you have a favorite show you like to do?
SL: Personally I like to do “Stan’s Rants,” where I complain about everything that bothers me. So far I’ve only done interviews and rants but we’ve got a dozen other projects in the works. It’s just going to get bigger and bigger as we go along.
DS: Can you clue us in as to future guest stars on your talk show, “Cocktails with Stan”?
SL: The nice thing about that is that they keep me in the dark. And when I go there and film it, I have no idea who I will be talking to until the lights and camera go on. So that makes it very spontaneous. There is no previous planning. I might already know the person, but I won’t know I’m interviewing them until they turn on the microphone and they begin to film it. Even the rants, like this interview, are completely unscripted. No preparation at all.
DS: If you weren’t in the hero business and a comic book legend in general, what would you be doing instead?
SL: I never realized it, but I enjoyed being in front of the camera so I might’ve tried to be an actor.
DS: Like [legendary 1930s-era actor] Errol Flynn?
SL: Sure. It would have to be that guy, he’s my idol! (Laughs)
DS: Do you have any future projects lined up?
SL: Here at POW! Entertainment, we have a few movies in the works as well as several television series, a line of books we’re prepping, so we keep busy.
DS: Many people recognize you from your cameos on the silver screen. Do you have a favorite cameo?
SL: I really love them all. They keep getting funnier and funnier. I thought the one in the last Spider-Man movie was exceptionally funny. The one I recently did though, for the Iron Man 3 movie, now I haven’t seen it yet but I think it’s the funniest one of them all.
DS: Who comes up with the ideas for the cameos?
SL: The ideas for the cameos are always from the director’s head. When I come on set, I never know what I’m going to do. They tell me when I get there. See? That’s what a wonderful actor I am! (laughs), No preparation, no studying. I just go there and do the world’s greatest cameos (laughs).
DS: I’ve got to agree. Now when you’re on set, you probably meet a lot of fans, both famous and not so famous. Have any of their reactions surprised you?
SL: I’m never surprised when they’re secret fans. Everyone has been a comic book fan at one time or another. For example President Ronald Reagan used to say that he began every morning by reading the Spider-Man newspaper strip. It simply doesn’t surprise me anymore. (laughs)