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Wednesday March 3, 2010 9:49 pm

Stan Lee And The Big Bang Theory

Stan LeeStan Lee has made a pretty good hobby out of appearing in projects based on Marvel Comics. It’s a fun, and not too distracting, game to try to figure out if Stan will be showing up in a crowd scene, a cocktail party, a press conference or other setting where he can do his cameo, fulfill his Screen Actor’s Guild obligations, and eat the free lunch at break time.

On March 1, Stan appeared as himself on the fanboy favorite, The Big Bang Theory, probably the best sitcom currently on the air, thanks to creator-producer Chuck Lorre, co-creator-producer Bill Prady, and the rest of their talented staff of producers and writers. In “The Excelsior Acquisition,” the cast is excited about Stan’s appearance at the local comic book store, but Sheldon misses it when he gets tossed in jail for contempt while defending his traffic ticket. Naturally, when he gets out, he takes advantage of an opportunity to make the pilgrimage to Stan’s house. Stan acquits himself quite well and there are laughs galore. It’s a great use of stunt-casting and it’s packed with jokes that reveal the writers as fans of Marvel Comics, not posers. Well done, all!

Stan liked the experience so much, he Tweeted about it.

If you watch the show regularly, you already know that Lorre runs what’s called a “vanity card” during the end credits with a personal essay. It’s sometimes thoughtful, sometimes rantful and sometimes very funny. They’re always interesting and if you don’t want to freeze your DVR, he keeps them archived on his website.

On the vanity card for “The Excelsior Acquisition,” Lorre talked about his relationship with Stan that goes back 25 years:

“I worked for Stan Lee twenty-five years ago at Marvel Animation in Los Angeles. My favorite memory is sitting in his office with the legendary Johnny Carson writer, Bob Smith. We were discussing an animated series featuring Rodney Dangerfield as ‘a dog that got no respect.’”

There’s plenty more at the link (the story builds to an excellent point). It’s a great read, especially if you’ve ever wondered what a true Hollywood meeting might be like.

[Artwork: Stan himself in a publicity shot from The Big Bang Theory, © CBS Entertainment]

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