Second only to Alfred Hitchcock, the person best known for making film cameos is comic book creator Stan Lee. From X-Men to Spider-Man to The Avengers, Lee has appeared in almost every movie based on one of his comics, even though they are often produced by different studios. From humble beginnings as a silent hot dog vendor in X-Men, Lee has gone on to play a security guard, a mailman, a librarian, a World War II general, Hugh Hefner, Larry King, and even himself in increasingly predominant appearances (here’s a supercut of every cameo).
Much as fans once speculated that Pixar movies are all connected or that Tangled, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen take place in the same universe, a fan theory recently unearthed by Cinema Blend suggests Lee’s disparate characters may all be linked. This theory argues Lee is actually playing The Watcher—an omnipotent being created by Lee and Jack Kirby in a 1963 edition of The Fantastic Four. Part of a race that monitors activities of other species, Uatu—the Watcher Lee is theoretically playing—is tasked with watching over Earth and its solar system. Since The Watcher is an immortal, all-powerful time traveler it would explain how Lee is able to pop up at so many important places in so many different time periods (and at so many major movie studios).
Even moreso than most fan theories, there is zero evidence to back this one up, other than a desire to complicate a convention clearly meant as fun fan service. Still the lack of evidence didn’t stop us from writing about it nor did it stop HuffPost Live from rather seriously reporting about it. Thus is the power of Stan Lee. Excelsior!