Before Marvel was Hollywood's driving cinematic force, before Iron Man gave Robert Downey Jr. his rebirth into the public eye, even before Toby Maguire suited up as Spider-Man to bring the superhero genre back into the public discourse, Stan Lee made his first of many cameo's in a much smaller movie: 1995's Mallrats directed by Kevin Smith. Since then, Smith and Lee have been good friends, which made Lee's passing earlier this year an even greater heartbreak for the director.
Mallrats - Brodie Meets Stan Leeyoutu.be
Friday, December 28, would have been Stan Lee's 96th birthday. A lifelong fan and recent friend, Smith couldn't let the day pass without remembering the comic-book icon by sharing a video of their last in-person meeting. The pair last crossed paths nearly a year ago at Lee's surprise 95th birthday party.
Smith told the story in his caption:
"One year ago today on his 95th birthday, I saw @therealstanleein real life for the last time. Stan's faithful body man Max invited me to a steak house in Beverly Hills for a surprise party on behalf of our beloved Mr. Lieber."
@ThatKevinSmith @TheRealStanLee Miss you @therealstanlee https://t.co/fIJggboNT3— Jarod Warren (@Jarod Warren) 1546020928.0
He went on:
"I asked 'Are you sure it's a good idea to throw a *surprise* party for a 95 year old?' But it truly was: as you can see in the video, Stan made it through the surprise just fine. I remember nearly not going because I had a HOLLYWOOD BABBLE-ON with @ralphgarman that night (like we do Monday for New Year's Eve; Tickets at the link in my bio). But then I said 'The Man's only gonna turn 95 once…' I'm SO glad I went, as this was the last time I'd ever see my friend and hero: two months later, I had a massive heart attack. And nine months after that, Stan would leave us for a better place where the master storytellers gather and reminisce about how their magic words changed the world. Happy Birthday, Stan! We all miss you because you hung the moon, man.
There are few bigger Marvel fans than Kevin Smith, who claims to have watched Avengers: Infinity War 48 times since its release, and had quite the emotional reaction to the trailer for this spring's Avengers: Endgame.
Marvel Studios' Avengers - Official Traileryoutu.be
Avengers: Endgame Trailer #1 - Kevin Smith's Reactionyoutu.be
Twitter misses Lee right along with Smith but took solace in their caring friendship:
@ThatKevinSmith @TheRealStanLee It hurts not having Stan here with us but luckily everywhere I look I see Stan. He'… https://t.co/OlFv3WxWTh— Brian Stoner (@Brian Stoner) 1546017066.0
@ThatKevinSmith @TheRealStanLee Thank you, Mr. Smith, for a loving, touching, beautiful tribute to the late, great,… https://t.co/XMFVwpQSCz— heather mcdaniels (@heather mcdaniels) 1546019360.0
@ThatKevinSmith @TheRealStanLee Can't think of someone who better carries on that flame than you...I think you cont… https://t.co/tCTITeqZFg— Paul D. (Dosen't stay up til midnight) Varga (@Paul D. (Dosen't stay up til midnight) Varga) 1546014419.0
Stan Lee continues to influence the world through his immortal characters and stories.
@ThatKevinSmith @The_SecretStash @TheRealStanLee He will be forever missed! Thank you for sharing so many great stories of Stan Lee Kev!!— Nathan Hupman (@Nathan Hupman) 1546024186.0
@ThatKevinSmith @TheRealStanLee I really wasnt planning on crying today. And yet...here we are.— Eamon Winkle (@Eamon Winkle) 1546016681.0
As long as Kevin Smith is around, the name Stan Lee will never fade from the public memory.
@ThatKevinSmith @Kneon @TheRealStanLee. I met Stan Lee twice at the Toronto Fan Expo. He has a way of making you feel like family.— joshua mckay (@joshua mckay) 1546061697.0
@ThatKevinSmith @TheRealStanLee Aside from the creation of major pop culture icons, (because, yknow, that's just sm… https://t.co/3G6Y0K0cVl— Brendon (@Brendon) 1546027205.0
@ThatKevinSmith @TheRealStanLee Happy birthday @TheRealStanLee ,@ThatKevinSmith still remember you every day of his… https://t.co/onKr4yPs4o— Manu (@Manu) 1546022044.0
RIP, Mr. Lee.
@ThatKevinSmith @TheRealStanLee Happy birthday, Stan! We miss you!— Rook The Klown (@Rook The Klown) 1546015916.0