The 14 Most Hilarious Cameos In Superhero Movies And Television

The secret weapon of any superhero story is its characters. Audiences are more invested in Peter Parker than his powers, and are more excited to see a beloved character faithfully realized on screen than any action scene or plot twist. It's little wonder, then, that superhero films and TV shows are flooded with cameos. They're a lightning-fast infusion of character. Sometimes, these cameos are ways to expand the world of a movie. At others, they provide some fan service, or get the audience's blood pumping. But when they're thrilling, well-considered, and hysterically funny? That's the sweet spot.

The funniest cameos in superhero media combine genuine shocks with intelligent storytelling. Yes, they're the source of jokes. Yes, they're sometimes outrageous. The best ones, though, find a way to make these surprise cameos feel organic to the larger world in which the film or show takes place. No matter the scenario, these 14 cameos tickle the funny bone by bringing great characters to life, even if they're mainly deployed for comedic purposes.

Bruce Campbell in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies

Throughout the first three "Evil Dead" movies, Sam Raimi transformed Bruce Campbell's Ash Williams from an unlikely hero into a super one. When Ash first heads out to the cabin in the woods, he's a regular guy hoping to spend some time with his friends. By the time that he's taking his chainsaw arm into battle against the Deadite horde alongside a medieval army, he's proved himself to be virtually invulnerable.

Given that, it's appropriate that Bruce Campbell made not one but three cameos in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy. Like his performances in the "Evil Dead" films, each is hysterically funny. More impressively, each also serves its story. In 2002's "Spider-Man," Campbell's ring announcer gives Peter Parker's alter-ego his name. In "Spider-Man 2," his snooty usher satirizes the hubris of Broadway snobs while catalyzing Mary Jane's deep disappointment in Peter. Finally, his maitre'd is at the center of the infamous restaurant sequence in "Spider-Man 3," which is made all the funnier by Campbell's exquisite French accent.

Crucially, the appearance of the same actor in three separate films could have been part of some larger world-building. In a 2022 interview with Rolling Stone, Raimi confirmed there were plans to have Campbell play Mysterio in "Spider-Man 4," making the actor's cameos a simultaneous expansion of the franchise's mythology and a colossal in-joke. That makes them among the smartest ever committed to the screen.

Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk

It's hard to remember when cameos in comic book movies felt novel, but 2008 was a different time. The appearance of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in "Iron Man" sent shockwaves through comic book fandom. Hot on its heels, "The Incredible Hulk" offered up a less revelatory but equally fan-pleasing appearance: the original TV Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, as an easily-bribed security guard.

Indeed, pizza is the key to Ferrigno's heart in "The Incredible Hulk," which would be funny enough if the cameo wasn't laden with subtext. For one, Ferrigno also cameoed as a security guard alongside Stan Lee in Ang Lee's 2003 "Hulk," making this a nod to that movie as well, one that highlights the differences between the two films. Where Lee's film is existentially probing and intentionally pulpy, Louis Letterier's "Incredible Hulk" is brawny and funny. Ferrigno's appearance reinforces this. "You are the man," Norton quips before paying Ferrigno off with a pie. Ferrigno smiles knowingly. For fans of classic superhero television, it's a grin-inducing sequence from moment one.

Billy Dee Williams (and others) in The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego movies have yet to find a comic book hero or villain they can't playfully send up. Batman's id-forward appearance in the original "The Lego Movie" set the tone for 2017's spinoff, "The Lego Batman Movie." This stellar effort features off-kilter appearances from most of the Dark Knight's rogue's gallery, but it's Billy Dee Williams' Two-Face who's the big winner, cameo-wise. 

For those who don't know or may have forgotten, Billy Dee Williams appears in Tim Burton's "Batman" as Harvey Dent, the future Two-Face. He did not, however, play the villain in Joel Schumacher's colorful, dialed-up "Batman Forever." As great as Tommy Lee Jones' take on the character is, that makes Williams' work in "The Lego Batman Movie" a joyous act of wish fulfillment. 

In the film's opening sequence, Gotham's most colorful villains attack the city simultaneously. One of them is Two-Face, who drives a truck full of chemicals straight through a security checkpoint. Hilariously, he doesn't cackle villainously. Instead, he goes full Billy Dee Williams. "We need that door open, baby!" Two-Face moans. It's one of the funnier openings of any comedy in the last few years, let alone a superhero film, and that's entirely due to the cameos.

Hugh Jackman in X-Men: First Class

Before we discuss the merits of Hugh Jackman in "X-Men: First Class," let's espouse the virtues of PG-13 f-bombs. Simply put, they're the best. The appearance of even one rogue f-word in a not-rated-R movie can have transgressive power. Think of "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" or the post-credits stinger from "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story." These moments are highlights from their respective films, endlessly quotable and comedically rich.

That's true of Hugh Jackman's cameo appearance in "X-Men: First Class" as well. Jackman had appeared in every "X-Men" movie made up until that point, but "First Class" looked like it was going to break the trend. It concerns a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassabender), and takes place decades before Wolverine's contemporaries were born.

Thankfully, it didn't. When Xavier and Lehnsherr attempt to recruit mutants for the first X-Men team, they find Wolverine in a bar. Their exchange is short, sour, and entirely on-brand for Logan. "Excuse me, I'm Eric Lehnsherr," Magneto begins. "Charles Xavier," Professor X continues. "Go f*** yourselves," Logan replies.

That's it. No pomp and almost no circumstance, just a transgressive bit of cursing and a subversion of expectations. It's both superhero cameos and f-bombs at their best — and funniest.

The X-Men in Deadpool 2

"Deadpool 2" contains two of the funniest cameo appearances in the history of superhero cinema, and the first one is far more interesting than it appears at first glance.

In 2016's "Deadpool," the Merc with a Mouth cracks wise about how he only sees Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus whenever he's at the X-Mansion. "It's almost like the studio couldn't afford another X-Men," he quips. Years later, in "Deadpool 2," he still cannot let Fox's penny-pinching go. "You'd think the studio would throw us a bone," he snarls. "They can't just dust off one of the famous X-Men? How about that putz with the giant pigeon wings?" The camera then cuts to many of those famous X-Men in a room that Deadpool hasn't noticed yet. Not wanting to get involved in his shenanigans, they immediately shut the doors.

It's a great visual gag. Crucially, it also establishes a relationship between Wade Wilson and the Hollywood machine he admonishes. The studio isn't simply there to finance Deadpool's adventures. It's also there to toy with him. It will even throw the X-Men on screen in an act of gleeful, knowing torture. Deadpool may have become famous for winking at the world that exists off-screen, but in "Deadpool 2" that world winks right back at him.

X-Force in Deadpool 2

X-Force's appearance in "Deadpool 2" may be the single funniest cameo ever to grace a superhero movie. However, if you missed the buildup to the film's release, you might not understand why.

In David Leitch's madcap superhero comedy, X-Force is comprised of Domino (Zazie Beetz), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), the Vanisher, and Peter (Rob Delaney). All of these actors are well-established, and each was featured heavily in ads for the film. However, when X-Force skydives into its first mission, each member of the team meets a quick, horrible end. As "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC roars in the background, Bedlam parachutes straight into a bus. Shatterstar hits a helicopter blade, the wind from which sends Vanisher straight into telephone wires (revealing that he's being played by Brad Pitt). Zeitgeist lands feet-first in a wood chipper, but not before his acid vomit kills Peter.

It's "Final Destination" by way of "Looney Tunes." Leitch gets plenty of credit for his action scenes, but his comedic chops are on full display here. More crucially, though, this scene is genuinely surprising. A "Deadpool" movie doesn't work if it simply sends up superhero conventions; it has to shock an audience that's been bombarded with those conventions almost non-stop. That's exactly what the X-Force sequence does. As a series of hysterical superhero cameos, it's heroic indeed.

Zach Cherry in Spider-Man: Homecoming

While "Deadpool 2" is the king of hysterical superhero cameos outside of the MCU, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" holds the crown for a Marvel Studios production.

That's not too surprising. Both films relish their respective world-building. For "Deadpool 2," that means a deliberate set of jabs involving 20th Century Fox and its "X-Men" franchise. In the case of "Spider-Man: Homecoming," director Jon Watts establishes the Marvel Cinematic Universe's New York City from the ground up. Other MCU films have set pieces that take place in the Big Apple; "Spider-Man: Homecoming" contains true neighborhood flavor, albeit not on the same level as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.

Take Zach Cherry's cameo as the Street Vendor, for example. Cherry is in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" for 20-odd seconds, but his appearance establishes Spider-Man's standing in the City That Never Sleeps. The street vendor is jazzed to see Spider-Man, even if he gets his name wrong. He also feels comfortable enough with the hero to ask ol' Web-Head to do a flip. That Spider-Man obliges would be funny enough on its own, but Cherry's enthusiastic "Yeah!" afterward really sells it (so does his completely unexpected return in "Shang-Chi," where we learn his name is Klev). The Street Vendor cameo is one of the MCU's funniest moments and also one of its most telling, which makes it a necessary inclusion on our list.

Stan Lee in Spider-Man: Homecoming

It wouldn't be right to have a list of the funniest cameos in superhero media without one Stan Lee entry. No other person is simultaneously more important to the rise of the superhero genre and more prolific as a cameo artist. Lee is the root of all Marvel comics. His creations turned capes and cowls into the engine that powers modern Hollywood. However, for all his importance, when Stan Lee shows up in a superhero project, he's usually as funny as all get out.

For my money, Lee's best cameo is in "Spider-Man: Homecoming." He appears at the end of a wonderful sequence in which Spider-Man attempts to foil a car robbery — one that, as it turns out, was actually just the car's owner trying to enter his own vehicle (albeit with a crowbar). When the alarm roars to life, the nearby New Yorkers respond with a specific, Queens-worthy ire ("I'm working nights!" is a particular favorite). Lee then pokes his head out of a window to bellow, "Don't make me come down there, you punk!" before a nearby woman in a separate apartment yells "Hey, Gary!" in Lee's direction. He responds with disarming congeniality.

This is Lee at his best and most truthful. The creator was a born and bred New Yorker who embodied the Big Apple through and through. He was always on his hustle, and was authentically larger than life. His "Spider-Man: Homecoming" honors all of that and induces some laughter, too.

Captain America in Spider-Man: Homecoming

No cameo in a superhero film or TV has been memed more than Chris Evans' appearance in "Spider-Man: Homecoming." That alone doesn't make it worthy of inclusion on this list, of course. What does is that Evans' surprise appearance in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" via a series of disciplinary videos shown by gym teacher Coach Wilson (Hannibal Burress) comes completely out of left field and is deeply comedic. However, it also makes the MCU a richer world.

These videos feature Cap's "The Avengers"-era costume, suggesting that Steve Rogers filmed these cheesy and wholesome PSAs almost immediately after the Battle of New York. If so, the underlying story that emerges is that New York City's school system — if not the national one — is capitalizing on a legendary hero's sudden reemergence. Given that "The Avengers" (and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which takes place shortly afterwards) breaks Cap's faith in his government, if not his country, that's even funnier. Incredibly, all of that can be garnered from two quick cameo appearances.

Again, these cameos are hysterical. Evans' stilted, clearly overwritten dialogue has become a template for meme-makers the world over, suggesting a comic resonance that is as far-reaching as the Marvel movie machine itself. Therefore, it's a necessary inclusion on this list.

Julie Andrews in Aquaman

Let's be honest: The phrase "Julie Andrews as a kraken" is inherently funny. Imagining the lead of "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins" as a sea beast who emerges from the deep to wreck ships in strange waters is an act of mental absurdism. Luckily, James Wan and "Aquaman" made it a reality.

Cameos are largely inconsequential. Julie Andrews' in "Aquaman" is not. Andrews' kraken is practically the film's final boss, a Herculean foe that Arthur Curry must best to unite the underwater kingdoms and take his rightful place as master of the seas. Nothing about Andrews' work winks at the audience. She fully commits to the part. This doesn't make it sound like a funny cameo and, on one level, it isn't. It's more hysterical as an idea; the film plays it completely straight.

That's what makes it so wonderful. "Aquaman" is as hilarious as it is awesome, offering action and comedy in equal measure. This is the James Wan way. Few mainstream directors are less afraid of creating tonal dissonance than Wan, who's happy to make films that bridge the gulf between camp and sincerity, or horror and comedy. Julie Andrews' cameo may be more of a conceptual joke than a traditional one, but it deserves a spot on this list because it embodies what makes "Aquaman" great. It's strange. It's fantastic. It's a singular, nonsensical choice that somehow makes all the sense in the world.

Anson Mount in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

"What mouth?" These two words comprise the cleverest line in Sam Raimi's "Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness," a genuinely funny entry in the never-ending MCU experiment. It's funny because it comes when Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) strips Black Bolt (Anson Mount) of his powerful pipes, which can end the lives of others. It's also funny because Mount's Black Bolt was the lynchpin of Marvel's "Inhumans," a TV MCU spinoff that is the closest thing to a bomb the studio's ever produced. However, rather than make Black Bolt important to this world, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" lets one of the MCU's most powerful characters remain a grim joke.

This is why Mount's appearance deserves a spot here. It would've been easier for both Mount and Marvel to take the high road, and retcon in Black Bolt's comics-canon gravitas. They didn't. There's something deeply transgressive, and transgressively funny, about the route Raimi and Mount took in one of 2022's biggest movies. This cameo is fanservice as a punchline, and it's fantastic.

Garry Shandling in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Garry Shandling might be one of the funniest people to ever walk the Earth. Anyone who's ever seen "The Larry Sanders Show" knows that this isn't hyperbole; even viewers who only know Shandling from "Iron Man 2" should be able to recognize his talent. Shandling makes comedy seem effortless, and his skill alone would make any cameo by him one of the best. What's particularly great about Shandling's appearance in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," though, is how it pays off the most basic elements of Shandling's extended cameo in what's arguably the most disappointing Marvel movie.

Shandling excels at making his smarminess feel like comic currency. Shandling's Larry Sanders was a case study in the art of making misanthropy both accessible and revolting, and his performance as the conservative Senator Stern in "Iron Man 2" echoed Larry through and through. In the MCU, though, a character as misanthropic as Stern must be a villain — which "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" hysterically confirms when it reintroduces Stern primarily so that he can exit the film with a smugly whispered "Hail Hydra." 

Stern is a traitor at the highest level. His secret allegiances are all the more chilling in the wake of the January 6th attack on the Capitol building, but, as realized by Shandling, they're also as funny as anything in the superhero canon.

Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok

Few mainstream movie stars have had more fun making cameos than Matt Damon. His performance in "Eurotrip" is euphoria-inducing. His unexpected appearance on "Saturday Night Live" as Brett Kavanaugh may be the funniest thing the 52-year-old actor has ever done. Damon understands the value of his star power and the importance of brevity. That knowledge is beautifully utilized in "Thor: Ragnarok."

When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns home to Asgard, everything seems amiss. Most notably, a particularly relaxed Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is watching a play that espouses the virtues of Loki and his life story. This production features Damon as Loki, Sam Neill as Odin, and — most hysterically — Luke Hemsworth as Thor. The latter would be in consideration for this list simply because of his joyously meta casting, but each actor delivers in their quick appearance. Neill's gravitas is comically casual. Luke chews the scenery like none other. And Damon cashes in on the MCU role that, had Marvel Studios started its run a decade or so earlier, might have been his by sending up a younger actor's performance. It's unexpected, excellent, and one of the best superhero film or TV cameos ever.

Seth Rogen in The Boys

We've already written about Seth Rogen's cameo in "The Boys" at length. But you know what? It demands more words. By season 3, Rogen had already appeared as himself a few times in the satirical Prime Video show he co-produces. He didn't have to return, especially not like this: pleasuring himself to Crimson Countess (Laurie Holden) via webcam. 

Everything about this is funny. The reveal that there are superhero porn portals is funny. That Rogen is a customer of this specific portal ("Supe Porn Platinum") is funny. His prominently displayed dispenser of lube is even funnier. However, it's the fact that Rogen's appearance collides with Crimson Countess' murder, and that said act of violence inadvertently leads to the, um, happy ending that Rogen is looking for, is the most shocking and funny moment of all. 

Almost all of the cameos mentioned above compliment the conventions of the superhero genre. By contrast, Rogen's cameo feels like it could only happen on "The Boys," which is determined to skewer superhero stories for everything they're worth. The abandon with which the show does so allows this to be the most outrageous cameo on this list, and easily one of the funniest ever.