Every Stephen King Movie Cameo Ranked

Stephen King isn't known as the Master of Horror for nothing. He's terrified readers for almost 50 years with some of the scariest horror stories ever written. He's penned over 75 books to date with many of them adapted for film and TV ... turning his literary creations into some of the greatest horror movies of all time.

Clearly, Stephen King loves movies.

He's written many of his own adaptations, not to mention a handful of original screenplays, starting with "Creepshow" in 1982. He's collaborated with Michael Jackson for the short film "Ghosts" and even wrote a hilariously over-the-top episode of "The X-Files." But he's no stranger to stepping in front of the camera, either.

King's cameos began in 1981 with a small appearance in George A. Romero's "Knightriders," which saw him become a slovenly redneck, credited only as "Hoagie Man." Since then, he's made appearances in everything from "The Simpsons" to "Sons of Anarchy." But while the horror genius has appeared throughout popular culture, his best-known cameos are those based on his own work. Most recently, he appeared in "It Chapter Two" ... but we'll get to that.

Which one of King's cameos is the best? Here's every one of them, ranked. 

17. Knightriders – Hoagie Man (1981)

It's Stephen King's first-ever cameo, and as you might expect it's not exactly the best.

Appearing in George A. Romero's "Knightriders," King took the role of Hoagie Man — a hoagie-eating audience member who happens to be watching a motorcycle dueling event that features heavily in the movie. Romero later became a bit of a frequent collaborator with King, the two of them working on "Creepshow" and "The Dark Half" together. But we'll get to that.

"Knightriders" gave Stephen King his big-screen debut — even if it wasn't quite as glamorous as he hoped. Still, you've got to appreciate his commitment to the role, donning a trucker cap and disheveled look to get that tried-and-true redneck vibe.

Fun fact: Sat next to Stephen King in the crowd is his wife, Tabitha, who made a cameo appearance as another member of the motorcycle joust's audience.

16. Creepshow – Jordy Verrill (1982)

Stephen King is no actor, so his cameo appearances tend to be limited to an unspoken cameo or the occasional line here and there. However, "Creepshow" is a bit different. The 1982 horror anthology saw King collaborating with his pal, George A. Romero ... and it looks as though Romero wanted to offer King the role of a lifetime. That's right — Stephen King is the leading man this time around, starring in a segment directed by Romero himself.

"The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" sees King once again hamming it up as a redneck. This time, he plays the titular Jordy Verrill — a hillbilly who gets infected by a fast-growing, plant-like virus that begins growing out of his body and spreading to everything he touches. It's a ridiculous, over-the-top role that sees King contract the virus while stumbling across a meteor crash site.

It's certainly no "Twilight Zone" ... and King's acting is almost as ridiculous as the plot. But that's kind of the point as both Romero and King approach the story with humor.

15. Maximum Overdrive – Man at Bank ATM (1986)

"Maximum Overdrive" is a tale of technological terror that now feels severely outdated. Starring Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, and Yeardley Smith, the film tells the story of a machine uprising when all machines on Earth become sentient under the trail of a passing comet. It's campy, it's ridiculous, and it's the only film Stephen King has ever directed.

Of course, King couldn't resist giving himself a cool cameo, and he actually gets the very first line in the movie: "Honey? Come on over here, Sugar Buns ... this machine just called me an a**hole!" I mean, the ATM has kind of got a point. Anyone who calls their wife "Sugar Buns" in public is an a**hole, right?

It's weird, it's wonderful, and it kicks off just about one of the strangest comedy horrors you'll ever see. As for King's directorial debut, it couldn't have gone worse, and he swore he would never direct again.

14. Creepshow 2 – Truck Driver (1987)

Stephen King is known for his horror anthologies, and that would soon translate to the big screen, too. "Creepshow 2" sees King team up with his old pal and horror legend, George A. Romero. But this wasn't the first time they worked together. In fact, Romero directed "Creepshow" just a few years before.

This time around, Romero wrote the screenplay (based on three of King's short stories) while the film was directed by Michael Gornick, the cinematographer on the original film. The result is a slow, meandering mess that just isn't as good as the original. And King's cameo is nowhere near as good, either.

"The Hitch-hiker" segment sees Annie Lansing (Lois Chiles) accidentally hit the titular Hitchhiker with her car before fleeing the scene. It's here that King turns up as a passing truck driver who happens upon the bloody scene ... except he barely acknowledges it, remarking only that this kind of thing happens all the time. Keep your eyes on the road, kids.

13. Pet Sematary – Minister (1989)

"Pet Sematary" is one of Stephen King's most terrifying novels. I mean, it's the one that made King himself think that he'd gone too far. It also made one of Stephen King's most terrifying movies. Set in rural Maine, "Pet Sematary" tells the story of the Creed family who move from Chicago to their new life in the sticks, only to find a creepy pet cemetery in the woods behind their home. However, there's something not right. The 'Sematary' brings anything buried there back to life ... and after their young son, Gage is killed in a truck accident, well, you can guess what happens next. It's no surprise that all hell breaks loose. Literally. Stephen King appears in a small role as the minister who presides over the funeral of another character, Missy Dandridge, who dies by suicide midway through the movie.

12. Golden Years – Bus Driver (1991)

"Golden Years" was Stephen King's first TV project — a sci-fi miniseries based on a novel outline that he had been working on for years. The seven-part series tells the story of Harlan Williams (Keith Szarabajka), an elderly janitor who is caught in an explosion at the top-secret laboratory where he works. At this point, it all goes a bit "Benjamin Button." The janitor begins aging backward, and is pursued by the shadowy organization known as "The Shop."

King's cameo arrives in the fifth episode, "Second Chance." Here, the janitor tries to keep his wife and daughter safe by sending them off on a trip to Chicago. King plays the bus driver who complains about picking up "side of the roaders" but is swiftly put in his place with little more than a harsh glare.

Although King planned for "Golden Years" to transition into a full series, CBS was having none of it. And thus, Stephen King's first TV project came to a swift end.

11. Sleepwalkers – Cemetery Caretaker (1992)

"Sleepwalkers" was a landmark film for Stephen King, notable because it's the first time King wrote a movie's screenplay without it being based on a previous novel or short story.

It's also just really icky.

"Sleepwalkers" tells the story of Mary Brady (Alice Krige) and her son, Charles (Brian Krause) — an incestuous duo who also happen to be the last of a species of vampiric aliens who feast on the life force of unsuspecting female virgins.

This time around, King's cameo is absolute genius — not least of which because it actually features multiple cameos all rolled into one. King plays a cemetery caretaker who panics after the local police department descends on his workplace. He's worried about being held liable for an assault that took place there ... and as he angrily swaggers through the scene, King encounters fellow horror legends Clive Barker and Tobe Hooper also in cameo roles.

It's a fun little scene that they clearly all had a blast with ... and it's sure to put a smile on any horror aficionado's face.

10. The Stand – Teddy Weizak (1994)

Stephen King's post-apocalyptic epic "The Stand" is often considered his crowning triumph. The 1994 miniseries saw him reteam with "Sleepwalkers" director Mick Garris to bring this story to the screen. "The Stand" tells the story of two groups of survivors — the last remnants of humanity after the world is ravaged by a superflu virus. The story gets a lot more complex, but the forces of Mother Abigail (Ruby Dee) and Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan) are locked in a stand-off at the end of the world.

King appears as Teddy Weizak, one of the survivors who joins the community at Boulder Free Zone under the leadership of Mother Abigail. It's more than just a cameo, but still just a relatively minor part. Teddy takes Nadine Cross (Laura San Giacomo) to the Boulder Free Zone. Despite the character being decapitated in the book, Teddy lives to fight another day.

9. The Langoliers – Tom Holby (1995)

"The Langoliers" is a bit of a weird one. It's based on the novella of the same name in Stephen King's anthology collection, "Four Past Midnight." Another sci-fi horror miniseries in the realm of "The Twilight Zone," it was adapted for the screen by Tom Holland (no, not that one). It's a story about time displacement, in which an ill-fated red-eye flight accidentally veers through a time rift and ends up out-of-time ... and those passengers who ended up on the wrong side are pursued by the titular monsters, the Langoliers.

Throughout the two-part miniseries, stockbroker Craig Toomy (Bronson Pinchot) becomes increasingly more unhinged, ranting and raving about how he has to get to Boston to meet with his business associates.

It's here that Stephen King rears his head, appearing in a hallucinated board-room scene on the tarmac at Bangor International Airport. King plays Tom Holby, Toomy's money-hungry boss who demands to know how much profit he's made them. Weirdly, it's a tiny role that suits King down to the ground with a menacing, maniacal grin that tips Toomy over the edge just before he's devoured by monsters. Chilling.

8. Thinner – Pharmacist (1996)

Hot on the heels of "The Langoliers," director Tom Holland followed it up with another Stephen King adaption — "Thinner."

A body-horror pic starring Robert John Burke, "Thinner" tells the story of an obese criminal defense attorney who suffers from a curse that makes him thinner after accidentally killing the daughter of a Romani gypsy. It's problematic in a lot of ways — from depicting its shady main character as obese to the several cartoonish fat suits used to make him so. Not to mention the othering of the film's Romani characters. It's a grotesque movie all around, though not for the right reasons.

King appears in a minor cameo as Mr. Bangor — a pharmacist who treats Tadzu Lempke (Michael Constantine) for a lesion on his nose. Honestly, the less said about this film, the better.

7. The Shining – Gage Creed (1997)

Arguably Stephen King's greatest film, "The Shining" is an absolute cinematic masterpiece and a triumph for director Stanley Kubrick. Although famously Stephen King hated the movie, which lead to a miniseries remake directed by Mick Garris. And that's where this King cameo comes in. Appearing as one of the ghostly apparitions within the haunted Overlook Hotel, King's cameo is that of Gage Creed – itself a nod to the character in another King novel, "Pet Sematary." But this version of Creed is instead a conductor, leading the orchestra during a party at the hotel.

6. Storm of the Century (1999)

"Storm of the Century" was the first miniseries Stephen King wrote that wasn't based on one of his earlier novels or short stories. It also happens to be one of his personal favorites.

It may not look like much from the outset, but "Storm of the Century" sets up a chilling premise with a dark moral dilemma at its core — would you sacrifice one child to save an entire town?

Throughout "Storm of the Century," the main antagonist, Linoge (Colm Feore) displays a collection of weird and frightening supernatural powers – one of which involved projecting visions onto broken televisions. Stephen King's cameo arrives in this manner, with King as a lawyer in a TV advert that appears on a previously broken TV screen.

It's a bizarre cameo in a truly unsettling series. And it's not the last time we'll be seeing that TV ad...

5. Rose Red – Pizza Delivery Guy (2002)

Stephen King's next miniseries came in 2002 with "Rose Red" — the story of a haunted mansion in Seattle, Washington named Rose Red ... and the supernatural events that have occurred there.

Starring Nancy Travis as Dr. Joyce Reardon, "Rose Red" sees the mansion investigated by a team of parapsychologists and psychics. Determined to get to the bottom of its mysteries, the team accidentally awaken an evil spirit ... and it's all downhill from there.

"Rose Red" was originally conceived as a loose adaptation of "The Haunting." But Stephen King's cameo is anything but. During Episode 2, a pizza delivery guy turns up at the house bearing pizzas and a bunch of six-packs — quite a party, right? That's King himself, but he's not particularly welcome, receiving a frosty reception from the gang.

He definitely should have gotten a bigger tip.

4. Kingdom Hospital – Johnny B. Goode (2004)

A full series penned by Stephen King himself, "Kingdom Hospital" is based on a Danish miniseries by Lars Von Trier. It's set in the titular Kingdom Hospital and let's be honest, it's like a serious version of "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace."

"Kingdom Hospital" tells the story of the New Kingdom — a hospital built on the site of an old mill that made military uniforms during the Civil War. Basically, it's a haunted hospital yarn with all the medical weirdness that goes along with it.

There's a handsome doctor with a female love interest, a secret society, and even a comatose patient who begins to unravel the hospital mysteries while lying unconscious.

King, who wrote nine of the show's twelve episodes, appears as part of a recurring gag, playing the mysterious head of maintenance named Johnny B. Goode. He's finally revealed in the show's finale, much to the frustration of Dr. Stegman (Bruce Davison), who can never seem to get hold of him when he needs him.

Bonus: King also appears in a second uncredited cameo in a TV ad ... That's right — it's the same commercial we saw in "Storm of the Century." Wild.

3. Under the Dome – Diner Patron (2014)

Stephen King's "Under the Dome" was highly anticipated before the series launched. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to its hype. The acclaimed horror author admitted that the show went "off the rails" before it was ultimately canceled.

"Under the Dome" tells the story of the fictional town of Chester's Mill — a small town that becomes cut off from the rest of the world with the appearance of a gigantic, indestructible dome. The town's residents are then faced with uncovering the dome's many mysteries. What is it? Where did it come from? Will the show's ratings improve by the final episode?

King's cameo is as non-plussed as the show's audience. He appears in the season 2 premiere, "Heads Will Roll," where he plays a guy drinking coffee at the diner where Angie McAlister (Britt Robertson) works. The dialogue he gets to utter is truly inspired: "Refill, Ang? Thanks, hon."

Truly, it's a wonder why "Under the Dome" was canceled.

2. Mr. Mercedes – Line Cook (2017)

Stephen King's cameo in the hit TV series "Mr. Mercedes" is by far one of his most interesting, if only because he finally gets to contribute to the horror of his work.

"Mr. Mercedes" tells the story of retired detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson), who is haunted by the unsolved case of Mr. Mercedes — a man who drove a stolen Mercedes into a crowd of people, taking 16 lives. But when a young psychopath begins paying Hodges a bit too much attention, their relationship turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse.

It's an interesting turn into crime-drama and triller territory for the acclaimed horror writer, and it sees him become a victim in Brady Hartsfield's (Harry Treadaway) violent fantasy.

During a business lunch, Hartsfield imagines himself brutally murdering everybody in the diner — including the line cook, played by Stephen King, who gets whacked while serving up a tasty-looking salad.

1. It Chapter Two – Shopkeeper (2019)

Stephen King fans are in for a real treat: this is without a doubt his greatest cameo appearance of all time. "It Chapter Two" was the hit follow-up to Stephen King's "It".

The story should be familiar — a group of kids uncovers a sinister clown living among them in small-town Derry, Maine. After vanquishing the monstrous creature in the first movie, the kids, now all grown up, return to take on Pennywise once more.

Some of them have been out of town for what feels like a lifetime, and when Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy) spots a familiar bicycle in a pawn shop window, he can't help but wander in to take a look. Here, we find King in his best cameo yet, taking the role of the sinister pawnshop owner. There's clearly something not quite right with him, and as the guy puts the squeeze on Bill, he starts to get a bit snappy — especially when Bill (now a celebrated author) offers to sign one of his books for him.

"Nah, I didn't like the ending," says King in a clear dig at his critics. Everything about this cameo screams perfection, from the weirdness of the shop owner himself to King's self-reflection on not always sticking the landings. For that reason, it's "It Chapter Two" that's simply the best Stephen King cameo of all time.