Stan Lee turned 95 years old today, and while there were many celebrities who chimed in to wish the Marvel Comics icon a happy one, longtime fan, friend, and collaborator Kevin Smith took to social media to post a slightly longer note to the co-creator of the Marvel Universe.
Smith and Lee have known each other since the mid-90s, when the filmmaker cast Lee in a small role (as himself) in his sophomore film, Mallrats. If you have never seen it, and want to hear a comics legend in his eighties talk about superhero genitalia, it is highly recommended.
"Happy Birthday to living legend Stan Lee!" Smith wrote on Facebook. "The original Marvel super hero turns 95 today! I’ve always looked up to this master storyteller with the giant heart - this dreamer who taught so many of us to dream! Stan, you created a far more entertaining Universe than the actual one we all live in and we’re all the better for it! I hope you know how beloved you truly are."
In addition to Mallrats, Lee appeared on Smith's reality show Comic Book Men, and you can see an interview hosted by Smith and featuring Lee and Marvel's current Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada on the DVD Marvel Then & Now. Smith and Lee appear together on another documentary, titled Mutants, Monsters, and Marvels.
Lee was slated to appear in Mallrats 2, which went from being a film to a TV miniseries to defunct. It is not yet clear whether he will make an appearance in Jay & Silent Bob: Reboot, although given how close the two have become over the years, and how many cameos Stan Lee has done since 1995, it seems like a good bet.