Stephen King, like Alfred Hitchcock before him, has a penchant for appearing in his own films with small, often comic, and sometimes unnoticeable cameos. His most infamous turns include the priest in Pet Sematary, the cemetery caretaker in Sleepwalkers, a truck driver in Creepshow 2, and the pharmacist in Thinner. With The Dark Tower & IT hitting theaters in the coming months, not to mention TV adaptations of The Mist and Mr. Mercedes premiering soon, fans will definitely be on the lookout for horror’s most lauded author.
You might be surprised to learn, though, that King’s first cameo wasn’t in one of his own adaptations. It was back in 1981 when King was still establishing his reputation; on an upward trajectory to be sure, but hardly the icon he is today. The movie was Knightriders, directed by George A. Romero and starring Tom Savini, both of whom would be major players in 1982’s Creepshow.
Knightriders is not a horror movie; it’s an action/comedy that looks like a Renaissance Fair that gets infiltrated by a biker gang. Before I show you King’s cameo, check out the trailer and synopsis below. I promise you will be amused!
Official Synopsis: Billy (Ed Harris) is the undisputed leader of a roving band of hardened bikers who support themselves by jousting at Medieval fairs and selling their intricately designed wares. As their fearsome reputation and popularity grow, commercial pressures begin tearing the tightly knit group apart. Despite Billy’s attempts to maintain his noble and chivalrous vision, his star performer (Gary Lahti) entertains outside offers, while his arch-rival, Morgan (Tom Savini), prepares for a final battle.
King’s character is listed in the credits as “Hoagie Man”, a reference to the sandwich he’s eating. The quality of this clip is rather poor so let me break it down for you. As a carnival troop marches into town, a spectator (King) comments on a juggler’s super tight pants saying, “I don’t have the balls to wear something like that”, to which his wife replies: “You can say that again! Pass me a beer.”
The woman playing King’s wife is his real-life wife Tabitha!
King’s next film appearance would be in Creepshow the following year when he played the title character in The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill segment [Featured Image]. That, however, was more of a full-fledged supporting role, requiring much more effort than a mere cameo, and proving the author has an actual knack for comedy. Check him out below.
What are some of your favorite Stephen King cameos? Sound off in the Comments section!