32

Usually his scenes are easy to understand the context of his character, but during the scene it had Stan laughing randomly at a book or magazine he was reading while travelling on a bus, when Doctor Strange & Mordo fall against the bus window.

Do we know what it was and why he found it amusing? Presuming the laughter has some context to the film?

  • 4
    Maybe it was a Doctor Strange comic. – Obie 2.0 Nov 7 '16 at 4:19
39

According to this article on comicbook.com (and a personal confirmation when I went to see it again) he was reading The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley - an essay detailing Huxley's experiences with the hallucinogenic drug Mescaline.

Since Doctor Strange's character was created in the 60's and the writers (probably incorrectly) were assumed to be inspired by drug use, entirely because of the wild stories and graphics. So the use of this book in the scene appears to be a bit of an inside joke / easter egg in itself.

  • You said that "the writers (often incorrectly) were assumed to be inspired by drug use". The way you phrased that makes it sound like sometimes they were on drugs, sometimes they weren't. I know it's impossible to prove a negative, but are there sources that indicate they sometimes were on drugs? – Thunderforge Nov 7 '16 at 17:05
  • @Thunderforge .... no, I'm not trying to imply they were on drug, perhaps I'll rephrase that a little. – iandotkelly Nov 7 '16 at 17:55
  • Thanks. I think it was the "(often incorrectly)" which sounded like sometimes the claim was correct. – Thunderforge Nov 7 '16 at 17:55
17

He was reading a copy of Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception – a 1954 essay about the writer's experiences tripping on mescaline. No doubt the counterculture icon Huxley was an inspiration for Lee when he created the equally trippy Doctor Strange back in 1963.

Given that his cameos are usually short and quick, we wouldn’t count on it.

Source

IN RESPONSE TO THE COMMENT

I picked this up from Wikipedia

Artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee have described the character as having been originally the idea of Ditko, who wrote in 2008, "On my own, I brought in to Lee a five-page, penciled story with a page/panel script of my idea of a new, different kind of character for variety in Marvel Comics. My character wound up being named Dr. Strange because he would appear in Strange Tales."3 In a 1963 letter to Jerry Bails, Lee called the character Ditko's idea, saying, Well, we have a new character in the works for Strange Tales (just a 5-page filler named Dr. Strange) Steve Ditko is gonna draw him. It has sort of a black magic theme. The first story is nothing great, but perhaps we can make something of him-- 'twas Steve's idea and I figured we'd give it a chance, although again, we had to rush the first one too much. Little sidelight: Originally decided to call him Mr. Strange, but thought the "Mr." bit too similar to Mr. Fantastic -- now, however, I remember we had a villain called Dr. Strange just recently in one of our mags, hope it won't be too confusing!

  • 2
    +1, worth noting that Huxley wasn't just "trippy", he was also mystical. From wikipedia: "Not long after, Huxley wrote his book on widely held spiritual values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed the teachings of renowned mystics of the world. Huxley's book affirmed a sensibility that insists there are realities beyond the generally accepted "five senses" and that there is genuine meaning for humans beyond both sensual satisfactions and sentimentalities." – DCShannon Nov 18 '16 at 21:17

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