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Why The Pizza Poppa Guy In Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Looks So Familiar

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has finally hit theaters. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film sends Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) on a mind-bending trip through the infinite multiverse in an attempt to protect America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) from Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). The film introduces a broad array of Marvel characters into the MCU and returns to some familiar fan favorites as well. However, one particular new character who has made a big impression on audiences is "Pizza Poppa," a bumbling pizza street vendor who lives in the same universe as The Illuminati.

Pizza Poppa has a very small role in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," but he really pops in his two short sequences. He will almost certainly seem familiar to viewers who are savvy in geek culture, and that is because he is played by longtime Sam Raimi collaborator Bruce Campbell. Campbell has amassed a massive list of IMDb credits during his tenure as a Hollywood legend, and with that in-mind, these are some of the roles that audiences may be most familiar with.

He is Ash Williams in the Evil Dead franchise

Kicking things off is the role that most people likely associate Bruce Campbell with, as it's the role that introduced him to Hollywood. Moreover, it's also the role that he has most consistently returned to throughout his career: Ash Williams. As the hero of the "Evil Dead" franchise, Ash and Bruce Campbell have been inextricable since the character debuted in "The Evil Dead" in the early 1980s.

Following Sam Raimi's original, stripped-down indie horror film, Campbell and Raimi would gradually evolve the Ash character over the years. This would lead him to adopt his iconic chainsaw hand and Boomstick in "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" and become the wise-cracking hero of "Army of Darkness." Following "Army of Darkness," Ash went dormant in live-action for a number of years before returning for a brief cameo in 2013's "Evil Dead" and taking center stage in "Ash vs. Evil Dead," which continued the character's story decades after the conclusion of "Army of Darkness." Beyond his role as Ash in the movies, Campbell has also provided his face to Ash comics. He has also voiced the character in numerous video game adaptations – most of which are separate from the traditional "Evil Dead" canon.

He was the Final Shemp in Darkman

Following the success of "Evil Dead 2," Sam Raimi finally made his way to proper studio filmmaking by bringing his talents to Universal in the early 1990s. Combining elements of pulpy noir heroes like Dick Tracy and Universal Monsters, Raimi brought an original creation to life in the form of "Darkman." Led by Liam Neeson, the film centered on a scientist who survives a horrific accident and returns to seek justice against the criminals who terrorize his city. One of Darkman's key talents is his ability to take the face of anyone through the use of synthetic skin, and in the final moments of the movie, he walks off into a crowd wearing the visage of none other than Bruce Campbell.

While Bruce Campbell's role in "Darkman" was ultimately much smaller than some of his other collaborations with Sam Raimi, he almost had a much more substantial part in the movie. In fact, Campbell himself has even confirmed (via Irish Film Institute) that he was up for the lead in "Darkman" before ultimately losing out to Neeson. As a result, Campbell's only appearance in the film is in its final moments, along with some ADR to replace one of Neeson's lines in the film.

He played Brisco County Jr.

Though Bruce Campbell arguably never got the leading man career in film that Sam Raimi had tried to achieve for him, he did go on to have great success as the lead in the television world. One of the most notable projects in that field is his work on "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." In the series, Campbell portrayed the titular Brisco County Jr., a bounty hunter operating in the Wild West.

"The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." ran for one season between 1993 and 1994. In total, the series ran for 27 episodes, with Campbell appearing in every single one of them. The franchise has pretty much remained dormant in the years since it went off the air, but in a 2018 interview with The Houston Chronicle, Campbell himself confirmed that he would be willing to return to that universe for a revival. Whether or not that will actually happen, however, remains to be seen.

He was the surgeon general of Beverly Hills in Escape from L.A.

In 1996, John Carpenter and Kurt Russell teamed up yet again to bring back one of Carpenter's most enduring creations: Snake Plissken. Following up the beloved "Escape from New York," the two this time joined forces to send Snake (Russell) to the West Coast for "Escape from L.A." to save the president's daughter from a desolate Los Angeles. In the film, Bruce Campbell played the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills, a horrific villain who performs plastic surgery on his victims.

Though he has a very short sequence in the film, Campbell makes a major impression playing a terrifying character who is a cutting satire of Los Angeles beauty culture. Early in his time on the set of the film, Campbell and Russell reportedly hit it off quite well. In fact, according to Campbell (via The Hollywood Reporter), one of the first things Russell did when they met was to ask Campbell to say "work shed" (a reference to an ADR line in "Evil Dead 2") to him, as a young Wyatt Russell was a major fan of that line-reading.

He played Autolycus in Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules

The creative collaborations between Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell did not stop at the silver screen. In fact, the two have worked together on numerous TV shows over the years as well. Chief among these are "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess." In both of these series, Campbell appeared as Autolycus, a scoundrel and legendary thief. Over the course of his time across both series, Campbell would appear in eight episodes of "Xena: Warrior Princess: and 12 episodes of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys."

Campbell made numerous appearances as Autolycus across both "Hercules" and "Xena" over the course of both series' runs. However, beyond his performance as Autolycus, he also appeared in "Hercules" as a character named Rob Tapert. In real life, Tapert (the husband of "Xena" star Lucy Lawless) was one of the producers on both series and a longtime collaborator with both Raimi and Campbell, whose work dates back to their earliest projects together, including the "Evil Dead" films.

He was Elvis Presley in Bubba Ho-Tep

In 2002, Bruce Campbell took on one of his biggest on-screen personalities yet –- Elvis Presley -– in the film "Bubba Ho-Tep." The film imagines a world in which Elvis grew tired of the spotlight and ditched the public eye, hiring an impersonator to take his place. "Bubba Ho-Tep" catches up with the real Elvis, who is now living in a nursing home and forced to do battle against an ancient mummy who returns from the grave and begins to torment the nursing home and its residents.

"Bubba Ho-Tep" ultimately never received a formal sequel. However, like the "Evil Dead" franchise, "Bubba Ho-Tep" continued to live on in other media. In 2018, the story was continued in a limited run of graphic novels tying into the events of the movie, and the following year, a comic book was released that saw the version of Elvis depicted in "Bubba Ho-Tep" cross over with Ash Williams.

He has cameos in all three Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell have been friends since childhood, and that friendship has spun out into a longstanding creative partnership. Raimi has made Campbell the lead of a number of his projects, but he has also brought him in for small parts wherever and whenever possible. Perhaps nothing epitomizes this quite like his three appearances in the Raimi-directed "Spider-Man" movies. In the first Raimi "Spider-Man," he plays the wrestling announcer who coins the name "spider-man" during the match against Bonesaw. In "Spider-Man 2," he is the usher who keeps Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) out of the play that Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) is in. Finally, in "Spider-Man 3," he shows up as the maitre d' who helps Peter with his reservation.

Of all the roles on this list, this arguably is the one closest in nature to that of Pizza Poppa. As the Tobey Maguire-fronted "Spider-Man" movies were made canon by "Spider-Man: No Way Home," technically, all three of these Campbell performances exist within the same universe as Pizza Poppa. Now it's just a matter of waiting to see if Campbell will show up in any future Marvel movies.

He played Sam Axe in Burn Notice

In 2007, Bruce Campbell headed to the USA Network for his role as Sam Axe in "Burn Notice." Starring alongside Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, and Sharon Gless, the show centered on a disavowed CIA agent named Michael Westen (Donovan) who is forced to take odd jobs in Miami after being "burned" by his agency. This leads him to work with Sam Axe, a former Navy SEAL who works as Westen's handler and right-hand man on their Miami-based missions. "Burn Notice" ran between 2007 and 2013, totaling seven seasons during its run.

Sam Axe slowly, but surely grew to become one of the biggest breakout characters on "Burn Notice" over the course of the show's run. The series ran for a total of 111 episodes, with Campbell appearing as Axe in every one of them. Moreover, Sam would go on to receive his own spinoff in the form of "Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe," a prequel following the origins of the character prior to the events of the mainline series.

He was Captain in Lodge 49

Bruce Campbell has arguably become the king of cameos over the course of his career in Hollywood. One of the most recent surprise appearances came with his brief stint on the short-lived, cult-favorite AMC series "Lodge 49." In the show, he portrayed Gary Green, a.k.a Captain, a hustler and con-man who teams up with Dud (Wyatt Russell) and Ernie (Brent Jennings) in an attempted get-rich-quick scheme during the back half the bizarre comedy series' 1st season.

Unfortunately, Captain only stuck around "Lodge 49" for a small arc during Season 1. In his final episode of the show, he found himself thrown from a second-story window – only to have his head impaled by the horn of a narwhal statue. He survived the incident (which ironically served as the catalyst to bring his wife back into his life), but the character never returned during the show's 2nd season, and "Lodge 49" was cancelled after Season 2.