By Noelene Clark
August 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

The audience at D23 Disney’s biennial fan expo was treated to a surprise appearance by none other than Capt. Jack Sparrow. Actor Johnny Depp took the stage at the Anaheim Convention Center Friday to be honored as a Disney Legend—the studio’s highest award, given to individuals who have contributed to the world of entertainment.

“So I don’t know why I’m here,” Depp joked.

Depp is slated to reprise his Mad Hatter role in Alice Through the Looking Glass, the forthcoming sequel to 2010’s $1 billion hit Alice in Wonderland, and he’s also working on a new installment in the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise due in theaters in 2017. During his speech, he broke into his Capt. Jack Sparrow voice after an audience member shouted out the word “parlay.” The actor took issue with the word “fan.”

“I never really liked that word, because it sort of implies that someone is above and someone is beneath in a weird way,” he said. “So I would say that you are in fact my ’employer.’ Thank you for giving me this great opportunity to basically do stupid stuff for a living. For watching me.”

The actor was in good company Friday; the other 2015 Disney Legends inductees include Star Wars mastermind George Lucas, soap opera star Susan Lucci, and composer Danny Elfman, among others.

The Disney fan confab continues through Sunday.

Complete D23 Expo coverage

‘Jurassic World’ filmmaker will direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ panel: Harrison Ford delights crowd

‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ cast announced as fight shifts from space to a ground war

Disney announces ‘Star Wars’ will be part of its theme parks

’Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ star Daisy Ridley joins Instagram ahead of D23

Marvel shows off ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Disney enchants with live-action movies ‘Beauty and the Beast’ & more

Ellen DeGeneres makes a splash with long-awaited ‘Finding Dory’

Disney announces Jack and the Beanstalk animated film ‘Gigantic’

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson makes surprise appearance for Disney’s ‘Moana’

Photos: Proof Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson had a blast during D23

Shakira shows off new song for Disney’s ‘Zootopia’

Johnny Depp makes surprise appearance at D23 Expo

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