The Fantastic Four are returning to theaters this weekend after an extended absence. But while the movie has a great cast, it can’t measure up to the time Bill Murray took on the team.
Yes, really. As you might guess, this was before he became famous and was taking acting gigs to make the rent. One of those gigs was with an odd side alley of Marvel history… namely, the company’s repeated attempts to break into music and radio during the 1970s.
We don’t know much about this particular attempt, except that it was concurrent with other audio gems like Spider-Man’s concept album, and it didn’t get very far: Supposedly it cost $47,000 and only made $22,000, getting canceled after 13 episodes. Murray, as far as we’ve been able to dig, hasn’t talked much about it; his time on Saturday Night Live was still more than a year away.
Oddly, they’re all adaptations of original Fantastic Four comics, and, thanks to the wonders of the internet, they’re all available to listen to: He appears about 3 minutes into the first episode. They’re more than a little dated; a fifteen-year-old comic book hadn’t aged well in 1975. But listening to Bill Murray try and salvage some of Stan Lee’s dialogue makes this worth finding to all on its own.