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Bill Murray plays the Human Torch in radio play

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Bill Murray
AP

Before Bill Murray was Bill Murray — the beloved eccentric who uses a 1-800 number in lieu of an agent and hired a deaf personal assistant just to spite Groundhog Day producers — he was a struggling comedian looking for gigs in New York City. In 1977, Murray would shoot to fame as Chevy Chase’s replacement on NBC’s Saturday Night; before that, though, he made ends meet by playing a Marvel superhero on a serialized radio drama.

That’s right: Serialized radio plays still existed in the mid-’70s. Marvel’s audio version of The Fantastic Four lasted just 10 episodes, according to Badass Digest — but listen to any of those, and you’ll be treated to Murray shouting goofy catch phrases (“Flame on!”) as Johnny Storm, a.k.a. the Human Torch. Bonus geek points: The serials are narrated by Fantastic Four co-creator Stan Lee.

Check out Murray’s early voiceover work by listening to Episode 1, “Fantastic 4 Meets the Moleman,” below. You can also find the series in its entirety at archive.org.

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