But there was a time when he appeared on television without appearing on television!
I’ve looked at a lot of comic books in the past that were adaptations of TV shows, but this was a case where the cast of the TV show were incorporated into an established comic book.
The premise of “Marvel Team-Up” is right there in the title – various super-heroes teamed up. First of course, they fought over a misconception and then united to battle the true enemy.
In this case, the action took place in the NBC studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza where ‘Saturday Night Live’ was broadcast and taped. On that particular Saturday night, Stan “The Man” Lee was going to host the show. (I’m not sure who was the musical guest.) And in the audience were Peter Parker with his girlfriend Mary Jane Watson. (Also there were two old men sitting behind them in the upper levels of the audience who were named Statler and Waldorf. They were O’Bviously an in-joke tribute to those wiseacre hecklers from ‘The Muppet Show’ but otherwise should not be seen as having any connection to the Henson characters. (Of course, this isn’t my bailiwick, so I can’t be the final arbiter on that decision. Just my two quatloos.)
It was easy enough to find a worthy adversary who would go after the Not Ready For Prime-Time Players. John Belushi was already well-known for playing his samurai character, usually in sketches with Buck Henry when he hosted. The set-up was a bit strained – a special ring coveted by the super villain Silver Samurai was delivered in error to Belushi instead of somebody named B. Lu Shi who apparently had an office in the same building. The other members of the NR4PT Players (with Bill Murray, so this show had to take place in the second season after Chevy Chase had departed the cast.)
Just in case you young’uns don’t know who the members of the Not Ready For Prime-Time Players are:
- John Belushi
- Dan Aykroyd
- Gilda Radner
- Jane Curtin
- Garrett Morris
- Larraine Newman
- Bill Murray
For more on this adventure, check these out, True Believers!