The Bus Punk from Star Trek IV is actually quite the talent.
If you’ve ever seen Star Trek IV, you know exactly who the Bus Punk is. The scene sees Spock and James Kirk riding a public transit bus in San Francisco in the 1980s (after time travel shenanigans), and a young music enthusiast is playing his punk music on a boombox. Kirk tries to get the young man to turn down the radio but the man raises the volume and then flips off Kirk and Spock.
That’s when Spock uses the Vulcan Nerve Pinch to render the man unconscious much to the bemusement of the bus patrons. It was a minor role, that would ultimately be reprised in Star Trek: Picard and would later pay homage to that same character in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Of course, the man who portrayed the angry punk is named Kirk. R. Thatcher and you’d be surprised to know he’s quite the talent.
While you would never confuse him with a big-name actor, he’s actually been involved in some of the biggest projects in history. Whether it’s as a writer, a producer, or even a creator of music, Thatcher showed he had versatility.
In fact, the song his character is listening to on the bus was actually written by himself. IMDB credits him as the writer for the song “I Hate You”, as played in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Kirk R. Thatcher is mostly known for his work with the Muppets
While Star Trek fans will see him as an angry punk that got “pinched” out by Spock, he’s actually very involved with the world of the Muppets. He’s directed seven Muppet movies, written seven Muppet projects, and produced a few more.
He’s most recently handled the Muppet Haunted Mansion project from 2021.
While he may have only had a momentary impact on Star Trek in his two brief appearances, he’s quite the talent who should be more celebrated.