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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

Kirk Randolph Thatcher (born 14 February 1962; age 62) (citation needededit) was an associate producer of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and played the part of the music-blasting Punk on Bus in that film. He asked Leonard Nimoy to play the role as he had experience with punk fashion, and once cast changed his wardrobe and costume. [1] He filmed his scene on location on Saturday 3 May 1986. He was also the voice of the Vulcan computer and the writer of its questions, lending his own name to Kiri-kin-tha. [2] Thatcher actually composed the song "I Hate You" which plays on his boombox in the movie.

Prior to his work on Star Trek IV, Thatcher worked for Industrial Light & Magic as prop maker and sculptor on two other Star Trek films. On Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, he worked with David Sosalla on the Ceti eel props and the giant ear and on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, he molded, cast, and puppeteered Spock's coffin bacteria worms and worked on the creation of the Klingon monster dog.

In 2019, Thatcher narrated the animated Star Trek: Short Treks episode "Ephraim and Dot". [3]

In 2022, he returned as his Punk on Bus character in the Star Trek: Picard episode "Watcher".

Thatcher was interviewed in 2016 on his work for The Voyage Home by Roger Lay, Jr. for the latter's 50th anniversary documentary Star Trek: The Journey to the Silver Screen (Chapter 4: "The Dream is Alive: The Continuing Mission").

Beyond the realm of Star Trek, Thatcher has worked as a puppeteer, writer and director in many projects for Jim Henson's "Muppets". In one such project, the 4 January 1998 episode of Muppets Tonight, a plot element revolved around the Muppet Beaker going on a Star Trek fan cruise, with George Takei as featured guest. Thatcher, who co-wrote the episode, appeared on-camera as a fan dressed as a Klingon, urging "Sulu" to take the bridge when the ship runs into trouble. Other episodes of Muppets Tonight involved cameos by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, as well as guest stars from other series incarnations, including Whoopi Goldberg and Jason Alexander.


Thatcher began his career as a sculptor and model maker at Industrial Light & Magic in 1981, at the age of 19. He worked on such films as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, Gremlins, House, and RoboCop 2. He played a punk with a boombox again in a cameo as a homeless man in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming. [4]

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