Word has it, Bill?Murray took a voiceover role in “Garfield:?The Movie” by accident. Murray said this week that he took the role because he mistakenly thought the movie was written by Joel Coen. It was actually by Joel Cohen. When asked why he also took part in the sequel, he said it was because he enjoyed working with Jennifer Love Hewitt. Now I know he’s lying.

Word has it, Bill?Murray took a voiceover role in “Garfield:?The Movie” by accident.


Murray said this week that he took the role because he mistakenly thought the movie was written by Joel Coen. It was actually by Joel Cohen.


When asked why he also took part in the sequel, he said it was because he enjoyed working with Jennifer Love Hewitt.


Now I know he’s lying.


I had been curious about his decision after I watched “Garfield” (but not before). It made sense that an actor who starred in “Meatballs”?would voice a cat that loves spaghetti. I came up with no other explanation.


Why does all this matter??To take a line from “Meatballs,” it just doesn’t matter.


But it does matter. Compared to Murray’s movies in recent years, “Garfield” stands out like a sore paw.


The year before “Garfield” was released, Murray starred in “Lost in Translation,” which is completely different than a film about a comic-strip cat. The year after, he was in “Broken Flowers,” which is completely different for completely different reasons.


This got me thinking. Does a weak piece of art drag down an artist’s overall work, or does the occasional gaffe of a solid contributor elevate the rest of the resume??


People tend to expect different things from different artists. If the artist typically does great stuff, consumers are less forgiving when there’s a dud. But the same people are willing to turn around and applaud when an artist they normally dislike hits a home run.


But why should we even worry if Bill made a couple of clunkers? Just about every actor and actress has a hole or two in their resume.


Let’s use Murray-Garfield as an example to examine some larger issues. Here are some questions:


1: Do we cut Murray slack because he was “unintentionally” involved in the movie?


2: Does a bad movie poorly reflect on somebody who isn’t even really on-screen? It isn’t as if he actually was Garfield. It was just a voice. People should blame the animated cat.


3: If Joel Coen had been the writer, would “Garfield” have been more like “Fargo”?


4: What if Murray had skipped the “Garfield” movies? Would another actor in his place made things even worse??


5: What if, instead of “Garfield,” Murray decided to do voiceover for a “Crankshaft” movie?


6: What if Murray could return to the day he took the Garfield gig, and relive it until he got it right?


7: What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today.


8: Phil?


9: Ned?


10: It just doesn’t matter.