RIP Harold Ramis, a True Comedic Genius

We say goodbye to the man behind some of the funniest films of all time.

Photo: Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014

It is with a heart as heavy as a giant Twinkie that we must say farewell to Harold Ramis, one of the funniest human beings who ever lived. From writing and acting in Ghostbusters and Stripes to writing and directing Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This, the argument can be made that no single filmmaker had such a huge impact on the world of big screen comedies in the ’80s and ’90s. We had the chance to speak to Mr. Ramis on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Groundhog Day a few years back, and we wanted to share some of his amazing insight, perspective, and humor. The world is going to miss you, sir.

On Groundhog Day living on after him

“You hope [a film will live on]. Someone wrote a great thing a few years after the movie was out in the New York Times Magazine. They did a piece on pop culture, that it’s replacing fine art and high culture. They asked scholars and important artists all over the country what elements in pop culture did they think would still be around 100 years from now? And I remember, in the movie section, I think four movies were written about by four scholars, and a philosophy professor from Harvard picked Groundhog Day as the movie that people would still watch 100 years from now.”

On frequent collaborator Bill Murray

“If we ever spoke, I’m sure we’d have something to talk about. We hardly talk, I only run into him occasionally. But we haven’t had an in-depth conversation on anything in a long time. You know, I was shocked when I saw him on Larry King a few years ago and King said, ‘Bill, Groundhog Day.’ And Bill said, ‘Oh, it’s probably the best work I’ll ever do. And probably the best work Harold will ever do.’ Gee, thanks for putting the cap on my career! [laughs]”

On Groundhog Day as a path to fulfillment 

“I think everyone in the spiritual community believes that human beings are perfectable – that we can be better than we are. And Groundhog Day to some extent is both a history of how most of us get to that place where we get stuck – which would be self-involvement – and a map of how we can get past it.”

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