It’s not underselling to say that Harold Ramis was a comic genius. As a performer, writer, and director, he’s got one of the most impressive resumes of pretty much any comedian of his generation. From his humble beginnings in Second City in Chicago to his time on SCTV, his collaborations with Bill Murray in Stripes, Caddyshack, Meatballs, and Ghostbusters, and his reinvention of the mafia genre in the comedy Analyze This, nobody blended smart and dumb quite as well as Ramis and his ilk. Sadly, that career came to an end, along with a life. Harold Ramis is dead at age 69 after a battle with a rare autoimmune disorder.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYCbF0Fat-c
I loved Ramis on SCTV when I was a kid, and as I’ve gone back and watched (and rewatched) his movies, I’ve grown more and more appreciative of his ability to blend smart and crude, dumb and brains, culminating in the underrated, brilliant Groundhog Day. This is a guy who turned toga parties and “Louie Louie” into a shorthand for a generation, and then he took a goofy holiday about harassing a weather-predicting rodent and turned it into one of the most brilliant pieces of cinema ever captured on celluloid. It’s a movie that shouldn’t work, and didn’t work for me the first time I saw it, but there was enough there to bring me back again. Now that I’m older, I can safely say I get it.
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