Harold Ramis, RIP

posted at 2:31 pm on February 24, 2014 by Allahpundit

His first big-screen directing credit was “Caddyshack.” His first big-screen writing credit was “Animal House” — followed over the next eight years by “Meatballs,” “Caddyshack,” “Stripes,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Back to School,” with a few seasons of “SCTV” mixed in. He was the Mike Trout of Hollywood comedy, basically, and that’s before you get to “Groundhog Day.” Even the smaller successes on his resume, like “Armed and Dangerous,” “Multiplicity,” and the “Bedazzled” remake, are fond memories. I’m lazy so I tend to think of him in tandem with John Hughes, not just because they were contemporaries with an improbable string of hits (who hooked up on “Vacation,” of course) but because of how innocuous and even sweet they made rebellion seem. (A lot of 80s comedies did, thanks to their influence.) They were great pop songwriters. If you were a kid when these movies broke big, you’ll never not be nostalgic for them.

And now, like Hughes, Ramis is gone too soon.

Ramis, a longtime North Shore resident, was surrounded by family when he died at 12:53 a.m. from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, his wife Erica Mann Ramis said. He was 69.

Ramis’ serious health struggles began in May 2010 with an infection that led to complications related to the autoimmune disease, his wife said. Ramis had to relearn to walk but suffered a relapse of the vaculitis in late 2011, said Laurel Ward, vice president of development at Ramis’ Ocean Pictures production company.

There are endless salutes to the subtle genius of “Groundhog Day” online, from National Review to the Atlantic to the Guardian and beyond. Murray was the perfect Ramis hero, never more so than in GD: Seemingly shallow but with great depth, and tenderness, underneath. How many mainstream comedies can seriously be parsed for hidden religious meanings? That’s the level Ramis had reached. RIP.

Via Matt Lewis, here’s the man himself on the resonance of “Groundhog Day” in 2009. Click the image to watch.

hr1

Update (Ed): There are far too many great moments of Harold Ramis on screen to remember in a short clip. However, nothing Ramis ever did on screen touched me more than this scene from Knocked Up, which I think rescued the film from being a second-rate stoner comedy. Seth Rogen is telling his father that a baby is on the way, and that it’s a disaster — and Ramis stops him cold (NSFW):

Rest in piece, Mr. Ramis, and thanks for all of the great memories.


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RIP

Bmore on February 24, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Thanks for all the years of laughs….

Mydamndogs on February 24, 2014 at 8:36 PM

RIP, Harold Ramis.

I was in my sophomore year at college when I first saw “Animal House.” Brilliant and hilarious beyond belief. I had to see it again immediately afterward, to savor all the gags and jokes I couldn’t hear for the audience laughing.

Ramis’s interview on the “Animal House” DVD – “The Making of Animal House” — is worth its weight in gold also.

And “Groundhog Day.” Best birthday present I could have asked for. Always thought about going to Punxsutawney myself, but now I don’t have to. It won’t ever be as funny or as good as the movie.

PatriotGal2257 on February 24, 2014 at 8:53 PM

talkingpoints on February 24, 2014 at 8:33 PM

You’re right, and I was mistaken.
Good catch.

massrighty on February 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM

I live in Ocean Beach, off Sunset Cliffs.
Seriously liberal neighborhood, but there’s also a lot of retired military, like me, living there.

Dave in San Diego on February 24, 2014 at 9:30 PM

I live in Ocean Beach, off Sunset Cliffs.
Seriously liberal neighborhood, but there’s also a lot of retired military, like me, living there.

Dave in San Diego on February 24, 2014 at 9:30 PM

I loved OB, much more down to earth and less frenetic than PB or Mission Beach. I lived in University Heights/Normal Heights for years. Adams AVe and Park and 35th and Collier…

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Gozer: The Choice is made!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Whoa! Ho! Ho! Whoa-oa!
Gozer: The Traveller has come!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Nobody choosed anything!
[turns to Egon]
Dr. Peter Venkman: Did you choose anything?
Dr. Egon Spengler: No.
Dr. Peter Venkman: [to Winston] Did YOU?
Winston Zeddemore: My mind is totally blank.
Dr. Peter Venkman: *I* didn’t choose anything…
[long pause, Peter, Egon and Winston all look at Ray]
Dr Ray Stantz: I couldn’t help it. It just popped in there.
Dr. Peter Venkman: [angrily] What? *What* “just popped in there?”
Dr Ray Stantz: I… I… I tried to think…
Dr. Egon Spengler: LOOK!
[they all look over one side of the roof]
Dr Ray Stantz: No! It CAN’T be!
Dr. Peter Venkman: What is it?
Dr Ray Stantz: It CAN’T be!
Dr. Peter Venkman: What did you DO, Ray?
Winston Zeddemore: Oh, shit!
[they all see a giant cubic white head topped with a sailor hat, Peter looks at Ray]
Dr Ray Stantz: [somberly] It’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Little did he know, that it would be the current administration LOL!

uncommon sense on February 24, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Have you noticed there is something wrong with Phil ?

There are a lot of things wrong – with Phil.

Thanks for the laughs and the quality of all your work, Harold. Rest easy.

DeweyWins on February 24, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Dr. Peter Venkman: If we are wrong, we go away quietly.
Dr. Peter Venkman: But if we are right, Lenny, Lenny, Lenny… You will have saved the lives of countless of registered voters!

uncommon sense on February 24, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Incredible talent. He made millions laugh.

“Which way’s the mess hall, Eisenhower?”

NoPain on February 24, 2014 at 10:34 PM

talkingpoints on February 24, 2014 at 8:33 PM

And Fawn! Don’t forget the late Fawn and her sympathetic roomate. Nothing like movies from the pre-PC era…

ImmigrantsWife on February 24, 2014 at 11:10 PM

R.I.P. Harold Ramis

xplodeit on February 24, 2014 at 11:48 PM

And Fawn! Don’t forget the late Fawn and her sympathetic roomate. Nothing like movies from the pre-PC era…

ImmigrantsWife on February 24, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Student killed in kiln explosion.

“Fawn used to let me touch her this way.”
“I know, she told me.”

talkingpoints on February 24, 2014 at 11:55 PM

From Stripes. John (Bill Murray) and Russell (Harold Ramis) are in the Army recruiter’s office.
Recruiter: “Now, are either of you homosexuals?”
John Winger: [John and Russell look at each other] “You mean, like, flaming, or…”
Recruiter: “Well, it’s a standard question we have to ask.”
Russell Ziskey: “No, we’re not homosexual, but we are *willing to learn*.”

RMCS_USN on February 25, 2014 at 12:07 AM

Man by Elevator: What are you suppose to be, some kind of Cosmonaut?

Venkman: No, we’re exterminators. Somebody saw a cockroach up on 12.

Man by Elevator: That’s gotta be some cockroach.

Venkman: Bite your head off man.

WisRich on February 25, 2014 at 9:07 AM

You will be remembered by your fantastic films.
May God bring you home and somehow comfort your loved ones.

RIP!

mmcnamer1 on February 25, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Never heard of Supernatural.
Is that something like a new Twilight Zone?
That’s one of the shows I grew up with.

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

It’s like if the X-Files were on the CW. Take that for what you will.

The Schaef on February 25, 2014 at 9:51 AM

It’s like if the X-Files were on the CW. Take that for what you will.

The Schaef on February 25, 2014 at 9:51 AM

May have to check it out.
Used to really like the X-files.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Peter Venkman: “Egon. This reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head.”

Egon Spengler: “That would have worked if you hadn’t stopped me.”

Peter Venkman: “Are you, Alice, menstruating right now?”

Library Manager: “What has that got to do with it?”

Peter Venkman: “Back off man. I’m a scientist.”

We’ll miss you Harold. RIP.

ConDem on February 25, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I saw exactly one film that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was in but i saw every movie that Ramis wrote, directed and or acted in. The news media and the glitterati treated Hoffman’s death like he was iconic. He was not. Ramis was iconic. Prayers for his family and friends. Rest in peace Harold and thanks for the laughs.

fight like a girl on February 25, 2014 at 12:41 PM

A line from Ghostbusters, written by Ramis…

“You’ve never been out of college! You don’ t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”

fight like a girl on February 25, 2014 at 1:12 PM

You left us WAY TOO SOON!! Thanks for all the laughter that will be with us FOREVER!!

Khun Joe on February 25, 2014 at 2:43 PM

loved u brother

peace

randy b

losarkos on February 25, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Obama’s former campaign advisor David Axelrod shamelessly used the death of actor/writer/director Harold Ramis to promote Obama, sending a Twitter message: “Harold Ramis will be remembered for his ingenious films. I’ll also always appreciate him as a very early supporter of Barack Obama. R.I.P.” In the Obama world, everything is apparently about Obama.

Colony14 on February 25, 2014 at 9:00 PM

a true genius. He leaves a huge void. I must’ve watched Ghostbusters and GH Day dozens of times each. Still, to this day, I get huge belly laughs when I watch them. They continue to entertain. Sad to hear of his passing.

Darvin Dowdy on February 27, 2014 at 7:13 AM

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