A month or so ago, a documentary about the making of Caddyshack was on TV.
As one might expect, the documentary focused on how hard the actors partied, how fun the movie was to make, and how this piece gave the actors one last chance to relive their glory days as the characters from this seminal classic.
What it also focused on was the story of Douglas Kenney, the troubled but brilliant Harvard graduate responsible for birthing some of America’s most popular comedic entities, including National Lampoon’s, Animal House, and Caddyshack.
Kenney co-wrote Caddyshack alongside Brian Doyle-Murray and Harold Ramis. He wanted the movie to focus on the love story between Danny Noonan and Maggie O’Hooligan. As filming started, the movie took on a life of its own and strayed from Kenney’s original vision.
It was a total flop when it hit the movie theaters. People expected a remake of Animal House. That it was not. Not long after, Kenney fell off a cliff in Hawaii. It has been suggested that he took his own life.
He never saw his work turn into a masterpiece that would be viewed and quoted for generations to come.
Harold Ramis had that luxury. He went on to create Ghostbusters, Meatballs, Stripes, Groundhog Day, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and just about every other movie that guys in their late 20s and up quote that is not named Spinal Tap.
Also, this:[tweet https://twitter.com/FlyGoalScoredBy/status/438014990134812672]
Ramis lived a good life, as evidenced by the ever-present smile that adorned on his face and the brilliant work he was able to produce year after year. Sadly, that life was cut short at the age of 69 this morning when he died from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.
He began suffering from this rare disease in 2010, after the release of his final work, Year One. According to ABC News, his condition deteriorated to the point where he needed to relearn how to walk.
Beneath the bespectacled, nerdy exterior, Ramis was a comedic tour de force whose work impacted countless people. Now, he has rejoined contemporaries like Kenney, John Hughes, and Rodney Dangerfield in that great big improvisational heaven in the sky.
Your loss will be palpable for years to come, Harold, but your movies will live on forever. You were a comedic god among men, a once-in-a-lifetime genius and we were lucky to have you for as long as we did.
Our writer, Casey Lumbra, posted a Ghostbusters comic in tribute to Harold Ramis. You can view it here.
Update: I can’t with this. The Twinkie. I love it.[tweet https://twitter.com/GBNewsdotcom/status/438073150786392064]
The following video is not the documentary alluded to above. However, it is still worth a watch just to enjoy the smile of Harold Ramis one more time.