At COED, we love Bill Murray. That’s because, at COED, we’re (mostly) human beings, and loving Bill Murray is a core condition of simply being alive. To know Bill Murray exists is to be in awe of his one-of-a-kind machine gun wit, his dry wiseguy command of every situation, his amazingly canny and always exciting career choices, and his simple perfect state of Bill Murray-ness. Truly, it’s Bill Murray’s world, and the rest of us are just laughing in it (maybe we should call it Planet Murr-th). [Photo: Tony Duffy/Getty]
Today, Bill Murray turns 64. That makes it a 24-hour party for every single one of us. And given Bill Murray’s propensity of the past few years to crash strangers’ frat house bashes, pickup basketball matches, and backyard barbecues, odds are even pretty reasonable that the great man himself will show up to throw a few back with you and your buds.
Bill Murray is often invoked as one of the comedic giants in the original cast of Saturday Night Live, but that’s not exactly true. He was actually the first replacement performer, stepping in mid-way through SNL’s second season after instant breakout star Chevy Chase departed to make movies. Murray himself made the jump to the big screen with Meatballs (1979), followed by Stripes (1981), Tootsie (1982), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Scrooged (1988), What About Bob? (1991), and Groundhug Day (1993). Did we forget one in there? Ah, yes—perhaps you’ve heard of Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman in a 1984 action fantasy horror comedy titled Ghostbusters.
Following that initial ascent to superstardom and some missteps in the ’90s, Murray has been super selective about his projects, aiming to only make movies that provoke and inspire. Hence his involvement with meticulous indie filmmakers Wes Anderson and Jim Jarmusch, as well as off-the-wall surprises like his sudden cameo as himself in Zombieland. As for voicing the title cat in two Garfield flicks, Murray claims he thought they were Coen brothers movies. That’s hilarious whether he’s joking or not.
As mentioned earlier, Bill Murray also works real life as his own performance medium, turning up out of nowhere at bachelor parties, softball games, karaoke gatherings, skydiving stunts, and any number of other gatherings of people he doesn’t know. Everyone there, invariably, of course knows Bill Murray. Through this amazing and endlessly amusing practice, Bill Murray has made himself, by extension, a personal pal to us all.
So happy birthday, Bill Murray. It’s a nutty, wacky, koo-koo pleasure to call you friend…