It’s hard to believe, but Bill Murray is 60 years old today. Murray was born in Wilmette, Illinois on September 21st, 1950; in 1976, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for the show’s second season. After starring in Meatballs in 1979, Murray went on to star in a series of successful comedies in the ’80s, including Caddyshack, Stripes (above), and Ghostbusters.
He then went on to reinvent himself with his starring role in Rushmore in 1998, re-reinvent himself with his starring role in Lost in Translation in 2003, kick ass in Jim Jarmusch films, accidentally star in Garfield because he thought it was a Coen Brothers movie, chill in his mansion in the middle of the zombie apocalypse in Zombieland, and hilariously passive-aggressively trash Ghostbusters 3 every chance he gets nowadays. In short, he is still a giant of comedy and a monument to reinvented relevance, and for this, we salute him.
Tim Carmody sings Murray’s praises at Snarkmarket:
Murray’s real genius may be in his ability to react to those around him with sanity AND lunacy; like Woody Allen at his peak, he’s George and Gracie rolled into one. He’s such a generous comedic actor, he makes even ciphers like Andie McDowell in Groundhog Day or Scarlett Johanssen in Lost In Translation look great. And because your attention’s still on him, you don’t even notice he’s doing it.
Murray — maybe especially has he’s gotten older — is the relief pitcher who finishes every game/scene. He makes everybody look better; you’re always talking about him, but somebody else usually gets the win. The starters set the table, and he just kills you a half-dozen different ways.
It’s hard to pick out just a few great Bill Murray clips because — well, Bill Murray. Nevertheless:
Bill Murray was David Letterman’s first guest:
Bill Murray’s inspirational speech in Meatballs:
The Star Wars lounge cover from SNL: (Warning: bad video quality)
Groundhog Day supercut:
Most recently, Bill Murray’s excellent scene with GZA and RZA from Wu-Tang Clan in Coffee and Cigarettes: