by Nicholas Vitukevich
When you look up comedy, laughter and funny in the dictionary they all say the same thing: “see Bill Murray.” While the actor may be a long way from the 70′s cast of SNL he once was a part of, he has been current of recent taking on dramatic roles that have helped round out his memorable career. Though, as Murray takes on movies like Moonrise Kingdom and Hyde Park on the Hudson (December 2012 release) there are dozens of other movies and roles that we have known to love him for. And if you’re referring to Murray as “that guy from Zombieland” you probably should get out of here, fast. But if you know him as the old dude from Space Jame, I might give it to ya’. Here’s our top 10:
10) What About Bob - Germaphobia, Arachnophobia, Dentophobia, laugh-a-phobia - whatever type of phobia there is Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) sure has it in this one. Remember this one from 1991? Bob is that overbearing, over-dramatic, over-compulsive patient that every doctor loves to hate. He thinks he has everything in the book. Just as Bob’s doctor is heading out for an extended vacation, Bob shows up at his house in need of help. Eventually, Bob invites himself on vacation with the doctor and his family and we see all sorts of trouble Bob gets himself into.
9) Kingpin - A Farely brothers original that’s a little better than the Three Stooges flick they just came out with. While Woody Harrelson may be the lead, Bill Murray is just as funny. Murray plays Ernie McCracken who loses a bowling tournament and decides to con some amateurs for money along with Harrelson. The con goes bad, and so does Murray.
8) Scrooged - By far one of the best twists of a Holiday classic. Murray plays Frank Cross and overworked, hardass television executive from the city. Cross hates everyone and his only passion in life is to make a buck. You know the plot to this one, but even though it was made in the late 80′s there is still a very real sense of modernization to it. A now classic twist on an even older classic.
7) The Royal Tenebaums - A packed cast with Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, and Owen Wilson. Yet another role where Murray’s not the lead, but he’s just as good. He plays Raleigh St. Clair, a physiologist and neurologist that has a test-patient, Dudley Heinsbergen, that appears with him numerous times throughout the film.
6) Stripes - Murray plays cab driver turned Army-reject John Winger. Winger lost his job, girlfriend and most his life all within one day. Instead of being misterable and sulking in life he naturally decides to join the U.S. Army. Winger is a bit of a odd ball, a unique one that doesn’t seem to fit in on the basic U.S. Army camp. He’s referred to as Army’s misfit and finishes camp his own way – the Murray way.
5) Rushmore - This ones got a little bit of a dramedy to it but is one of his most critically acclaimed movies of his career. Herman Blume runs a billion dollar industry, but isn’t as happy as he should be with the role. In the non-pedo-Sandusky way, he becomes best friends with a 15 year old boy Max Fisher – a black sheep around Rushmore. This is the film that launched Murray’s career in independent and dramatic films.
4) Lost in Translation - Murray plays an aging once high end movie star named Bob Harris. Harris goes to Tokyo for some advertising shoots. He’s a little lost and doesn’t speak any of the language, trusting butchered translations by the people around him. He’s having a miserable time, and the 2million dollars the ad agency is paying him to endorse some whiskey apparently isn’t enough to make him happy. Luckily, Bob meets a college aged American girl, someone he can finally speak without a translation. The two are unhappy in Tokyo and decide to make a break without anyone noticing.
3) Groundhog Day - Some are probably cursing me out. This is #3. Really? Groundhog day? And for those of you who don’t agree, sorry. When you have a fresh website you can have your own top 10. For now this is ours. – Have you ever gotten a little Deja-vu? Well that’s happening to Phil Connors (Murray) as he relives one of his worst days over, and over, and over again. He’s miserable at first, and tries every way possible to get out, even suicide. Then after a while, he learns to embrace it, he uses it to his advantage, he meets girls and have the time of his life. This is a Bill Murray classic.
2) Ghostbusters - It’s one of the best comedies ever made. Before Men in Black, there were the Ghostbusters. The movie follows a trio of supernatural chasers on their hunt to find ghosts around New York City and eventually, like everything else in America, turn it into a business. You know the plot, and it needs no further set up, but this is by far one of the best Bill Murray movies, and overall comedies, of all time.
1) Caddyshack - I’m sure you saw this one coming by now. Yes, the old American classic. With Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield staring along with Murray in what is known as a comedic classic. You’ve all seen it. You know what it’s about just enjoy the clip: