Animal House

Writer, Actor, Director: Harold Ramis, the man behind some of the funniest movies of my generation, passed away at the too young age of 69. It would be hard to pick only one favorite of his, I’ve laughed at everything — and that’s a fact, Jack.

Ramis leaves behind a formidable body of work, with writing credits on such enduring comedies as ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’ (which upon its 1978 release catapulted the film career of John Belushi, with whom Ramis acted at Second City), ‘Stripes’ (1981) and ‘Ghostbusters’ (in which Ramis also co-starred) plus such directing efforts as ‘Caddyshack’ (1980), ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ (1983), ‘Groundhog Day’ and ‘Analyze This.’

Previously he was the first head writer (and a performer) on Second City’s groundbreaking television series ‘Second City Television (SCTV)’ (1976-79). More recently he directed episodes of NBC’s ‘The Office.’

From The New York Times:

Mr. Ramis was a master at creating hilarious plots and scenes peopled by indelible characters, among them a groundskeeper obsessed with a gopher, fraternity brothers at war with a college dean and a jaded weatherman condemned to living through Groundhog Day over and over.

‘More than anyone else,’ Paul Weingarten wrote in The Chicago Tribune Magazine in 1983, ‘Harold Ramis has shaped this generation’s ideas of what is funny.’

And to Mr. Ramis, the fact was that ‘comedy is inherently subversive.’

‘We represent the underdog as comedy usually speaks for the lower classes,’ Mr. Ramis once said. ‘We attack the winners.’

He’s been making me laugh ever since I first encountered him (and his friends) on late night PBS broadcasts of the Canadian SCTV:

And before and after SCTV he was associated with The Second City in Chicago. The CEO & Executive Producer Andrew Alexander had this to say about the loss:

It is impossible to overstate the personal and professional influence that Harold Ramis has had on all of us at The Second City. He was a natural leader, a trusted friend and so generous with his own talent that he made everyone he ever worked with look like a genius. We are devastated to lose him so young but we were all enriched by the years we did get to partake of his particular brilliance.

Here is his complete filmography via IMDB. As you can see he’s worked with the best and the brightest. Rest in Peace good man, and thanks for all the fun.
Here are some scenes from his classics, what’re your favorites?

Meatballs

 

Caddyshack

 

Stripes

 

National Lampoon’s Vacation

 

Groundhog Day

 

Ghostbusters

 

Analyze This