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Harold Ramis, RIP

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Harold Ramis has passed.

My favorite scene from his greatest film.

Incidentally, I visited Punxsutawney in August. It is not a nice place.

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  • The movie was filmed in part in Woodstock, IL, not to far from where we currently live. We’ve been there a few times, and the town square really is just that quaint. They even have an independent bookstore on the square, where I’ve purchased a couple volumes. Oh, and the “hotel” that Bill Murray’s character calls “a dump” is actually the Opera House, and the Woodstock Community Theater still holds performances there.

    • wengler

      Interesting, I just had lunch in Woodstock 15 minutes ago and drove right by downtown on my way to the credit union.

    • Johnnie

      That’s where I catch the Metra sometimes!

    • I think there was some kind of event there to celebrate the filming of the movie. May have it every year, I dunno, I just remember hearing a piece about it on WBEZ.

      • Warren Terra

        I hope it’s a multiday affair. With the same events scheduled each day …

    • Bitter Scribe

      They also have a nice little classical orchestra that gets together in the summer for a Mozart festival.

      • Mike Schilling

        And when they play classical music, they take all the repeats.

  • His greatest film, no doubt. But my favorite of all his scenes is the Fawn Liebowitz scene in Animal House. Or maybe the horse in Wormer’s office. Animal House has a bunch of great scenes, but it’s kind of a hodge podge of funny scenes. Groundhog Day, however, is amazingly tight, and I think it stands up against the best of Billy Wilder. I think it’s that good.

    • postmodulator

      I forget the thing I read where someone commented on how odd the plot of Animal House actually is, if you look at it. The structure of most teen comedies of the era was that the authority figure or antagonist or whoever got his comeuppance and the heroes got everything they wanted. In Animal House they don’t try that hard to keep from getting thrown off campus, and when they are, they don’t pull that stunt at the end to get reinstated. They’re just destroying the town.

      • postmodulator

        Also, while I like that movie, the horse scene always bugs me. How exactly did the horse die?

        • Linnaeus

          The impression I get is that the horse dies of fright due to the gunshot to the ceiling that Flounder fires.

          • postmodulator

            Do horses do that a lot? I’m somewhat of a city mouse.

            • Linnaeus

              I’m no horse expert, but I would doubt it.

              • Anonymous

                I’m no horse expert either, but I reckon we should be able to round up a dead-horse historian round these parts.

            • Horses die fairly regularly from stress related to travel or lots of loud noise or being penned up with the wrong animals, like John Belushi.

        • Heart attack.

          As for the “plot” of Animal House, I heard Ramis–I think on Fresh Air–explain that the writers got together and talked to their older brothers and friends and anyone they could think of for crazy stories from college. They compiled them all, and picked their favorites, then put the plot around the stories.

          • keta

            The script was written by Ramis, Chris Miller and the legendary and sadly forgetten (never really noticed) Doug Kenney.

            Some of the characters in the movie had already been introduced in the pages of Kenney’s high school yearbook parody. Miller published a number of short stories in NatLamp and a lot of material is pulled from these as well.

            From about 1971 through 1975 National Lampoon was the darkest, sickest, and far away the funniest magazine ever published. Unfortunately, none of this material (or the records) can be accessed on the web because of copyright issues. And that, folks, is a fucking shame.

            RIP, Harold Ramis. You walked with giants and never looked out of place.

            • Linnaeus
            • Some of it is accessible via archive.org.

              • keta

                Thanks!

            • Dennis Orphen

              The more humorous comments on this blog are the closest thing to the spirit of the Lampoon’s Letters to the Editor found anywhere today.

              Yours Truly,

              A Bunch of Snowballs
              Hell

              • curiouscliche

                I still remember my favorite, from the 80s:

                Dear Editor:

                Lookihn back on it, I guess I went fuckihn nowhere.

                Yours truly,
                Greg Kihn
                Workihn at Burger Kihn

                • Dennis Orphen

                  They don’t write ’em like that anymore.

                • Linnaeus

                  Harrumph!

                • Western Dave

                  Chet’s nuts roasting on open fire
                  Jack Frost nipping at your hose
                  Tiny Tots with their twats all aglow
                  Merry Christmas
                  Fuck you
                  -Scrooge

                • Hogan

                  Circa 1975:

                  Dear Chevy Chase,

                  Just remember what happened to Vaughan Meader.

                  Signed,
                  A friend
                  Havana, Cuba

                • My favorite one had a variant using my favorite singer from this one:

                  Dear Editor:

                  I woke up this morning feeling fine. What the hell is wrong with me?

                  Joyce Carol Oates.

                • Mike Schilling

                  Dear John Hinckley,

                  Bill and I applaud the hard work you’re doing to get better. We both look forward to the day that you can leave the hospital and get back to living your life.

                  Sincerely,
                  Hillary Clinton

                  P.S. Ken Starr is fucking Jodie Foster.

                • Tom Servo

                  Ah Hinckley. The real crime is that he was a bad shot.

            • BobS

              I wish I’d saved more of my old issues- the only ones I still have are the 1964 High School Yearbook and the Sunday newspaper parody. As for availability on the internet, I’m pretty sure you can read Vacation 58, the story the not-nearly-as-funny movie was derived from.
              Harold Ramis was also a writer and cast member for the first couple seasons of SCTV, which people in the bordertown of Detroit were able to enjoy over-the-air from Windsor, and which featured one of the funniest ensembles in tv history. Along with Harold Ramis, the cast included Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, John Candy, Catherine O’hara, Dave Thomas & Andrea Martin.

              • Mike Schilling

                Dd Rick Moranis come later? He was amazing too.

                • BobS

                  He did, as did Martin Short.

        • keta

          The epilogue title cards tell you that most of the miscreants did, in fact, get what they wanted.

          The horse is meant to die of a heart attack.

          • It’s based on a real-life incident that involved “Doodles” Weaver, uncle to Sigorney Weaver, at Stanford where he was an undergrad. In that case the horse in question did die by gunshot.

            • They shoot horses don’t they?

            • postmodulator

              Hmmm. In that case I’d bet anything that they originally scripted it with the Deltas shooting the horse and then realized that they instantly lost all likability.

            • Stag Party Palin

              OMG! My great-uncle Alonzo is buried next to Doodles Weaver on Catalina Island. Now I have a pickup line for when I meet Sigorney Weaver.

            • DrS

              Pics from Loomis or it didn’t happen

        • Todd

          Prepare yourselves for a soon-arriving post featuring a daguerreotype of a horse in some Midwestern public square felled by a public heart attack.

        • Lee Rudolph

          And why hasn’t Loomis posted a still from the scene????

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            he did, last week, you just didn’t recognize the cast in their street clothes

      • Walt

        All comedies should end with a violent orgy of revenge.

    • hickes01

      I second Fawn Liebowitz. “She was going to make me a pot”, get’s me every time.

  • Royko

    Groundhog Day was actually filmed in Woodstock, IL (I’ve only passed through, so I can’t vouch for how nice Woodstock is in person.)

    I’ve always thought Groundhog Day works as a pretty neat illustration of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

    As for Ramis, in the interviews I’ve seen, he always struck me as a very “regular” person who just happens to work in the film business. You could live next door to him and it wouldn’t be that different from living next door to a dentist. I’d guess that’s probably true of a lot of people in the industry, but it doesn’t always come through in interviews.

    He’ll be missed.

    • wengler

      The town square is the most interesting part of it. The courts and county lockup are there too.

      McHenry County is pretty uninteresting.

      • McHenry County is pretty uninteresting.

        Yeah, I think they found the one spot that is photogenic.

        We lived in Boone Co., now in the city of Rockford.

        I think Loomis is right, though, that the real Punxatawney is not pleasant.

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          Considering that the original Groundhog Day was a local festival, where they got together to exchange potluck dishes made from groundhogs, yeah, unpleasant.

      • Royko

        They have a really unimpressive county fair. Which surprised me, because I figured, hey, rural county in the middle of nowhere, at least they should throw a pretty good fair. But, no.

        • Royko, you been to the Boone County Fair? It’s the standard, I think, for rural IL county fairs.

          • Royko

            No. I’ll have to check it out.

    • mark

      Funny you compare him to a dentist, as he was a do-it-yourself dentistry nut:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wpJJgpXmpI

      I loved his stuff. RIP.

  • Aimai

    I love that movie. Its quite brilliant. I was reading one of the obits and Ramis describes finding himself as a comic by watching John Belushi and realizing that he just can’t compete as merely zany, Belushi is always going to out crazy and out zany anything he can manage. It reminded me of a lecture I just heard on clowning–a woman who teaches clowning and is also an actress was explaining that she has her students run around in circles following really stupid rules and then randomly punishing and rewarding them. After this exercise they discuss their reactions–do they delight in being rewarded and seeing others punished? does it bother them that the rewards and punishments were not doled out fairly? How do they react to being the underdog (unfairly punished) or the ubermensch (unfairly rewarded)? Examining these aspects of your personality and your response to cruel and unfair authority helps you determine what kind of clown you are going to be. Its not always who you think you would be and who you think you are (with the top of your brain and your ego) is not always where you are going to be able to get the most laughs.

    • Halloween Jack

      Examining these aspects of your personality and your response to cruel and unfair authority helps you determine what kind of clown you are going to be.

      Also, TIL that becoming a clown involves a harrowing and merciless rite of passage tied into self-appraisal of one’s relationship with The Man.

  • wjts

    “This is like that time you wanted to cut a hole in your head, Egon. Remember that?”

    “That would have worked if you hadn’t stopped me.”

    • Linnaeus

      “Egon, your mucus.”

      • We’d like to get a sample of your brain tissue.

        • wjts

          “Do you have any hobbies?”

          “I collect spores, molds and fungus.”

    • “I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought”

    • mds

      “There’s definitely a very slim chance we’ll survive.”

    • elm

      Listen! Do you smell something?

    • Mr. Mike

      The line is ” . . .drill a hole in your head ‘

  • elm

    I loved a lot of his movies (Animal House, Stripes, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters), but boy did he write/direct some real clunkers in the last 15 years: Analyse This and Analyze That, Bedazzled and Year One. Yeesh. I’m going to remember the first half of his career and try to pretend the denouement wasn’t quite so bad.

    • postmodulator

      Analyze This was sort of watchable until the end. It was more annoying to me that someone said “Hey, let’s take the central conceit of The Sopranos and play it for laughs.”

      • FridayNext

        Did someone say that? Those two works came out around the same time, 1999. Did one copy from the other, or did they just hit on the same conceit at the same time?

        • postmodulator

          You know, you’re right. They’re about three months apart. I remembered The Sopranos premiering about a year before it did, based on where I thought I was living when I first watched it.

          See, ever since I saw The Player, anytime I see a mediocre Hollywood film I always picture the one-line high-concept pitch that got green lighted. (It’s Die Hard in space!

          (I don’t know much about the genesis of The Sopranos. If David Chase was out pitching it around for long enough, someone might have heard about it and decided to nick the idea.)

          • sparks

            Chase was doing scripts containing mob figures since at least The Rockford Files, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all that the Sopranos idea had been pitched by him long before he ever got a green light.

          • Halloween Jack

            I’d done the same thing WRT Goodfellas and My Blue Heaven, before I read that Nora Ephron was married to Nicholas Pileggi, had access to his research for the book and film, and that My Blue Heaven came out first. (Incidentally, David Chase has openly acknowledged the influence of Goodfellas on The Sopranos, calling the former his “Koran.”)

      • Joel

        It was written by the excellent playwright and occasional filmmaker, Kenneth Lonergan, who to this day insists that he has never watched the finished product.

        • witless chum

          “Play the central concept of the Sopranos for laughs” is a great idea. Casting Billy Crystal and going for broad comedy is less so, given that you’re making light of murderers, thieves and profaners of the good name of Italian-Americans.

    • advocatethis

      Yeah, I skipped the analyze movies because DeNiro pretty much worked through his comic chops in Midnight Run.
      I liked Ramis in an understated role as Seth Rogen’s father in Knocked Up. I’m intriqued by his deleted role as Rob’s father in Hi Fidelity.

      • A decade later De Niro played an excellent stupid person in Jackie Brown.

        • advocatethis

          You’re right…I’d forgotten that. He was just about the quintessential Elmore Leonard stupid criminal in that.

          • curiouscliche

            “She’s dead???”

            “Pretty much.”

            • postmodulator

              I can’t believe I just outed myself as one of the impostors from yesterday. FTSO no edit button.

              • Temporary Impostor

                Happens to the best of us.

    • Gabriel Ratchet

      Among his later films, The Ice Harvest is worth catching. It’s not great, but it’s a pretty decent attempt at a contemporary noir, with some good performances and while not a comedy per se, it does have a consistent blackly humerous tone to it.

      • The Ice Harvest is one of the annual holiday-season movies in the __B household, along with Bad Santa and The Ref.

        “And now I’ve been disfigured by a whisky-dick lawyer.”

    • witless chum

      Bedazzled has its charms, I guess depending on how funny you find Brendan Fraser generally. The bit where he wishes he was an NBA player was funny.

      • keta

        It’s a travesty that the original, starring Peter Cook and Dudley Morre, was ever profaned with the remade dreck.

    • Western Dave

      Holy crap that’s great.

  • Todd

    While Ramis co-wrote Animal House, John Landis directed it.

    Ramis both co-wrote and directed Caddyshack, which I would argue is Ramis’s overall funniest film that he directed, a kind of Blazing Saddles for the genre-less comedy. Although I agree that Groundhog Day is the best overall film.

    • FMguru

      I wouldn’t call Caddyshack genre-less – it’s a great, raunchy example of the “slobs vs. snobs” genre of comedy that Animal House invented.

      • postmodulator

        Isn’t the story behind Caddyshack that they were just going to do the story about the caddies, and then they ended up with so much good stuff from Murray and Chase and Dangerfield et al that they cut it differently?

        That movie’s cool for the opportunity to watch the two different comedy generations interact; there’s not a lot of scenes with Dangerfield and Chase onscreen at the same time, but they’re fun to watch.

        • John

          Those guys were great, but Ted Knight is the true genius of Caddyshack. The man was brilliant.

          “You’ll get nothing and LIKE IT!”
          “The world needs ditch diggers, too.”

          and my personal favorite:

          “I’ve sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn’t want to do it. I felt I owed it to them.”

          • keta

            Rumour has it that Ted Knight cast in that role was the very definition of typecasting.

          • Temporary Impostor

            Ted Knight’s talent is often underrated, I think.

        • Halloween Jack

          Isn’t the story behind Caddyshack that they were just going to do the story about the caddies, and then they ended up with so much good stuff from Murray and Chase and Dangerfield et al that they cut it differently?

          Basically, yeah. Ramis and Bill Murray and his brothers were all caddies at the same golf course, and the script was based on Ramis’ stories of caddying, but they kept adding older comedians. In particular, Murray’s role was a glorified cameo, and Ramis tacked on extra scenes for him. (The scene between Murray and Chevy Chase was added almost literally at the last minute, in no small part because Murray, who replaced Chase on SNL, and Chase hated each other.)

      • “slobs vs. snobs” genre of comedy that Animal House invented.

        Uh, the Marx Brothers and Three Stooges might have disagreed with that claim.

    • Linnaeus

      I’d read somewhere, I think, that Ramis was disappointed with Caddyshack and didn’t watch it after it was released. Which is too bad, because it really is a funny movie.

    • Marfisa

      Caddyshack is one of the most grimly, painfully unfunny things I’ve ever seen. I felt embarrassed for the actors while watching it. I like a lot of Ramis’s other movies, but the widespread affection for that shit show is just inexplicable to me.

      • witless chum

        Me, also. Is it because I’ve consciously chosen to never, ever play golf?

        I just didn’t find any of it funny. I’d much rather rewatch Armed and Dangerous.

      • ChrisTS

        Whew. Thanks you for your courage. I was afraid to reveal my true feelings about that film in the midst of this love fest.

      • agorabum

        Sure you aren’t thinking of Caddyshack 2?

      • Stag Party Palin

        Al Czervik recoiling from a woman at the club dance:

        The last time I saw a mouth like that it had a hook in it.

        Rodney Dangerfield – Man of Genius.

  • N__B

    Punxsutawney…is not a nice place.

    Its god-king is a rodent. Go figure.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Could easily be the capital of Pennsyltucky.

    • LeftWingFox

      Don’t know if it has anything on Wiarton, Ontario, home of Canada’s official weather rodent. That bordered on creepy (says the furry).

    • Mr Rogers

      I believe the happiest place on earth also has a rodent god-king.

      • North Korea?

      • Anonymous

        MIT?

      • demz taters

        Chuck E. Cheese?

    • Halloween Jack

      Basing your entire town’s economy on the cryptic behavior of a vermin-turned-oracle has got to be rough on anyone.

  • Damn. He seemed like a good shit.

    Nose-dive!

  • Jason

    I didn’t follow Harold Ramis, the director. I just knew the magnificant straight man that he played in “Stripes.”

    Russell Ziskey: You listen to me! You’re gonna finish basic training! You’re gonna keep your mouth shut, and you’re gonna do everything he tells you! You know why?

    John Winger: [innocently] Why?

    Russell Ziskey: Because you talked me into this, you idiot! It was your idea!

    John Winger: I didn’t talk you into this. You NEEDED this.

    Russell Ziskey: [drags John back to the ground] I’m gonna kill you, damn you! Where’s the great pay? Where’s the travel? Where’s the Winnebago, Goddamnit!

  • Tom Servo

    Of course I’m talking about Delta, you twerp!

    Dean Wormer is still my favorite

    RIP. I will be watching Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day tonight.

    • N__B

      I learned proper use of “codicil,” at the age of 14, from Animal House.

      • Tom Servo

        Me too!

        The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.

      • Barry Freed

        And I learned that the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor.

        RIP Harold Ramis.

  • Donalbain

    You made a slight mistake. You put the word “his” where you meant to put the word “the”.

    Seriously, I will fight ANYONE who says that there is a better film than Groundhog Day. I will argue strenuously against anyone who says that it is *possible* for there to be a better film than Groundhog Day.

    • keta

      This post reminds me of the best Penthouse Letter to the Editor ever: “You people are all sick. I fuck seagulls.”

    • Walt

      Fight Club, Renoir’s Rules of the Game, and World of Apu are all better movies. It’s not a long list.

      Come at me, bro.

    • Stag Party Palin

      I guess it’s time for a sequel to Groundhog Day.

    • Seriously, I will fight ANYONE who says that there is a better film than Groundhog Day.

      That guy over there says Vertigo.

    • Charlie

      Better comedy? You might actually be right. Possible contenders include Young Frankenstein, The Last Laugh, Duck Soup, and The Lady Eve, but Groundhog Day is way way up there

      • elm

        Best comedy? Duck Soup or Dr. Strangelove or Holy Grail. Groundhog Day is awesome, though, and belongs in the next set down.

      • Paula

        Sturges, Brooks, Marx. [Also Capra and Wilder]

        That’s not bad company to be in, all things considered.

        It’s time for a new comedy canon, in any case. Groundhog Day would be near the top of that list.

        • elm

          Best comedies of the last 25 years or so? Yeah, Groundhog Day will be near the top, together with Shaun of the Dead, Clerks, Waiting for Guffman (or whatever other Guest you might prefer), Rushmore (or whatever other Anderson you might prefer), and Lebowski. (Personally, not a huge fan of the last one, but I recognize I seem to be an outlier on that.)

          • Rhino

            For me it would be a three way tie between Clerks, Airplane, and The Holy Grail.

            My all time favourite is python’s meaning of life, but since it’s more a collection of skits, I don’t really consider it a movie, per se.

            • Cheap Wino

              Meaning of Life had some of the best Python moments ever.

              Eric Idle as the chaplain at the boys school always cracks me up:

              “O Lord! Ooh, you are so big,

              So absolutely huge,

              Gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, I can tell you.”

              I never got the appeal of Clerks. Not a terrible movie at all but all time great?

              • rickhavoc

                Not to pick nits, but Palin was the chaplain.

                • Cheap Wino

                  Very true and worthy nit to pick. It was Palin’s almost somber delivery of the line that made it so memorable.

    • witless chum

      Donalbain, this WOULD be true, if he didn’t wake up in the final scene and have the loop end, but since he does, it’s merely top 25 ever.

  • Thom

    By the way, Erik, it is striking that you are not given to euphemism in other contexts but you tend to say “passed” (not even “passed away”) with respect to the deaths of those you admire. We could just say he died, right?

    • Lee Rudolph

      Thank you for saying that. I’ve wanted to, but have refrained; now, however, I’m glad to add a voice against “passed” (“passed away” is tolerable to me, though I never use it).

      • N__B

        “Yesterday, at eleven fifty nine AM, Waring Hudsucker merged with the infinite.”

      • Its just a regionalism. No better or worse than any other. Of course we always use the classic “last night, suddenly and without any warning, your grandfather…moved to florida.”

        • Lee Rudolph

          I haven’t been moving around from region to region lately, and it seems to me that I’ve only recently started to hear (I mean, literally, hear; I’m not counting blogs, etc.) “passed” without the “away” at the end (which latter I am entirely familiar with, which is the only reason I tolerate it at all).

          • I think its more southern and possibly aa to say passed without the “away.” A lot of southern and other regional expressions suddenly jump up tbrough tv.

            • Thom

              I agree that this is Southern; of course, Erik is not.

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          “He’s playing on the roof, and won’t come down”

          • Western Dave

            Your grandmother is on the roof.

            • Lee Rudolph

              …conveniently explaining how she got run over by a reindeer!

        • Ed

          It’s a dopey euphemism designed to draw attention from the unpleasant fact of death and the “passed” minus the “away” makes it even worse. (I always wonder what was passed? Gas?)

          “She didn’t pass on, pass over, or pass out! She died!”

          • witless chum

            I find people don’t like it when I just say “died.” So, professionally, I euphemize, but in personal conversations I stick to “died,” “dead” etc.

  • Martin

    You can always count on Loomis for an uplifting closing line.

    • Martin

      Also, anyone who picks the suicide montage as his favorite scene from this movie is weird.

      • Warren Terra

        It is light on Andie MacDowell.

  • I understand that Groundhog Day has more emotional heft, but for me, line-for-line, Ghostbusters is the greatest comedy ever.

    • Really? Animal House and Caddyshack both, I think, are funnier, although I think of Caddyshack as a “period piece” – they say and do things in that film you just can’t do now, but they work really well in that movie. Ghostbusters is funny, but those earlier movies are funnier. I’ll take my lumps on this one.

      • Ghostbusters is just not that good.

        • Warren Terra

          It has great lines, and some great set-pieces. But it’s not a fantastic film.

          • John

            The scene at the beginning where Venckman is conducting the ESP test is hilarious. When the gum pops out of the kid’s mouth, I laugh every time.

            • Venkman: I think we can get her a guest shot on “Wild Kingdom.” I just whacked her up with about 300 cc’s of Thorazaine… she’s gonna take a little nap now.

    • Malaclypse

      line-for-line, Ghostbusters is the greatest comedy ever.

      Okay. The old man told me to take any rug in the house.

      • Warren Terra

        laugh-a while you can, monkey boy.

        • Cheap Wino

          Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

          • Halloween Jack

            [almost any random line from Raising Arizona]

  • Zeks

    Look, man, if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to drive while I’m stoned. It’s like you know your perspective’s fucked so you just let your hands work the controls as if you were straight.

    • James Gary

      I’m glad someone had the stones to bring up “Heavy Metal.” For better or worse (probably worse), seeing that movie as a 13-year-old had more influence on my life, sense of humor, and subsequent career as a commercial artist than any other single movie, book, or piece of music has since.

      “And Hanover…goodbye.”

      • Zeks

        NOSE DIVE!!!

      • Did it get you to start reading the magazine?

        • James Gary

          I’d actually seen the magazine, but I could never get into it…the art was great but the stories were just SO rambling and unfocused (you try actually reading “The Airtight Garage Of Jerry Cornelius sometime.) So the movie–in which the stories were at least resolved enough to follow–was a something of an epiphany.

        • Halloween Jack

          I was thirteen when I stumbled across it on a newsstand; I think you can imagine what got me reading the magazine.

          • James Gary

            Heh. Living in the porn-rich 21st Century, I’d sort of forgotten about that aspect of Heavy Metal. Looking back, I realize my hunger for well-told visual stories was greater than my desire to look at cartoon boobies…obviously I was a weird kid.

            • Halloween Jack

              Regardless of the quality of the narrative, though, at least the art was clearly superior to what one got to see in American superhero comics (at least at the time). The boobies were a gateway drug, as it were.

  • Ed

    I don’t know that Ramis actually has a “greatest” picture, but Groundhog Day has legitimate classic status. The dumbing down of Bedazzled was quite unforgivable but Fraser has his moments in it and if you forget Peter Cook spinning in his grave like a clothesdryer you can have a good time part of the time. Particularly unforgivable was the softening of the conclusion; instead of the Devil ripping the Almighty a new one for his hypocrisy, we get a nice black guy standing in for Jesus. Jesus…..

  • Rob in CT

    Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters and Animal House were all really, really good. GHD and GB are two of my favorite films, period. They’re definitely on my list of best comedies. Speaking of which, you all managed to have a discussion about great comedies and nobody mentioned The Princess Bride? WTF is wrong with you?

    • elm

      Yeah, that was the last cut from my list of all time greats and was a little too old for my list of best of the last 25 years. Considered including it, though, if that’s any defense.

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