How Bill Murray improvised the Cinderella story monologue from Caddyshack in one take

Great Harold Ramis profile from The New Yorker back in 2004. In it, he talks about how Bill Murray improvised the Cinderella story monologue from Caddyshack in one take.

Bill was a tremendous source of strength and protection. If a scene didn’t work, I’d just say, ‘O.K., let’s start lighting,’ and Bill and I would talk for half an hour, and we’d get something great.” The classic “Cinderella story” speech from “Caddyshack” had been written as an interstitial camera shot: Murray’s character, the greenskeeper, was to be “absently lopping the heads off bedded tulips as he practices his golf swing with a grass whip.” Ramis took Murray aside and said, “When you’re playing sports, do you ever just talk to yourself like you’re the announcer?”

Murray said, “Say no more,” and did his monologue in one take. As he lops the flowers in the finished film, he shyly mutters, “What an incredible Cinderella story—this unknown comes out of nowhere to lead the pack at Augusta… . Tears in his eyes, I guess… . This crowd has gone deathly silent. A Cinderella story, out of nowhere, a former greenskeeper now about to become the Masters champion.” He swings, then follows the flight of the imaginary shot. “It looks like a mirac— It’s in the hole!

Here's another fun Murray story from Ramis:

“One of my favorite Bill Murray stories is one about when he went to Bali. I’d spent three weeks there, mostly in the south, where the tourists are. But Bill rode a motorcycle into the interior until the sun went down and got totally lost. He goes into a village store, where they are very surprised to see an American tourist, and starts talking to them in English, going ‘Wow! Nice hat! Hey, gimme that hat!’ ” Ramis’s eyes were lighting up. “And he took the guy’s hat and started imitating people, entertaining. Word gets around this hamlet that there’s some crazy guy at the grocery, and he ended up doing a dumb show with the whole village sitting around laughing as he grabbed the women and tickled the kids. No worry about getting back to a hotel, no need for language, just his presence, and his charisma, and his courage. When you meet the hero, you sure know it.”

He smiled. “Bill loves to get lost, to throw the map out the window and drive till you have no idea where you are, just to experience something new.”

Reminds ya that a great way to make interesting comedy is to be an interesting person who does interesting things.

And lastly, talk about turning tragedy into funny:

Ramis describes Doug Kenney as the only person he knew who would hit the accelerator if he saw a car crossing his path. When they wrote “Caddyshack” together, along with Bill Murray’s older brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, Kenney was using a lot of cocaine and seemed depressed. In July, 1980, after becoming so hostile at the “Caddyshack” press junket that the film’s publicists asked him to leave, Kenney took a vacation on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and disappeared. When his body was found, under Hanapepe Lookout, a few days later, it was Ramis who delivered the verdict that everyone repeated: “Doug probably fell while he was looking for a place to jump.”

It's in the hole!

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