Harold Ramis – Black Belt In Hilarity

Ramis1If Loki, the trickster god of the Norsemen had avatars on earth, verily Ramis would be one of them.

If you look over the list of projects Ramis has been involved in, many of them would be considered to be comedy gold. In the pile of gold, many of the films would be among the greatest comedies ever made. This man is extremely talented, and is among the most important comedic minds of our time.

Animal House, Meatballs, Back To School, Ghostbusters, SCTV, Groundhog Day are my picks from the list of Ramis’ work. Animal House being my standout favorite. This film spawned an entire genre of comedy that lives on to this day. The frat comedy was birthed with the arrival of Animal House and we have Ramis to thank. Old School, Revenge Of The Nerds, PCU, Van Wilder ….and the lis goes on. Whenever the words “TOGA” are yelled, a candle should be lit in remembrance of him.

Ramis has the ability to take an idea and milk it for every possible laugh. A film about 4 guys that hunt ghosts for a living doesn’t sound like a funny premise. For Ramis, it was an opportunity to shine not only as a writer, but as an actor in the character of Egon Spengler. Ghostbusters was a huge movie when I was a kid, I fuckin’ loved it and still do to this day. When someone asks you if you’re a god – you SAY YES!

SCTV is a sketch comedy show that is under appreciated and delightfully hilarious. I didn’t have cable when I finished my education and was living alone in an apt. My rabbit ears were able to get a local channel that broadcast SCTV reruns daily. I was surprised how funny the sketches were and how many well known comedic players were employed by the show in their youth. Ramis was the head writer of the program and his tenure there no doubt sharpened his wit to a razor fine point. Like the folded metal of a samurai sword; so his funny bone was tempered.

Those that love comedy have Ramis to thank for not only fantastic films, but for continuing to write the textbook on how they should be made. Ramis has set the bar, drawn the map and paved the way for many to follow. He is an architect of hilarity and his influence should never be forgotten nor should his contributions be ignored.

International Friends: Please share with us your favorite Ramis work, and thoughts on the man himself.

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17 thoughts on “Harold Ramis – Black Belt In Hilarity

  1. Egon: Ill need a stool sample.
    Venkman: Business or personal?


    Venkman: (fiddling with piano) “They hate this…drives em nuts…”

  2. Great post, Doug!

    It’s about time Ramis got a little respect around here. Ghostbusters and Groundhog day are probably my two favourite movies of all time, I can watch them again and again.

  3. Stripes and Ghostbusters all the way…

    Ghostbusters is in my top ten favorite films of all time. Its pretty much a perfect film and that has a lot to do with the screenplay that he wrote with ackroyd. He is a very good writer and kind of undervalued as an actor as I loved him in Knocked Up.

    I know this is off topic but I saw Iron Man yesterday and all I have to say is that Indy, The Hulk, Speed Racer and Batman all have a lot of work to do if they have a chance at being as fucking awesome as Iron Man. It lives up to the hype. Amazing.

  4. I wonder Doug what inspired this article?

    Sctv and Caddyshack were classics.

    Heavy Metal (the movie) was some good Ramis. He played the coke sniffing alien that abducted the girl from the pentagon. Ahh that film is in the top 10.

    He’s also done alot of cameos.

  5. I’ve always liked his stuff but I’m not a HUGE fan of his. So I’ll pick…Animal House and Ghost Busters. Caddyshack was good too.

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