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Monday, February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis, 1944-2014

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Well, this is a bummer: Harold Ramis has died. He was 69, which is older than I would have guessed but still seems like it's way too young.

Ramis' IMDB page reads like a list of the great '70s and '80s comedies: Among other things, he was a key player in SCTV; he directed several great films (Groundhog Day, The Ice Harvest, National Lampoon's Vacation) and one perfect film (Caddyshack); he co-wrote classics like Animal House, Back to School, Caddyshack, and Meatballs; and he co-wrote and starred in stuff like Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, and Stripes. Read over those titles again; that's an astoundingly great body of work, and that's not even all of it.

Later in his career, Ramis would go on to direct episodes of the American The Office and films that aren't quite as well-loved—Analyze This, Bedazzled, Stuart Saves His Family, Year One—but to overestimate his influence on the current state of film comedy is nearly impossible. (There's a reason Judd Apatow cast him as Seth Rogen's dad in Knocked Up.)

There are far worse ways to spend your evening than rewatching Ghostbusters or Caddyshack. I mean, that's true of every evening, but this particular one more than usual.

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