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Chicago Home > Leisure > Harold Ramis

Published March 26, 2010

UD - Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis
On Bill Murray, Playboy and Ghost Busters 3

This world has precious few comedy gods, and Harold Ramis is one of them. (You're on your way.) As the mind behind Caddyshack, Ghost Busters, Groundhog Day and more, the Chicago native has written some of the most quotable lines of the past 40 years ("It's a Cinderella story..."). Next month, he'll headline Celebrity Autobiography, with a cast of comedians performing live dramatic readings from such esteemed memoirists as Star Jones, Vanna White and Mr. T.

UD: You still live in Chicago. Seems like the weather alone would be enough to make you move to LA...
HR: I grew up here so I was never afraid of the weather. [And] I've been miserable in some of the nicest places on the planet.

UD: So before Second City, you drove a cab for a month. Any life lessons?
HR: You better know the South Side. Every time someone got in the cab and gave me an address on the South Side, I was guaranteed to get lost. I stopped when another driver says, "Yeah, a passenger stabbed me in the back twice last week."

UD: That'll do it. You wrote party jokes for Playboy. Was the Playboy Club as hedonistic as we hope?
HR: My defining moment was in the basement in the Grotto when it was on State Street. The entire cast of Hair was naked in the swimming pool singing "Let the Sunshine In." I was like, "All right, it's not going to get better than this."

UD: Nice. So Ghost Busters 3. Any truth to it?
HR: It's loaded with truth. Ghosts do exist. We really will save the world again.

UD: Is everyone back on board?
HR: So I'm told. No one's signed any contracts. With Murray, I'll always believe it when I see it. You know, when he actually shows up.

UD: Did you know when you type "Harold Ramis" into Google, it automatically fills in "Harold Ramis Bill Murray feud"?
HR: Really? Oh my goodness. That raises it to a whole other more interesting level.

UD: So it's not a feud?
HR: No, no, it's not a feud. We just don't work together anymore.

UD: So tell us about Celebrity Autobiography.
HR: When I heard that someone in [the] New York [production] read the Jonas Brothers', I thought, that's got to be pretty good.

UD: We pegged you as a Miley Cyrus guy. Any titles in mind for your autobiography?
HR: It's called I'm History.

UD: Oh, that's good.
HR: I have a file on my desk.

UD: Oh, so you're actually working on an autobiography.
HR: No. Just a title.

UD: Do people constantly bombard you with lines from your movies?
HR: Yeah, I hear it every day.

UD: What's the most repeated line?
HR: I can't tell you the number of people who say, "Who you gonna call?"
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