As film fans, it’s easy to become disillusioned with the strange culture of celebrity when we’re forever being aggressively force-fed the sort of staged drama and self aggrandisement that Simon Cowell and the Kardashians consider ‘entertainment’.
Our News feeds and TVs are so bombarded with ‘people’ on Celebrity Big Brother or Jersey Shore shamelessly marketed as ‘characters’ simply because they’ve got a coke problem, no moral compass and neck tattoos, that we rejoice loudly when we’re reminded that somewhere in the world there actually exist effortlessly cool, interesting and gentlemanly movie stars.
Like the man of the hour, Bill Murray.
That’s why hearing about the latest exploits of Bill Murray is like inhaling that first breath of free air after spending months chained to a broken radiator subsisting on a diet of wet cardboard and pebbles while your eyes are pried open to stare endlessly at a live-stream of Piers Morgan eating a Tangle Twister.
So let us take this next few minutes to worship at the altar of Murray by recounting just some of the times when he justified the title of ‘Coolest Human Alive’…
The Time He Drove A Taxi So That The Driver Could Practice His Saxophone In The Back
This is one of my all time favourite Bill Murray stories! While attending the Bill Murray Day at the Toronto International Film Festival, Bill revealed this story in a Q&A for the release of his film, St. Vincent.
At the discussion Bill recounted how on the night before the festival he was taking a taxi in Oakland and in conversation, the taxi driver mentioned that he played the saxophone. Bill recounts it: “I said, ‘When do you practice?’ He said, ‘I drive 14 hours a day.’”
But when the cab driver revealed that the saxophone was in the boot, Bill said: “‘Pull over and get in the back, I know how to drive a car.’ ”
“Not only did he play all the way to Sausalito, which is a long way, we stopped and got barbecue. And it made for a beautiful night!”
Wow, what a legend!
When He Randomly Crashed A Student Party In Scotland
While lesser celebs are busy shying away from the public by hiding behind reinforced tinted glass or petulantly ignoring fans like stroppy children, Bill Murray is out there mixing it up and crashing parties.
There have been numerous reports of Bill showing up at strangers’ houses and partying with them for a few hours but my favourite has to be the time he apparently walked into a Scottish student’s party and randomly started doing the dishes.
Serving Drinks At South By Southwest
Reports around the time claim that Bill just went behind the bar unprompted and started taking drink orders while staff and punters looked on amazed.
Apparently, regardless of whatever each person ordered, Bill just gave them shots of tequila.
What a man. He’s also recently helped drum up business in his son’s Brooklyn tavern by stepping behind the bar again.
The Time He Turned A Rain Delay Into An Impromptu Show
As part owner of Charleston’s minor league baseball team RiverDogs, Murray can be regularly spotted at games.
But fans were in for a special treat during one game when, during a rain delay, Bill left his seat to go capering about on the giant tarpaulin turned slip and slide while fans cheered him on.
When He Made A Couple’s Day By Posing In Their Engagement Photos
Possibly the only thing that could make getting engaged to the person you love even better is having Bill Murray there to pose awkwardly throughout the whole thing.
When He Crashed A Stag Party And Imparted Some Heartfelt Wisdom
In 2014, Murray was dining with friends in a steakhouse in Charleston.
A bachelor party happened to be going on at the same restaurant, so Murray proceeded to give the group of guys some inspiring advice.
He told them:
If you have someone that you think is the one… take that person and travel around the world… if when you come back to JFK, you’re still in love with the person, get married at the airport.
When He Treated Fans To A Slo-Mo Camera Walk Instead Of An Autograph
While working on a movie, some fans asked for an autograph but Bill complained that an autograph was ‘too impersonal’.
Instead, he suggested they record a small slo-mo video of him, the fan and his friends walking down a corridor in homage to the slow motion shots from Wes Anderson films featuring Bill.
When He Dropped Into A Stranger’s Karaoke Party And Sang A Duet
Reports claim that Bill and an unnamed woman were invited by some fans into their private karaoke booth and proceeded to hang around while he and the woman sang an obscure French song.
Later he sang a duet with the fan and went solo on an old Elvis track.
When He Ate Fries Off A Guy’s Plate And Told Him Nobody Would Ever Believe Him
I’m not sure if this one is apocryphal or not, as I’m pretty sure I heard another version where he walks up to a guy on the street and says ‘boo’ and then says the famous phrase ‘nobody will ever believe you’.
But Bill being Bill it’s entirely possible that he’s done this on more than one occasion.
He Actually Is An Awesome Bowler
In the movie Kingpin there’s a scene in which Bill’s character Ernie McCracken (who really needs to be given his own film) bowls a turkey – three strikes in a row – much to the delight of the watching crowd.
But according to sources on the set, Bill actually did pull off the turkey legitimately and the cheers from the crowd are real reactions from onlookers.
So here’s to Bill Murray. Happy Birthday you incredible man!