Yesterday, the entertainment world lost a beloved figure with the death of Harold Ramis, the writer, director, and actor behind such classic film comedies like Ghostbusters, Stripes, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and many more. The Chicago native’s untimely passing has left a lot of people who enjoyed his many works saddened by this great loss, including the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
In a statement released today through the White House, President Obama, who served as an Illinois Senator before becoming President, called Ramis “one of Americaâ€™s greatest satirists” and talked about the effect the actor’s work had on him and his wife, Michelle Obama. The President went on to quote Caddyshack, the 1980 comedy co-written by Ramis, referencing Bill Murray’s memorable scene about meeting the Dalai Lama and being promised “total consciousness” upon his death.
You can read President Obama’s full statement and watch Bill Murray’s Dalai Lama scene from Caddyshack here below.
Statement from the President on the Passing of Harold Ramis
Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of Americaâ€™s greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicagoâ€™s Second City. When we watched his movies â€“ from â€œAnimal Houseâ€ and â€œCaddyshackâ€ to â€œGhostbustersâ€ and â€œGroundhog Dayâ€ â€“ we didnâ€™t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings. Our thoughts and prayers are with Haroldâ€™s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.
Bill Murray, who worked with Ramis on some of the aforementioned comedies, also released a statement after Ramis’s passing:
â€œHarold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.â€
Meanwhile, a photo posted to Reddit yesterday and shared across social media showing the FDNY Hook & Ladder 8 building in New York City with a Ghostbusters tribute to Ramis turned out to be an old photo. The TriBeCa firehouse was used as the Ghostbusters Headquarters in the films.
But while the Hook & Ladder company didn’t erect a memorial to Ramis, the actor’s fans have been visiting the firehouse to leave tributes of their own to honor the man, including flowers, candles, and photos, as well as items that reference his body of work, such as bars of Nestle Crunch, Twinkies, and Cheez-It.