Bill Murray on MC Hammer, Flavor Flav, and the Best Party He Ever Crashed
The actor/director/comedian/legend has done it all. But he still has one career goal left. And it involved an insane rapper wearing a giant clock.
Part-time actor, part-time Director of Fun Bill Murray took to Reddit’s AMA section Wednesday to swill tequila and answer fan questions about the best party he ever crashed, his secrets to life, the loneliness of fame, and more. Of course, the answers were wild; to ask Bill Murray a question is to expect an answer that almost instantly goes off on a tangent, then takes a left turn, then stops in the middle of the road to watch a mariachi band play. But the sprawling, confusing, hilarious results are often profound. Here were the best responses he gave during the hour-long Q&A.
On Partying in the ’70s and Snobby Andy Warhol
While Murray didn’t address wild dating rumors or the scathing critiques his latest film Rock the Kasbah is getting, he did recount a pretty amazing tale of Andy Warhol treating him like dirt. It happened at what was one of the best parties he ever snuck into. “Well, we crashed a famous party called the Subway Party to celebrate the premiere of Tommy, in the ’70s,” he said. “It was Gilda Radner, [John] Belushi, Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, Brian Doyle Murray, and we were all plus-one, probably. It was biggest party ever in NYC at the time.”
He calls the party, which took place in an enclosed subway stop, a “roar” and a “scream.” “You couldn’t get into this party. It was an inner circle thing,” he says, later adding, “Everyone saying hi, hello. And we felt like we didn’t belong at all. It was so fantastic. I have compassion when people say dumb stuff to me. I said to Andy Warhol ‘I love the soup can’ and he looked at me like ‘You don’t belong here.’ What a time that was.” What a time!
On Filming Caddyshack with Rodney Dangerfield
Murray also reminisced about partying during shoots for his “early” films, back when “people weren’t as fussy.” He says he waterskiied under a full moon and “crashed an MC Hammer concert” with a bus full of 55 people while filming What About Bob in 1991. Filming Caddyshack with Rodney Dangerfield is another career highlight because “there are not many people alive who could party with Rodney.” “He would have left you all for dead,” Murray says. “He really went hard, he was fun. He was funny.”
But it was Henry Wilcoxon whom Murray most liked spending time with on the Caddyshack set. “He was like the original Antony in Antony and Cleopatra!” Murray says. “He came here, a savage hunk and then in our movie, he’s playing a bishop! In my free time on the movie, I spent it with him. That’s who I wanted to talk to, that’s who had an irony and experience beyond us. He was super cool.”
On the Loneliness of Fame
Still, Murray didn’t shy away from the loneliness that comes with being famous enough to party with Dangerfield or Warhol. When asked what the best and worst thing about being Bill Murray is, Murray (somewhat tragically) responded, “The worst thing about it, they’re one in the same: You wish you could walk down the street and look at things and watch things uninterrupted. The shock of being recognized brings you out of this place where you’re just trying to take it in. It’s an obligation and you’re reminded you have to show up. It’s a coin with two sides. As much as I don’t like the one side, the other side is what might save me.” Perhaps not coincidentally, when asked what his ideal superpower would be, Murray answered “invisibility.”
On ‘The One That Got Away’
Another Redditor asked Murray if there is a role he wanted but didn’t get—one, it turns out, he lost to Mel Gibson. “The Year of Living Dangerously by Peter Weir,” Murray said. “I wasn’t a big shot. Mel Gibson [who took the lead role] lived in Australia. I’d been to Indonesia and I thought I understood that movie. When I saw it, I was like, ‘Damn!’ That was the only one I wanted I didn’t get. Peter Weir is… something else.”
On His Would-be Reality TV Debut
And, in case you were wondering, if Bill Murray could appear in any reality TV show, it would be Flavor of Love. That was the VH1 dating show in which women competed for the Public Enemy jester and giant clock aficionado Flavor Flav’s affections (and pulled each other’s hair a lot). “The idea that he had some of the most, what I consider maybe, not the most desirable women in the world. They were really nutty. I mean crazy,” Murray said, before changing his mind to The Amazing Race. “I used to watch it just to see people completely fall apart,” he said, citing a “similar” show he watched in Paris. “The Amazing Race looks like a lot of fun. You get to go to a bunch of places. It calls on all your skills. I tell people, ‘If you want to get married, travel around the world first. ’Cause then you get to know people better. It’s a test of wills to travel.’”