Ugh. This one kicks me right in the stomach.
Harold Ramis, comedy genius, died today of complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. Whatever the hell that is. It seems appropriate that it would require an immensely rare disease to end the life of an immensely rare talent like Ramis. Ghostbusters, Animal House, Caddyshack…
Groundhogs Day, for god’s sake–arguably the best comedy since Airplane!
The man’s resume is a legacy in and of itself. It’s people like Ramis who set the bar for the creative, polished, gorgeously weird comedy that brings you back, over and over again. That strange, effortlessly cosmic style of humor–the kind that is never cynical or cruel. Just intelligent, pinpoint original, and pleasantly deranged. I am genuinely sorry to see him go, and even sorrier that I never got to meet the man, let alone (in my wildest dreams) work or collaborate with him.
I don’t really believe in heroes–or rather, I don’t like the idea of them. But I do believe that we are shaped and pushed forward by all kinds of special people throughout our lives. Some of them are close to us: people like our fathers, mothers, siblings, and spouses. The people who know us best–who keep us humble and grounded. Others are a little further, but still important on various levels. A band that just blows your central nervous system clean out of your eyeballs. A barista who compliments your smile and leaves that stupid grin hanging off the bottom half of your face for the rest of the day. And the strangers who leave their thumbprint somewhere deep inside your skull, like a Christmas tree ornament, just hanging there–influencing what you do, and by extension, who you are.
Maybe it sounds odd to come out as so sincere when speaking of a man known for weapons grade silliness. But there was a polish and a poise to Harold Ramis’s humor. It was something that is not easily replicated. An insanity that leaves younger, would-be comedy assassins babbling with their own madness: different, but irrevocably influenced by a mentor ailment.
I will miss Harold Ramis.
I will miss him, and we should all get hammered and watch Ghostbusters.