I’m kind of assuming the “last year” part of the headline.
Ivan Reitman told the Associated Press on or before Jan. 8 that Murray had the “Ghostbusters 3” script.
But Murray told Howard Stern this morning he still hasn’t gotten around to reading it.
STERN: Is it true that there is a “Ghostbusters 3” and you’re the problem? You will not sign off on this? Do you know about this?
MURRAY: Yeah, I guess I’m the problem. Before I was an asset and now I’m the problem. There’s a script somewhere over there. Over there there’s a script and I haven’t read it yet.
STERN: Why haven’t you read it? Because you think it’s a bullshit idea? In other words, Ghostbusters had its time and you did a remarkable job with that, and you’ve moved on?
MURRAY: There’s a little bit of that. You know, I only made one sequel, “Ghostbusters II,” and it didn’t end up the way it was presented. About five years after we did the first one, the clever agents got us all together in a room, and we really are funny together. I mean they are funny people - Harold and Danny and myself, and it was Ivan and maybe one or two other people. And we were just blindingly funny for about an hour or so. And the agents, there was just foam coming off of them. And so they had this pitch and Danny and Harold had already concocted some sort of story idea, and it was a story, it was a good story. I think I had even already read one or two that Danny rolled out before that, but this one was a good one. I said, "OK, we can do that one." It was just kind of fun to have all of us together. I mean Moranis, Rick Moranis and Annie Potts. These people, they’re just sterling people to begin with.
STERN: So how do you go back and really make another? Does Ivan want to make that film?
MURRAY: Yeah, Ivan wants to make it and I owe him and he’s puzzled that I haven’t gotten to this one.
STERN: How long has it been sitting on your desk, this script for Ghostbusters?
MURRAY: Well, it may not be on the desk; it’s over there somewhere. How long? I don’t know.
STERN: So you’re never going to read it.
STERN SIDEKICK ROBIN QUIVERS: So you have no interest.
MURRAY: Well, I’ll get to it. I gotta get to it. I feel badly. I got a message. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but it’s not the foremost thing in my mind right now, so I don’t think about it. You know what, the studio gets excited about it every 10 years or so or it seems like, and they read it. Because what they’d really like to do is recreate the franchise, you know? I remember once upon a time it was going to be, “And the new Ghostbusters will be Chris Rock, Chris Farley and Chris Crane or Kris Kringle.” Or someone. They had it together.
STERN: Is that a threat to you? In other words, do they try to threaten you by saying, “We’re going to put together a new Ghostbusters, and therefore you guys will have to go do it?”
MURRAY: It’s not a threat. It’s sort of businesslike. They’d like to keep it going. I mean, it’s still an amazing … there’s still kids today that watch this movie. They still sell a lot of toys and everything.
But wait, there’s more!
Stern (whom Roger Ebert justifiably hails as "the best interviewer in the business") got some more interesting stuff out of Murray.
Here Murray addresses the rumor he was up for the role of Han Solo:
STERN: This is crazy to me. You were offered the role of Han Solo in “Star Wars.”
MURRAY: I mean -- I don’t know. Maybe. I never heard that one. I like the job Harrison Ford did. I’m happy with him. I hear these stories all the time. I was offered being Pope but they couldn’t reach me.
STERN: That’s really true. You only heard that story. You never heard someone say to you, “I want you to be Han Solo.”
MURRAY: I heard that one lately, Han Solo. I heard Batman too. These are all just …
Here Murray talks about his beef with Ron Howard:
STERN: Like I had Ron Howard in here. This is an example of where you get the reputation of being difficult. Ron Howard’s in here. We’re talking about movies and stuff. And there was this story about how you had a script that you loved. You went to Ron Howard and said, “Ron, I want you to direct this script.” And he read it and he said, “You know, Bill, it’s not for me; I don’t want to direct this film.” And you were so upset with him that it’s completely ruined your relationship with Ron Howard. True or false?
MURRAY: Well, false, because I never really had a relationship with Ron Howard. But I like his movie. I think he had a movie called “Eat My Dust” or something like that he directed or “Jackson County Line” or something like that. He directed a movie and I thought, “Hey, that’s good. That’s pretty good. He can do this.” So I went to him with this movie called “Quick Change,” which is a movie we ended up shooting in New York. And I said, “Why don’t you do this?” And he said, “I don’t get it; there’s no one to root for.” And I thought, “That’s the craziest Hollywood jive I ever …” I shouldn’t say “jive.” But that’s like a term that doesn’t spring from any place. For me. I just thought, “That didn’t make any sense to me.” I was chagrined to hear that because if guys driving fast on dirt roads is somebody to root for and this one wasn’t, I think you could compare ‘em. I like him and he’s a nice person. I enjoyed him in “The Shootist” with John Wayne too. He’s had a very long and very successful career. It was just an incident. It was a moment.
STERN: But it is fair to say someone might not "get" the script? For whatever reason, it wasn’t his cup of tea?
MURRAY: Yeah, but it was what he said. It wasn’t like, “I got to pass on it.” It was like, “There’s no one to root for.” And that was the one that just landed funny. It was like a boomerang inside of your mouth.
STERN: So you have to be careful what you say to Bill Murray. Like if I was hanging out with you, you will evaluate me because you can detect horseshit when you hear it.
MURRAY: Well, everyone thinks they can. Everyone thinks they can. Do you remember the one time we were photographed together?
STERN: I have it hanging on my wall.
MURRAY: That’s hilarious. And the third person in the picture is?
STERN: Governor Cuomo.
MURRAY: I tell that to people, they can’t believe it.
STERN: This is craziest thing. I was so nervous. I was “Live At Five,” which is a local NBC show in New York, it’s the news show. And the guests that day were me, then-governor Cuomo and Bill Murray, and I was so nervous because for some reason I’ve always felt that Bill Murray hated me. And I don’t know why; I don’t have anything to base it on, Bill. For some reason I got very intimidated. Number one, I told Bill I admired him greatly. And Governor Cuomo I was sure didn’t like me. And then all of the sudden we were taking the picture but you didn’t seem to be thrilled to be taking the picture, the governor didn’t seem to be thrilled and I was a nervous wreck. Was there a problem between us?
MURRAY: No, we don’t have a problem, Howard. It just sort of reminded me that when we posed for the picture, the guy who was the most uncomfortable was Cuomo. And when it first was set up, it was, left to right, myself, and then you, and then Mario. And Mario actually said, “Here, Bill, you get in the middle.”
STERN: Right! I do remember that! He didn’t want to stand next to me! Well, Bill, now you know my life.
MURRAY: It was everything I could do to hold it together.
Here Murray talks about what he thinks about the current SNL cast:
STERN: Do you like Lorne Michaels?
MURRAY: Yeah. He’s a complicated character and he really has gotten really, really good at that job. Back then, he’s a million times better at it now. He really is good at the job.
STERN: Because his strength is he finds people, puts them together and keeps that show on the air.
MURRAY: Well, he keeps the people together, which is really a hard part. I mean, there are infamous people in the comedy world that had all the talent and alienated them and they went away. But he’s managed to keep good people, good writers, good actors, and good technicians – I mean good cameramen, good lighting guys. That’s a tough building to keep all the best guys in one room.
STERN: Do you still watch the show?
MURRAY: I’m not very regular. You know, when you work on “Saturday Night Live” for years, you’re kind of pleased to have it off. You know what I mean?
STERN: Are you? Why? Because, in other words, it brings back bad memories or … ?
MURRAY: No, it’s just it’s Saturday night, y’know, it’s sort of free. I catch up with it. I’m not as organized as sitting through it. It’s a lot easier to … Like my friend [longtime SNL writer] Jim Downey will make discs. He’ll just send me a disc and say, “You just got to see these ones” and he’ll send me discs of the best sketches and so forth.
STERN: He sends you sketches he thinks are good. Does he ever send you any that he thinks are bad?
MURRAY: (laughing) He’s not like that at all. He doesn’t say, “Look at this crap.” He’s one of the funniest people in the world. That’s one guy that Lorne has kept on the show since I was there. We started the same week.
STERN: Are you upset that Lorne gets to repackage these shows and redistribute them through CDs, DVDs, specials and constantly take your work and do it over and over again? And I would imagine you get no residuals for that, right?
MURRAY: Well, I don’t think about the residuals too much. I mean, I just hope that everyone that needs money will have it, you know?
STERN: But do you get paid for that?
MURRAY: Well, I got a check once for one cent.
STERN: Well, I believe that.
MURRAY: I really did. I really got a check for one cent once. I don’t pay a lot of attention to those things. And I know that someone’s making real money on it, and we kid about how we created a college fund for Lorne’s kids, but he’s worked very hard. He has to take the credit for getting the show made. He has to take the credit. There’s people making money at all levels of it. I just hope that everyone -- all the actors and all the writers that ever need money -- whenever that becomes the case, you know, Lorne makes sure everyone’s OK, you know?
STERN: You think he’s doing that? I think you’re saying that somewhat sarcastically.
MURRAY: Nothing is sarcastic. I’m saying that …
STERN: He’s not going to some of the old writers who are probably living in a …
MURRAY: He’s a nice Jewish boy from Toronto. He’s vulnerable to guilt and when people need help, he helps them.
STERN: Does he do that?
MURRAY: To my knowledge he does. I mean, I’ve seen it happen.
STERN: Is there a reason you don’t host “Saturday Night Live” more often?
MURRAY: Well, I’ve done it a couple of times. I like this group they have now. I think this group they have now is very, very, very good. I like these actors. These are the best actors since the first group, I think. This group they’ve got.
Here Murray talks about what he thinks about his old SNL castmates:
STERN: Are you in touch with Aykroyd?
STERN: You like him?
MURRAY: Yeah, he’s like my friend for life.
STERN: Another guy who’s so brilliant I feel he’s underutilized. Do you sense his frustration at all when you speak to him?
MURRAY: Well, he goes through … Well, he has a different life. He has a much more interesting life than many people. He has a lot of interests. He’s selling this vodka, this [Crystal Head] skull bottled vodka.
STERN: I know, I have some of it.
MURRAY: He has a lot of different kinds of interests. He’s kind of interested in English history and the life of old English people and …
STERN: In other words he doesn’t need show business to keep him happy. He has so many interests.
MURRAY: He’s interested in ghosts for heaven’s sake. He’s in that whole paranormal world. He has a lot of different interests. He reads a lot. He likes to get on the road. He likes cars.
STERN: The one guy you didn’t like was Chevy, that’s it, right? The other ones you liked.
MURRAY: You know, I’m OK with Chevy. We had our dust-up on the show, but that was about … that was almost Oedipal; I don’t know what the hell that was. That was Greek, whatever that was.
STERN: Do you see him now? You don’t see him at all.
MURRAY: Yeah, I see him. I see him at least, y’know, usually once a year. I haven’t seen him in a little bit but that’s because I’ve been busy, but he’s funny. I mean, Chevy is funny. And Chevy in real life is funnier than almost everyone. He really make even just walking around fun.
STERN: Bill, did you make love to all of the women on the show? Gilda …
MURRAY: Yes, of course. Of course. (laughing) No, listen, there’s a couple dying when I say that. No no no no no.
STERN: You didn’t make love to any of the women on the show or you got some of them?
MURRAY: You know, it was a different time. When love was important. Love is not important any longer, we know that; it’s just about money.
STERN: Is it really? Are you bitter from all your marriages and divorces?
STERN: You are not? But that sounding like a bitter statement. “It’s all about …”
MURRAY: Oh no, I was making a joke. Sometimes we make the jokes. You know, women are funny and men are funny. Ask a woman. They’ll tell you men are weird and a man will say women are strange. But I’m OK with women. They’re challenging.
STERN: Are you a tough guy to be in a relationship with? I think you’re eccentric.
MURRAY: (laughing) I don’t think so. I don’t think so, Howard. I don’t think I’m eccentric.
QUIVERS: Well, you read these things about you every once in a while about you and a golf cart.
MURRAY: You can’t believe what you hear in the paper all the time. I think I’m a barrel of monkeys.
The whole amazing interview, which also gets into "Groundhog Day" and Andie McDowell and the SNL hosts he really wanted to sleep with, can be heard on Sirius satellite radio’s repeats tonight (and this weekend) on Howard 101, and soon on On Demand.