Yes, comedy god Harold Ramis wrote and directed both “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day,” two of the finest and funniest movie comedies ever forged. He also wrote giant movie hits like “Ghostbusters,” “Animal House,” “Back To School,” “Meatballs” and “Stripes.”
But if he’d never done any of that, he’d still merit some online recognition from my horny little corner of the Internet today just for his work in broadcasting.
An often forgotten but important part of comedy history is Michael O’Donoghue’s brilliant “National Lampoon Radio Hour,” which featured future SNL players O’Donoghue, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest, Brian Doyle-Murray, Gilda Radner and Chevy Chase -- and future SCTV stars Joe Flaherty and Harold Ramis.
Here’s a radio sketch written and performed by Ramis, Belushi, Radner and Doyle-Murray:
And while everybody remembers Flaherty, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara from “SCTV Network,” fewer will recall that Ramis was the star and head writer of the first two “SCTV” seasons that aired in syndication before it moved to NBC. Ramis would take an occasional break from his high-paying Hollywood career to co-write and appear in some of the NBC episodes, though:
(If anybody can find a link or embed for Ramis’ “Grapes of Mud” sketch, kindly post it in talkback.)
Ramis also directed four episodes of “The Office,” including “Benihana Christmas,” which may be the single best “Office” ever produced.
Few funnier men stood upon this planet.