The most legendary things Bill Murray has ever done, from gatecrashing weddings to hosting White House press briefings

Jimmy Kimmel interviews Bill Murray in the bath
Jimmy Kimmel Live

We all need a little Bill Murray in our lives.

The actor has been radiating good vibes since first coming onto the scene in the late 70s, and the world is a better place for it.

Everyone knows about his film roles, starring in classics like Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day and Lost in Translation (not to forget Garfield), but it’s often the stories away from the screen which often live longest in the memory.

He’s notorious for making mischief, cropping up in the most unexpected places and crashing stag dos and even wedding ceremonies.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

According to folklore, the 71-year-old’s signature move is to say “no one will ever believe you” after stealing a chip off your plate, or bumping into strangers in the most unexpected ways possible.

And most of the time, there’s no evidence of such encounters – but the ones that have been confirmed for real are amazing in their own right.

These are the most legendary things the great man has ever done – or at least, the ones we know about.

Made a no-luck putt backwards at the Pebble Beach Pro-am and downed a fan’s tequila

Bill loves golf more than pretty much anything else, and he took his enjoyment to a whole new level this year at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament.

The actor spotted a fan holding a plastic cup with tequila and a lime and decided to take the shot (literally), during the round - before popping up and putting an incredible no-look putt. All in a day’s work for Bill.

Hired a deaf personal assistant to ignore Harold Ramis

Murray didn’t enjoy things behind the scenes of 1993 classic Groundhog Day too much by the sound of the things, and his disagreements with director Harold Ramis led him to take very unusual measures.

Explaining his strange tactic, Ramis previously said: “Bill had all these obvious resentments toward the production, so it was very hard for a time to communicate with him. Calls would go unreturned. Production assistants couldn’t find him. So someone said, ‘Bill, you know, things would be easier if you had a personal assistant. Then we wouldn’t have to bother you with all this stuff.’ And he said, ‘Okay.’

“So he hired a personal assistant who was profoundly deaf, did not have oral speech, spoke only American sign language, which Bill did not speak, nor did anyone else in the production. But Bill said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to learn sign language.’ And I think it was so inconvenient that in a couple weeks, he gave that up. That’s anti-communication, you know? Let’s not talk.”

When he gatecrashed a White House press briefing

Bill Murray Crashes White House Press Briefing Room To Talk Baseball | NBC Newswww.youtube.com

Murray was in the White House back In 2016 to receive the Mark Twain Prize from President Obama, when he wandered into the press briefing room and decided to hold the fort for a while.

What followed was a few hilarious minutes which saw him answer questions on his beloved Chicago Clubs.

One thing's for certain: Press briefings would certainly be a whole lot more interesting if they were given by Bill all the time.

When he helped Hunter S Thompson invent a new sport

Murray formed a friendship with gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson after playing him in the 1980 film Where the Buffalo Roam. The pair came close to creating something totally brand new back in 2004, when Thompson rang him up in the middle of the night after having what he believed at the time to have a revelatory idea for a new sport – which he called “shotgun golf”.

Writing in an article for ESPN, explained that it would involve a golfer and shooter. As the name suggests, it would involved the shooter attempting to shoot the ball out the sky with a shotgun.

“I called Bill Murray with an idea that would change both our lives forever,” Thompson wrote. “It was 3:30 on a dark Tuesday morning when I heard the phone ring on his personal line in New Jersey. ‘Good thinking,’ I said to myself as I fired up a thin Cohiba. ‘He’s bound to be wide awake and crackling at this time of day, or at least I can leave a very excited message’.”

“My eerie hunch was right. The crazy bugger picked up on the fourth ring, and I felt my heart racing. ‘Hot damn!’ I thought. ‘This is how empires are built.’ Late? I know not late.”

We need to see shotgun golf at the next Olympics.

Gave the best impromptu speech ever after gatecrashing a bachelor party

When Bill Murray Crashed My Bachelor Partywww.youtube.com

If he hadn’t been an actor, we reckon Murray would have made a hell of a politician – because on the evidence of this viral clip, he can produce a great speech when called upon.

A bunch of guys in a bachelor party in Charleston, South Carolina, got the surprise of their lives after Murray rocked up and delivered an incredible (and surprisingly profound) speech off the cuff.

“You know how funerals are not for the dead, they’re for the living? Bachelor parties are not for the groom, they’re for the uncommitted,” he said, giving the guys a moment they’d never forget.

Gatecrashing a couple’s wedding photo shoot

It’s not just bachelor parties that Murray likes to crash, either.

Couple Ashley Donald and Erik Rogers were taking pictures after getting engaged when they were surprised to see Murray right next to them. Photographer Raheel Gauba, of Fia Forever Photography, posted the pictures and explained the story behind them.

“We were walking around downtown Charleston, taking in the romance of the city and enjoying the scenery,” Gauba told the Huffington Post. “I found this staircase and asked the couple to go get comfortable. Now when I do these shoots, sometimes I get tourists whistling or making funny faces or simply congratulating the couple. When I set up Ashley and Erik, I saw this look of surprise on their faces as they looked over my shoulder.”

Applying for a job at an Asian restaurant inside Atlanta airport

In what feels like the most Bill Murray thing of all time, the actor applied for a job at an Asian restaurant at Atlanta Airport – just because he thought it looked like fun.

“I did fill out an application at P.F. Chang’s at the Atlanta Airport because I think it’s one of the best places,” Murray explained at the time, saying he wanted “just to work there”.

He added: “It looks like they are having the best time working at P.F. Chang’s.”

Taking over as a barman, but only serving tequila

Murray took over the bar at South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin a few years back (because of course he did) and he wasted no time in taking people’s orders.

Only, no-matter what people said they wanted, he’d serve them tequila.

“All of a sudden, Bill Murray’s standing next to me behind my bar,” bartender Jesse Cates recalled at the time. “I found myself bartending with a Ghostbuster. It was pretty flipping sweet.”

As the story goes, Murray would listen to people’s raiders before ignoring it completely and serving them a shot.

Never change Bill, never change.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)