One of the funniest people of the last forty years has died. According to CNN:
Harold Ramis, the actor, writer and director whose films include “Stripes,” “Ghostbusters,” “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This,” has died. He was 69.
His death was caused by complications related to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a condition Ramis battled for four years, according to United Talent Agency, which represented Ramis for many years.
Ramis died Monday morning in his Chicago-area home, the agency said.
For more than 40 years, Ramis was a leading figure in comedy. A veteran of the Second City troupe in his hometown of Chicago, he was a writer for “SCTV” and wrote or co-wrote the scripts for “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978), “Caddyshack” (1980), “Stripes” (1981), “Ghostbusters” (1984), “Groundhog Day” (1993) and “Analyze This” (1999).
You probably saw this yesterday, but I wasn’t able to post on it, and didn’t want to let his death pass by without notice. Groundhog Day–appreciation for which has been growing tremendously in the community of critics for several years now–is one of the half dozen best comedies ever, the rare movie that combines side-splitting laughs with a serious exploration of religious, philosophical, and existential themes. There is nothing deep about Ghostbusters, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the flat-out funniest movies ever made. Like the films of the Marx Brothers, it doesn’t matter how many times I see it (at this point I’ve got a lot of the dialogue memorized), it still cracks me up. When I go reaching for a pop culture witticism, it is one of the handful of movies I’m most likely to quote.
Picking just one clip from a Harold Ramis movie to illustrate his humor isn’t easy, so here are a few of the best: