Famous Ramis


Having thought of Harold Ramis mostly as a beloved SCTV alumnus who made some funny pictures way back when, I wasn't sure a few years ago when Ben Schwartz posited Ramis as an icon of baby-boomer self-satisfaction (and I still wish he could have credited Ghostbusters as a great libertarian fable). But I never realized how right Ben was. Witness Weird Harold's the-Farrelly-brothers-just-don't-get-it routine here:

"I see why people make the comparison," said Harold Ramis in a phone interview, referring to the contemporary crop of teen and "gross-out" comedies. Ramis co-wrote "Animal House" with Douglas Kenney and Chris Miller. "But — and this will sound slightly pompous — we were writing about a real time in our lives, the 1960s. We thought our work had real social significance."

"The anti-institutional psychology of it was revolutionary," said Ramis. "The characters were speaking to a generation of people who understood this sensibility." But what do they think of the spate of comedies for which "Animal House" is commonly acknowledged to be the progenitor?

"I think many films have borrowed the style but not the content," Ramis said.