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Is it Ghostbusters 3? Bill Murray on the Howard Stern Show
February 27, 2011 10:35 PM   Subscribe

A sedate-sounding Bill Murray opens up about Ghostbusters 3, Saturday Night Live, depression, his beef with Ron Howard, not having an agent, and the rumors surrounding the roles he's turned down in a 50 minute interview on the Howard Stern Show.

parts 2 3 4

Partial transcript here.
posted by item (45 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
Finally, a context in which 'Ghostbusters 2' may actually be an appropriate answer...
posted by kaibutsu at 1:45 AM on February 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Finally, a context in which 'Ghostbusters 2' may actually be an appropriate answer...

Well played you glorious bastard.

Well fucking played.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 2:49 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't "a sedate-sounding Bill Murray" sort of redundant?
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:35 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Howard Stern is an interesting interviewer. He has this silly banter with Robin and the other people there, but then I start to feel a part of it and it's like we're all in a room together talking. I feel a part of the conversation in this completely weird way because I'm completely not. Then the interview will get surprisingly personal and intimate with the person being interviewed. It's really great. I really enjoy his interviews. And at the same time understand how some of his fans seem to have this incorrect feeling of closeness with the Stern crew.
posted by dog food sugar at 3:48 AM on February 28, 2011


Then the interview will get surprisingly personal and intimate with the person being interviewed. It's really great. I really enjoy his interviews. And at the same time understand how some of his fans seem to have this incorrect feeling of closeness with the Stern crew.

Couldn't agree more. I'd also add that Howard's a peerless interviewer. Then again, as a long time fan I'm sure that i suffer from that same incorrect feeling of closeness as well. However, as a New Yorker living abroad, that incorrect feeling feels pretty damned good.
posted by Hickeystudio at 4:38 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bill Murray comes off as a thoughtful but pretty normal guy, I think I would like him.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:42 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as much as their is much about The Howard Stern Show that turns me off, he really is the best celebrity interviewer around, far and away in a media landscape with no shortage of celebrity interviewers. The celebrity is no doubt encouraged by the uncensored nature of the show and probably not being entirely awake yet, but Howard has a great skill at getting the person he is interviewing to open in a way Barbara Walters or anyone else could never do.

I got hooked on his interviews back in high school when I saw Paul McCartney on the old E! show. That was so freaking cool to a young me who was just getting into the Beatles to see McCartney in that position, making fun of Michael Jackson and agreeing to tell Howard some things off air about Yoko and his relationship. Howard also kept letting him know that he and Heather Mills would never work out, but Paul was still blinded by love. It was great because, who else in show business would say that to the great McCartney's face? When Paul came back to the show a couple of years ago after his divorce to Mills, Howard got to have a fun "I told you so" moment.
posted by riruro at 4:46 AM on February 28, 2011


Stern is a great interviewer because he's honest, and beneath all of his schtick, he's just a regular guy with an adolescent's sense of humor and lack of filtering that allows him to ask the impolite, but so very personal and interesting questions we would all love to ask. Great stuff.
posted by tgrundke at 4:50 AM on February 28, 2011


I've always been annoyed by his style of interview. It almost seems invasive and rude and I've always felt bad for the celebrities being put on the spot when being asked about their sex lives or therapy sessions. He definitely seems to get the answers out of them though and none of them seem particularly put off, so perhaps it's just me.
posted by secretdark at 5:05 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bill, there were better places for you to do this.

Also, for anyone else out there who thinks Stern is anything close to a halfway-decent interview: I'll give you a dollar if you go looking for his interview with Liz Phair. When I think of "great interviewers", that is exactly what I think of.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:28 AM on February 28, 2011


pxe2000; could you clarify the Liz Phair thing? Did she get interviewed by Stern? Google results aren't very helpful here.
posted by odinsdream at 5:55 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just glad that he tore a hole into Ron Howard, in his subtle zen Bill Murray way.
posted by blucevalo at 5:56 AM on February 28, 2011


Blegh. Bill Murray as Han Solo? As Johnny Smith in 'The Dead Zone'? In Nicholson in 'Witches of Eastwick'? Idunno, but I see a lot of both iconic and also-ran performances in mediocre comedies of the '80s and '90s.

I LIKE the narrative that makes 'Lost In Translation' as Murray's dramatic breakthrough. Murray as Bruce Wayne would have turned the Batman franchise into awful, broad comedy 6 years before Joel Schumaker got busy with his Bat-nipples and Terminator-Freeze. I think we got the better deal -- I'd rather live in the world where Johnny Depp gets the lion's share of leading roles than the one where Murray plays the tragic lead in a Cronenberg film.

Realistically, Murray's Johnny Smith would have just started drinking, rather than try to save the world from Martin Sheen's dark, would-be Presidential candidate, Greg Stillson. That would have ended the movie quickly, though it would have become scary in other ways.
posted by vhsiv at 6:01 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Odinsdream: Liz was on the Stern show around 1995/96-ish, and her entire interview involved screaming the word "fuck" a whole lot. Like, literally "FUCK FUCK FUCK!" (while getting bleeped). Audio of this was on girlysound.com, which I found linked on the Blue, but seems to have been removed.

(Also, not to put too fine a point on this, but Stern's attitude towards rape -- namely, that it's kind of awesome -- really puts me off my feed.)
posted by pxe2000 at 6:05 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stern's attitude towards rape -- namely, that it's kind of awesome -- really puts me off my feed

Really, pxe2000? Can you point me to a recording or transcript to support that assertion?
posted by JeffK at 6:23 AM on February 28, 2011


JeffK: Just for starters, there was the rant he went on about Columbine, and how he thought it was okay that girls got raped. He non-apologized for that, and the non-apology is on Snopes.

There was also the lulz that he and his crew had at Tricia Meili's expense when her book about her assault and near-death hit shelves in the mid-oughties.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:32 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Howard Stern's movie dates are all off. He said that Ghostbusters (1984), somehow almost led to Murray playing Han Solo 7 years prior in Star Wars (1977). Also he said Lost in Translation (2003) was 2004.

Also the co-host has one of the most grating over-the-top fakey radio voices I have ever heard.
posted by Riptor at 6:34 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I listened to Stern for a few years in the late 80s or early 90s.

I remember him dispatching Baba Booey to some event where he asked Raquel Welch "Are they sagging yet?"

Fair or not, this is what I remember of his interviewing technique.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:47 AM on February 28, 2011


Ok, but if we're talking 1995 - 1996 then that's definitely during the terrestrial broadcast years, so anyone who screamed the word fuck would've been bleeped at every turn. Having to censor his language was one of the big things that made Stern bail on regular radio in favor of satellite.

Howard Stern is not the most progressive person when it comes to the basic tenets of feminism, but I'd be really surprised to hear that his attitude towards rape is that "it's kind of awesome." Dude is the father of three girls, so it's hard to imagine him seriously holding that sort of opinion. I just searched Snopes for the non-apology, but couldn't find anything. Pxe, do you have a link for that, by any chance?

Also -- and this is a hard line for me to defend, but I'm going to try to do it anyway -- there's a fine distinction between what Stern actually believes and the provocative things he says because they're provocative, and they make good radio. Take this for example: he often talks about how so many of his neuroses can be traced to his mother, and because when he was a kid she would take his temperature rectally. I don't think he really believes that his mother taking his temperature rectally was psychologically damaging, but it's been a source of humor for the show many times over, so he keeps it up.

I like Stern. I can't really explain why, especially since a lot of the junk he espouses on the show, whether it's blatant objectification of women, the extreme anti-fatist attitudes, the kill-em-all beliefs he put forth in the wake of 9/11 and for much of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq*, are polar opposites to many of my own opinions. He really does conduct a celebrity interview that is absolutely unparalleled by any other (the recent Billy Joel interview was riveting). He's profane, obnoxious, and really funny. I guess it boils down to the fact that I'm ok listening to stuff that I don't agree with and/or find offensive, but I can totally understand why people hate him.

Robin, though. Jesus. Robin sucks. And the show is a lesser place without Artie on it.

* - Worth noting: Stern has long since reversed his views on the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, and went from being a strong Bush supporter to openly condemning both the wars and the presidency of Bush, even before it became commonplace to do so. I point this out not as an excuse, but to call attention to the fact that Stern, like, you know, most people, is fully capable of realizing when he's wrong, and changing his opinions accordingly.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:49 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everything you need to know about Stern's schtick and his self-awareness is revealed by Stern's first words to Joey Buttofuco:

"Somehow I knew you were a listener"
posted by JPD at 6:53 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can someone wake me up when we start talking about Bill Murray instead of Howard Stern?
posted by spicynuts at 6:56 AM on February 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm not a Stern fan, particularly, but I am a Murray fan. In the interview they gloss over briefly how Bill and Chevy Chase got into some huge brawl backstage at SNL. I've read about that before and I think the funniest thing is how Bill Murray, enraged, called Chevy Chase the worst thing he could think of in that context - "medium talent". That kills me. Details here.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:00 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good stuff, thanks. I honestly didn't know how independent Murray was, but it makes a lot of sense.

The moral of the story from the first link seems to be 'never turn down a role' with few but significant stipulations, primarily if the movie looks like a bomb or if you're already working on something else. Not terribly surprising I suppose, and I don't really disagree with the author's opinion on the front of taking most any role for the purpose of broadening an actor's repertoire. But honestly in most of these roles I think the right decision was made.

I am sad he missed out on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, though. Still love the movie, but I feel like I might love that version even more--he would have been fantastic for it.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:15 AM on February 28, 2011


This is just as bad as posting an article that was ripped from behind a pay wall. The youtube video is going to get taken down soon, I'm sure, and wasn't legally posted in the first place.
posted by amro at 7:29 AM on February 28, 2011


Take it easy. People outside the States should be able to hear it, and that's the only way they can without torrenting.
posted by unwordy at 7:33 AM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not true. You can get a SiriusXM subscription and listen online anywhere in the world.
posted by amro at 7:34 AM on February 28, 2011


Okay, but this was last week. This was posted on The Blue this week, and it's not like Sirius gives you access to archives anyway.

So take it easy, it's not a big deal. There are much more important things to comment about.
posted by unwordy at 7:47 AM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Murray's level of hermit-like behavior approaches that of Salinger, so it was pretty neat to hear this on-air, and I think it's a great post. Your opinions on Stern may vary, but a lot of people have followed him since they were kids and know him more for his unfiltered willingness to discuss his neuroses and shortcomings in front of a radio audience in a way that is often hysterically funny and therapeutic.
posted by docpops at 7:52 AM on February 28, 2011


So I should stay asleep then it looks like.
posted by spicynuts at 8:23 AM on February 28, 2011


Pretty great interview. Stern may be annoying to a lot of folks, but he listens and digs into what's behind every answer better than anyone currently on the air in any medium.

My favorite quote:

"Movies actually suit my attention span perfectly. Every take is about 90 seconds which is about as long as we can hold it together..."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:33 AM on February 28, 2011


Bob Hoskins was perfect in Roger Rabbit. He's an underappreciated actor with tremendous range and came to that film with experience playing tough guys (and doing song and dance). I think his complete seriousness grounded that movie and made the silly stuff a lot funnier, especially considering that Roger was infuriatingly bubbly and cartoony on purpose. You really felt Valiant's loathing for cartoons and you knew he was going to slap one any minute, and then when he did it was somehow more horrible and hilarious than regular cartoon violence. I love Murray like everyone else does, but I'm not confident that he would have been an improvement in this case like Evans thinks.
posted by heatvision at 8:55 AM on February 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


Murray's level of hermit-like behavior approaches that of Salinger

I'm not so sure about that. This is the guy who has crashed college parties and stayed to do the dishes after. And has tagged along at some random 20-something's karaoke party when invited. Early Salinger, maybe. But nowhere near Salinger the hermit.
posted by piratebowling at 9:02 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Totally agree with heatvision. I think Bill Murray would have been terrific in Roger Rabbit, but I get tired of hearing people say he would have been so much better than Hoskins. Every time I see that exchange between him and Betty Boop and the look on his face when he says, "Yeah, you still got it," I am moved. And the guy was acting opposite nothing. That's super-impressive, in my book.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 9:29 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scene from Bill Murray's audition as Han Solo:

"Greedo, can I call you Greedo? ..."
posted by zippy at 9:38 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


True story.

My sister was in downtown Charleston and saw Bill Murray in a bar. She had the bartender send over the classiest thing he could. Ended up being something shitty.

So when she went over to talk to him and explain why he got something shitty, Bill ended up buying her and her friends shots to make up for it.
posted by theichibun at 11:56 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that what docpops is referring to is Murray's eccentric approach to artistic management: he doesn't have an agent, and the only way of offering him a role is to leave a voice mail at a number that he checks infrequently. And he seldom does interviews and has been known to cut them off when he feels that he's done. But, yeah, nothing like Salinger's (or Thomas Pynchon's, for that matter) level of hermitage.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:11 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


In re-watching the 1970s Superman movie I was struck how Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor seemed like the script notes said "Play him like Bill Murray 20 years in the future, including the hair." See especially the initial scenes in his underground lair. It's on Netflix streaming if anyone wants to fast-forward to about the middle* of the movie and compare.

* Two hours and twenty-eight minutes?! A lot longer than I remember it being.
posted by mikepop at 12:19 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I concur with heatvision -- Hoskins was perfect for Eddie Valiant. I can see Murray being funny in the role, but only as an ironic take on the genre, whereas what it needed was someone to anchor it in film noir until the moment when he becomes "cartoon" Eddie. I don't see Murray doing that.

Similarly, I don't have as high hopes for all those missed combinations of Aykroyd-Belushi-Murray-Chase, particularly given the one example of 1941 where one such combination failed utterly. They're actors, not directors.

Besides, most movies audition at least a couple of people for the major roles, so the unmade movies of X are legion. This isn't a particular failing of Murray's career, and I'm not sure that the Hollywood system of the 80s really had any room for the SNL first-season geniuses outside of the way they were used. Murray didn't find Wes Anderson until his second feature -- but Wes Anderson (the director) didn't exist ten years earlier.
posted by dhartung at 12:27 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bill Murray as Han Solo? As Johnny Smith in 'The Dead Zone'? In Nicholson in 'Witches of Eastwick'?

I agree about the first two, but I think Bill Murray could've rocked Witches of Eastwick and it wouldn't've been Jack Nicholson playing Jack Nicholson.

I LIKE the narrative that makes 'Lost In Translation' as Murray's dramatic breakthrough.

His first dramatic role, in The Razor's Edge (1984), didn't work out so well.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:40 PM on February 28, 2011


Bill, there were better places for you to do this.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to go to some sort of leadership training seminar that my bosses boss has been really excited about. He's been beating the drum of "You guys are going to love this" in every meeting for the past month or so, and when I finally saw the name of the presenter; Bill Murry! I started to get kinda excited myself; I do work for a big media company, and it isn't completely uncommon for them to have celebrities come in to meet the staff, but while I'm 99.99% sure it isn't him, I'm a going be a little sad when I come in and confirm it.

Because seriously, how great would it be to have a leadership training meeting with the guy who belted out "That's the fact, Jack!"?
posted by quin at 12:48 PM on February 28, 2011


particularly given the one example of 1941 where one such combination failed utterly.

Pistols. Dawn.
posted by quin at 12:49 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like Gallagher without tons of cocaine.
posted by phaedon at 1:12 PM on February 28, 2011


Why won't Howard shut the fuck up and let Bill talk.
posted by nola at 1:36 PM on February 28, 2011


Murray as Bruce Wayne would have turned the Batman franchise into awful, broad comedy 6 years before Joel Schumaker got busy with his Bat-nipples and Terminator-Freeze.

What? I thought he was joking about that. Bill Murray as Batman would just not work, not as camp or drama.
posted by JHarris at 5:38 PM on February 28, 2011


From the transcripts at least, looks like Stern really knew how to coax answers out of him. And Murray seems pretty at peace despite all the stories floating around about his temperament.

I'm no big fan of Stern myself, but I agree with those who said he's a great celebrity interviewer. I caught his interview with Kathy Griffin last summer and (I'm now not sure why I would have thought otherwise) they had excellent guest/host chemistry and seemed to regard each other very fondly.
posted by kittyprecious at 6:36 PM on February 28, 2011


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