Ah, Bill. My nemesis. My nightmare. The greatest challenge of my life.
I met Bill at a cocktail party in the 70s. He'd only recently achieved fame along with the rest of the SNL lineup, but he was easily the most arrogant of the crew. This was saying something when you consider that Laraine Newman was standing on a table top screaming "I am the motherfucking Omega, you worthless shitbags!" and whipping people with her necklace. She had been very into Taoism at this point, so there you go.
Anyway, I remember Murray introducing himself to me in a normal enough manner. I had been speaking with Chevy Chase, who kept trying to explain to me why he had become a Black Panther. At some point, Bill interceded by telling Chevy that Lorne Michaels didn't see himself as a tool of the oppressor, and Chevy went off to set him aright. Bill was charming in his arrogance. I recall him saying to me, with all the egotism you can imagine in a statement like this, "Hi, I'm Bill. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Soon enough, we began to talk about our interests, small talk really. Bill had had, at the time, kind of a complex about the difficulty he'd had achieving even the modicum of recognition he'd gotten by then. It was a thing with him, all the people who had slighted him, or hadn't believed in his abilities. I remember he leaned close to whisper, "it's ok, though. I'll show them. I'll show them all." I don't remember fixating on that at the time. I must, somewhere in the back of my head, though, have filed it away as something to remember.
Because later that night, when the party was over, I remember following Bill as he drove off, and tracking him back to his lair. I say "lair," but it was mostly just an abandoned sewage treatment plant he had converted for his nefarious purposes. The security wasn't anything special, likely because he wasn't on anyone's radar as a threat, but with his newfound fame and fortune, you could tell he was already beginning to make improvements. The dogs with laser eyes were a nice touch.
Inside, I found him putting the finishing touches on what he called his "God Eater." I'm still not sure what it did. It was all arcing energies and pulsing nebulous unknowable materials. A huge thing. Stories tall, looked like it was designed by Tesla after he'd done acid with Jack Kirby. I swear to God, Kirby dots swirling around inside its gargantuan chambers.
Anyway, it was pretty clear that this was not meant to end world hunger. I don't do this anymore, having learned my lesson, but at the time I was young and naive so I tried reasoning with him first.
"Bill, you know this won't work. You know I can't let you do this. Why don't we do this the easy way and we'll just walk out of here and call the authorities, and nobody gets hurt." A cliche, I know. What can I say in my defense? I plead youthful indulgence.
You can guess what happened next. A loud noise, like a dog trying to pronounce the word "Zork!" and the smell of rotten eggs mixed with ash. Thankfully, Bill was, is and always will be a lousy shot. I had hoped it wouldn't come to violence. Ah well. That's why God made Hadoukens.
Something most people don't know about Bill Murray: Limber. Very limber dude. Even these days, he's always been spry as hell and able to leap out of the way of things. The blue fire was on target. I am always on target with that shit, but god damn if he didn't just dance out of the way like it was his partner in a samba.
Of course, it still hit the God Eater.
Now, explosions are no joke. You see in the movies how people jump in the air at the last second and the force of the explosion is powerful enough to knock them away but they get up with only a singed jacket or some shit, right? Fuck that. If you can get knocked away that powerfully, chances are you're getting your ass burned pretty badly, and the smoke rising dramatically from your backside is most likely the airborn remains of what was once the skin on your back. I barely got out of that inferno alive myself, and Bill was a good 20 feet closer to ground zero than I was. For a long time I thought he was dead. I really did. But that's the thing with Bill.
He'll never die unless it's funny.
I hear people throw that word around, “Legacy, what’s my legacy?” I always just think, Boy, that’s really putting the cart in front of the horse or something. Your legacy? Because if you’re not here right now, there is no legacy. You didn’t even exist. There’s graveyards full of people that think they left a legacy that left almost no impact on the Earth except as fertilizer. I guess we’re in kind of a funny business in that your film is alive after you’re dead. This morning I was watching Gilda [Radner] on the movies. And there’s Gilda, and wow, what an amazing-looking woman, what a great performance. Did she think that’s her legacy? I don’t think about it. I don’t think about legacy.
« Older Oppressive treatment of Chinese hipsters reaches n... | Waiting for Godot in New Orlea... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt