Monday, February 24, 2014

In honor of a funny man

Born and raised in Chicago, the “SCTV” vet Ramis brought a hilarious combo of anarchy and apathy with him when he moved into movies in the late ’70s. His co-written screenplays for “Animal House” (1978), “Meatballs” (1979), “Caddyshack” (1980) and “Stripes” (1981) were great primers for Gen X guys on how to fight The Man with a lazy grin and a crazy goof.

An anti-authoritarian spirit also floated freely in Ramis and Dan Aykroyd's script for the blockbuster “Ghostbusters” (1984). There — just as when he played straight man to fellow Chicagoan Murray in “Stripes” — Ramis' ectoplasm-chasing Egon was the serious-faced one. However, that was merely the camouflage covert clowns showed to teachers or bosses. Murray’s character may have rallied the troops, but Ramis masterminded it all.