Re: Harold Ramis Died :-(
R.I.P. at age 69
This profile of Mr. Ramis that ran in The New Yorker 10 years ago is available through mid-day Tuesday, at which point it goes back behind some firewall
Crude as Animal House was, it was also rambunctiously optimistic. By setting the film in the early sixties, the writers tapped the source of their earliest ideals. “Our generation’s revolutionary energy had slipped away after Kent State and the rise of the violent fringe of the Weather Underground,” Ramis says. “We revived it.” They revived it by making their obvious outsiders into not so obvious insiders. “Woody Allen had defined the American nebbish as a loser,” Ramis adds. “But we felt instinctively that our outsiders weren’t losers. They may not achieve anything in the traditional sense—they may not even be smart—but they’re countercultural heroes. The movie went on after the credits to tell you that these were your future leaders, while the guys from the ‘good’ frat would be raped in prison and fragged by their own troops.”
The voice that Ramis originated—a defanged sixties rebelliousness that doesn’t so much seek to oust the powerful as to embolden the powerless—remains the dominant mode in comedy today. “The ideas behind most comedies now—put the underdog in the corner and let him win, the marriage of comedy and anarchy in a single molecule, and having characters do all these unlikable things but remain completely winning—are all Harold’s,”
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” - H.L. Mencken
Last edited by Atlanta Dan; 02-24-2014 at 08:15 PM.