Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Forgotten Murray

I was watching "Caddyshack" today, and I started thinking about Brian Doyle-Murray. There are a bunch of kids in the Murray family, so a lot of them could be considered "lost," but in my estimation, Brian Doyle-Murray is the Murray sibling who might be the second most recognizable outside of his brother, Bill.

Brian is actually older than Bill and started to hit it big (bigger?) in the 70's when he was a writer and sometime performer on "Saturday Night Live". But then Bill blew onto that show one day and overshadowed Brian. He has made a good career out of being a character actor, ending up in many small parts in movies where Bill has the starring role. In the 00’s he did some work in bleak sitcoms such as “The Bill Engvall Show” and “The Middle," and voiceover work which, frankly, he was born to do. Also, his brother Joel was on “Mad Men” for a couple of seasons which had an episode that revolved around his character.

Here are my favorite movies that feature Brian Doyle-Murray in some capacity, some of which are glorified cameos. Catchy title, huh? (And furthermore, because of that, I couldn't find pictures of him in the role - which sort of defeats the purpose but I've gotten this far, right?):

1) Caddyshack (1980) - Lou Loomis

He actually cowrote this with Harold Ramis.
"I'm going to put it right on the line. There's been a lot of complaints already. Fooling around on the course, bad language, smoking grass, poor caddying. If you guys want to get fired. If you want to be replaced by golf carts, just keep it up."

2) Sixteen Candles (1984) -The Reverend

I couldn't find an actual picture of poor, Brian Doyle-Murray here. Which is okay, because, unless I am mistaken he doesn't have any actual lines. They don't even show him doing the vows. He just has to react to Rudy, and later Rudy's Mom kissing him and leaving a big lipstick mark on his face, and Rudy's Dad giving him a bunch of money. The best line involving him is actually Rudy's (John Kapelos'), "I guess the guys who thought we had to get married feel pretty stupid right about now, ed padre?"

3) Vacation (1984) - Kamp Komfort Clerk

Moving on up here, but still in the John Hughes-niverse, he has a couple lines in a brief appearance as the manager of the rustic Kamp Komfort.
"That thirty-five dollars goes for the pool and wildlife fun."
Thats not an exact quote but its close. I know-journalism!

4) Scrooged (1988) - Earl Cross

Playing his own brother's (here playing Frank Cross) father, Earl Cross. (John and Joel Murray are also in there somewhere).
"All day long I listen to people give me excuses why they can't work. My legs hurt. My back aches. I'm only four. The sooner he learns life isn't handed to him on a silver platter, the better."

5) Christmas Vacation (1989) - Mr. Frank Shirley

Almost a co-starring role. Kind of-playing Clark Griswold's boss, his entering Clark in the jelly-of-the-month club instead of giving him an actual Christmas bonus is the, lets say, driving force behind the climax of the movie.
"Get me somebody. Anybody. And get me somebody while I'm waiting. '

6) JFK (1991) - Jack Ruby

A dramatic turn as the owner of the local go-go club who shot Lee Harvey Oswald. A smaller part, one could say, of a much bigger conspiracy. (And a huge cast.)
"My life is in danger! If you request that I go back to Washington with you- that is if you want to hear further testimony from me... Can you do that? Can you take me with you? "

7) Wayne's World (1992) - Noah Vanderhoff

Thinking about this one, and seeing the first 10 minutes of "Waynes World 2" this weekend reminded me, besides nostalgia, how badly most of Mike Myers' output in the 90's really stand up today. But this is about Brian Doyle-Murray-playing the clueless owner of "Noah's Arcade" who wanted to sponsor Wayne's show and make Wayne and Garth concerned about selling out and what not. Kind of grizzled and clueless are two of Doyle-Murray's trademarks and he brings them all to the table here.
"Come bust a move where the games are played, it's chill, it's fresh, it's Noah's Arcade. "

8) Groundhog Day (1993) - Buster Green

Here playing one of the main luminaries not only of Punxsatawny, but also the Groundhog Day celebration.
"If you gotta shoot, aim high. I don't wanna hit the groundhog."

9) Cabin Boy(1994) - Skunk

Frankly, this, as far is this list goes, is one of the lesser entries. I probably put here to have a nice, round ten entries. But it is wacky, and intermittently funny. He plays one of the crew members of the ship Chris Elliot blunders onto, The Filthy Whore.
"We're just here to catch fish and stink."

10) Waiting For Guffman (1996)-Red Savage

Another small part to end things on, he plays the father of Johnny Savage who is suspicious that something just might be up with Corky. and his "lifestyle".

"Seinfeld"-"The Bubble Boy" (1992) - Mel Sanger

This episode was on again this past week, and it has to be one of my favorites. It comes fairly early on in the run of the show. Brian Doyle-Murray plays the father of the titular Bubble Boy, who gets Jerry to agree to stop by and see him on the way up to George's girlfriend's family's cabin. Hilarity, of course, ensues.
"MEL: My name's Sanger, mel Sanger. I drive that truck out there.

JERRY: Oh, the Yoo Hoo? I love Yoo Hoo.

MEL: It's a fine product. Anyway I saw you on the Tonight Show a couple of weeks ago. I was watching

the show with my son Donald. He's got this rare immune deficiency in his blood. Damnedest thing.

Doctors say he has to live in a plastic bubble. Can you imagine that? A bubble."

but, of course, George gets the real gem:


GEORGE: All right BB. Let's just play... Who invaded Spain in the 8th century?


GEORGE: Oh, Noooo, I'm so sorry. It's the MOOPS. The correct answer is, The MOOPS.


GEORGE: I'm sorry the card says MOOPS.



  1. He's been in a lot of bad movies, but at least he can say that he wasn't in Garfield.

  2. He used to flip out when asked: Are you related to Bill?