This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
Harold Ramis will be missed for his comic writing and acting because he comes from the old school, which is about being funny, but being funny in an intelligent way. Instead of being funny in a clumsy way, telling the fans to look at the klutz, Ramis brought intelligence to his humor that wasn’t obvious. You had to think to get it. To me, Harold Ramis was a master of dry wit and humor that wasn’t obvious, but definitely noticeable if you paid attention and figured it out.
Harold Ramis’s movies were about real people who tended to be bright but were underachievers or slackers who needed inspiration to reach their full potential. The movie Stripes is the perfect example of that, where two lazy wiseass guys sign up for the U.S. Army because they needed something constructive to do. Groundhog Day is another example, where an obnoxious fellow who considers himself superior to the Pittsburgh weathermen gets stuck repeatedly in Groundhog Day and discovers what is really important and how to deal with his colleagues responsibly.
The movie Vacation, perhaps one of the top five comedies of all time, with Chevy Chase, is a perfect example of a middle-class family man who aims to give his family the vacation of their lives. He drives his wife and children from Chicago to Los Angeles to an amusement park called Wally World. He is over his head, with the trip turning into a series of disasters. The dog incident is hilariously brilliant, although theoretically should be sad. Enough said!
Harold Ramis’s movies weren’t based on klutzy people and his humor wasn’t cookie cutter, borrowing lines and humor from other films because supposedly everyone laughs at the same thing. His humor was smart and off the cuff, with a great innovative wit. Harold Ramis would have been a great writer for Saturday Night Live and MASH because he had their type of humor. That is what I’ll miss most about him.