Happy 61st Birthday, Bill Murray! What's His Most Underrated Moment?

Though I like arguing on behalf of underrated performers (Melanie Griffith, for example), sometimes it's more fun to commemorate our indisputably great actors. Bill Murray is the ne plus ultra of deadpan comic delivery -- salty as the Dead Sea, dry as Death Valley, and great in almost everything. He's 61 today, which means it's our duty to shine light upon his more underrated moments in movies. What's your pick?

I can't limit myself to just one, so here are two that immediately sprang to mind: In Tootsie, Murray delivers great, bastardly rants. Jessica Lange should give about a 1/4 of that Oscar to him.

In Get Low, a cute but inconsequential movie from last year where Murray plays an old-timey funeral parlor director, he bemoans the lack of fresh corpses in town. It's fun to hear him reference Chicago in a familiar way here, too. Second City forever!

What are your picks, dear readers? Feel free to wow me with your Kingpin comprehension.


  • CiscoMan says:

    I love his restless excitement in the waiting room in Little Shop of Horrors.

  • AS says:

    What About Bob? is his greatest moment.

  • Sarah says:

    YES! Since it came out, I don't think I've been on a boat without yelling, "I'm sailing!" Endlessly quotable.

  • Nathalie says:

    I'm a big fan of his deadpan "sure" during the baptism scene in "Ed Wood."

  • The WInchester says:

    Most moments in Quick Change would qualify, but I'm partial to the scene when he walks into the warehouse and cons the mafia guys that he's the bagman there to collect the money.
    It contains quite possibly my favorite Murray deliveries of all time, when Stanley Tucci puts a gun to Murray and says "This ain't my dick in your back" to which Murray replies in typical dry Murray fashion "Well THAT'S a relief."
    (2nd would be the "Yeah, I was in the shit" exchange in Rushmore).

  • AS says:

    "A vacation from my problems? You bet I will!"

  • @tommykaboom says:

    I personally love the way he blurts out "What a waste of time!" when Andie McDowell tells him she studied 19th century french poetry in Groundhog Day.
    If I had to select a whole scene, I'd go for the entire 'World of the Psychic' scene at the start of Ghostbusters 2. It really encapsulates what makes him so great. If you study it carefully (as I have many times), at one point, he manages to get a laugh by simply blinking. Only Bill Murray could do that.
    I could honestly compile a list of 100 great Murray moments without breaking a sweat. He's not just my favourite actor ever, he's my favourite human being ever.
    I'll leave you with one more: "May I have a cigarette please?" from The Royal Tenenbaums.

  • Mallory says:

    Baby-steps, get on a bus... I love that movie way more than I should

  • runawayvan says:

    If we're talking about underrated, I've been championing his cameo in Get Smart since it came out. I'd watch a whole movie of his character just based on those two minutes.

  • Robert says:

    Being a Bob myself, I should say his Neil Diamond line in What About Bob? But how do you limit yourself to just one? Between Scrooged (scenes with Lew), Ed Wood (where he shows Johnny Depp a few things about acting), Rushmore and Kingpin ("Finally, Big Earn is above the law! It's a great feeling!"), I wouldn't know where to start.
    But absolutely every moment of Quick Change is genius. The only comfort I take from the fact that this is probably one of the most underrated comedies of the 90s is that it's so under the radar no one will ever remake it.
    And if film promos count, does anyone remember when he had TV spots for The Man Who Knew Too Little? Where he ended up offering up refunds to anyone who didn't like it if they could only track him down? I looked for it on YouTube, but no luck.

  • The WInchester says:

    Oh good point, I would definitely argue for the scene in Kingpin when he's in the Big Brother-type commercial. Genius.
    "Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, Big Ernie is already there!"

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