Weather Updates

Comedian Bill Murray in Joliet to help with fundraiser

Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: September 25, 2012 7:05PM

JOLIET — Seeing Bill Murray on a golf course, one might expect at least one obligatory reference to “Caddyshack”— certainly not Alfred Hitchcock or “Dirty Dancing.”

But as Murray was posing for pictures Monday afternoon at the Joliet Country Club, he chuckled when someone invoked a classic line from “Dirty Dancing” and told him, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Murray, who played the whacky groundskeeper Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack,” was in town Monday to help raise campaign cash for state Sen. Pat McGuire, a Joliet Democrat.

When Murray arrived at the country club on Monday, he posed and shook hands with the ease of a politician. He was unfazed by a gaggle of onlookers who were taking pictures of him on their cell phones.

But Murray supplied plenty of laughs, too. He asked police Chief Mike Trafton for a get-out-of-jail-free card as they were introduced before McGuire offered to find water for his famous guest.

“What are you dowsing? Let’s go hit a few,” Murray said. “My handicap is I like to drink while I play.”

McGuire and Murray have been friends for many years since they met through Jim Downey, who grew up with McGuire and wrote for “Saturday Night Live.” McGuire doesn’t golf but Murray attempted to cajole his friend into a putting contest.

“It’s all about the short game,” Murray said, affecting an Irish accent for his host.

“Is that (also) true in the Legislature,” McGuire asked former State Rep. Brent Hassert.

McGuire introduced Murray to his campaign field director Tim Tackett, a former Marine. Murray, who also had a famous role in “Stripes,” softly sang to Tackett, “We shall fight our country’s battles.” McGuire then just as eagerly introduced Murray to his other friends.

McGuire said he and Ken Novander had met on a train before Murray cut him off.

“I saw that movie, too,” Murray said. “You both tried to kill the other’s wives.”

The group was soon joined by former state Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi, who McGuire replaced in the state senate.

“What happened?” Murray demanded in mock disbelief.

After some practice on the range, Murray posed for more pictures and signed a toy Matt Rittof has kept for more than 25 years. Rittof had a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (from “Ghostbusters”) in his golf bag.

“I had him sign it for my son, Ben. He was really nice about it, but said it had been worth some money until he ruined it,” Rittof said. “I’ve grown up watching all his movies. Meeting him is pretty cool.”

Murray and the former legislators played the first hole, and the Caddyshack star launched a respectable drive.

“It’s in the hole,” someone shouted from the gallery.

Among the groans, someone else said, “Somebody had to say it.”

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.