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Celeb Slam - (02-17-2016)

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No one will believe you

You might have heard about a whole bunch of business involving Kanye West and his new album, about his apparently massive debts and a stinging lyric about Taylor Swift. Honestly, it's kind of in the Celebrity Slam wheelhouse - we've made a lot of hay with Yeezus and his shenanigans over the years and this is more of the same. Truthfully, if we wanted to change the name of this space to 'Kanye Slam,' we could probably still manage our weekly output just fine.

But rather than contribute even further to the steady creep of Kanye Fatigue, we thought we'd make mention of another celebrity, one whose behavior is the sort of odd that rarely gets him mentioned in this space.

We're going to talk about Bill Murray.

There's something particularly appealing about those celebrities who truly embrace the inherent weirdness that comes with being famous. So many of our actors, musicians and athletes choose to rigidly manage their interactions with the outside world. It's understandable; there are a lot of people out there who would try to take advantage or perhaps even harm them.

On the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, there's Mr. Murray.

Murray has evolved from a snarky wiseass into something of an elder statesman. He has become almost an object of folklore, flitting from place to place and popping up in any situation that he happens to find amusing at the moment, whether he's crashing a wedding reception, showing up at a random house party or simply photobombing you and/or stealing your French fries. And after this gloriously idiosyncratic interaction, he simply fades away with a whispered 'No one will believe you.'

It's awesome, is what it is.

However, from time to time even this urban legend-made-flesh apparently gets tired of having to carry the weight of being Bill F---ing Murray.

So it was with a recent altercation between Murray and some fans. The actor was in California to take part in the annual Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament. He was at a place called Vesuvio, a rooftop lounge popular with famous folks who are in the area.

But when a few starstruck patrons took their fascination too far blatantly snapping pics, flashes and all Murray apparently snapped. He grabbed the offending phones and threw them off the second-story rooftop to the street below. The police were called, but Murray left before they arrived.

There's a happy ending to the story; when the police eventually spoke to him, an apologetic Murray offered to pay for the damaged phones. The owners were perfectly happy with the outcome and declined to press charges.

This isn't really a traditional Slam; while Murray definitely pulled some boorish behavior here, his quick and seemingly sincere contrition makes it more or less a non-story in terms of our usual scorn and derision.

It does, however, raise some interesting questions. Mr. Murray now has a very particular reputation, that of a rakish mischief-maker. The stories of his antics have spread far and wide across the pop culture landscape. If you stop and think about it, that has to be a lot of pressure.

Seriously what if you're Bill Murray and you just want to hang out unbothered? All of these people out there, they see you and their sole thought is to collect a Bill Murray story of their own. The expectations must be ridiculous. It must be hard to simply be when everyone who looks at you is hoping that you'll liven up their bachelor party or wash their dishes or do whatever other weird thing you can do to allow them to incorporate themselves into the legend. Frankly, it's kind of surprising that stuff like this doesn't happen more often; embodying the spirit of chaos has to be exhausting.

Again, it's not OK that he took those phones and threw them off the roof. Still, he did agree to compensate those folks for the damages. And really, maybe he happened to be in a place where he just wanted to be regular old Bill Murray and not BILL F---ING MURRAY for a while.

Don't worry, though he'll undoubtedly be back to wandering the earth like Cain from 'Kung Fu' soon enough.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 March 2016 11:45

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