Chicago’s Harold Ramis: Humorous & Humble

Harold Ramis

[photo courtesy of]

After a four-year battle with autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, Chicago funny man Harold Ramis died on February 24, 2014.

Harold Ramis was an incredibly talented and versatile soul.  His 40-year career included wearing the comedic hats of  writer, actor, director, and all-round good guy.

Harold wrote (or co-wrote) scripts for some hilarious, iconic films which include:  “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978), “Caddyshack” (1980), “Stripes” (1981), “Ghostbusters” (1984), “Groundhog Day” (1993), and “Analyze This” (1999).  Among the many films he directed, “Caddyshack”, “Groundhog Day”, and, “Analyze This”, stand out as well-known Ramis pictures.


[photo courtesy of]


[photo courtesy of]

Analyze This (1999)

[photo courtesy of]

As an actor, Harold Ramis shone large, but in a background kind of way.  I liken it to the details of an ornament in a well-decorated room:  you may not notice it as the central piece, but you are most certainly aware of its absence if it disappears.  Harold starred in the previously mentioned flicks,  “Stripes”, and “Ghostbusters”, just to name a couple from his long-standing repertoire of acting roles.

Harold Ramis Stripes


[photo courtesy of]

Harold Ramis Ghostbusters


[photo courtesy of]

Noteably, Harold Ramis had a strong Canadian connection.  From 1976 to 1979, the hysterical and wildly popular television series, “SCTV” (Second City Television) found Harold Ramis at its helm as the original head writer, as well as a performer.  ‘Harold the Chicagoan’ worked on SCTV in Toronto with a Canadian crew that included the late John Candy, Dave Thomas, Katherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, and Joe Flaherty.


Harold Ramis in, “SCTV”

[photo courtesy of]

I’ve included a lot of factual information in this post; dates, names, and such.  However, what I find most interesting about Harold Ramis was his remarkable and tenacious spirit.  He remained an exceptionally humble man, despite his massive success in the film industry.  In fact, Harold Ramis felt compelled to move from Los Angeles and head, “back home”, as it were, and lived in the Chicago area since the late ’70s.

This speaks volumes about his character.  Despite his voracious appetite for comedy on so many levels, this talented individual recognized that LA was no place to call home if one did not want to risk not only losing one’s sanity, but also to avoid the everyday ‘dog eat dog’ world of competitive movie career advancement.  Harold Ramis was a genuinely good soul; however, his talent and zany view of life included a deeper involvement with life’s meaning on a more macro level.  As Harold Ramis delved into Zen Buddhism, it appeared to assist him with the ‘bigger picture’ of life’s experiences.

Collectively, we have lost an amazing being who brought so many smiles and chuckles to our senses.  Truly, we are grateful for your willingness to share part of yourself with us, Harold Ramis.  You will be missed and remembered, one Ghostbusting giggle, Groundhog laughing, and Stripes chuckle at a time.

  23 comments for “Chicago’s Harold Ramis: Humorous & Humble

  1. February 25, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Hi Cher. Interesting post. I’ve just clicked on your follow button. Kind regards. Iris 🙂


    • February 25, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      Hi Iris! Ah, bless! Thank you on all accounts, my dear! Cher xo


  2. February 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

    A very nice, heartfelt tribute to a great guy.


  3. February 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    What a special human being. Never heard of him before; as with so many other people who are special, we don’t know about them until they die and then we read all about them. Thanks for introducing me to him.


    • February 25, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Awh, thank you! He was an incredible actor, writer, and director. I am so sorry for his family and everyone who admired him. Truly, he will be missed. Cher xo


  4. echoesofthepen
    February 26, 2014 at 5:06 am

    A well written and thoughtful tribute, my compliments…


    • February 26, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful words. Muchly appreciated!! Cher xo


  5. February 26, 2014 at 9:16 am

    He was my fave because of his comedic geekiness/nerdy-ness; such dry humor. He left us too soon.


    • February 26, 2014 at 9:19 am

      I agree completely. To look into his eyes and see this gentle, sweet soul whose humble spirit should give us all pause. Ego certainly was left at the door with Harold Ramis. Cher xo


      • February 26, 2014 at 9:21 am

        And anyone who could be funny but still very intelligent…right with me! Plus, he wore glasses 🙂


      • February 26, 2014 at 9:24 am

        Agreed! He was a very balanced person! I wear glasses for reading, so I’m all about the glasses! *grin*


      • February 26, 2014 at 9:27 am

        I wear mine for seeing but hate having my picture taken in them.


      • February 26, 2014 at 9:29 am

        *LOL* Me too! That’s the reason for my ‘glassless’ picture on my blog!


  6. Professions for PEACE
    February 26, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Cher, this is a most touching and warm-hearted tribute for an amazing man. Thank you so much for sharing this informative post because while I loved his work (especially SCTV and Groundhog Day!) I hadn’t known about his Chicago roots or Buddhist practice. Well done my friend. Beautifully shared. hugs, Gina xo


    • February 26, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you so much, dear Gina! I loved his work, too. He had so much depth to him, and yet maintained his funny-guy persona. Thank you; it’s nice to know he was from Chicago but had a strong Canadian connection with the SCTV folks. Big hugs, Cher xo


  7. February 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I never knew most of this. So wonderful that you honored him in this way. Thank you.


    • February 27, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Thank you so much! I have always been a big fan of his, and felt compelled to write a little tribute to him on my blog. Cher xo


  8. February 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    It’s very hard to figure what the iconic or best Harold Ramis piece is. My spouse, the philosopher, was reminded of an SCTV bit he did offering the late-night commercial for the Famous Philosophers School, taking off on art instruction courses. “If you can complete the phrase, `I think therefore I …’, you too could be a philosopher.”


  9. February 28, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    he was a great and telented guy, never knew he was from chicago. he will be missed but what a legacy of laughter he’s left for us all.


    • February 28, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Thank you for your words! Yes, he was great, wasn’t he? Chicago was lucky to have Harold call this city his home. I love how you wrote, “…..legacy of laughter….”; that is so accurate. Bless him. Cher xo


  10. March 6, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Very informative. 🙂
    Saw most of his films.


    • March 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you! Yes, me too! I was so sad when I heard of his passing. And the fact that he worked in Canada was lovely. Bless him! Cher xo


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