The lovingly mean eulogy Bill Murray wrote for John Belushi
Bill Murray was really great friends with comedy great and Saturday Night Live star John Belushi
at the time of Belushi’s demise due to an accidental drug overdose. The man lived in excess, was known for doing a lot of disgusting things and for making everyone laugh doing them.
So, after Ghostbusters, when Bill Murray got the go ahead to make his pet project (a film called The Razor’s Edge based on W. Somerset Maugham’s 1944 novel about a disillusioned World War I vet, Larry Darrell, who travels the globe to find the meaning of life.) He only really did Ghostbusters so that Columbia Pictures would allow him to do this.
He did and it was met with some critical acclaim, but overall box office failure, but included one gem of a scene where a character is eulogized. Given that this film was made a little after John Belushi’s death, Bill Murray decided to use the eulogy in his film, which he co-wrote, to say goodbye to his dear friend John:
“He was a slob. Did you ever see him eat? Starving children could fill their bellies on the food that ended up on his beard and clothes. Dogs would gather to watch him eat. I never understood gluttony, but I hated it…I hated that about you. He enjoyed disgusting people being disgusting that thrill of offending people and making them uncomfortable. He was despicable. He will not be missed."
Murray then explained why he eulogized Belushi in such a fashion, "It comes from this old Persian thing where if somebody dies you tell horrible stories about him. That’s what I did when John died… What it does is remind you not to get sentimental. You say, ‘That guy was a rat,’ and I’m a rat too, and I’d better do something about it rather than weep my life away.”