Harold Ramis influenced a generation of comedians by writing, directing and acting in films such as “Ghostbusters,” “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day.” So when news broke Monday of Ramis’ death, the comedy world took to Twitter, often a forum for jokes, to eulogize and commemorate.
“Was honored to have gotten to work with Harold Ramis, the Buddha of Comedy. Brilliant, humble, radiant. We’ve lost an icon. #GroundhogDay,” tweeted Rainn Wilson, whom Ramis directed on “The Office.”
“MadTV” star Ike Barinholtz described him as “one of my biggest influences” while film critic Richard Roeper wrote he was a “wonderful filmmaker and a true gentleman.” Chris Hardwick labeled him a “mad genius,” a word used by many others to describe the Chicago native.
Dan Akroyd, who worked with Ramis on some of his most famous projects, tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of his “brilliant, gifted, funny friend” while a few modern comedy giants, including Jack Black and Judd Apatow, offered personal statements through spokespeople.
“Harold was a force of good in the universe,” Black said. “So funny, sweet and thoughtful. He will be deeply missed.”
“Harold Ramis made almost every movie which made me want to become a comedy director,” Apatow said. “I interviewed him when I was 16 years old for my high school radio station and he could not have been more gracious and hilarious. I looked up to him as a director but even more so as a man. We hired him to play Seth’s father in Knocked Up because we all saw him as the dream dad – funny, warm and wise. Harold was one of the nicest people I have ever met and he inspired countless people to go into comedy. His brilliant work will make people happy forever.”
Reflective of Ramis’ remarkable career, every tribute seemed to include a different favorite movie. Barinholtz described “Vacation,” which Ramis directed, as his favorite comedy of all time. “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn said “Groundhog Day,” which Ramis appeared in, wrote, directed and produced, was one of his favorites.
“No Harold Ramis, no comedy as we know it today.”