Happy birthday Bill Murray! Here are the many, many lessons you’ve taught us

Bill Murray. Bill freakin’ Murray. Bill Murray is one of the greatest treasures we have ever received on this little planet. Whether or not you love Bill Murray as a person (of course you do), you at least love one or TEN of his movies. It is just the way it is with Bill Murray. He is a prophet of the absurd, a sage in the costume of a goofball, a quirky champion of our hearts. So to honor his birthday (yes, it’s today!) we’d like to present just some of the many lessons he’s taught us through the years.

1. Sing when you mean it.
Murray has been said to sing whenever he feels the mood strike, not like some of his characters. He has been known for busting out karaoke or beginning a dance party–even when he isn’t invited. Do you really need to be invited to a party when you’re Bill Murray, though? You know what they say—you can dance if you want to. Pretty sure Murray invented that.

2. Flirting is hard.
There are zero things that I find wrong with The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Another way of saying that is Life Aquatic is one of my favorite movies. THAT being said, the parts that make me laugh the hardest are always whenever Steve (Murray) tries to flirt with Jane (Cate Blanchett).

But honestly, flirting is hard right?

3. Spontaneity is the key to life.
We have all heard of those stories about Murray letting himself into other people’s parties, events, etcetera. Murray has always been like that, even back in his earliest days, like before when it would have been INCREDIBLE to have Bill Murray crash your party. Apparently, Murray has always been willing and ready to talk to strangers about whatever crosses his mind. Let this be a lesson to you: if Murray wants in, you let him in.

4. Christmas isn’t so bad.
I know, I know, I know. Actors are not always their characters. BUT don’t you think there is a lot of Murray in Frank Cross? Look you and I have both seen a million takes on A Christmas Carol, but Scrooged really stands out on its own. Frank Cross is, of course, the “Scrooge” character and after a million terrible realizations, he admits that Christmas is all around us (and so the feeling grows).

And like Frank Cross, we can all learn to love the holidays in our hearts.

5. Optimism is underrated.

Cue my tears. Though Murray plays a bit of a “sad clown” type in many of his movies, in real life he seems very well put together. I consistently forget that being hopeful and optimistic and positive can change a life, but here I am, crying as I write about Bill Murray on a Monday.

But for real, if all we have is hope, we are doing alright.

6. There are two types of people in this world…

Do I think this is an actual life lesson? NO but do I think of it every single time someone says or plays or references Neil Diamond? Yes, of course I do. I love What About Bob, in fact, it was one of my favorite movies growing up which might seem weird because why should a kid love a movie like this? The chemistry between Richard Dreyfuss and Murray, the absolutely endearing way Bob has no idea that he is the worst, and just Siggy in general has kept me entertained for 20 years.

7. You better werk.

As Murray said in GQ Magazine, “I don’t LIKE to work. I only like working when I’m working.”

And ain’t that the truth? How many of you dreaaad going to work but then it’s pretty alright when you get there? Tbh, sometimes I dread sitting down at my laptop and writing my column but then I do it and I have a B L A S T because I’m writing about Bill freakin’ Murray for his birthday! Honestly, work is hard and that’s why it’s called work. But try to love what you do, or, you know, do something else.

8. Believe in what you do.
Hey, have you ever seen Ghostbusters? Okay well you probably should or at this point, you might as well wait for the all female version of the movie. Peter Venkman is one of the most insufferable men in movie history but he manages to be quite endearing as well. Why is that? Right, because he’s played by Bill Murray. Though Venkman manages to offend and irritate nearly everyone he interacts with, he also manages to keep his good friends, get a beautiful woman to fall for him, and you know, fight ghosts and stuff. Peter Venkman is 100% my type. I hate and love that about myself.

9. Love what you do.

Though I disagree because I really do think Murray is the greatest, is that not a great mindset to have? Murray spoke to Vulture last year about his approach to acting and his career. He spoke to how someone once told him to relax because you are your personal best when you are relaxed. Not only is that great advice, but it has helped shaped Murray to be the actor / person he is today. Relax, y’all, and you’ll be great too.

10. Be adorable.
Can I be shallow? Bill Murray is adorable. It’s a good thing to be.

(Images via NBC, Touchstone, Columbia Pictures, Paramount)


8 brilliant Bill Murrayisms

Bill Murray just out-Bill Murrayed himself