Ask anybody what their favorite Bill Murray performance is, and they’re as likely to name something from his personal life as a quotable scene from one of his movies. Sure, we all loved Stripes and Ghostbusters. But do we love it as much as that time he crashed a house party in Scotland and then did the dishes? Was his comedic peak the “Cinderella story” monologue in Caddyshack, or that time he helped himself to a stranger’s French fries and then dared them to say anything because “No one will ever believe you?”
Jimmy Kimmel once asked Murray why he did such crazy things in public. “I think we all do that,” he said. “We all pretty much do what we want.” Um… no, we don’t, Bill. Can you imagine a world in which everybody acted like Bill Murray, just wandering into stranger’s homes or posing in other people’s wedding photos? It’d be bedlam.
To celebrate Bill Murray, the Where’s Waldo of public figures, we’ve collected the 30 best and most hilarious encounters that average, everyday people have had with the guy whose personality couldn’t be contained by the movies. So read on, and let’s all celebrate his utter weirdness and genius. And for more great laughs, check out the 30 Most Outrageous Celebrity Interview Moments.
Bill Murray crashes engagement photo shoot.
Are professional engagement photos really necessary? We didn’t think so, until we heard that Bill Murray invited himself to be a part of a couple’s photo shoot in 2014 — a couple, it should noted, he’d never met. As the photographer explained, “I thought who the heck is bothering them? I turn around and it’s Bill Murray with his shirt up, belly out, tapping his belly and trying to make them laugh.” Want more celebrity hijinks? Here are the 20 Craziest Celebrity Rumors of All Time.
Bill Murray sings karaoke.
We already knew Bill was a gifted singer — not just anyone can belt out “Star Waaaars! Nothing but Star Waaaars!” — but we’re still surprised that he’d show up at a New York karaoke club in 2011 and tag along with a group of amateur singers.
According to one of the participants, “The high point was when Bill and I sang a duet of an Elvis song called, ‘Marie’s the Name.’ Random I know, but so was the night.” You can say that again. And for more good fun, here are the 30 Most Awkward Celebrity Awards Show Moments.
Bill Murray reads poetry to construction workers.
Why exactly would Murray take the time to read poetry to construction workers on break from building the Poet’s House, a library in Manhattan, in 2009? Well for inspiration, of course. “They get worse,” he tells the giggling crowd of the poetry he’s about to unleash on them. For more words of literary wisdom, make sure you have these 40 Books Every Woman Over 40 Should Have on Her Bookshelf.
Bill Murray bartends at SXSW with the Wu-Tang Clan.
If you’re going to this year’s SXSW festival hoping that Bill Murray will be bartending at one of the local bars, with any of his pals from the rap group Wu-Tang Clan, we regret to inform you that it only happened once, in 2010, at a club called Shangri-La. And apparently he only served people shots of tequila, so your liver is probably happy you missed it.
Bill Murray gives White House press briefing on Cubs.
While visiting Washington in 2016 to receive the Mark Twain Prize from President Obama, he jumped into a press conference moments after it ended and answered questions from the media about the Chicago Cubs, who were going to the World Series that year.
The press played along, referring to Murray as “Mr. President,” and listening attentively as he explained why a Chicago team was more deserving of a World Series than an LA team. “We also have a little bit of autumn in Chicago,” Murray said. “You don’t get that in Los Angeles. Trees just die in Los Angeles. In Illinois, they flourish.” Oh, and speaking of the first residence: Here are 20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About the White House.
Bill Murray crashes a bachelor party.
Booze and night clubs at a bachelor party is so predictable and boring. If you want to do things right, get Bill Murray to deliver a toast. Of course, you’d have to be as lucky as these bachelor party guests in Charleston, South Carolina, who were as surprised as anyone when Murray joined the party and offered some words of wisdom to the future groom.
“If you have someone that you think is The One, take that person and travel around the world,” Murray said. “Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And when you land at JFK, and you’re still in love with that person… get married.” It makes us wish he’d write an entire book filled with life advice. And for more amazing advice, here are 50 Relationship Quotes to Reignite Your Love.
Bill Murray faces the possibility of a golf cart DUI.
An intoxicated Bill Murray was found to be driving his golf cart through the streets of Stockholm, Sweden.
Bill Murray walks in slo-mo.
If you want a momento from Bill Murray, forget asking for an autograph. Ask him to do something uniquely weird with you, like join you and your buddies for a slow-motion walk down the hall. Not only will he say yes, it’ll end up being one of the coolest things the Internet has ever seen. We could watch this video for the rest of our lives and never stop feeling jealous. Hungry for more laughs? Then don’t miss the 30 Funniest SNL Skits Ever.
Bill Murray entertains the crowd during baseball game delay.
Bill Murray is “director of fun” for the Charleston RiverDogs, the minor league team he co-owns, and he takes that job seriously. During a rain delay in 2012, he took to the field and slid across the tarp just to keep the restless fans occupied. Name any other franchise owner who cares that much.
Bill Murray steals french fries.
It’s one of the most famous and oft-repeated tales about Bill Murray. In 2010, a tourist in Times Square gets some French fries from nearby McDonald’s and walks outside with them. He notices a stranger’s hand stealing one of his fries and when he turns to confront the thief, he realizes it’s Bill Murray. In his words: “Before I could get a word out, he yelled over the crowd, ‘No one will ever believe you.’ He then cross to the other side of 7th avenue and disappeared into the crowd.” Jury’s out whether or not this will join the 28 Most Enduring Myths in American History.
Bill Murray can’t stop stealing food!
He did the fry-stealing act again, in 2016, in a Martha’s Vineyard Airport. But this time there’s proof.
Bill Murray dances at stranger’s birthday party.
Crazy things can happen when you invite Bill Murray to your birthday. He just might show up! That’s what happened to Marvin Larry Reynolds, of Jedburg, South Carolina, who celebrated his 64th birthday party in 2014 with a surprise special guest, the star of Ghostbusters. Video was captured of Bill cutting a rug to the Tommy Tutone hit “867-5309/Jenny”.
Bill Murray goes on talk shows to nap and meet girls.
Murray appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2016 not as a special guest, but as an audience member. When Colbert asked the napping Murray to get his feet off the stage, the Golden Globe-winning star begrudgingly left his seat, but not before silently asking the woman next to him to join him.
She agreed and they left together. We can’t be the only ones to think the pair got into some kind of crazy, hijinks-filled misadventure together. And for more enduring laughs from comedians, here are the 25 Monty Python One-Liners that Are Still Relevant Today.
Bill Murray breaks a guy’s nose with a Coke bottle.
It happened during a 2007 celebrity golf tournament in Utah, amd Bill seemed genuinely shocked and remorseful about the accident, making sure the poor guy was okay and cracking jokes to cheer him up. Even with a bloody, broken nose, he couldn’t help but laugh when Bill quipped that he’d “never be in a pageant again.”
Image via cvtsoftserve Instagram
Bill Murray shows up for ice cream social in his honor.
When the owner of an ice cream shop in LA realized in 2014 that Bill Murray was shooting a movie in their neighborhood, the owner did what any sane person would: He posted signs for a “Bill Murray Ice Cream Social” and hoped the star would show up. To the surprise of no one, he did. As the owner explained — who Instagrammed a photo of he and his daughter eating ice cream with Murray — “(it’s) like my dad always says, ‘You’ll never dancer with the pretty girl unless you ask.'” Words to live by.
Bill Murray conducts the Harvard marching band.
During a Harvard-Cornell football game in 2011, Harvard’s marching band started playing the Ghostbusters theme song (“Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!”) during the third quarter, not realizing that the star himself was in the crowd. “This guy in pink pants walked up and said, ‘Hey, play that song again,'” the Harvard University band manager told local reporters.
Murray returned after the game to conduct the band, using only his jacket. Because if you’re Bill Murray, you don’t need a baton!
Bill Murray goes to hipster party, talks to host about potato casserole.
“The real Bill Murray just walked in the door.” That’s what 29-year-old Dave Summers heard around 3:30am, just as his Halloween party (circa 2008) in East Williamsburg was starting to wind down. Sure enough, it really was Murray, who’d arrived for the costume party (in which he knew no one) dressed as, well… Bill Murray.
He danced a little, drank some beers, and talked to the host at length about sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows. You know, as you do when the guy from Meatballs shows up at your home.
Bill Murray throws two cell phones off a roof.
How annoying do you have to be for Bill Murray, a guy who repeatedly shows up to parties hosted by strangers, to get so agitated that he throws your phone off a roof? It happened at a California rooftop restaurant in 2016, to not one but two different people who had gotten a little too intrusive when trying to take selfies with Murray.
He paid for all the damages later, but what a sight that would’ve been, Bill Murray walking up to two people and — bang, bang — sending each of their phones spiraling into the distance?
Bill Murray throws a fan into the pool.
If you think losing a cell phone sounds bad, it’s nothing compared to what else Murray is willing to throw.
As the story goes, Murray was swimming in the pool at a Mexican spa in 1988 when he was approached by some Beverly Hills housewives. One of them, dressed in a fur and jewels, asked the star for his autograph, and he agreed on one condition; the payment would involve him shoving her into the pool, clothes and all. She laughed, probably assuming he was kidding, but Murray dunked her anyway, because “that’s the kinda guy I am,” Murray explained.
Bill Murray sends Christmas cards to wrestlers he’s never met.
Why did Rowdy Roddy Piper get a 2013 Christmas card from Bill Murray — in which the Lost in Translation actor is shirtless and wearing only a red silk scarf — despite the fact that Piper didn’t know Murray and had never met Murray? “I have no idea!” the confused wrestler tweeted.
Bill Murray calls Kelly Lynch’s husband everytime Roadhouse is on TV.
We don’t want to play favorites, but this is one of our Murray highlights. For reasons that make sense only to Bill Murray, anytime the 1989 movie Road House is on TV — day or middle of the night — he’ll call producer Mitch Glazer and tell him about it. Glazer’s wife is Kelly Lynch, who co-starred with Patrick Swayze in the movie, and the pair had some especially steamy scenes. Murray will tell Glazer, in his best Carl Spackler from Caddyshack voice, “Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now. They’re doing it. He’s throwing her against the rocks,” and then he’ll hang up.
“God help me when AMC’s doing their Road House marathon, because I know the phone is just going to keep ringing,” Lynch said in a recent interview. “It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 or 3 in morning. ‘Hi, Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now.’” According to Lynch, Murray once even called from Russia.
Bill Murray does the dishes.
If Bill Murray shows up for a party at your house — like he did during a 2006 visit to Scotland, brought by a 22-year-old Norwegian student named Lykke Stavnef — he won’t just drink your booze, he’ll also do the dishes. As one eye-witness reported, when word got out that the Groundhog Day star was in attendance, “the party was overflowing with stunning Scandinavian blondes.”
Bill Murray jams at Crossroads Guitar Festival.
Can Bill Murray hold his own with the guitar god Eric Clapton? He gave it in a shot in 2010, when he jumped on stage to introduce Clapton’s own Crossroads Festival. “I’ve got a feeling you’re gonna be visited my some ghosts,” he told the crowd cryptically while trying to keep up with Clapton.
Bill Murray entertains entire Bali village, none of whom speak English.
Not every Murray encounter gets reported on social media. As the late Harold Ramis shared in a New Yorker story, his friend Murray once drove a motorcycle to a remote village in Bali where nobody spoke English and started messing with the locals, saying things like, “Wow! Nice hat! Hey, gimme that hat!”
At first his antics annoyed the townspeople, but soon “he ended up doing a dumb show with the whole village sitting around laughing as he grabbed the women and tickled the kids,” Ramis said. “No need for language, just his presence, and his charisma, and his courage.”
Bill Murray drove a cab so the driver could practice saxophone.
Murray got into a taxi in Oakland 2014, and after learning that his driver was a saxophonist, Murray asked when he found time to practice. When the cabbie admitted he couldn’t because of his driving schedule but admitted that his sax was in the trunk, Murray instructed him, “Pull over and get in the back, I know how to drive a car.”
During their hour-long trip to Sausalito, they stopped at a “sketchy, weird place in Oakland at 2:15 in the morning,” Murray recalls. “I was like, ‘Relax, man, you’ve got the [expletive] horn! We’re cool!’ And it was great and it made for a beautiful night!”
Bill Murray joins a kickball game.
Bill Murray loves a rousing sporting event, and that includes kickball. When he saw a group of adults playing a game in New York in 2012, he just had to join in. One of the players, a writer for Jimmy Fallon, posted a photo on her personal Tumblr, and it soon went viral. Bill didn’t just play, he also went over to one of the player’s moms and, according to an eyewitness, “picked her up in his arms.”
Bill Murray gives World Series ticket to a random person.
An Indiana woman showed up without a ticket for game six of the historic World Series between Cleveland and Chicago in 2016. Luckily, she ran into Bill Murray on the street, and after following him for a bit, he suddenly turned around and offered her a ticket. “I thought it was just a ticket to get in,” the fan said. But her seat was right next to Murray, in the box section just a few rows behind home plate.
Bill Murray sings “House of the Rising Sun”.
Murray and his five brothers opened a Caddyshack-themed restaurant down in Florida in 2001, and if you stop in on the right day — say, in 2014, during the annual Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament — you just might catch him on stage, performing a 45 minute set that includes Van Morrison’s “Gloria” and the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun,” as seen in this video.
Bill Murray rides around Walmart on a kid’s bike.
If you happened to be the Southfield, Michigan Walmart on one inexplicably bizarre evening in October of 2006, you would’ve supposedly spotted Bill Murray riding around the store on a kid’s bike, while screaming at random strangers, “YOU ARE ON FIRE!” As one witness explained, “The fact that he was wearing an obviously heavily used firefighter’s uniform, complete with oxygen tank, made the moment a little too surreal for my tastes.”
Bill Murray does Garfield by accident.
Sometimes even Hollywood directors get an unexpected Bill Murray encounter. The creators of Garfield, a big screen adaptation of the newspaper comic, probably never expected the comedy icon to join the cast. As it turns out, Bill only did it because he saw the name “Joel Cohen” on the script and thought it was the same guy who did Fargo and No Country for Old Men.
Turns out, the Academy Award winner spells his name “Joel Coen.” As Bill remembers, “I love those Coens! They’re funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I’d like to do that.” But then later, when he saw the finished product, he got confused. “I kept saying, ‘Who cut this thing? Who did this? What was Coen thinking?’”
So that’s the trick to getting Bill to your party, wedding, bar mitzvah, pickup game, or divorce proceeding. Just tell him Joel Coen will be there.
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