Hol­ly­wood A-lis­ters honor com­edy prize win­ner Bill Mur­ray

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

US co­me­dian Bill Mur­ray is on cloud nine, and it’s not just be­cause his beloved home­town baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, are ad­vanc­ing to the World Se­ries for the first time in 71 years. The “Cad­dyshack” and “Lost in Trans­la­tion” star got a ma­jor salute Sun­day from Amer­ica’s top co­me­di­ans and Hol­ly­wood A-lis­ters, who pre­sented him with one of the na­tion’s top com­edy awards. “I’m con­fused and I feel like I’m in a hur­ri­cane,” Mur­ray told a crowd in Washington af­ter re­ceiv­ing the Mark Twain Prize for Amer­i­can Hu­mor-quickly goad­ing the au­di­ence to pass around his tro­phy, a small bust of the 19th cen­tury writer and hu­morist, to “see how far back it can get.”

The 66-year-old was feted at the John F Kennedy Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts in Washington by com­edy’s finest-Aziz An­sari, Bill Hader, a fully bearded David Let­ter­man and Jimmy Kim­mel. They turned out to share anec­dotes and jokes about the US co­me­dian, whose ap­peal spans mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions. “He’s a man who trav­els around the world spread­ing joy and fool­ish­ness wher­ever he goes,” Kim­mel told the au­di­ence.

“Bill Mur­ray could shove you over the side of the Hoover Dam and you’d be like, ‘Hey, Bill Mur­ray!’ all the way down,” Kim­mel said of the co­me­dian. Mur­ray is known for his no­to­ri­ously bizarre an­tics, such as crash­ing a recre­ational kick­ball game in New York in 2012 or join­ing a cou­ple as an un­in­vited sur­prise guest in their en­gage­ment photos in South Carolina. Singer Mi­ley Cyrus paired with mu­si­cian Paul Shaf­fer to per­form a mu­si­cal trib­ute to Mur­ray, and ac­tresses Sigour­ney Weaver and Emma Stone re­counted their fa­vorite mem­o­ries from work­ing on set with Mur­ray.

Had the Cubs not clinched a win Satur­day, how­ever, the evening could have been for naught, as the Ma­jor League Baseball team would have been play­ing game seven dur­ing the cer­e­mony. Spec­u­la­tion as to whether avid fan Mur­ray would show for the award cer­e­mony or head to the game-had it hap­pened-was rife. But Mur­ray, who wore a black tuxedo and Cubs-blue bow tie, said he had not had plans to skip the award.

Dinner with So­tomayor, meet­ing with Obama

Mur­ray took full ad­van­tage of his time in Washington, din­ing with Supreme Court Jus­tice So­nia So­tomayor, and stop­ping by the White House press brief­ing room Fri­day decked out in Cubs at­tire. “He was wear­ing a Cubs jacket, which for a White Sox fan is a lit­tle trou­bling,” US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, who met with the co­me­dian de­spite their op­pos­ing baseball al­le­giances, told re­porters. Asked about what the pair of golf en­thu­si­asts talked about, Mur­ray told AFP: “Putting.”

Mur­ray first rose to fame in 1977 on the cast of “Satur­day Night Live,” play­ing smarmy crooner “Nick the lounge singer,” be­fore land­ing his first ma­jor big screen role in the 1979 hit “Meat­balls.” By 1980, Mur­ray had quit SNL and over the next two decades be­came one of Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest comedic stars through such roles as an obliv­i­ous groundskeeper in “Cad­dyshack” (1980), a su­per­nat­u­ral in­ves­ti­ga­tor in “Ghost­busters” (1984) and a doomed weath­er­man in “Ground­hog Day” (1993).

In re­cent years, Mur­ray’s roles have taken a more se­ri­ous turn, in­clud­ing in a hand­ful of Wes An­der­son films such as “Rush­more” (1998) and his Os­car-nom­i­nated per­for­mance as a worn-out movie star in Sofia Cop­pola’s “Lost in Trans­la­tion” (2003), for which he won a Golden Globe. Born in 1950 in a Chicago sub­urb, Mur­ray was the fifth of nine chil­dren. He first got in­volved in com­edy when he fol­lowed his older brother Brian Doyle-Mur­ray onto the cast of Chicago’s famed Sec­ond City im­pro­vi­sa­tional com­edy troupe. “The only rea­son I’m here is be­cause of my brother Brian,” Mur­ray told the crowd. For­mer re­cip­i­ents of the Mark Twain Prize in­clude Whoopi Gold­berg, Tina Fey, Jay Leno and last year’s win­ner Ed­die Mur­phy. The award cer­e­mony will air on pub­lic broad­caster PBS on Fri­day. — AFP

Bill Mur­ray is hon­ored with the Mark Twain Prize for Amer­i­can Hu­mor at the Kennedy Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts on Sun­day in Washington, DC. —AP photos

Emma Stone ar­rives at the Kennedy Cen­ter.

Jimmy Kim­mel, left, and Molly McNear­ney ar­rive at the Kennedy Cen­ter.

Vic­to­ria Lily, left, with her fa­ther Paul Shaf­fer ar­rive at the Kennedy Cen­ter.

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