Hot Streaks is a look at the times when comedians at the height of their power. Comedy comes in waves, and with it comedians ride the success of public adoration and creativeness. During these times (usually around 5 years), comedians are putting out some of their most successful projects. So with that being said, let’s take a look at some of the hot streaks some of the best comedians have out there.
Up this Week: Bill Murray
Hot Streak: 1979-1996
Key Projects: Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, The Razor’s Edge, Scrooged, What About Bob?, Ghostbusters II, Groundhog Day, Kingpin, Rushmore.
Power Ranking: 9
With Bill Murray already in the news this week after his appearance on the 20th Anniversary of “Late Show with Letterman,” it makes perfect sense that this week’s hot streak is dedicated to him. You might also notice that he has the longest hot streak and highest ranking out of everyone else that has been featured. That is because it’s BILL F**KN’ MURRAY! The man is simply a legend. After so many memorable appearances on Saturday Night Live in the 70s, his career blew up even more with Meatballs, Caddyshack, and Stripes. His cameos in Zombieland and the otherwise unwatchable Space Jam show him to be the legend that he is. Not only giving some last minute help to defeat aliens in a basketball game, but keeping his humorous side in tact when the world is overrun by zombies. Though it doesn’t really work out to well for him in the end, he is still recognized by the characters as a legend.
However, once films like Charlie’s Angels and Osmosis Jones were released, Murray’s mainstream influence took a hit. But rather than fade out, Murray took a different route by beginning an indie/dramatic career resurgence starring in Wes Anderson movies like Rushmore, The Royal Tannenbaums and The Life Aquatic. Riding that peak by earning multiple nominations for his work on 2003’s Lost In Translation. Was there a larger comic actor during this time frame? Not many.
Let’s face it, Murray is getting old. At 62 years of age, it will be impossible for him to return to the form he was in during his prime comedy years. But the man still makes people laugh to this day. It seems the biggest obstacle Murray is facing is his age. Murray hasn’t had as steep a decline that other featured comedians of Hot Streaks. The fact that he is still making millions of people laugh in 2013 is just astonishing and the day he decides to give it up for good will be a sad day in the comedy world. But until then, all we can do is hope that day never comes.