Obama Celebrates Harold Ramis

Says of the late actor: “We didn’t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority.”

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Director Harold Ramis in Hollywood in 1984.

President Barack Obama lauded the late actor Harold Ramis on Tuesday, saying he and First Lady Michelle Obama were “saddened to hear of the passing of one of America’s greatest satirists.” Ramis, of Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day fame, died Monday at 69.

“When we watched his movies—from ‘Animal House’ and ‘Caddyshack’ to ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Groundhog Day’—we didn’t just laugh until it hurt,” Obama said in a statement. “We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold’s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.”

The end of the statement is a nod to a line delivered by Bill Murray in one of Ramis’ most popular films, Caddyshack.