The sports comedy Caddyshack is a cult classic appreciated by comedy nerds and golfing dads alike. Released in 1980, the crude, vulgarity-laced film launched Harold Ramis’s directorial career and pulled Bill Murray into the spotlight.
Caddyshack behind the scenes also had plenty of dark drama and tragedy though. As a first-time director, Ramis allowed (or overlooked) rampant coke use, which often had the studio execs tearing their hair out and led to a production that was as improvised as it was scripted. There was the requisite tension between Chevy Chase and everyone else with whom he was working. And the crew notoriously even set off a huge explosion on a real-life golf course without getting the owners' permission... all while distracting them with food and booze.
The Caddyshack cast had a great time shooting this movie, and thanks to the rampant blow use of the '80s and their comedic talent, they left the rest of us with some wild stories and a solid film to boot.
Caddyshack wouldn’t be Caddyshack if the pristine golf course at a ritzy country club didn’t explode. The film crew had trouble convincing the owners to let them detonate the fairway, so they took the owners to dinner to create a diversion while they blew up their golf course.
Clearly, the Caddyshack crew included free spirits, and due to their impulsiveness, they created one of the most popular movies of all time.
It takes years of dedication to become known as a legend like Bill Murray. Today, Bill Murray is famous for showing up at weddings and parties and generally being a great light in this world, but he was once just a young actor who liked to party so hard he would pass out in sand traps.
Luckily, he didn't wander too far away from set and was still able to give a great performance.
In a perfect world, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase would have been the best of friends, but instead, they didn't get along when Caddyshack filming began - their feuding became almost legendary.
Filmmaking has a magical allure, but at the end of the day, executives in Hollywood make films to turn a profit, and obviously, rampant substance use can hinder their bottom line. Harold Ramis recalled in a Sports Illustrated interview about the wild '70s, saying, "We shot the movie in 1979. It was a pretty debauched country at the time. The cocaine business in South Florida was mammoth, and everyone was doing everything."
The use of coke on the Caddyshack set was frequent and heavy. Actor Michael O'Keefe has said that it "was driving everyone."