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The Greatest (Real) Bill Murray Stories Ever Told

Updated February 27, 2020 985 votes 327 voters 2.3m views10 items

Bill Murray is the ultimate honey badger. Though now known for his roles in such classic films as Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, and Stripes, Murray first got his start as a castmember on SNL. Some of these Bill Murray stories are legendary, while some may have indisputable proof - yet they are all amazing and sound exactly like the kind of awesome thing the most enigmatic celebrity (that we actually like) would do. From stories on the set to sightings in Karaoke clubs and even dropping in on random house parties, this is a list of the greatest (real) Bill Murray encounters of all time. 

For more amazing true Bill Murray facts, check out this list of roles Bill Murray almost played.

  • 1

    Bill Murray Surprise Bartends At Shangri-La During SXSW

    Bill Murray Surprise Bartends  is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest (Real) Bill Murray Stories Ever Told
    Photo: Diana Ringo / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    The Story:

    The story begins when Bill Murray attends Austin's SXSW festival and hangs out with Wu-Tang Clan. He shows up with them at the bar Shangri-La and insists on bartending, only serving patrons shots of tequila. No matter what they ordered, he pours them a lot of tequila.

    Everyone there is Tweeting, posting to Facebook, and blogging about it. Someone even took a video.

    Throughout the rest of the week, Murray is spotted at various parties, including one Redditor's friend's house party:


    This story is widespread, and there's video to prove its accuracy. It also highlights the extent of Murray's awesomeness. Who knows how many of the details and secondhand accounts are true, but the video is pretty indisputable.

    Great story?
  • 2

    Bill Murray Crashes Bachelor Party

    Bill Murray Crashes Bachelor P is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest (Real) Bill Murray Stories Ever Told
    Video: YouTube

    The Story:

    Over Memorial Day weekend 2014, a handful of guys from Boston College are in Charleston, SC, for a bachelor party when Bill Murray offers some words of wisdom to the groom. A friend of the groom says: 

    At one point during dinner at a steakhouse, one guy goes to the bathroom downstairs and sees Bill Murray sitting with some people with a fishing vest on. We talked to the waiter to see if we could send him some drinks, to which Bill declined. One of my buddies then went down and asked if he'd come up and say a few words for EJ and got a 'No thanks.' My buddy comes back up dejected and tells us it's not going to happen. Two minutes later, Bill f*cking Murray walks into the room and gives this speech.

    Murray says to the group: "You know how they say funerals are for the dead, not for the living? Bachelor parties are not for the groom, they're for the unmarried." 

    He then goes on to give sound advice to the rest of the group who hasn't gotten engaged yet:

    If you have someone that you think is The One, take that person and travel around the world. 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.

    Then, Bill Murray hoists the groom up on his shoulders.


    You decide. The video is right there.

    Great story?
  • 3

    Bill Murray Reads Poetry To Construction Workers Building NY's Poet House

    Bill Murray Reads Poetry To Co is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest (Real) Bill Murray Stories Ever Told
    Video: YouTube

    The Story:

    During construction of the Poet's House, a library in Manhattan, Bill Murray stops by to read poems to the construction workers who are working on the building. In the middle of reading, Murray imparts: "It gets worse. If you want to take a sick day, do it now." Workers laugh and take photos with their cell phones.


    Indisputably true.

    Great story?
  • 4

    Bill Murray Accidentally Stars In 'Garfield'

    Bill Murray Accidentally Stars is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest (Real) Bill Murray Stories Ever Told
    Video: YouTube

    The Story:

    Bill Murray sees the name "Joel Cohen" (this Joel Cohen) attached to the Garfield script, believing it's the famed director of Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Barton Fink, and No Country for Old Men - Joel Coen... as in this Joel Coen (no H, you see). Academy Award-winning Joel Coen.

    According to GQ magazine, Murray explains the mix-up: "I looked at the script, and it said, 'So-and-so and Joel Coen.' And I thought: Christ, well, 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."

    Then he saw the movie. And only after that did he realize that it wasn't Joel Coen, but Joel Cohen. No Fargo, No Country for Old Men or Big Lebowski -  no, this one was Daddy Day Camp (the sequel to Daddy Day Care), Evan Almighty, and Cheaper By the Dozen Joel Cohen.

    Murray continued: "I kept saying, 'Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the f**k was Coen thinking?' And then they explained it to me: It wasn't written by that Joel Coen." 


    Although this might be the actor-celebrity version of sleeping with someone questionable and then claiming you were drunk, there's obviously no doubting the accuracy of the interview. It's just a shame that it took the movie being finished before Murray realized his faux pas. But hey, every paycheck helps - including the pay bump to the sequel. 

    Great story?
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