Meatballs make me laugh! You have to be “of a certain age” to laugh at meatballs. So I wish I didn’t laugh out loud at the thought of Chicken Meatballs with Artichokes & Carrots because I hate it when I date myself.
But damnit I miss Bill Murray.
And I don’t mean the middle-aged Bill Murray, who has enjoyed a career renaissance playing forlorn cool characters in meaty independent films. Nope I mean the laugh-out-loud Bill Murray. The Saturday Night Live Bill Murray. The iconic comic genius who brightened my world from 1979 to 1993 in a string of movies that Hollywood just wouldn’t find funny anymore.
For those of you who don’t remember 1979, it was a very good year. Sure I was struggling through an awkward adolescence. But so was Bill Murray and he was nearly 30! That certainly made a geek like me feel like the world wouldn’t end. Because 1979 was a year that launched Murray’s film career with the movie, Meatballs. In it Murray plays Tripper, the zany head counselor at Camp North Star. Basically, the movie revolves around the pernicious Tripper putting the moves on a curvy fellow counselor, harassing the camp’s boss, and befriending a lonesome boy. There’s also some shenanigans involving the teen-aged counselors in training and some spirited pranks with a neighboring, well-to-do camp. But for all of its ribald fun, Meatballs at its heart is a sweet movie that warms the heart without being disingenuous, saccharine, or just plain stupid.
Movies can’t seem to do that anymore and I don’t know why.
So here I am stuck at home laughing into a plate of Chicken Meatballs with Artichokes & Carrots missing Bill Murray.