Bill Freaking Murray

Tomorrow is Bill Murray’s birthday. His sixty-third, and may the comedy gods bless him with sixty-three more. I don’t exaggerate when I say that Bill Murray’s birthday is a very important holiday for my coworkers and I. In fact, we’ve made a habit of celebrating each year  in our unique fashion, and I highly encourage anyone who is a fan of his work to celebrate in whatever way they deem most appropriate.

But if you happen to be in the San Luis Obispo area tomorrow, feel free to drop by the Avila Beach fire pits at 6 p.m. We encourage formalwear and a red beanie, but we’ll accept any and all fellow fans however formally or informally attired they choose to be. Our tradition is as follows: We arrive, get the fire started, and discuss our appreciation for Bill Murray. At sunset, we each make a toast, toss back a shot, and run into the ocean. This will be our third year, and though Bill Murray has yet to put in an appearance, I firmly believe that wherever he is, he appreciates the gesture. Hopefully.

This is not New Times editorial department’s first expression of love for Murray, nor is it our most embarrassing.

Back in 2010, I wrote and directed a short film featuring the New Times writers. We uploaded it to YouTube in two installments because, well, I guess you’re not really a fan unless you make a complete fool of yourself and refuse to regret it.

This year, the newspaper dedicated our annual Best Of issue to Bill Murray, which was really just an opportunity to bust out the proton packs, invade the local library and golf course, and do what we do best: make fools of ourselves.

LA%20NT(This New Times ad ran around spring of 2008, in conjunction with the San Luis Obispo International Film Fest. It’s the editorial department staring out at you. I’m second from the far right.)

And if you’re not terribly sure how best to express your appreciation–and too far from the ocean to make your own mad dash–might I recommend Life Aquatic? It’s my favorite movie and I think I can fairly attribute my obsession to this movie in particular.

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