On This Day: ‘Caddyshack’ Starring Chevy Chase and Bill Murray Premiered in Theaters in 1980

by Suzanne Halliburton

More than four decades later, we’re still repeating quotes from Caddyshack. Forget awards — that’s how you define an iconic movie.

And on this day 41 years ago, Caddyshack premiered in theaters. And we’ve been laughing since then. You could say that Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, Michael O’Keefe, Ted Knight and company made the best sports comedy ever. No one can argue that the Gopher wasn’t the GOAT.

(Photo by Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images)

Favorite Caddyshack Memory? Hint, It’s a Cinderella Story

Here’s our favorite part of Caddyshack. It’s probably yours, too. We’re talking about the scene with Bill Murray, aka greenskeeper Carl Spackler. Deep down inside, Spackler wants to be a golfing hero. Instead, he maintains fairways and greens for rich guys. So with a thunderstorm on the horizon, Spackler starts hacking into the mums while narrating his “Cinderella story.” And by the way, Murray improvised the whole scene. His part never was intended to have lines.

What an incredible Cinderella story. This unknown comes outta nowhere to lead the pack at Augusta. He’s at the final hole. He’s about 455 yards away, he’s going to hit about a two iron, I think. … Boy, he got all of that. The crowd is standing on its feet here at Augusta.

“The normally reserved Augusta crowd is going wild for this young Cinderella who’s come out of nowhere. He’s got about 350 yards left; he’ll hit about a five iron, it looks like, don’t you think? He’s got a beautiful backswing … That’s … Oh! He got all of that one! He’s gotta be pleased with that. The crowd is just on its feet here.

He’s a Cinderella boy, tears in his eyes, I guess, as he lines up this last shot. And he’s got about 195 yards left, and he’s got a, it looks like he’s got about an eight iron. This crowd has gone deadly silent. Cinderella story, out of nowhere, former greenskeeper, now about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac . . . It’s in the hole! IT’S IN THE HOLE!!!:

Bill Murray’s Brother Co-Wrote Movie

Brian Doyle Murray, Bill’s big brother, co-wrote Caddyshack along with Harold Ramis and Douglas Kenney. The older Murray was inspired by his days as a caddy. Remember that pool scene involving the Baby Ruth? It happened at Brian Doyle Murray’s high school.

Basically, Caddyshack told the story of caddy Danny Noonan (O’Keefe) and Chase’s Ty Webb. Knight played snooty judge Elihu Smails and Dangerfield was ostentatious real estate developer Al Czervik.

The Gopher was a puppet. A guy at Disney created him. The gopher sounds he made as he danced away from the greenskeepers really were those of a dolphin, specifically Flipper.

Caddyshack made $40 million at the box office in 1980. That equates to about $135 million in today’s dollars.

And speaking of the Gopher, he danced through the music video for Kenny Loggin’s theme song, “I’m All Right.”