WATCH: Bill Murray’s First Appearance on Johnny Carson in 1984 is Classic Entertainment Gold

by Josh Lanier
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Bill Murray killed during his first appearance on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson in 1984. He and fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus Dan Aykroyd were on the show to promote Ghostbusters.

The interview is in two parts. The first half was Aykroyd on his own speaking with Carson. And things got a little weird as Aykroyd, a legitimate believer in ghosts, aliens, and all things paranormal, explained his lineage in the field of psychic sophistry. He even brought out a photo of his grandfather, who was a medium, that featured floating heads. His grandfather, Aykroyd claimed, had conjured were the conjured “spirits” with whom he was communicating. Carson was skeptical, to say the least.

When Bill Murray joins the conversation in the second half of the interview, he takes a few shots at his friend and his obsession with the paranormal.

But Murray got serious when he said he’d seen a ghost once before. It happened at the famed New York restaurant called Tavern on the Green.

“There is a ghost there, and he’s a guy. He’s a waiter,” Murray says. “He comes up, and he goes through the whole thing, plays it perfectly straight. Tells you what the special is and then takes your order, and then he disappears.”

Ghostbusters was a massive hit, whether ghosts are real or not. It spawned one sequel, a 2015 reboot featuring an all-female cast, and another belated sequel/reboot.

Bill Murray Says He Was Tricked Into The Sequel

A panel moderator asked Bill Murray about the second Ghostbusters film at the 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Murray says the producers lured him into the project under false pretenses.

It started with a call to get the cast back together and discuss a possible sequel, he said.

“I don’t know if (director Ivan Reitman) set it up, but they got us all back together in a room,” Bill Murray said. “And really, we hadn’t been together in a room since the (first) movie came out and it was just really, really fun to be together. … They got us all together and they pitched a story idea that was really great. I thought, ‘Holy cow, we could make that work.’”

But the pitch wasn’t the script. In fact, Murray didn’t much care for the sequel script, but he’d already signed on to the project at that point.

“It ended up not being the story they wrote,” Bill Murray said. “They got us in the sequel under false pretenses. Harold (Ramis) had this great idea. But by the time we got to shooting it, I showed up on set and went, ‘What the hell is this? What is this thing? But we were already shooting it, so we had to figure out how to make it work.”

Outsider.com