How to Prepare for Your Bill Murray Moment

The time will come. One day, when you least expect it, Bill Murray will step into your life. It might be in your home, or on the street, or in a karaoke room at four in the morning. Will you be ready for that moment? And what can you do to increase the odds of it happening sooner rather than later? From the pages of The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray, here are four tips for making sure your Bill Murray encounter goes as smoothly as possible.

1) Keep Your Bar Well-Stocked

It’s no secret: Bill likes to get his drink on. He also likes to crash people’s parties. You don’t want to be caught with nothing to serve. So the next time you’re entertaining, make sure you have some of Mr. Murray’s preferred potables on hand:

  • Chartreuse. a lime green liqueur originally crafted by 18th Century French monks. Murray slammed chartreuse cocktails during his infamous New York City karaoke party in 2010.
  • Armagnac. an aromatic French brandy whose effects Murray has likened to “truth serum.” Murray once got blitzed on Armagnac and passed out on the grave of the guy who played the prison captain in Cool Hand Luke.
  • Champagne. The essential ingredient in two Murray-invented cocktails: the Champa Tampa (champagne and orange juice, a drink favored by Murray and John Belushi as an inexpensive alternative to hard drugs) and the Montana Cooler (chilled champagne poured into a pint glass filled with ice)
  • Vodka. Did you know Murray has his own vodka luge? It’s an ice sculpture, designed to resemble an Olympic ski jump course, that funnels vodka into revelers’ mouths at Bill’s annual Christmas party. If he brings it, and you’re all out of Stoli, you’ll be sorry.


2) Be Cool

Bill hates signing autographs, so don’t bother asking for one. In fact, he once dunked a middle-aged woman in a fur coat into a swimming pool just for pestering him about his signature. He’s been known to sign Jim Belushi’s name instead of his own. He’s more receptive when it comes to photographs, as anyone who follows @ISAWBILLMURRAY on Twitter can attest. Be nice to him, don’t bombard him with selfie requests right off the bat, and you may wind up with a souvenir to last a lifetime.


3) Don’t Wait for Bill to Come to You

You can improve your chances of meeting Bill by moving to one of these five cities:

  • Chicago. It’s Bill’s hometown (well, technically he’s from a suburb called Wilmette, but we won’t nitpick). Best way to catch him? Go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Bill’s been a fanatic follower of Chicago’s North Side baseball club since he was a little kid.
  • New York. Bill’s maintained close ties to the Big Apple since moving there in 1974 to join the cast of the National Lampoon stage show. While you’re in town, visit the Ghostbusters firehouse on North Moore Street in Tribeca. It’s currently closed for renovations—or so they say. That could just be the cover story for one of Dr. Peter Venkman’s parapsychology experiments.
  • Charleston, SC. Bill has a home there. It’s where he was famously YouTubed dancing to Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” in 2014.
  • Los Angeles. Bill’s weakness for In-N-Out Burger is well-documented. He often asks his chauffeur to take him through the burger chain’s drive-thru when he’s visiting L.A. If you’re lucky, he might even toss a few In-N-Out Burger coupons your way. He’s been known to leave them as tips.
  • Austin, TX. You never know when Bill’s going to return to Shangri-La and start slinging tequila shots with the Wu-Tang Clan, as he did during his trip to SXSW in 2010.

4) Be Open to the Possibilities

Bill’s personal philosophy is all about living in the moment and being aware of what’s going on around you. It’s one of the foundational principles of improv as taught to him by his Second City mentor Del Close. And it’s a bedrock teaching of the Greco-Armenian mystic George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, whose work Bill studied in Paris in the 1980s. Don’t spend your life half asleep, going through the motions, and you’ll know how to react when someone taps you on the shoulder, puts his hands over your eyes, and whispers “No one will ever believe you…”


Talk to us about Bill Murray. We're here, Ray, at @QuirkBooks!

Robert Schnakenberg

Robert Schnakenberg has been called “the Howard Zinn of nerd pop culture.” He is the author of more than a dozen books of irreverent non-fiction, including the Quirk favorites Old Man DrinksChristopher Walken A-to-Z, Secret Lives of Great Authors, and The Encyclopedia Shatnerica. His work has appeared in Penthouse.