Uh, What Was Bill Murray Doing At Cornell This Weekend?

If for some reason you were at the Harvard-Cornell football game in Ithaca this weekend — despite the fact that CU is on break, and you’d rather subject yourself to all manner of Kurt Schneider atrocities than go to an Ivy League football game — you might have happened upon something unusual: Actor Bill Murray.

In the video above, you can see Murray, decked out in mildly embarrassing salmon-pink trousers, mock-conducting the Cornell marching band as it rocks out on the field below. However, that was only after he approached Harvard’s band in the middle of the game — specifically because they played the theme from “Ghostbusters.”

“This guy in pink pants walked up and said, ‘Hey, play that song again,'” said Harvard University Band Manager Rachel L. Hawkins ’12. Hawkins said that the band had no idea Murray was at the game and that “Ghostbusters” is just part of their usual set list. “He kind of appeared out of nowhere. It was very serendipitous.”

See photos of Murray and co. (plus a few totally reasonable theories to account for his presence) after the jump!  

Maybe it was serendipity. But we actually think the more likely scenario involves Murray appearing out of thin air any time “Ghostbusters” is performed with requisite gusto. (Sort of like the “Candyman” thing, except you don’t get murdered when he shows up?) There’s actually some precedent for this theory, based on Murray’s history of randomly appearing in candid photos from karaoke lounges where, let’s be real, they were probably singing “Ghostbusters.”

Another theory: He was just trying to show-up Keggy the Keg, who staged an impromptu cameo appearance at Dartmouth’s Memorial Field two weekends ago.

Theory #3: Bill Murray is actually my Uncle Richie. (Seriously, they’re dopplegangers, guys.)

Theories abound!


(via Reddit)

The guy on the left is Harvard alum (and former SNL writer) James M. Downey, with whom Murray attended the game. (Via FlyBy blog)

13 Responses to “Uh, What Was Bill Murray Doing At Cornell This Weekend?”

  1. Bones Says:

    Total mistake in what happened. As a member of the Cornell BRMB Bones, it was our section, not the Harvard band, that had the Ghostbusters theme song arranged. We played it at the third quarter (like usual), and some guy (Bill Murray, of course) asked for an encore, so we obliged. Hahvahd didn’t have anything to do with it.

    Not to mention, after the Hahvahd band left and Murray conducted us, he said “Cornell may have lost the football game, but you guys kicked their band’s ass!”

  2. Hahvahd Says:

    After spending the weekend with your band, we found you guys were a really nice group of people. Its too bad someone like you has to post this comment and make the whole Cornell band look like a bunch of douches. I’m just going to pretend I never read this comment and keep remembering the great weekend I had with you guys.

  3. Low Brass Says:

    Total mistake as to what happened: as section leader of the Harvard Band’s Low Brass section, it was our section, not the Cornell Band, that had the Ghostbusters theme song arranged.  What happened was that their section came to play with us, admitting that they were fans of our cheers and have arranged them because they liked ours so much (true of Underbone, A-Team and Ghostbusters, at least.) After playing our version, Bill Murray came up and asked us to play it again, and as a show of respect we then played the Cornell version.  Harvard absolutely had something to do with it, considering that everyone knows the Cornell Bones came over to our side to play with us.

    Not to mention that Bill Murray was sitting on our side to begin with, demonstrating his allegiance, and that obviously he is going to compliment they people he is conducting because he is a reasonable human being and not a tool.  He said similar things to the Harvard Band when he spent a half hour having fun with us.

  4. Map332 Says:

    Can’t we all just get along?  Saying that Harvard has the Ghostbusters theme arranged and Cornell doesn’t is about as accurate as saying that Harvard basketball has participated in March Madness.  We both had the song, they were different arrangements, and we only played the Harvard version because we didn’t think it would matter.  You guys seemed cool too, but not acknowledging us in your school paper is quite a low blow.

  5. Philosopher-King Says:

    Low blow? Have you been interviewed before? There was probably a five minute conversation with that interviewer that was almost entirely cut, we can’t control what the writer put down.

    I also don’t think Low Brass said anything about Cornell not having the Ghostbusters theme arranged; he said they were different versions (perhaps implying that both bands hand the theme arranged; I don’t know, it’s been years since I studied deductive logic).

    If you want to have more coverage of the BRMB interacting with Bill, you should talk to The Sun about how your band is also interesting to celebrities.

  6. Map332 Says:

    Low Brass writes “It was our section, not the Cornell Band, that had the Ghostbusters theme song arranged” and then references a “Cornell version,” so at the very least he contradicted himself.

    But seriously, I really don’t give a crap, and I regret getting involved in the pissing contest.  Have a nice day all!

  7. Anonymous Says:


  8. Big Red and Crimson Says:

    As a graduate of Harvard and Cornell, this little argument thoroughly confirms that both bands are a bunch of losers.

  9. Concerned Citizen Says:

    pics or gtfo

  10. Ray Parker, Jr. Says:

    Total mistake as to what happened. I wrote this song in 1984 and have performed it countless times. I was talking to Bill on the phone and happened to sing it for him while your bands played. He asked me for an encore, and I happily obliged. Neither band had anything to do with it. True story.

  11. Caveat Bettor Says:

    RPJ, there you go again, sampling Huey Lewis without attribution (like a Led Zeppelin).  Huey dropped out of Cornell, inspiring others (such as Zuckerberg, Jobs, and Gates) to do the same.

  12. Nwd1 Says:

    Too bad, I heard he dined at The Boat Yard, certainly not the best place in Ithaca (but good enough for mere mortals). 

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Bill Murray was very ill from around the New Year in April. In fact, he was very sick before that. He knew there was something wrong in the fall of 2010. There are suspicions that he is terminally ill.
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