Harold Ramis changed the face of American comedy, and his passing Monday at 69 was mourned by fans across the country.
Even President Obama paid his respects to the writer and director of "Caddyshack," "Ghostbusters" and "Animal House" (among many others) -- and did so in the most fitting way possible. He issued the following statement Wednesday:
Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of America's greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago's Second City. When we watched his movies -- from "Animal House" and "Caddyshack" to "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day" -- we didn't just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold's wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.
If that last line sounds familiar, that's because it's referencing Bill Murray's scene in "Caddyshack" when he describes how the Dalai Lama will grant Murray's character "total consciousness" on his death bed ... which is nice.