193. Caddyshack

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Movie: Caddyshack

Release Date: July 25, 1980

Director: Harold Ramis

Starring: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O’Keefe, Bill Murray.

Tag Lines: “At last, a comedy that bites!”

“Some People Just Don’t Belong.”

“The Snobs Against The Slobs!”

“Playing A Round Of Golf At The Bushwood Club Isn’t Just Confined To The Golf Course!”

“At last, a comedy with balls!”

Relevance: ‘Caddyshack’ was one of those films that I watched on HBO with my father when I was a kid. It was the early 1980’s and I was most likely twelve or thirteen when I saw it, although I don’t exactly remember the first time. What I do remember is that my father seemed to enjoy it a lot more than I did at that time, but it has since become one of my favorite comedies.

As I have mentioned here before, my parents were pretty liberal with our television viewing. Watching an “R” rated movie with them was pretty common. I am sure they either saw the movies prior or researched them, but that wasn’t always known to me. Regardless, there was always some excitement knowing we were going to watch a “restricted” movie.

All I knew about ‘Caddyshack’ before I watched it was that it was rated “R” and that it starred Ted Knight. My family were huge fans of Ted Knight’s show “Too Close for Comfort.” We watched it religiously every week. It made us all belly laugh like few shows did at the time. Mr. Knight’s buffoonery as well as the overall antics of the show were comedy gold. Cosmic Cow, Muriel, Monroe, Jackie, Sara and Andrew all became staples in our household. Of course I was also familiar with his other comic creation, Ted Baxter, on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” So as fans, watching a movie starring Ted Knight seemed unavoidable.

As noted above, my father really enjoyed ‘Caddyshack.’ Although I enjoyed certain aspects of it, watching and hearing my dad react to it was more entertaining than the actual film. As a kid, I of course loved the occasional “boobs” on the screen as well as the dancing gopher and the “candy bar in the pool” scene. However, a lot of the other humor went way over my head. I was just happy to be watching a rated “R” movie with my dad, so I smiled along as he laughed.

The music of the film had more of an impact on me than the film itself. Kenny Loggins’ “I’m All Right” was a song that could be heard blaring out of my radio in the early 1980’s. Other music in the film had me tapping my foot and singing along as well, but this song became a favorite (and remains a favorite to this day). Mr. Loggins had a very successful career before the 1980’s, but that decade he was known for his soundtrack songs. I sang along with him through every movie and ‘Caddyshack’ started it all off.

Although ‘Caddyshack’ was a only a modest hit in the theaters and was pretty much panned by critics, it gained a cult following through the years. It is now considered a comedy classic and one of the greatest sports movies of all time. It is a movie that I have learned to love as I got older as the jokes became more clear. (Maybe those “R” ratings do mean something.) It became a staple during my college years and beyond. I own it on DVD and watch it once in awhile when it is played on regular television. And “I’m Alright” is still played at least once a week, if not more.

Today’s Thoughts: Crude, juvenile, and sexist are not words I like to associate with at all. Watching ‘Caddyshack’ today, a film I probably haven’t seen in over a decade, I couldn’t help but think of those words. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy watching it again.

Comedy is at a strange impasse these days. What was deemed “funny” and allowable in 1980 is not necessarily the same in 2020, and rightfully so. Does that make it not funny now? Does that mean we can’t laugh at certain jokes? I don’t think so. I just think when we watch a film produced decades ago, we have to keep that in mind. There were definitely a few cringe worthy moments I had today, but there are far worse films to be offended by than ‘Caddyshack.’

The movie is still funny and I did laugh many times. How can you not? Sometimes juvenile is funny. At least to me it is. “My dinghy’s bigger than your whole boat!” I mean, that’s funny, right? The cast is filled with comedy legends. Ted Knight, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray all do what they do best. Mr. Dangerfield definitely has the most comedic one-liners, but Mr. Murray’s character is so bizarre and funny, it is simply iconic. The rest of the ensemble is equally talented including Michael O’Keefe as the eagerly ambitious caddie and Cindy Morgan as the object of everyone’s affection.

Regardless of your taste in humor, ‘Caddyshack’ is a movie that is unapologetic in its offensiveness and has definitely earned the rights to claim itself a “classic.”

“In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir, gopher’.”

Ways to Watch: Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, DVD Availability.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. roulette says:

    Best movie i have ever seen !

    Liked by 1 person

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