40-Year Anniversary: Teeing Off With the Hilarious Cast of ‘Caddyshack’ Four Decades Later
Caddyshack is a zany, drug-fueled laugh riot. The rebellious free spirit of the film makes it timeless even if the plot is ridiculous. The movie brought together some of a generation’s best comedians. It catapulted the film careers of Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield. Murray’s improvised one-liners made him a fixture in the pop-cultural landscape. Meanwhile, the legends of raucous antics on and off the set spread.
Many consider this cult classic to be the Apocalypse Now of golf movies. Instead of a jungle of the unconscious, its class war plays out in a country club. For example, the explosions, animatronic gophers, A-list catfights and plenty of nose candy. Somehow, first-time director Harold Ramis held it all together. Caddyshack still pushes boundaries even 40 years after its release. We catch up with what trouble the cast, contributors, and even one puppet from Caddyshack are getting into these days.
Pictures: Orion Pictures
Bill Murray’s role as the uber-stoner groundskeeper Carl Spackler had no lines in the film’s script, with Murray improvising almost everything on set. Besides photobombing normal people’s weddings, Murray stars in Wes Anderson’s newest film The French Dispatch and will reprise his role as Dr. Peter Venkman for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, both slated for release this year.
One of (but not the only) of Bill Murray’s brothers in Caddyshack, Brian Doyle-Murray also was a writer who drew from family experiences for the script. He has stayed busy, portraying Bob Kruger in the hilarious AMC series Lodge 49 and lent his voice to SpongeBob SquarePants as the Flying Dutchman for nearly a decade.
Chevy Chase is as mean-spirited in real life as the rich golfer Ty Webb he plays in Caddyshack. Though he avoided getting in a second fistfight with fellow SNL-alum Bill Murray while on set, Chase continued to ruin projects with his bad attitude over the years.
Comedy legend Rodney Dangerfield gets nothing but respect from us for his brutal verbal takedowns as Al Czervik in Caddyshack. He died in 2004 but played none other than the big man himself — God — in his last role in the 2005 film Angels with Angels.
No raunchy '80s flick would be complete without the requisite blonde bombshell, a role Cindy Morgan fit to a T. She went on to portray Yuri in Tron two years later and starred in the short film Face of the Father in 2016.
Michale O’Keefe played the protagonist, Danny Noonan, whose struggle to afford college drives the plot. It might be easier to list movies and films O’Keefe hasn’t been in since, including the TV series Power, City on a Hill and the film Inside Game.
Photo: Orion Pictures
Scott Colomby played Danny Noonan’s caddy rival, the street-tough Tony D’Annunzio, though many of his scenes ended up getting cut. He starred in the early '80s version of American Pie, Porky’s and its many sequels, but had mostly bit parts in TV and film until dropping off the radar in 2012.
Pink Floyd quickly declined the offer to write the soundtrack for Caddyshack, but luckily Kenny Loggins said yes. He continued to have success in making music for films like Footloose in 1984, Top Gun in 1986 and A Cure for Wellness in 2016.
Ann Ryerson played Grace, a minor character, but Ryerson’s unbeatable attitude and work ethic saw her continue to work steadily in the decades since. She’s been in hit shows like Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Grey’s Anatomy, and was on The Kroll Show in 2014.
The gopher wasn’t originally supposed to have such a prominent role, but after shooting, John Dykstra, who helped bring Star Wars to life a few years earlier, was tasked with creating the destructive animatronic puppet, complete with hydraulic ears. We don’t have a clue where the gopher puppet itself is now, but we do know you can buy your own annoying gopher robot here.