When Bill Murray declared World War III live on SNL

Bill Murray has done a lot of crazy things over the years, from crushing a White House press briefing to randomly applying for a job at an Asian restaurant. The eccentric Hollywood resident has a number of urban legends and myths circulating about him, enough to warrant a Tommy Avallone documentary titled The stories of Bill Murray: life lessons from a mythical man.

His appearances on Saturday Night Live were also deliciously bizarre and incredibly interesting. Murray left an indelible mark on SNL’s legacy with his wonderful performances, especially when he sang a beautifully erotic rendition of the Star wars theme. He even told Chevy Chase to “go fuck your wife, she needs it” on the set of the show while Chase commented that Neil Armstrong would have no trouble landing on Murray’s pockmarked face.

However, an even more memorable moment in the Bill Murray-SNL saga is when the actor accidentally declared World War III in the series. SNL already had a reputation for blending comedy and current affairs by generating hilarious and absurd news, but on this particular occasion it was taken very seriously as the Cold War drew to a close after an excruciatingly long period filled with paranoid anxiety. .

According to former SNL writer Don Novello, show producer Dick Ebersol ran to Murray during a commercial break and informed him that the USSR had invaded Poland. It was December 12, 1981, which meant that the forces of the USSR had yet to take any action, but the series producer was determined to make SNL the “comedy series that made America understand. that Russia has invaded Poland ”.

Novello revealed Murray was reluctant to do so and was also shocked by the news, but Ebersol convinced him to go through with it. Murray ended up taking the stage and asking people to show solidarity with the Polish population who were allegedly assaulted, affirming: “I guess that means it’s World War III.” Fortunately, this had no significant repercussions as no one viewed SNL as a serious news show and called this report another bizarre comedic piece.

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