Making the cult classic “Caddyshack”


"Caddyshack" is a classic American slobs vs. the snobs comedy, an eminently quotable classic showcasing the young talent of director Harold Ramis and stars Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. But when it debuted in the summer of 1980 — close on the heels of "The Blues Brothers" and "Airplane!" — it elected a tepid response at best.

In Chris Nashawaty's "Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story," the EW critic traces the film's comedic blue ribbon origins in The National Lampoon, Second City and Saturday Night Live, recounts its raucous film shoot and celebrates its eventual embrace. He also recounts the fateful story of "Caddyshack's" charismatic co-writer, the late Douglas Kenney. "He is the hero of the book," Nashawaty told Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams during a recent episode of "Salon Talks," "but he's a flawed genius."

And despite the stellar lineup involved in making "Caddyshack," Nashawaty marveled at the insane the amount of things went wrong on this movie. “It's an Exhibit A on how not to make a movie," he said. "Inexperienced director, first-time producer, no real studio oversight, actors who were completely ad-libbing and throwing away the script. This is how you shouldn't make a movie. Yet miraculously, somehow a movie came out of it…. It was a hothouse for the talent that would come to define Hollywood comedy for the next decades."

Watch the video above to see why the author calls the making of "Caddyshack" "a party where occasionally a movie would break out," and how one of the film's most memorable moments was made in one improvised take. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope..

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