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50 Bill Murray Quotes on Life, Success, and Happiness (So You’ve Got That Going For You)

Smart words from the man behind Caddyshack, Stripes, St. Vincent, — and of course, Garfield the Movie — just in time for Groundhog Day.

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BY Bill Murphy Jr. - 02 Feb 2019

bill murray quotes

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

One of the best things about Groundhog Day is that thanks to Bill Murray (and the rest of the cast of the 1993 movie, Groundhog Day), the phrase "Groundhog Day" has taken on a completely different meaning: the sense of doing the same thing over and over and over.

Meanwhile, Murray has taken on a role as a sort of accidental 21st century philosopher. So in honor of both Groundhog Day and Groundhog Day, here are XX of the best Bill Murray quotes on life, success and happiness.

1. "The more relaxed you are the better you are. That's sort of why I got into acting. I realized the more fun I had, the better I did it. And I thought, that's a job I could be proud of. It's changed my life learning that, and it's made me better at what I do."

2. "My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they're misunderstood. I don't think people realize how kind New York people are."

3. "I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: 'Try being rich first.' See if that doesn't cover most of it."

4. "I've retired a couple of times. It's great, because you can just say, 'Oh, I'm sorry. I'm retired."

5. "I try to be available for life to happen to me. We're in this life, and if you're not available, the sort of ordinary time goes past and you didn't live it. But if you're available, life gets huge. You're really living it."

6. "People usually go through a bad period when they first get successful. You're new and you're hot and things go wrong."

7. "We're Americans! Do you know what that means? It means our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world."

8. "I'm not an alcoholic, I only drink two times a year. When it's my birthday, and when it's not my birthday."

9. "It's hard to be an artist. It's hard to be anything. It's hard to be."

10. "This really should be kept secret, but you can learn a lot by watching the making-of DVDs. Every actor should do it. You figure out what you're dealing with."

11. "Something wild can happen to anybody and I caution anybody that walks out on the street, just settle your accounts before you leave the house every day."

12. "Every moment that you share someone else's pain, feel what they feel, makes you more human."

13. "My iPhone has 2 million times the storage of the 1969 Apollo 11 computer. They went to the moon. I throw birds at pig houses"

14. "Groundhog Day' was one of the greatest scripts ever written. It didn't even get nominated for an Academy Award."

15. "I improvise whenever I feel it's important, or whenever I think that something's there. It's nice to have a script that's so well-written that I don't have to improvise. I mean, I used to have to re-write whole movies; this is kind of nice."

16. "The automatic things you do are basically those things that keep you from doing the better things you need to do."

17. "I've never made any horrible, horrible movies. If you don't ruin your reputation, you can always get work."

18. "I'm a nut, but not just a nut."

19. "I have a brother who gives socks for Christmas. He gives socks. Every year, I get a pair of socks from him."

20. "The first year I had money, I really went shopping. I got really caught up in it. I bought all my brothers sets of luggage, and I bought 'em winter coats from Giorgio Armani - winter coats. And I got a pair of socks from this brother."

21. "Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you're donating blood."

22. "There were a lot of actors that are more talented than me at Second City who quit it before they even got to a paying status. Weird luck. I had no other option."

23. "I had a hilarious experience with Garfield. I only read a few pages of it, and I kind of wanted to do a cartoon movie, because I had looked at the screenplay and it said 'Joel Cohen' on it. And I wasn't thinking clearly, but it was spelled Cohen, not Coen. I love the Coen brothers movies. I think that Joel Coen is a wonderful comedic mind. (Explanation: This is in response to a question on how he wound up voicing Garfield the Cat.)"

24. "I think we're all sort of imprisoned by - or at least bound to - the choices we make... You want to say no at the right time and you want to say yes more sparingly."

25. "Friendship is so weird. You just pick a human you've met and you're like, 'Yep, I like this one,' and you just do stuff with them."

26. "There's only a couple times when fame is ever helpful. Sometimes you can get into a restaurant where the kitchen is just closing. Sometimes you can avoid a traffic violation. But the only time it really matters is in the emergency room with your kids. That's when you want to be noticed, because it's very easy to get forgotten in an ER."

27. "Disneyland. The world's biggest people trap, built by a mouse."

28. "I feel that if you really want an Oscar, you're in trouble. It's like wanting to be married - you'll take anybody. If you want the Oscar really badly, it becomes a naked desire and ambition. It becomes very unattractive."

29. "Melancholy is kind of sweet sometimes, I think. It's not a negative thing. It's not a mean thing. It's just something that happens in life, like autumn."

30. "Eh, it's not that attractive to have a plan. I know that if I ever feel that I need to make a funny movie, I'll figure out how to write one. I'll get it done. If I ever get some ambition, I'm gonna get some shit done."

31. "There aren't many downsides to being rich, other than paying taxes and having relatives asking for money. But being famous, that's a 24 hour job right there."

32. "Movie acting suits me because I only need to be good for ninety seconds at a time."

33. "A movie like 'Caddyshack,' I can walk on a golf course and some guy will be screaming entire scenes at me and expecting me to do it word for word with him. It's like, 'Fella, I did that once. I improvised that scene. I don't remember how it goes.' But I'm charmed by it. I'm not like, 'Hey, knock it off'. It's kind of cool."

34. "People say I'm difficult. Sometimes that's a badge of honor."

35. "I've got kids and that's important. It's funny, you think that there's an expiration date on them and there just isn't."

36. "It just doesn't matter! It just doesn't matter!"

37. "People are like music. Some speak the truth, and others are just noise."

38. "You can tell how boring a person is by the lack of fear in their eyes when someone is flipping through photos on their phone."

39. "The critics. When they're right, they're right for the wrong reasons. And they're usually wrong."

40. "Well it's hard to be yourself, it's the hardest job there is."

41. "I don't have to take this abuse from you -- I have hundreds of people waiting in line to abuse me!"

42. "This is not a dress rehearsal; this is your life."

43. "You can handle just about anything that comes at you out on the road with a believable grin, common sense and whiskey."

44. "And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that going for me, which is nice."

45. "Common sense is like deodorant. The people who need it most never use it."

46. "You're supposed to have one hand up and one hand down. As you're trying to going up, you're trying to pull someone up at the same time."

47. "People only talk about what a joyous experience it is, but there is terror: Your life, as you know it, is over. It's over the day that child is born. It's over, and something completely new starts."

48. "Well that feels good. Keep talking." (responding to a fan who wrote, "You are absolutely amazing!!! I love you.")"

49. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU NN76... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUU!" (during a Reddit Ask Me Anything chat, when a a redditor named NN76 said it was his or her birthday)."

50. "Just beat my record for most consecutive days without dying."

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