Summer shenanigans at Bushwood Country Club set the scene for arguably the funniest sports movie ever conceived. “Caddyshack” was the directorial debut of the late Harold Ramis, whose success included directing, writing or starring in cult-classic movies like “Animal House”(1978), National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) and Ghostbusters (1984). It’s safe to say that his 1980 masterpiece influenced more than a few weekend golfers heading out to the links.
Caddyshack told the story of Danny Noonan, a mild-mannered caddy longing for a better life. Danny gets roped into a feud between Judge Smails — Bushwood’s stuffy dictator and co-founder — and Al Czervik, a boisterous businessman who challenges Smails to an $80,000 golf match. Ty Webb, one of the club’s best players (and quirkiest personalities) soon gets involved. All the while, the club’s manic groundskeeper, Karl Spackler, hunts a pesky little groundhog.
Caddyshack turned in $40 million at the box office after its release on July 25, 1980. I watch it at least once a year, and much like its iconic cast, the movie only got better with age.
Caddyshack Cast: Then and Now
Chevy Chase (Ty Webb)
From his years on “Saturday Night Live” to the timeless role of Clark W. Griswold, Chevy Chase is a pioneer for modern comedy. Though the 78-year-old primarily works in supporting roles these days, his portrayal of the suave Ty Webb remains one of his best.
Rodney Dangerfield (Al Czervik)
The king himself. I’d contest that there is no better closing line to any film than when Dangerfield’s character exclaims to the Bushwood onlookers, “Hey everybody, we’re all gonna get laid!”
Dangerfield passed away on October 5, 2004 at 82 years old, but his famous “I get no respect!” punchline has never faded from our memory.
Ted Knight (Judge Elihu Smails)
Though he was the movie’s antagonist, Ted Knight was a hero. After earning five Bronze stars in World War II, Knight portrayed news anchor Ted Baxter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and appeared in dozens of television series during the 1960s, earning him another star — this one is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Knight died on August 26, 1986, after a long battle with colon cancer. He was 62.
Michael O’Keefe (Danny Noonan)
O’Keefe earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in “The Great Santini” (1979), which led to his iconic role in Caddyshack. Since then, he’s acted in countless TV shows and movies.
He’s most recently appeared in the Starz drama “Power”, season two of Netflix’s “Manhunt: Unabomber” and the HBO series “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.”
Bill Murray (Karl Spackler)
He wasn’t the film’s focal point, but Bill Murray became its biggest star. The oft-delusional Karl produced so many iconic quotes that Tom Brady even used one during “The Match II” when referring a torrential downpour by saying, “When’s the heavy stuff supposed to start?”
I’ll leave you with the scene when Karl “wins The Masters” during his break from chasing that gopher:
“Tears in his eyes, I guess, as he lines up this last shot. He’s got about 195 yards left, looks like he’s got about an 8-iron. This crowd has gone deathly silent. Cinderella story. Out of nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion.”Advertisement
“It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!”
Cindy Morgan (Lacey Underall)
As the film’s promiscuous bombshell, I’m fairly certain a few of you reading this had Lacey Underall’s poster on your wall growing up. After her breakout role in “Caddyshack”, Morgan starred as Yori in the computer-generated film “TRON“ (1982), and she’s acted in various television series and short films since.
She directed the Caddyshack Reunion Golf Tournament in 2006, which raised money for the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.
Sarah Holcomb (Maggie O’Hooligan)
Playing Maggie wasn’t her first role; That came in National Lampoon’s Animal House when she played Clorette, Larry Kroger’s underaged love interest. Holcomb left the acting business after “Caddyshack.” It’s reported that she struggles with schizophrenia but lives a quiet life in Connecticut.
Scott Colomby (Tony D’Annunzio)
The coolest guy at Bushwood, Colomby parlayed his success in “Caddyshack“ to a role in “Porky’s“ (1981), followed by various gigs on television like “The A-Team” (1986), “RoboCop” (1994) and “Walker, Texas Ranger” (1996).
The rest of the cast — from Bishop to Spaulding — also hold a special place in our hearts. Written by Ramis, Brian Doyle-Murray and Douglas Kenney (also credited as the comedy film’s producer along with Jon Peters), “Caddyshack” re-runs will live forever, which goes to show just how special a day at the golf course can be when a little fun gets mixed in.
Supporting Actors in “Caddyshack“
Dan Resin (Dr. Beeper)
Henry Wilcoxon (The Bishop)
Elaine Aiken (Mrs. Noonan)
Albert Salmi (Mr. Noonan)
Ann Ryerson (Grace)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Lou Loomis)
Hamilton Mitchell (Motormouth)
Peter Berkrot (Angie D’Annunzio)
John F. Barmon Jr. (Spaulding Smails)
Lois Kibbee (Mrs. Smails)
Brian McConnachie (Drew Scott)
Jackie Davis (Smoke Porterhouse)