Thrill Murray on Reddit

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Thrill Murray by Mike Coley. 2013.

Never miss a chance to ride the coattails of someone else’s work! Bill Murray put himself at the mercy of the Reddit community, more of a crowd, and occasionally a bit of a mob, especially when George W. is involved. On January 10th (2014) redditors asked Murray about the new movie The Monuments Men, and a gazillion other things.  Murray is the object of a lot of artworks, and even a coloring book called Thrill Murray. But in the movie he and a star cast are recovering works of art pilfered by the Nazis in World War II.


What follows is raw content from the interview. Be warned that Reddit is a peculiar place and has its own etiquette. Users submit original and stolen content on everything under the sun. It regularly hosts notables such as Bill Gates, President Obama, …and Morgan Freeman! And also less notable ‘A Straight male that works at Victoria’s Secret,’ ‘A Petco Employee,’ and the highly specialized chap who called himself the ‘first Minifigure Trading Ambassador at Legoland.’

Without more guff…here is raw content from interview.

Bill Murray here:  OK, I’ll TALK! I’ll TALK!

submitted by _BillMurray to IAmA       

I’m Bill Murray. If you don’t know me, you probably know one of my brothers or sisters. I’m doing this AMA on behalf of Monuments Men, which is in theaters on February 7 (



I’d never heard of the Monuments Men story until I heard about the film and now I’m intrigued. What was the most interesting or surprising thing that you learned while filming the movie?


Well probably the most horrifying thing was that there was something called Nero Edict that was distributed by the Fuhrer, Hitler, which said that if the Reich should fall, or if Hitler was killed or taken, that all the art that was stolen should be destroyed. And a fair amount of the art was burned, things were burned that will never be returned, a lot was burned even before the Nero Edict because of the modern art, that was degenerate.

In the hunt for the art, they found hidden in the salt mines where the art was hidden, they found the ENTIRE gold supply of Germany.

ENTIRE. Like they had moved their gold, their Fort Knox, into a mine, and this small group of guys searching for art in a mine, found the gold supply of Germany. And this effectively ended the war because once we announced we had all their gold, no country would sell them any more rubber, no country would sell them any more oil, no country would sell them any more anything.

Is that surprising? I think it’s one of those odd, bizarre facts where you have this dinky group of guys looking for an art heist effectively ends the war in one fell swoop cutting the arteries of the economy.


Madonna of Bruges by Michelangelo, taken by the German army from Belgium in 1944.


I’d never heard about this before but I found an excellent article all about it. My favorite quote:

As the jittery elevator descended with ever-accelerating speed down the pitch-black shaft, with a German operating the elevator, Bernstein was concerned about their safety. So was Patton. Looking at the single cable, Patton said if the cable snapped “promotions in the United States Army would be considerably stimulated.” General Eisenhower said “OK George, that’s enough. No more cracks until we are above ground again.”


Ah, Patton

My favorite sonofabitch


Thanks for the spoiler alert, Bill. Sheesh.


Shit shit shit, just don’t tell me how it ended on the Pacific front, okay?


The allies lost… because of godzilla.


Oh, I just saw a trailer for Monuments Men, it looks like a movie I want to see. I can’t think of anything clever to ask but since I am old, I am a loooong time fan back to SNL days.



Vermeer’s The Astronomer, seized from a private collection in Paris and now in the Louvre.



Wow, that would be my mother if she were still alive. Monuments Men has a great script and a fascinating story that no one has ever heard before. And there are a whole bunch of great actors in the movie. You hate to say that a film is an important film but I think it’s a movie that people will say enlightened them about something that was forgotten, and it’s a situation that exists around the world now. For example when we invaded Iraq, we weren’t really taking care of business and a bunch of criminals went in and looted the museums. It’s what’s happening in Syria now. It’s far worse than stealing gold or diamonds. It’s stealing a culture, a mystery, and if those works of art are stolen, we are losing the ability to learn about culture and about ourselves.


for anyone further interested in this, Monuments Men is a fantastic book as well


My mom really wants to see Monuments Men and said basically what you just said as to why. It’s really sad what happened to the museums in Iraq.

We had family friend (who passed away recently) used to work in an Iraqi museum before Sadaam came to power. He was never really the same after the invasion, completely heartbroken about what had happened to his country.


I hope people will keep reading down-thread go get to this reply. My grandfather’s (on my father’s side) family tried desperately to escape Poland before the invasion but they weren’t able to. Most of them died in the camps. But one aunt and a cousin did survive–they paid one of their neighbors to hide them in a granary.

Many years later, my father’s aunt and cousin are living in Jerusalem, and the aunt remembers that her father had once owned some paintings. They weren’t extremely valuable, but one of them was of a famous ancestor of ours–a very wise and famous rabbi and philosopher.

So she begins the search to find this portrait. From what my cousin has told me, she became obsessed with finding it. She couldn’t personally bear to return to Europe, but she sent her son there after the fall of the Wall, which was just a few years before she died.

My cousin said he believes he did find a record of the portrait, now owned by a German family in its private collection. But he never told his mother he had found it because he knew he could not get it back for her, and it was better that she think it was gone, burned, destroyed.

It’s far worse than stealing gold or diamonds. It’s stealing a culture, a mystery, and if those works of art are stolen, we are losing the ability to learn about culture and about ourselves.

This answer needs to get some serious upvotes. Bravo.



Hitler had the The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Jan van Eyck seized in 1942. They were recovered from the Altaussee salt mines in Austria.



I get really depressed when I think about the artifacts and art looted in Baghdad. That’s one of the important and influential cities in history, that not enough people realize. Then that huge wealth of knowledge disappeared and then a whole war put on top of it. At least I hold on to hope for some of these things were put somewhere safe instead of a warzone, even if they were stolen, so that they may be one day returned.


This is why he’s awesome. He’s not just playing the part he’s understanding the role and the story’s significance. I can’t doff my cap enough to Bill Murray.


It’s strange (but not really I guess) that Bill’s least upvoted comments are referring to the awesome things he is expressing in making this film. Can’t wait to see it!


This should be in /r/museamofreddit asap.

Text book AMA for reference.


I took a class at MassArt called Ancient Art in Iraq with John Russel. He was basically in charge of the entire movement to prevent art and culture from being lost or stolen in Iraq during the U.S. invasion and he recovered many artifacts and helped restore them. He is the reason they have what they still have.

Couple of fun facts that I remember:

Saddam Hussein’s gold chariot decorated with precious stones that he rode around was nothing more than a spray painted wooden cart with California van paintings on the side of it.

The oldest tablet with human writing on it was a receipt. The two things it recorded were amounts of wheat and barley for a storage house. Those are the two things you need to make bread and beer. So, human language exists because of mans need to make bread and beer.

EDIT: Also, Hello Bill Murray, I hope I am not too late to get your attention. The movie “What About Bob” will always be one of my favorites. Cheers!


By Rivaat Zarlif

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Rivaat Zarlif


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