As someone who has been in and around the media for more than 20 years, I've gained a special appreciation for what makes a good quote. You know the ones. Maybe it’s the perfect analogy—a witty metaphor or some well-chosen words laced with emotion. A lot of words get spoken in an interview or at a press conference but only a few select ones are quoted. And, it’s the best of the best that end up leading the story, closing the story (the “kicker”) or being highlighted on the page in bold, distinct type (the “pull out quote”). Those are the notable quotes.
Here now is a look back at the top five quotes from the past week that deserve a little extra attention . . .
#5. “What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”
On February 24th we lost one of the greatest comedy writers, directors and actors of all time, Harold Ramis. Trying to choose the best quote from a Ramis movie is a little like trying to count the stars in the sky; you get a headache after a little while. The one above is from Animal House and I guess it’s as good as any to honor Ramis. As I look over his list of movies including Animal House, Caddyshack, Vacation, Meatballs, Back to School, Stripes, Ghostbusters . . . I realize that he is the source of a disturbing percentage of the words I have uttered during my life since I saw my first Ramis movie at the age of 9. (That movie, of course, was Animal House which I saw in the theater with my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad.) In fact, I probably haven’t had that many original funny thoughts over the course of my life, most of the time I just parrot his lines. Fortunately, I am not alone. Ramis’ influence was fairly universal. After his death, President Obama issued a statement wishing him “total consciousness” on his deathbed. So, it’s nice to know he has that going for him.
By the way, if you want to waste a lot of time. Here’s a full list of the great Animal House quotes. His other movies are on that site too. You may want to clear your calendar.