Meatballs was Bill Murray’s first movie. He was a standout on SNL but nobody knew if he had the chops for movie stardom. Meatballs would begin to create a couple of the now-famous Murray legends.
First, Bill Murray actually never signed on to the movie Meatballs. He never had an agent or manager, and he still doesn’t today. You track down Bill on the phone, or his friend’s answering machine, and forge a type of ‘gentleman’s agreement’. Then you cross your fingers that he shows up. In the case of Meatballs, nobody knew if he’d show up or not. Bill arrived on the first day of filming with an entire wardrobe of Hawaiian shirts (all of which he owned). These shirts would become his wardrobe for the entire movie.
Meatballs was a hit. Turns out Bill had what it takes to be a star. Stripes would follow, then Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters. In just 4 years Bill would be one of the biggest movie stars in the world.