Impossible Script Pitch: I Am Elephant

A Bill Murray character pitches the idea of a long-time hockey fan who comes early to his team’s games to watch warm-ups and befriends the opposing goalie before the Stanley Cup finals by talking about gladiator mentality of the goalie, the defender of the universe. He helps him sort his game sticks as he realizes an opportunity to damage his confidence and so help his team win. He takes him out afterwards to a bar and tries to get him drunk, to no avail. The goalie, Elephant, sneaks into a private club which our hero tries over and over to break in and succeeds at the end, finding friends and family inside, with Elephant. He is admonished by all, but promises that there is a plan, citing winning the lottery as the first point. No one believes him until he locks into a death stare – performed by John Turturro and Elephant – during which there is a back and forth series of accusations which makes everyone tear with laughter. 

The agent loves the pitch and commissions it to his go-to – played by Tom Hanks – who sets up his work space into a giant white room like a hockey rink to begin the process. Bill Murray’s character is devastated and sets up his massive musical pitch “I am Elephant” during which a giant King Kong set arises out of the dim with the chant of “I am Elephant” as Murray holds up a placard and high-fives a series of animals – elephants, tigers, hippos, Tony the Tiger, etc. – who come out the King Kong door and then from the opposite way, as the scene devolves into chaos – llamas, sharks, emus parading past. However, the agent is sold on the pitch of the Murray character getting to write, and Tom Hanks bows out gracefully. Murray goes on to write the story in which it is revealed that Elephant the goalie actually is using the fan as part of his routine in the championships, always pretending and manipulating opposing fans to his side. Even with this revelation, they all still love Elephant who lets in the losing goal at the end.

Bernardo at Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn

Bernardo played its first-ever gig at Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn last night, thanks in part to Bill Murray on a bicycle.

Bernardo at Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn

Hank’s Saloon’s facilities

Lead man, Mike Deminico, walked into the bar a couple of weeks back, inquiring into playing at the venue, and received an indifferent response and email address. Somewhat miffed, Deminico considered abandoning the enterprise when Bill Murray bicycled past and returned Deminico’s greeting. Bernardo at Hank's Saloon in BrooklynHis resolve buoyed, Deminico got in touch with the manager and was on stage shortly thereafter.

Bernardo at Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn

Mike Deminico leads Bernardo at Hank’s Saloon.

The music of Bernardo is an unadulterated pleasure, straight ahead and wildly fun; the short 35-minute set was simply not enough. Deminico promises more in the months ahead.

Groundhog Day: Bill Murray’s Everyman Angst

Groundhog Day is a weird tradition to say the least. Cloudy skies on February 2 indicate a mild spring to come. Huh? The stupidity of it boggles. There is little wonder as to why Harold Remis chose it as the focal point for his film. groundhog1Groundhog Day is that rare breed of comic film that digs into understanding the human experience: What would it be like to live the exact same day over and over again? Is this what it is to be immortal? Is this the true test of the human spirit? Is this the genesis of angst? Bill Murray delivers the performance of his life, an asinine everyman who is remarkably (and believably) humble in the end. groundhog_day1As to the actual event itself of dragging out Punxsutawney Phil, I hope that the men in top hats might consider leaving him alone. philShadow or not, we don’t need a groundhog to tell us what we already know; we’ll be seeing a lot less of winter in the years to come.