How Bill Murray Became A Web Legend Without Even Trying

"Nobody's going to believe you."

Image courtesy: Daily Picks and Flicks.

Bill Murray has been making us laugh since his Saturday Night Live days in 1975. His career has been long and successful, and in recent years he has managed to appeal to a whole new (younger) audience by becoming a big deal on the internet. What's interesting is not just that he doesn't care about his internet fame (he genuinely couldn't give a you-know-what), but that he hasn't done a single thing to court it.

He doesn't even have an official Twitter or Facebook page, yet he has remained not only relevant in today’s web-centric world, but he has gained even MORE popularity among young people. HOW?

Step One: Be Yourself.

Here's the thing: by all accounts Bill Murray is naturally a pretty regular guy, and he refuses to operate like your typical Hollywood actor. He's hard to get a hold of; he doesn't have an agent, an assistant, or a manager. If you want Bill to be in your movie, you must call his 1-800 phone number and leave a message. Yes, really. Maybe he'll listen to your message, maybe he won't. If he's interested, he'll give you a call back. This method can cause the occasional bit of confusion. Bill famously misunderstood one movie premise and ended up signing on to be the voice of Garfield the cat, for instance. Twice.

Step Two: Be Awesome To Fans.

Bill Murray internet lore is full of stories where he pops up at a random places and acts like everybody's BFF.

He once crashed a bachelor party and gave a moving speech about finding true love. He crashed a wedding and once hosted an epic Christmas party featuring a vodka ice luge. He even showed up in a New York City park to play some kickball with random people. He has been spotted jumping behind the bar in Austin, TX to pour drinks for the locals.

He escorted a young woman to a dance in Scotland. He has been busted driving golf carts pretty much everywhere.

”Nobody's Going To Believe You.”

There are so many Bill Murray fan encounters circulating online that it’s impossible to tell which are real and which are fake. One of the most famous encounters has been an internet staple for a few years and is roundly believed to be fact. A young man claims that he was eating in a Wendy’s restaurant when Murray walked over to him, took a fry from his tray, and said to him, “Nobody's going to believe you.” He then walked away as if nothing had happened. Inspired by this story, there is a whole website devoted to similar Murray run-ins, though many of the tales on Bill Murray Stories are wishful fan fabrications.

Step Three: Don't Be Mainstream.

In 2012 a fake (but convincing) Bill Murray parody account popped up on Twitter. Overnight, more than 150,000 people followed the account before it was revealed to be a fraud. When Twitter deleted the page, fans were really upset to learn that they did not, in fact, have a new way to correspond with the Ghostbusters and Caddyshack celeb who has starred in some of our favorite funny movies of the past few decades.

The fact of the matter is, Bill doesn't want or need social media attention. It just doesn't matter to him. Take that, Kardashians (and every other celebrity)!

Step Four: Don't Try Too Hard. Or, You Know, At All. Don't Try At All.

Bill Murray proves that sometimes being awesome is enough. Instead of tweeting his every thought, he simply shows up and interacts with his fans wherever he happens to be that day. He just does what he wants to do, when he wants to do it. He's having fun, and shouldn't the internet be fun? Of course it should.

Bill Murray has always been cool, but now that he’s a web phenomenon without even trying to be, he has moved beyond “awesome” to living legend status.