Stars collide: How McGuire and Murray met
By BRIAN STANLEY Life of Brianfirstname.lastname@example.org December 1, 2012 10:56PM
Actor Bill Murray (right) and State Sen. Pat McGuire (left) share a laugh during a fundraiser for McGuire's campaign at the Joliet Country Club Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, at 1009 Spencer Rd. in Joliet. | File photo
Updated: January 15, 2013 4:19PM
The state senator has already taken a walk in another man’s shoes — those of an Academy Award nominee.
As Joliet Democrat Pat McGuire campaigned for the 43rd District seat, actor Bill Murray provided some star power at one of his fundraisers.
While celebrities and politicians cross paths frequently while “working,” these two have been friends for more than 30 years.
McGuire is readying for another term while Murray has received “award buzz” for his portrayal of FDR in “Hyde Park On Hudson,” which opens Friday. So since the campaign season has ended in one world as it begins in another I thought this would be an appropriate time to share how they met.
On Nov. 10, 1979, McGuire was standing up in the wedding of his college friend, John Cool. “Yes, that’s his real name,” McGuire said.
Since the wedding was in New York City, McGuire was able to catch up with another longtime friend, Jim Downey, a Joliet native writing for “Saturday Night Live.”
So after finishing the Cool nuptials, the McGuires attended a taping of the show, which featured Murray in the cast.
“We’re in New York. I wanted to be stylish, so I put on a cowboy-style striped shirt with pearl snap buttons and white corduroy Levi’s and we were hurrying to make it to 30 Rockefeller Center,” McGuire recalled.
In his haste, McGuire neglected to bring another pair of shoes and was forced to walk around the biggest city in the world wearing the extremely shiny pair that had come with his tuxedo rental.
McGuire didn’t remember Buck Henry hosted the episode, but he was given a button advertising musical guest Tom Petty’s then-new album. Maybe someone wearing a “Damn The Torpedoes” pin can get more done in Springfield if he still has it.
When the episode ended McGuire went backstage to meet Downey and ride the elevator up to the office he shared with Murray.
“And as the elevator went up, everything was quiet until Jane Curtain looked at me and said sotto voce stage whisper ‘Nice shoes,’” McGuire said.
“That Jane Curtain can say such hurtful things,” Murray said three decades later. “But gosh, (Pat) looked great all weekend. People were following him down the street.”
“No, Bill took mercy on me,” McGuire said. “We walked into the office and he opened a drawer and pulled out a ratty-looking pair of tennis shoes.”
The performer had sized up the politician, determined they had the same size feet and a friendship began.
“Actually, I never did give back his shoes. They had seen their day and I just threw them out,” McGuire said.
Though McGuire does send Murray a dozen Dan’s Taffy Apples each Christmas.
“I gave them to him in person (at the fundraiser), so it saved me the shipping this time,” McGuire said.