Carl Spackler: So I jump ship in Hong Kong and I make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas.
Angie D’Annunzio: A looper?
Carl Spackler: A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.
I’m sure many of you recognize the above quote from the classic film, Caddyshack. Some of you, like my wife, for instance, have added parts of the speech to your own personal lexicon. But how many of you were familiar with the Dalai Lama before seeing the film and hearing him referenced in this way?
There have been a lot of well deserved tributes to Harold Ramis, but the one that came from International Campaign for Tibet was one of the most interesting. The organization, which works with and is guided by the Dalai Lama to bring awareness and attention to plight of people living in Tibet, paid tribute to Ramis for his contributions to their cause.
The ICT’s Lesley Rich wrote a thank you of sorts to the late writer/director for including that quote in Caddyshack, a film he co-wrote and directed. Rich states that was one of the first pop culture references to the Dalai Lama, raising awareness for the spiritual leader and the Tibetan cause.
“While clearly a tongue-in-cheek nod to the Dalai Lama’s spiritual wisdom,” Rich wrote, “the movie line nonetheless introduced millions of people to a future Nobel Peace laureate who would become known the world over for his commitment to non-violence and the cause of the Tibetan people. Harold Ramis was simply ahead of the curve in America’s recognition of the Dalai Lama, and expressed it in his own irreverent way.”
It’s fascinating to think a funny line from a comedy film could have such an impact, but Rich does have a point. That line certainly was my first exposure to the Dalai Lama. It was a great acknowledgement from the organization and another example of the impact Harold Ramis had on the world we live in.