I always loved those early SCTV shows done for about a buck-ninety-five out of Global-TV. There was something about Harold Ramis as Mo Green that just killed me every time.
The bit resonated with viewers who grew up in the Toronto-Niagara-Buffalo region since it was such an obvious goof on WKBW’s tepid local daytime game show Dialing for Dollars. Green was sort of standing in for Nolan Johaness, asking for the amount from random residents who just either weren’t home or just didn’t want to be bothered.
Sad, then,to get the news–seemingly out of the blue–of Ramis’ passing at just 69 from complications from an autoimmune disorder. How are we supposed to move forward without his bemused smirk showing how ridiculous things are in everyday life?
The Chicago native always seemed like what he was–a talented writer and funny man surrounded by other funny people who sometimes found himself in front of the camera. He was never the performer Eugene Levy or Catherine O’Hara or Martin Short was–which somehow made him seem even funnier, like a guy who just wandered into frame on some of the funniest movies and TV skits ever made.
That his death occurs just as a few of his SCTV colleagues make their way back onto Canadian TV screens is unsettling, too. Andrea Martin’s Working the Engels–which will feature both Short and Levy–premieres March 12 on Global and later on NBC. CBC just announced Shittes Creek as an upcoming comedy with Levy and O’Hara.
Ramis would have been a welcome face on either show. As a director, writer and performer, he leaves a body of work that is about as re-watchable as any comedian could ever want.

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