Great Scenes… Kingpin
If you don’t want to be left Munsoned out in the middle of nowhere, then you should watch this brilliant piece of improv by Bill Murray, as he bowls comedy acting’s equivalent of the perfect game.
If there was a championship leaderboard for sporting movie scumbags, Ernie McCracken would be pretty high up the list, way above Shooter McGavin and just ahead of Bob Sugar. This is a guy who will do anything to succeed, even if it means leaving a fellow competitor to have his hand amputated. As McCracken says: ‘Sometimes a bowler just has to face the music.’
Sandwiched in between Dumb & Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, the true greatness of the Farrelly Brothers’ 1996 movie Kingpin is often forgotten. Arguably the duo’s funniest film, it is certainly the one that bears up best to multiple viewings, and a lot of that is due to the performance of Bill Murray as Big Ern, bowling legend and all-round piece of crap.
Murray was given free rein to ad-lib and improvise, and in this outstanding diner scene you can see why, as McCracken teaches the unfortunate Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson) how to earn some ‘supplemental income’.
Murray is majestic here – his berating of the waitress and his exasperation with Munson are spot on – but it is the scene’s final pay-off that makes it so special, as McCracken uses the most brazen chat-up technique in cinema history. The fact that it works just makes the scene all the more funny. Sometimes, nice guys finish first. But as Kingpin proves, sometimes complete jerks do too.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SCENE FROM KINGPIN?