||At SCTV, we were virtually self-directed. Whoever wrote the piece pretty much determined how the piece was going to play. We directed each other. Joe Flaherty kind of appointed himself my director. He'd tell me stuff like, "Open your eyes real big.".
||[on directing Robin Williams and Eugene Levy in Club Paradise (1986)] I'd say, "Robin, could you play that scene faster?" And he'd say, "Faster isn't a direction." So I'd say, "Your character is feeling a sense of urgency right now." By contrast, I went to Gene and said, "You did that scene in a minute-twenty. Could you do it in a minute?". And he said, "Sure".
||The best comedy touches something that's timeless and universal in people. When it's right, those things last.
||It's hard for winners to do comedy. Comedy is inherently subversive. We represent the underdog as comedy usually speaks for the lower classes. We attack the winners.
||[on the death of his friend Douglas Kenney in 1980] Doug probably fell while he was looking for a place to jump.
||Well, for me, it's the relationship between comedy and life - that's the edge I live on, and maybe it's my protection against looking at the tragedy of it all. It's seeing life in balance. Comedy and tragedy co-exist. You can't have one without the other. I'm of the school that anything can be funny, if seen from a comedic point of view.
||Well, I never made big films to make big films; the scale's been appropriate to the content.
||I'm at my best when I'm working with really talented people, and I'm there to gently suggest or guide or inspire or contribute whatever I can to their effort. It's not like I'm gonna tell Robert De Niro how to act - but I could provide him with useful anecdotal material from my own life or other people I've known, or actual psychological information, or insights into his character. The technique's up to him. But, there are ways to gently urge an actor to pick up the pace or slow it down or focus more, to go bigger or smaller. Some actors are very open right at the beginning - they say, "You only need four words with me: Bigger, smaller, faster, slower.".
||Chicago still remains a Mecca of the Midwest - people from both coasts are kind of amazed how good life is in Chicago, and what a good culture we've got. You can have a pretty wonderful artistic life and never leave Chicago.
||Everything we see has some hidden message. A lot of awful messages are coming in under the radar - subliminal consumer messages, all kinds of politically incorrect messages...
||[on whether he and Bill Murray would consider doing a third Ghostbusters movie] My attitude is generally like Bill's old attitude -- there's no point unless it has some interesting quality or something to say about the subject. Personally, I don't rule it out. I'm skeptical, but maybe it'll work.
||At first, I would get mail saying, 'Oh, you must be a Christian because the movie [ Groundhog Day (1993)] so beautifully expresses Christian belief'. Then, rabbis started calling from all over, saying they were preaching the film as their next sermon. And the Buddhists! Well, I knew they loved it because my mother-in-law has lived in a Buddhist meditation centre for 30 years and my wife lived there for five years. - remarks to the New York Times on the ecumenical popularity of Groundhog Day (1993).
||[During the 20-year Ghostbusters reunion commentary on the Ghostbusters DVD] Acting is all about big hair and funny props... All the great actors knew it. Olivier [ Laurence Olivier ] knew it, Brando [ Marlon Brando ] knew it.