'President' Bill Murray has a prediction: His beloved Chicago Cubs will advance and appear in their first World Series since 1945.
The comedian and actor, an Illinois native, crashed a White House press briefing Friday and delighted the media with his predictions on the Lovable Losers' chances in the National League Championship Series, which the Cubs lead 3-2 over the Los Angeles Dodgers with Game 6 set for Saturday. Murray, who was decked out in Cubbies' gear, was at the White House ahead of Sunday's ceremony at the Kennedy Center, where he will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
"I feel very confident that Clayton Kershaw is a great, great pitcher, but we've got too many sticks," Murray said, in reference to Game 6's starting pitcher, who faces off against the Dodgers' Kyle Hendricks at Wrigley Field. He also suggested Illinois' weather could give the Cubs an edge. "We also have a little bit of autumn in Chicago. You don't get that in Los Angeles. Trees just die in Los Angeles. In Illinois, they flourish," Murray said.
Murray first came to national attention as one of the breakout stars of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" before achieving success in film. His comedic persona anchored many classic films, from "Stripes" and "Ghostbusters" to "Groundhog Day" and beyond, but he also has received acclaim for his more dramatic work. His role in "Lost in Translation" earned Murray an Oscar nomination.
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Murray had said he was honored to receive the Mark Twain award. "I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long, that this news won’t disturb his peace,” he said, according to Reuters.
Actor Bill Murray, in Chicago Cubs attire, laughs during a visit to the White House briefing room in Washington October 21. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
“An award-winning writer, actor and comedian, his brilliant wit and infectious spirit continue to inspire our laughter across generations both on and off the screen," Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said. Mark Twain Prize honorees include Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Neil Simon, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno and Eddie Murphy.
First pitch of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series will be at 8:08 p.m. Saturday at Wrigley Field. Murray has good reason to hope the Cubs wrap up the series tonight, as a potential Game 7 would conflict with the Kennedy Center ceremony.