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Mixing Dark Comedy with Light : Harold Ramis

Unlocking the Comedy: John Cusack plays a mob lawyer with a can't-lose scheme.
Unlocking the Comedy: John Cusack plays a mob lawyer with a can't-lose scheme.

Director Harold Ramis brings his brand of dark -- yet often silly -- humor to audiences with The Ice Harvest. The irreverent film stars John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, and Randy Quaid.

Taking place in the period from Christmas to New Year's Eve, Ice Harvest is the latest movie revolving around a holiday from Ramis -- previously, he wrote and directed Groundhog Day.

Ramis is behind some of the comedy classics of the past 25 years. Movies that he has either written or directed include Caddyshack, Animal House, Stripes, Ghostbusters, and National Lampoon's Vacation.

Before his film work, Ramis edited jokes for Playboy and was a member of Chicago's famed Second City improvisational theater troupe.

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Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.
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