With a wide array of swoon-worthy cameos by celebrities in A Very Murray Christmas, one still stands out about the rest: Mr. George Clooney. Appearing in the dream sequence section of the Netflix holiday special, Clooney sings along to "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'" with Bill Murray, so obviously, Bill Murray and George Clooney are friends. The two movie stars have both provided voices to Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox back in 2009 and, more recently, Murray was in the Clooney-directed The Monuments Men. So, how did these guys becomes friends off-screen?
Murray's Christmas special comes off as a delightful pet project and the jokes about Clooney start before the man even appears. Murray receives a phone call and his producers, played by Amy Poehler and Julie White, excitedly ask if it's Clooney on the line. (Disappointingly, it's Murray's sister.) Then Michael Cera, as a sleazy manager trying to get Murray's business, is unenthused at the prospect of Clooney appearing in Murray's Christmas show. The conversation goes down like this:
"It's starting to seem to me more like a Christmess, as in 'What a mess,'" Cera puns.
"We have George Clooney," Murray says.
"I rest my case. You saw Monuments Men?" Cera replies.
"I was in it," Murray says.
"Number what? Seven on the call sheet?" Cera jabs.
When you're able to tease the lack of success that The Monuments Men achieved, then you know Murray and Clooney's friendship runs deep, but the actors have surprisingly not been friends for too long.
During a 2013 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman , Murray (dressed as Liberace, like you do when you're Bill Murray) told the story of when he first met Clooney. Starting at 6:05 in the below video, Murray recounts how the duo became friends during the Venice Film Festival "a few years ago."
"We ended up having a whole lot of fun," Murray said, which included pushing someone around in a wheelchair and then into a swimming pool. Clooney is a notorious prankster and Murray is one of the funniest people around, so the fact that these guys buddied up is not surprising. Murray even was rumored to want to prank Clooney this year when Clooney received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2015 Golden Globes. But, fortunately (unfortunately?) Murray kept it classy for his friend.
Meeting at the film festival wasn't the only time the friends had a good time in Venice, Italy since Murray was one of the lucky few to attend Clooney's 2014 wedding to Amal Alamuddin there. Murray very sweetly told People, "My favorite part of the wedding was that those two people found each other in life." And, not only was Murray a guest, he also gave a toast at the reception, which only the few and privileged were allowed to hear.
Although Clooney doesn't show his face until toward the end of A Very Murray Christmas, his backup singing to "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'" is more than worth the wait, as he keeps popping his head out from behind Christmas trees.
So dust off your tux and martini glass and celebrate Christmas this year with the most awesome pair of friends that ever existed — Bill Murray and George Clooney — and bask in their hilarious dapperness.
Images: Ali Goldstein/Netflix; Caitlin Gallagher/Bustle (2)