President Obama on Tuesday hailed longtime comedic actor, director and writer Harold Ramis as one of “America’s great satirists." 

“When we watched his movies — from 'Animal House' and 'Caddyshack' to 'Ghostbusters' and 'Groundhog Day' — we didn’t just laugh until it hurt,” Obama said in a statement. “We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings.”


The president noted that Ramis was “a proud product of Chicago’s Second City,” the famed improv troupe that has produced many of the stars of “Saturday Night Live," and said he and first lady Michelle Obama were "saddened" to hear of his passing.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold’s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness,” Obama said.

That line was a subtle reference to “Caddyshack,” directed an co-written by Ramis. In the movie, Bill Murray’s character, a deranged groundskeeper named Carl Spackler, says that, after caddying for the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader promised him “total consciousness” on his deathbed in lieu of a tip.

Ramis died at 69 on Monday from complications from an autoimmune disease that causes inflamed blood vessels.