Let’s start off by saying that a lot of people will agree that Caddyshack is one of the best comedies ever made. It had the type of humor people wanted to see, the type of content, and while the over-sensitive pull back and claim that it could never be made again, they’re not wrong, but they’re also not right for the reasons they might think. Instead, the reason why Caddyshack III has never managed to get off the putting green is kind of a sad story. The first movie was filled with raunchy and over-the-top humor that involved everything from slapstick to drugs and sex that some people find insanely offensive now, even if they’ll watch movies like Cuties and anything with people mainlining heroin into their veins. Yeah, offensive, got it, moving on. But the first movie also involved characters that would send the ultra-sensitive into shock now thanks to the jokes and content that was acceptable back in the day because they were jokes, scenes that were meant to be funny but not serious. In other words, Caddyshack was simply a good time with humor that was allowed to happen naturally and didn’t care so much about feelings.
That changed with Caddyshack II unfortunately since the movie tried to ditch the dirt from its roots in order to go for a more family-friendly look that ended up castrating the humor as it left people chuckling nervously, hoping that things would pick up at some point. While the actors used for the second movie weren’t bad at all, the roles they were thrust into were, well, kind of off when it came to the whole idea of following up the first movie, which really, only one character kind of did since Ty Webb was apparently not even that well known in the second movie judging by the reactions of some of the Bushwood members. It kind of gives the impression that Ty is an immortal of some sort and as generations pass, people just tended to forget about him until they were forced to acknowledge his existence. Of course that’s pretty silly, but it was a theory that just popped into my head. But the second movie left a seriously bad impression on the audience and yet another reason why a third movie didn’t feel like such a great idea.
Yet another reason though is that while there was another script in the making, according to Bill Murray, the man that was responsible for it, Harold Ramis, passed away in 2014, and it was difficult if not impossible to think of anyone else penning the script and making it work. Let’s face facts here, Harold Ramis was one of the best comedic talents of his time and he knew how to make a script work. Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, as well as a few others, would have likely returned, but by the time things were finally looking up, Rodney Dangerfield had passed, several of the actors had either left Hollywood or weren’t interested, and the whole idea would have felt much too incomplete to even think of bringing it to life. Caddyshack was kind of like lightning in a bottle, it happened at the right time with the right cast and it was well-received by those that appreciated the humor.
But too much time spent trying to get things just right, and a second movie that was below par for what the overall idea needed to be, kind of killed off the interest in bringing this movie back to life again. Plus, it does sound as though the third movie would have retconned the story and gone ahead with a plan to make it appear that the second movie had never happened. It would make sense, but it probably would have confused a lot of people at the time simply because folks are used to seeing things line up as they should in chronological order. But going from Bill Murray’s act to Dan Aykroyd’s was, well, kind of painful to watch since the ex-military individual that Aykroyd played wasn’t too horrible, but when compared to Carl he just didn’t measure up. Plus, the dynamic between Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight was far better than what we saw between Jackie Mason and Robert Stack since it had a great deal of humor to it that felt less forced and more natural.
If there ever is a Caddyshack III it’s bound to be a complete overhaul of the movie that will hopefully pay homage to the original and maybe even mention the second one in passing just to be polite. But it’s not coming anytime soon, that much is certain, since as of now the script is pretty much DOA, and the actors don’t appear to be interested in bringing it back to life.