Bill Murray drops the original "Cool Story Bro" with "Beautiful story.  Tell Reader's Digest, will ya?" in Scrooged

Many have debated the origin of the term “Cool Story Bro”. While specific usage of those words seems to be restricted to the past 5 or so years, the first usage of the quote is often attributed to the 2001 movie Zoolander, as a character says “Cool story, Hansel”. Here we have Bill Murray’s character Frank Cross saying “Beautiful story. Tell Reader’s Digest, will ya?” to a man who’s objecting to the idea of stapling antlers to a mouse, played by Ralph Gervais.

Download an mp3 of Bill Murray saying “Beautiful story. Tell Reader’s Digest, will ya?” in Scrooged.

One might be tempted to attribute the quote to the film’s writers Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue, but a quick look over the script indicates that it may have been an ad lib, as the original quote is just “Go tell Reader’s Digest!”. An earlier version of the script doesn’t have that part of the exchange at all (see page 43). Of course we can’t discount the possibility of further script rewrites or improper transcription for the online copy.

This is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1923 dropping of a “That’s what she said” joke by saying “As the girl said to the soldier”. Again there’s different wording but the same meaning.

Here’s the original clip from Zoolander.

Check out “Scrooged” if you’re in the mood for a solid Christmas movie and have already watched Die Hard. The movie really holds up because Bill Murray is a comedic genius.

Now, here’s Ernie using his favourite catch phrase…

Speaking of Bill Murray, here’s a cool story. Caren sold him a bike.