EJ Rumpke was just minding his own business one Saturday this summer — okay, it was his bachelor party, so things might’ve been a little raucous–when Bill Murray showed up and crashed his party. Yes, Bill Murray-Bill Murray. Millions of people watched the video of the ensuing shenanigans, but we talked with Rumpke–now happily married and the director of operations at a Baltimore-based start-up–to get the story behind the viral phenomenon.
So where and how did you come to meet Bill Murray?
So I was down in Charleston for my bachelor party along with 19 buddies from college– we had rented a house down there for Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday night we had a nice dinner planned at the Oak Steakhouse.
Charleston — that seems random.
We later found out that [Murray] is there a lot– he partially owns the minor league baseball team down there, and he’s a regular at that restaurant. [On the night in question,] we had a private room on the top floor of the restaurant, and he was having dinner with some people on the second floor.
One of my buddies went down to the bathroom on the second floor. He walked by [Murray’s] table. When he came back up, he started whispering to some of the other guys at the table, trying to figure out how they could get Bill to come up and say something to us. The next time waiter came in, they asked him to offer Bill a drink on us, and to let him know there was a bachelor party upstairs.
Eventually dinner was winding up. I headed down to use the bathroom, and as I’m two steps downstairs, I see Bill walking up. I let him pass me, did a quick 180, and went up the stairs behind him. That’s where the video starts – my buddies got their cell phones out and pretty much captured all of it.
Was this a big deal for you?
I’ve always been a Bill Murray fan – Caddyshack is one of my favorite movies. So it was pretty cool to have him there, see him in person, and hear his advice.
So what was his advice?
He said you should travel the world, get away with someone to really figure out if it’s someone you really want to spend the rest of your life with. And if you can still stand them [at the end of that trip], marry them right away.
But Bill Murray s divorced, right?
Twice divorced, I think. But regardless of his past endeavors, I think that a lot of people can take away something from that advice.
Okay, so what if you don’t have the time or money to travel the world before you get married? Like you, for example — you got married just a few weeks after this bachelor party. So what do you take away from this advice?
You don’t have to travel the world per se, you can go on mini road trips or vacations. I do think your true self comes out when you’re traveling. My wife and I have done some traveling, it’s definitely a good way to make sure that you’re a good match.
So while you were partying with Bill Murray, your wife was at her bachelorette weekend in Nashville. Did she have any equally exciting experiences?
I don’t think they saw any celebrities. They listened to some good country music. But there was no Bill Murray.
How did the video go viral?
When we got back after the weekend, we sent the video to Deadspin. I don’t think any of us thought it would turn into as big of a deal as it did.
I had a surreal couple days, getting phone calls from CNN, BBC, I did an interview for Rolling Stone that just came out in most recent issue — i never thought that my bachelor party would garner that much attention.
So tell us a little bit about your start-up.
Kinglet is an online marketplace that helps small businesses find office space. The idea originated from our own experience struggling to find office space as a small business. We have a real estate background, and even then it was a real struggle. We thought, if we can’t figure out how to do it, other people who aren’t in real estate are definitely having a hard time. It’s nice, because we get to see both sides of the equation. We’re a start-up but we’re helping other start-ups.
We’re located in Federal Hill, and we launched on September 9th — so just over 6 weeks ago. At this point, we’re hustling and getting some great traction.
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