Bill Murray, after bagels and tequila, defends Miley Cyrus, in first-ever Comic-Con appearance

"Some of the best parties I've ever been to were with nerds" - Bill Murray, bringing the party to Comic-Con

For the thousands of fans who lined up for hours to get into the first film presentation of this year's Comic-Con International, getting to see comic legend Bill Murray in a rare public appearance was (to quote "Caddyshack") a Cinderella story.

Making his debut at Comic-Con, the actor, decked out in sunglasses and a bandanna, high-fived audience members as he walked to the stage to the strains of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water." Murray was on hand to promote his upcoming comedy "Rock the Kasbah," in theaters Oct. 23, in which he plays a washed-up rock promoter who becomes stranded in Afghanistan.

In an unsurprisingly loose presentation, the actor — who said he had started his morning with "some bagels and some tequila" — touched on everything from what it was like to shoot in Morocco ("They're gentle, lovely people") to the debate over the Confederate flag ("The world is changing") to "Ghostbusters."

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“Well, once upon a time, I did save the city of New York," Murray said in a nod to the 1984 comedy when asked about his favorite role. "And I had the coolest damn car to drive around Manhattan.”

At one point, Murray charmed the crowd with an anecdote about how actor Bruce Willis had been a page in the early years of "Saturday Night Live": "His job was to refill the M&M and peanut bowls in the actors’ dressing rooms," he said. "Years later, after a few tequilas, he said, ‘Only you and Gilda [Radner] were nice to me.’ ”

But the biggest surprise of the hourlong presentation may have come when Murray offered a spirited defense of Miley Cyrus, who taped an appearance on Murray's upcoming Netflix Christmas special.

"I’m gonna say this officially: Miley Cyrus is good," he said. "I thought she was a knucklehead crazy girl, the kind of girl you’d want to go on a road trip with. But she can really sing... I don’t wanna hear any bad rapping on Miley Cyrus.”

Not surprisingly, the crowd showered Murray with love throughout – and Murray reciprocated, albeit in his own Murray-esque way.

"Some of the best parties I've ever been to," he said, "were with really insane nerds." 

Twitter: @joshrottenberg 

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