Ghosts of Ghostbusters: Harold Ramis

By Jared Young

Mailed on August 29, 2014

Dear Harold Ramis
Writer and Actor

Dear Harold,

You’re in the bottom half of the Ghostbusters hierarchy. Murray and Ackroyd are the names and faces everyone remembers—Murray for his half-there, in-on-the-joke performance as Peter Venkman; Ackroyd for his weird real-life parallelism with his supernatural conspiracy-theorist character Ray Stanz. But that was the place you seemed most comfortable; to operate quietly at the periphery.

Like the entire generation of kids born in the late 70s and early 80s, Ghostbusters was a seminal cultural product for me: I wore out my Betamax copy of the movie, watched the Saturday morning cartoon religiously, and collected the toys (the one action figure that I owned: Egon Spengler [with Gulper Ghost]). But I came to appreciate your contribution to the film primarily through your other work; most notably the early years of SCTV. You started out in front of the camera, and while you created a handful of memorable characters (like Moe Green and Curtis Edgit: Plainclothes Mountie), it was clear that your true talents lay elsewhere.

The generosity of spirit to bring out the best in others is an underrated virtue—especially in a place like Hollywood. While Murray and Ackroyd and Reitman get much of the credit, the simple fact is: there would be no Ghostbusters without you. And it’s not because your performance as Egon is singular, and not necessarily because of what you contributed to the screenplay. It’s because your presence allowed those around you to flourish. It was true back in the Toronto studios of SCTV, and, if your legion of grateful collaborators are to be believed, true on the set of every film you worked on.



comments powered by Disqus
(% endraw %}