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February 24, 2014 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Harold Ramis, SCTV alumni, Ghostbuster, and director of films such as Caddyshack and Groundhog Day (previously discussed on the blue here and here, among other moments), passed away this morning at 69.
posted by mightygodking (351 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by andromache at 9:24 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Egon was my favorite Ghostbuster as a kid and I've gotten countless hours of enjoyment out of his work. He seemed like a truly lovely human being to boot.

RIP :(
posted by sparkletone at 9:25 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Drs. Venkman and Stantz, please make sure that you don't catch your late colleague Dr. Spengler by mistake.

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posted by Halloween Jack at 9:25 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


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posted by maryr at 9:25 AM on February 24


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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:25 AM on February 24


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posted by Cash4Lead at 9:26 AM on February 24


"Print is dead." -Egon Spengler
"Egon Spengler is dead." -Print


This is way lame and way too early.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:26 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


oh my god
posted by Think_Long at 9:27 AM on February 24


[Egon pulls out a calculator and starts punching in numbers. Peter slaps the machine out of Egon's hand.]

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posted by Fizz at 9:27 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


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posted by Hildegarde at 9:28 AM on February 24


What a tremendous loss. Harold Ramis was pretty much the comedy writer that had the most influence on my comedy tastes, having come of age during his heyday.

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posted by Windopaene at 9:28 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Oh no Egon.

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posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on February 24


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posted by pinacotheca at 9:29 AM on February 24


He did so so so much to forge our modern comic sensibility.

He wrote:
Ghostbusters
Stripes
Caddyshack
Meatballs
Animal House

He directed:
Groundhog Day
National Lampoon's Vacation
Caddyshack

And those are just the highest points. Even just his work on SCTV ensured him a place in the comedy Pantheon. Such a huge loss.


posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:30 AM on February 24 [67 favorites]


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posted by gwint at 9:30 AM on February 24


I was happy to read at the end of the Chicago Tribune obit that Ramis did see Bill Murray again before he died. I don't really know why I find that comforting, but I do.

(He was my favorite Ghostbuster too.)
posted by gladly at 9:31 AM on February 24 [25 favorites]


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posted by Going To Maine at 9:31 AM on February 24


See you on the other side, Egon.
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posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 9:32 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


This is terrible news. Even his early SCTV stuff was brilliant.

One of my favorites: Plainclothes Mountie.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:32 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Awww no
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:33 AM on February 24


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Oh my god.
posted by Iridic at 9:33 AM on February 24


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posted by djeo at 9:33 AM on February 24


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I recently read an interview with him in And Here's the Kicker. He was an wonderful filmmaker and actor and, like Senor Cardage pointed out, has an outsized role in comedy writing for the screen.
posted by griphus at 9:33 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by ambrosia at 9:34 AM on February 24


God dammit, this hit me out of nowhere. His work is a gigantic chunk of my brain.

I still think the Guts magazine cover with him on it is the single funniest thing in all of western civilization.
posted by COBRA! at 9:35 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


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posted by getawaysticks at 9:35 AM on February 24


Son of bitch. Shit.
posted by COBRA! at 9:36 AM on February 24 [28 favorites]


I am saddened beyond the capacity for rational thought.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:36 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]


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posted by newdaddy at 9:36 AM on February 24


I"ll just leave this here.

thanks, harold
posted by Ironmouth at 9:37 AM on February 24 [11 favorites]


Wait, what? Harold... wait, no. What the actual fuck.

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posted by Etrigan at 9:37 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by whuppy at 9:37 AM on February 24


He added greatly to my teen/20s movie-going experience. (I'm stunned he was 69!)

I'm sure Groundhog Day would be in my top 25, if I ever made a top 25 list.

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posted by MoxieProxy at 9:37 AM on February 24


:/ Was just watching Ghost Busters last night.

Officer Friendly

A Fistful of Ugly

S&M Airlines

posted by edgeways at 9:37 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I know how long he's been in the business, so its shouldn't shock me that he was nearly 70 but my brain just can't process that.
His career was this massive iceberg that most people are only really aware of the very tip of. Without Ramis, what we consider American comedy in the last 25 years would have been hugely, starkly different.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:38 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


"Ramis also left behind a reputation as a mensch and all-around good guy."

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posted by benito.strauss at 9:38 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


aw, man.

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posted by dnash at 9:38 AM on February 24


On the bright side, there's at least a chance that his death will prevent Ghostbusters 3 from happening, saving us all the disappointment and distress.
posted by Copronymus at 9:38 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by Navelgazer at 9:39 AM on February 24


I read the Tribune obit and as noted above, it mentioned that Bill Murray did come visit him before he died. It mentions an estrangement. Does anyone know what caused the rift?

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posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:39 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Damn. Truly an American comedy genius. And too young, too.
posted by norm at 9:39 AM on February 24


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posted by doctor_negative at 9:39 AM on February 24


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posted by Mittenz at 9:39 AM on February 24




Aw, man...I was still holding out hope for Murray to just say "fuck it" and Ghostbusters 3 would be back on.

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posted by zombieflanders at 9:42 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


"Then put your little hand in mine
There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb..."
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:42 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


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posted by kewb at 9:44 AM on February 24


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posted by rogueepicurean at 9:44 AM on February 24


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posted by MelanieL at 9:45 AM on February 24


The groundhog gave us no warning whatsoever about this.

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posted by Strange Interlude at 9:45 AM on February 24


Damn.

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posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:45 AM on February 24


awww, crap.

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posted by theora55 at 9:46 AM on February 24


Oh my god.

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posted by Room 641-A at 9:46 AM on February 24


NO.

This just...

no.


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dammit.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:46 AM on February 24


I read the Tribune obit and as noted above, it mentioned that Bill Murray did come visit him before he died. It mentions an estrangement. Does anyone know what caused the rift?

Allegedly, they had different ideas about Groundhog Day, which Murray wanted to be more philosophical and Ramis wanted to be more comedic. Neither really talked about the reasons, but their working relationship definitely cooled after that film.
posted by Etrigan at 9:46 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Filmmaker Dan Mirvish was able to wrangle an informational interview with Ramis when he was making his college thesis film, omaha (the movie). Marvish asked Ramis if there was one piece of advice he could give that would grantee his film would be better.

"Put Bill Murray in it," Ramis said.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:46 AM on February 24 [23 favorites]


When you get to Heaven, tell 'em about the Twinkie.

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posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:46 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


It mentions an estrangement. Does anyone know what caused the rift?

Neither of them ever talk about it, although Ramis acknowledged it was over artistic differences during Groundhog Day. From everything I've read, it sounds like they had some problems about it and just never really talked again. Ramis made it clear a few times that he doesn't really remember what it was about and that he's not holding a grudge. Murray I don't think has ever talked about it.

If Murray did visit him, that's rather wonderful, considering it had been over 20 years since they last spoke.
posted by griphus at 9:47 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I remember my university professor, for film studies, had Ramis as a student and they despised each other. No doubt having a different sense of humour. Had no idea he had so many health issues.
posted by juiceCake at 9:47 AM on February 24


A hidden Harold Ramis gem is The Ice Harvest With John Cusack and Billy Bob Thorton. Makes a great Christmas double-header with In Bruges. But tonight it's teaming up with Ghostbusters.

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posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:47 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


The evil people that die must shroud their departing with fleshbound tomes off in a forest somewhere, because the list of Crappy Human Beings that Should Have Left Us Already is already up to 100 people and that's just to balance out Philip Seymour Hoffman's early exit.

I cannot stand this awful year and the huge chunks it's taking out of the culture.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:47 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Shit shit shit.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:49 AM on February 24


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posted by Sara C. at 9:49 AM on February 24


Damn.
posted by jquinby at 9:49 AM on February 24


Carol Connelly: Fucking H.M.O. bastard pieces of shit!
Beverly Connelly: Carol!
Carol Connelly: Sorry.
Dr. Martin Bettes: It's okay. Actually, I think that's their technical name.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:50 AM on February 24 [11 favorites]



posted by Marky at 9:51 AM on February 24


Oh, man...

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posted by brundlefly at 9:51 AM on February 24


ah, fuck.
posted by Naberius at 9:51 AM on February 24


Terrible.

. for Ramis and his family and friends.
. for modern culture.
. for Comedy.

Ramis insured his place in the list of all time comedy greats about 10 times over in his career. What a bummer.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:52 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Harold Ramis was the first person I ever interviewed, when he came to U.Va. for the Film Festival in 2005 to premiere The Ice Harvest. I threw it out to the organizers as a lark, thinking that he would be too busy to meet with me, but a few days later I got the call that he would be available later that day. So I skipped all my classes to prepare for the interview, went in super-nervous, and came out with a fairly servicable piece that was funny and showed off how gracious Ramis was, even to a snot-nosed college junior who had rushed the preparation for the interview. (He started out the interview by saying that he had started by doing celebrity interviews, too).

After the interview, we went to a late showing of Groundhog Day, and towards the end of the movie my (now) wife and I heard a voice behind us: "This shot, that's fake snow. Here, that's real snow." We were wondering who could possibly be that knowledgeable about the movie, but when the lights came up, Harold was there--having slipped in towards the end of the second act.

So long, Harold, and thanks again for being so kind to me as I was starting out.

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posted by thecaddy at 9:53 AM on February 24 [60 favorites]


I hate getting older. It's so shocking to hear of deaths when the departed is someone you thought of as your own, rather than just an old person.

Mr. Ramis, I can't begin to list all the ways you've made my life more enjoyable.

Thanks.

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posted by Ickster at 9:54 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Well, fuck.
posted by Madamina at 9:54 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]




Goddamn.

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posted by halcyonday at 9:55 AM on February 24


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Rewatching Ghostbusters tonight.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:56 AM on February 24


He also got the best line as the doctor in "As Good As It Gets":

Carol Connelly: Fucking H.M.O. bastard pieces of shit!
Beverly Connelly: Carol!
Carol Connelly: Sorry.
Dr. Martin Bettes: It's okay. Actually, I think that's their technical name.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:57 AM on February 24


What a blow to lose him, and what a gift to have had him in the first place. He was a giant, but a quiet giant: happily constructing a whole new vein of classic movies and reshaping the landscape of comedy while standing calmly out of the spotlight, making Chevy Chase look good (and Bill Murray look even better).

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posted by Elsa at 9:57 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Aw shit. Far, far too soon. He was brilliant. Ramis was responsible for so many wonderfully hilarious movies. And he had a role in one of my favorites: Stealing Home.

Requiscat in pace, Egon. :(
posted by zarq at 9:59 AM on February 24


He's remembered as being behind (and sometimes in) some of the best comedies ever made, and for being a great and loving person. Great both as an artist and as a person. What better way could you be remembered?

Rest well and well away from any psychokinetic slime.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:59 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Dammit. A true giant in comedy.

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posted by cazoo at 9:59 AM on February 24


He's in a better place, straightening parts of slinkies.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:00 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


I knew something was wrong this whole morning. Now I know. The world is now just that bit less funny than it was before.

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posted by Hamusutaa at 10:00 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Damn it, damn it, damn it....
Safe travels Harold.

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posted by BigHeartedGuy at 10:00 AM on February 24


So long, Harold, and thank you. Say hi to John Candy for us.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:00 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]


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groundhog day :-(
posted by j_curiouser at 10:00 AM on February 24


even to a snot-nosed college junior who had rushed the preparation for the interview.

Third year.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:01 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


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posted by Sys Rq at 10:02 AM on February 24


Damn.

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posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:02 AM on February 24


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I'll preach to anyone that will listen that Groundhog Day is one of the greatest films of all time.
posted by borkencode at 10:02 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Damn. I just watched Ghostbusters II on Tv a few weeks ago.

May you march in cadence to Doo Wah Diddy Diddy for eternity, funnyman.
posted by jonmc at 10:03 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


I cannot remember Harold Ramis without going back to this clip from the start of Stripes, which my ESL immigrant father thought was the most hilarious thing of all time.

Gets me every time.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:03 AM on February 24 [14 favorites]


Harold Ramis ✖
Roger Ebert ✖
Dorris Lessing ✖
Nora Ephron ✖
Lou Reed ✖
Nelson Mandela ✖
Miley Cyrus
Justin Bieber

I hate society.
posted by Fizz at 10:06 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Shocked.

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posted by ipe at 10:06 AM on February 24


Because you were the one who talked me into doing this, that's why!!

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posted by Melismata at 10:06 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


This just sucks so hard.

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posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:07 AM on February 24


"Ramis also left behind a reputation as a mensch and all-around good guy."

and he never hit anyone in anger unless he was absolutely sure he could get away with it
posted by any major dude at 10:07 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


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posted by jason_steakums at 10:10 AM on February 24


Oh, and from the article:

with "Groundhog Day" acquiring almost instant classic status upon its 1993 release

I distinctly remember it getting mediocre reviews and box office receipts when it was released. Not sure when/how it became a classic. Originally 3 stars from Ebert, who then later in 2005 included it in his "Great Movies" section.
posted by Melismata at 10:10 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


I'd hoped for another legendary movie from him (hopefully with Aykroyd and Murray, but it didn't have to have them, necessarily), but I guess everyone hopes that the heroes and heroines of their childhood will rise up once more and show the next generation how it's supposed to be done. Perhaps a part of getting older is realizing that doesn't happen very often.

Good journey to you, Harold. You made my life better.
posted by Mooski at 10:11 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


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posted by infinitewindow at 10:12 AM on February 24


I have nothing funny to say.

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posted by Faint of Butt at 10:12 AM on February 24


I like and fully agree with the comparison of Ramis' career to an iceberg that has 90% of its mass hidden below the waterline. Any fair accounting of the guy's body of work would have to accord him a place as one of the architects of modern comedy. That he wasn't also a huge, huge celebrity is probably down to fact that he was more of a writer and director than a peformer, and performers of course by their very nature are more prominent, easier to idolize. As well, when he did perform, it was most often in ensemble pieces, or as a supporting actor, provided the scaffolding for the performances of more energetic or charismatic performers.

Now, I think that's all true, or I wouldn't have wrote it. But damn, does this kind assessment ever need some powerful modulation to make sure that all the nuance gets through. First off: saying that a guy is less of an actor than he is a writer or director risks sounding like one is making a dig at bad acting. And that's what it would be if I were talking about, say, Quentin Tarantino. But in Ramis' case, he was only "less" of actor because his writing and directing were damn near impeccable. In terms of actually generating laughs while performing on screen or on stage, though, the guy still probably rates in the 90th percentile of all time, and made it look easy.

And similarly with saying that his acting work seemed less flashy alongside other "more charismatic" performers. If the worst that anybody can say about you is that you seemed "less flashy" while holding your comedy own alongside Bill Murray, John Belushi, Dan Acroyd, or shit, any of the cast of "SCTV", that makes you a fucking legend, somebody that people who aspire to comedy should be studying like the Rosetta Stone.

"Stripes" is not by any means a perfect movie. It's got some well documented problems in the third act when it turns into a sketch about invading Czechoslovakia. But next time you've got a copy of the movie at hand, watch the little 30 second scene in which Bill Murray and Ramis are guarding the ridiculous military RV in the hangar, and Murray floats the idea of stealing it. The chemistry in that scene, or in any of their scenese together in "Stripes", is off the charts. Also check out the early scene where John Candy is introducing himself to the platoon, and Ramis just sits next to him and reacts. Amazing.

And "Groundhog Day" is the guy's masterpiece, his ticket to immortality. I've always been saddened but not surprised that it was the film that broke his ongoing collaboration with Murray. It's greatness seems to be rooted in the conflict between the impulse to be funny and the impulse to be profound.
posted by Ipsifendus at 10:13 AM on February 24 [36 favorites]


Originally 3 stars from Ebert, who then later in 2005 included it in his "Great Movies" section.

Ironically (or appropriately) it's a movie that gets better when you watch it over and over again.

Sad news, RIP.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:14 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


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posted by JoeZydeco at 10:14 AM on February 24


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posted by annsunny at 10:16 AM on February 24


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posted by montag2k at 10:17 AM on February 24


I think the maturing of Murray's talent and his late renaissance caused a lot of people to re-evaluate Groundhog Day and found a touching, intelligent masterpiece masquerading as light comedy. The anti-Stoppard.
posted by fullerine at 10:17 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


This just sucks.

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posted by pjern at 10:20 AM on February 24


Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters and Animal House and Caddyshack and Vacation and Stripes and SCTV and heck, even Back to School and Analyze This...good lord.

He'll be sorely missed, but he also contributed more to comedy than many many great comedians. I hope he enjoyed his later years because damn did he earn it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:21 AM on February 24


I was five, maybe six years old when we got our first VCR. This massive, whirring, steam operated contraption that my Dad put on the shelf above the TV. My aunt had been taping movies off HBO and sent us a couple of her collections, four tapes worth maybe. I'd seen audio cassettes before but these movie tapes were huge! The first tape my Dad put on that night wound up being the one my brothers and I would watch on a perpetual loop for years: The tape with Enemy Mine, the Empire Strikes back, Bill Cosby: Himself and, right at the start, Ghostbusters.

I would straight up be a different person today if I hadn't watched Ghostbusters a few hundred times growing up. Or Groundhog Day a few dozen throughout high school. Or Caddyshack basically every time I encounter it flipping through channels.

There are creative people out there who work their asses off their whole lives just hoping they've got one Caddyshack or Groundhog Day or Ghostbusters in them. I'd warrant that when most Americans sit down to list their desert island / nuclear fallout shelter movie collections, Ramis' work is represented on most of those lists if they like comedy at all.

Thanks for defining a genre and teaching a couple generations how jokes work, Harold. You were an absolute national treasure.

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posted by EatTheWeak at 10:25 AM on February 24 [12 favorites]


I can't find an original source for this, but it's on a ton of "quote" websites.

Ramis: "If people work together, if they can keep a cooperative spirit and use their ingenuity and balance it all with good humor and good will, then there's nothing to be afraid of. That's the sappy part of it, ... On the other hand, every Halloween for many years when my kids were trick-or-treating I would put on my 'Ghostbusters' jumpsuit with a police flashlight to protect all the kids from ghosts."
posted by zarq at 10:25 AM on February 24 [29 favorites]


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posted by kjh at 10:26 AM on February 24


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posted by Kabanos at 10:26 AM on February 24


dammit.


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posted by Thorzdad at 10:26 AM on February 24


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posted by boofidies at 10:28 AM on February 24


A nine-minute segment from my favorite Ramis interview. Elsewhere in the interview (which I cannot find another link for) he mentions that in school he wasn't the class clown, he wrote for the class clown (whispering in his ear and watching the crowd's reaction).

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posted by 1367 at 10:28 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


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posted by lord_wolf at 10:29 AM on February 24


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posted by jabo at 10:30 AM on February 24


The tape with Enemy Mine, the Empire Strikes back, Bill Cosby: Himself and, right at the start, Ghostbusters.

That tape might be the most perfectly 1980s object that will ever exist.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:32 AM on February 24 [26 favorites]


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posted by graymouser at 10:32 AM on February 24


every Halloween for many years when my kids were trick-or-treating I would put on my 'Ghostbusters' jumpsuit with a police flashlight to protect all the kids from ghosts

AAAAAAAA CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE IF YOUR DAD WAS AN ACTUAL BUSTER OF GHOSTS?????????

sorry

that just thrills me for some reason
posted by Sara C. at 10:35 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


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posted by tonycpsu at 10:36 AM on February 24


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posted by ZeusHumms at 10:37 AM on February 24


Actual gasp upon hearing this. Jesus.

I guess he's been ill for a while, but somehow this still felt like the Midwest version of how I imagined Philip Seymour Hoffman's passing felt to those who saw him on the streets of New York (even though I only saw him in real life once and it was at a film event) and comes far too soon after the former.

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posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:40 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


What? NO!

Oh hell... my day has officially been ruined.
posted by gern at 10:42 AM on February 24


Harold, when you get wherever you're going, don't forget to tell 'em you're a god.

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posted by Foosnark at 10:43 AM on February 24 [18 favorites]


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posted by Blienmeis at 10:44 AM on February 24


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Wow, sad and surprising. I'll always remember him as Moe Green from SCTV.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 10:45 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


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posted by sidesh0w at 10:48 AM on February 24


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posted by nikitabot at 10:48 AM on February 24


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posted by koucha at 10:49 AM on February 24


Too young.

Dear hollywood, please DON'T take this as an opportunity to remake or, god help us, "reboot" any of these classics.
posted by Poldo at 10:56 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Godspeed, Moe Green.
posted by rocket88 at 10:57 AM on February 24


While we're praising him, Year One was pretty damn funny and overlooked recently.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:58 AM on February 24


I used to be married back in my early 20's, and before the wedding when we were waiting for things to start, the groomsmen and I were in a back room watching Ghostbusters. We got our cue to go out during the very end of the movie, and it was very, very tempting to ask for five more minutes to finish it before starting the ceremony, damn the consequences.

Ghostbusters is one of the few obsessions from my childhood that still holds up, no question. And it got its hooks into you deep as a kid, too, with the cartoon and toys. There was always a running argument among my friends about which toys you backed (until TMNT came along and became everyone's obsession). And at the time I was firmly on Team Ghostbusters, and GI Joe, Mask, He-Man, ThunderCats, even Transformers could go jump in a lake (although SilverHawks and Centurions - you were cool, and you could stay).
posted by jason_steakums at 11:02 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


This sucks.

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posted by mosk at 11:02 AM on February 24


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posted by me3dia at 11:03 AM on February 24


In his acting roles he always seemed to be either smiling or suppressing a smile. That's a good way to be.

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posted by Knappster at 11:05 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


And it got its hooks into you deep as a kid, too, with the cartoon and toys.

This is probably not the appropriate forum to wonder why Egon in the cartoons was blond.
posted by Sara C. at 11:06 AM on February 24


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posted by GrapeApiary at 11:07 AM on February 24


In elementary school one of my friends had All Of The Ghostbusters as her imaginary friends.

I was super jealous. ALL of them? How can you claim 100% of the Ghostbusters as your personal imaginary entourage?
posted by Sara C. at 11:07 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


Aside from him being, y'know, amazing, I grew up near him and his family. They always gave out good Halloween candy.

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posted by clockbound at 11:08 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


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posted by valkane at 11:09 AM on February 24


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Guess he can still work on that collection of spores, molds and fungi
posted by Renoroc at 11:09 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Thanks for Groundhog Day, Harold. And for everything else, too.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:10 AM on February 24


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posted by jwhite1979 at 11:10 AM on February 24


Aw no, really? Sheesh. I used to watch Harold Ramis on SCTV reruns when I was a kid...it's only now that I realize how strongly those actors/that show influenced my sense of humour.

And I loved Groundhog Day. I had no idea he and Bill Murray had a falling-out over it, and I'm glad Murray came to see him before he died.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:11 AM on February 24


jason_steakums, that was very much my experience. Ghostbusters is the first movie I remember seeing in a theater (at a drive-in, actually I believe in double-feature with The Great Mouse Detective), and I fell in love immediately. The history of me and licensed toys goes Ghostbusters->TMNT->too old for that sort of thing.


This is probably not the appropriate forum to wonder why Egon in the cartoons was blond.

I'd bet money they gave them different hair colors to make them more visually distinctive. This is also why Ray has a reddish tint.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:13 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


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posted by drezdn at 11:15 AM on February 24


Well, shit.

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posted by wiskunde at 11:16 AM on February 24


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posted by X-Himy at 11:18 AM on February 24


The really cool thing about Ghostbusters as a kid is that the Ghostbusters are just big children in a world full of stuffy, cynical adults - and then when the adults get scared of ghosts (who are totally kids' conceptions of monsters - Slimer, Stay Puft, big angry dog things, or embodiments of authoritative adults like the librarian and Vigo), the kids are all "it's okay, nothing to be afraid of, I've got this - I'll just use my proton pack!" which is such a five-year-old's idea of an invention, a laser gun that traps ghosts.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:18 AM on February 24 [37 favorites]


Here's the Tad Friend profile of Ramis mentioned upthread, which offers a great look at the how and why Ramis' movies have stayed funny for all these many years. This is the Byliner version of Tad's piece, which means that Tad actually gets paid when you read it.
posted by Scoop at 11:19 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Ghostbusters shaped me into the proto-geek that became what I am today. Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Ramis.
posted by alvarete at 11:21 AM on February 24


You will be missed. He left us so much. I'd like to think he's somewhere trying to tell us all not to take it so hard. In fact, maybe he said that a long time ago -
Moe Green: "So You're Dead, Now What?"
posted by Muddler at 11:24 AM on February 24


BEST OF CADDYSHACK

'Nuff said.

*
posted by Mike Mongo at 11:28 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I was just like, what the hell? How young was he? Ghostbusters was just ... 30 years ago. Okay, fine, 69 is still too young.

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posted by ZeroAmbition at 11:28 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I was going to suggest that people find his interview on the Kevin Pollak Chat Show. But then I realized that hed never actually been on -- he'd only been mentioned by Ivan Reitman and John Landis and others, that I just naturally assumed he'd already been a guest. *sigh*

Plus in Ghostbusters, he was THE perfect straight man that all of the others used to set up their jokes: truly that much self-sacrifice was a noble calling. :7)

Thanks for all the laughs, Ivan.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:33 AM on February 24


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posted by pb at 11:33 AM on February 24


Such a loss.

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posted by rmd1023 at 11:36 AM on February 24


.

I cried.
posted by limeonaire at 11:38 AM on February 24


I'm having a hard time believing SCTV started so long ago and I'm having a harder time believing Harold Ramis is dead. Get up, Harold. That's not your shtick.
posted by pracowity at 11:41 AM on February 24


He was a master of his craft. I could watch Groundhog Day again and again, which I guess is kind of how it's meant to be seen.

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posted by Ber at 11:42 AM on February 24


When Dave released his Staypuft jersey, I bought one and had it made with the name "SPENGLER" on the back. When I was talking about it with a friend of mine who wanted to know why I didn't pick a different name, I said it was because I identified more with Ramis' character.

In the director's commentary on the Ghostbusters DVD, Ramis talks about how he kept looking down in this scene in order to make sure he was right on his mark, which made me think that he was a lot more Egon than he let on.
posted by plinth at 11:43 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


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posted by Smart Dalek at 11:43 AM on February 24


I may have said this on Metafilter before, but my TiVo knows me well enough that it records Ghostbusters as a suggestion every time it is on during the weekend. This is wonderful but also horrible because if it is sitting there on my DVR on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I MUST WATCH IT.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:45 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Ramis is an icon and a genius for many things, but for some reason I have always thought of him in this scene with John Candy from Stripes. It's Candy's scene, but Ramis leavens it very nicely with wordless mugging.

A great loss.

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posted by artlung at 11:49 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


The world needs more Harold Ramis', not less.

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posted by chemoboy at 11:52 AM on February 24


Fuck. Shit. No.

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posted by Splunge at 11:58 AM on February 24


The interplay between Ramis, Aykroyd and Murray basically shaped my sense of humor; Ghostbusters is my favorite movie ever.

Make sure you watch it in widescreen so you can see Ramis feeding Murray numbers when they're bargaining with the hotel manager.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:00 PM on February 24 [15 favorites]


I remember going to see Ghostbusters in the theater with my parents as a kid; one of the few movies that we all agreed was great.

Very sad to see this news today. What a legacy he leaves behind.



the Ghostbusters are just big children in a world full of stuffy, cynical adults - and then when the adults get scared of ghosts ... the kids are all "it's okay, nothing to be afraid of, I've got this - I'll just use my proton pack!" which is such a five-year-old's idea of an invention, a laser gun that traps ghosts.

I played literally this exact game with my little nephews the other week. They named themselves Ghost Getters, and they came up with the idea of using a turkey baster to suck up the ghosts, and a little box as a containment unit.

(They haven't heard of Ghostbusters yet, and man is it gonna blow their minds in a couple years.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:01 PM on February 24 [21 favorites]


plinth, that bit is so clearly a nudge at SCTV that I'm pretty sure Ramis is looking down on purpose.
posted by Sara C. at 12:03 PM on February 24


Make sure you watch it in widescreen yt so you can see Ramis feeding Murray numbers when they're bargaining with the hotel manager.

I think I've seen Ghostbusters 50 times and I've never caught that before.
posted by COBRA! at 12:06 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


jason_steakums: "The really cool thing about Ghostbusters as a kid is that the Ghostbusters are just big children in a world full of stuffy, cynical adults - and then when the adults get scared of ghosts (who are totally kids' conceptions of monsters - Slimer, Stay Puft, big angry dog things, or embodiments of authoritative adults like the librarian and Vigo), the kids are all "it's okay, nothing to be afraid of, I've got this - I'll just use my proton pack!" which is such a five-year-old's idea of an invention, a laser gun that traps ghosts."

You just blew my mind.
posted by Big_B at 12:11 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by vibrotronica at 12:13 PM on February 24


I was working up my own obit post, but have been beaten to the punch. I'll just leave this clip I found of Harold on SCTV here, because it just feels so bang on.


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posted by nubs at 12:14 PM on February 24


There's gotta be a way to reverse the process.

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posted by weston at 12:19 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


This one really hurt for me. Very few comics manage to combine outright goofiness with so much obvious intelligence - I always felt like he was telling a meta-joke beyond the words he was actually saying. Master of the thinking man's fart-joke.

I was looking for an excuse to buy this lego set, now I guess I've got one. Not the way I would have picked, though.

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posted by Mchelly at 12:24 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Ramis intended for Groundhog Day to age so well with repeated viewings. For a film that focus on the same events over and over again, it's amazing how much more I can pick out having seen it a few times.

It's a pity that it caused a rift between him and Murray given that the creative tension between them seems to have achieve both of their desired results: It's both funny and philosophical, and it's a perfect role for Murray. So much of his humour is understated, and he shows some legit pathos. They created something brilliant together that feels like a genuine collaboration of their best traits.

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posted by dry white toast at 12:27 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


That Tad Friend piece is a great read and an awesome tribute to Ramis' talent.

Plus, it has probably the best line I've read on the web all year so far:

"Ramis called a local clown named Corky, who had a sideline in LSD rescue..."
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:28 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


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posted by psolo at 12:30 PM on February 24


I wish this was not a fact, Jack.

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posted by tommasz at 12:31 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


… I have got to get better at realizing whose work has had a profound effect on my life before they die, so I can thank them. It wasn't until hearing the news this noon that I thought about Groundhog Day serving as an unlikely companion to me in a time of grief. Now I'll never have a chance to send Harold Ramis the letter of thanks he so deserved.

I won't say Groundhog Day saved my life. Not exactly. But it saw me through a hard time, day after day, hour after hour, minute by minute.
posted by Elsa at 12:38 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


My husband got a chance to give him a behind the scenes tour at the Field Museum. He said he was a very kind and gracious person. He will be missed.
posted by stormpooper at 12:40 PM on February 24


GOD DAMN IT HE TOLD YOU NOT TO LOOK AT THE TRAP
posted by disconnect at 12:42 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by Sophie1 at 12:44 PM on February 24




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posted by no relation at 1:00 PM on February 24


Egon was my favorite Ghostbuster, the Nerd's Nerd, the guy you looked to for calm, cool, and collected when the shit was hitting the fan. And that voice!

My heart hurts. Sleep sweet, Harold, and thank you for sharing your talent with us.

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posted by MissySedai at 1:03 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


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posted by condour75 at 1:04 PM on February 24


Find SCTV's "The Grapes of Mud"
posted by judson at 1:04 PM on February 24


Thanks for the laughter Mr. Ramis. You'll be missed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:12 PM on February 24


He also cowrote Meatballs, which was a seminal movie for me. If this isn't hands-down the best motivational speech for underdogs ever written, I don't know what is. (and yes I am including Ramis's other masterpiece "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" in that group).
posted by Mchelly at 1:14 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


He also cowrote Meatballs

Interesting, because I wanted to throw up The State and successor project Wet Hot American Summer as obvious descendants from Ramis' oeuvre, but I couldn't really put my finger on why I thought that aside from "I like SCTV/Ramis stuff and I also like The State and WHAS".

Bingo.
posted by Sara C. at 1:17 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


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posted by Purposeful Grimace at 1:18 PM on February 24


He also apparently directed Club Paradise! Another underrated 80's movie.
posted by Big_B at 1:21 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


The Tad Friend piece linked above has a quote from Harold's father. I was curious about whether Nathan Ramis was still alive, but unfortunately he passed in 2009. Text of his Sun Times obit is archived here.
Director's dad owned grocery store
'He was the most charming, easygoing, funniest, generous person anyone knew,' son says

November 26, 2009
Nathan Ramis, a Chicago grocer turned scrap-metal dealer, kept people laughing all the time.

"He joked right to the end," said his son, comedic film director Harold Ramis. "A doctor asked him: 'If your heart stops, do you want CPR?' and he responded "Why not! It's free, isn't it?' "

Mr. Ramis, 94, died Tuesday after a fall at his Northbrook home.

He was born and raised on the West Side.

Mr. Ramis ran Ace Food & Liquor Mart at Lake and Hoyne for years before moving the store and his family to Rogers Park in 1955.

"The people in the neighborhood called him Mr. Ace," his son said. "I actually sold a pilot idea to NBC once called 'Mr. Ace' It was about a Jewish family-owned grocery store on the West Side in the 1950s, but we never got it off the ground."

To kill downtime at the grocery store, Mr. Ramis bet on sports.

"He'd bet a buck on every single pro football, baseball and basketball game every day," his son said.

Unable to compete with big supermarkets, Mr. Ramis sold the grocery store in the 1960s and got into the scrap-metal business before moving to Northbrook.

"My dad pointed me toward good comedy. . . . He certified the good TV: Jackie Gleason, Rodney Dangerfield, the Marx Brothers," Harold Ramis said. "He was immensely proud, almost insanely proud of what I did. The movie stuff just knocked him out," said Harold Ramis, whose films include "Stripes," "Ghostbusters" and "Caddyshack."

Ramis said his father didn't graduate from high school.

"His family was poor," he said. "He had to work. So he joined President [Franklin] Roosevelt's New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps and lived and worked in national parks."

During World War II, Mr. Ramis worked in an assembly plant that made the nose section for B-29 bombers.

Mr. Ramis had been healthy for years.

"He's never been sick," his son said. "Never went to doctors. Never took medication -- and lived very independently until the end. He never used a walker even.

"He was the most charming, easygoing, funniest, generous person anyone knew. He was very laid-back, never yelled or got angry, and was an avid reader. He read three novels a week and both Chicago papers every day.

Like father, like son.
posted by zarq at 1:29 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


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posted by solotoro at 1:32 PM on February 24


Don't forget Ramis's work on the underrated Ghostbusters: The Video Game from 2009. It may as well be the third film. It's set in 1991 and the script was written by Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, plus they reprise their characters along with Ernie Hudson and, yes, even Bill Murray is back as Venkman. The story ties together the events of the first two films and elaborates on a few details. Gozer is looming in the background and Vigo's source of psychokinetic slime is revealed. You can even fight a sloar! Someone edited the game into a feature movie. After you watch Ghostbusters tonight, give this one a look.
posted by Servo5678 at 1:38 PM on February 24 [20 favorites]


I made this a few months ago: 11 Reasons Why Egon is Clearly the Best Ghostbuster

I really liked Ramis. He was charming in a wonky way. Sigh.
posted by kat518 at 1:39 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


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posted by Zonker at 1:42 PM on February 24


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posted by disclaimer at 1:43 PM on February 24


.~~~~~~~~~~
posted by klangklangston at 1:47 PM on February 24


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posted by angelchrys at 1:47 PM on February 24


There was one?
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 2:00 PM on February 24


Over 200 comments in and no one has mentioned "Orange County"?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hJlwQwwCGk
posted by spock at 2:01 PM on February 24


Is the answer Ghostbusters 2?

. Very, very big .
posted by Gronk at 2:03 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by Athanassiel at 2:06 PM on February 24


Well, let’s say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of feels in the MetaFilter area. According to this morning’s sample it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long weighing approximately six-hundred pounds.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:12 PM on February 24 [9 favorites]


That's a big Twinkie.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 2:14 PM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Dang, he was 69? I had no idea. Tragic comedy loss, especially to Hollywood's writing community :(

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posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:14 PM on February 24


If you'd like some insight into how laborious it was to film Groundhog Day, Stephen Tobolowsky (a.k.a. "Ned Ryerson") talks about it in some depth on his podcast. Everything shot outside had to have consistent weather and look the same, but Ramis didn't know what weather he was going to use for the final product, so every outdoor scene was shot multiple times in all weather conditions. There were no days off in between.
posted by Alison at 2:18 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


My longtime college roommate and co-movie reviewer for the school paper and I had a long running argument over the scene where Janine flirts with Egon. He insisted that Egon was totally uninterested, and totally ignoring her. To him, Egon's line was "the printer's dead" since he was working on the computer. Aside from knowing it was "Print is dead." as a response to Janine talking about reading a lot, it's just a better joke, which also develops Egon's character.

We're lousy at keeping in touch. I live overseas, he's got a family, and he's not big on email or anything else. I got a one line mail a couple years back from him, the subject was 'you were right' and the entirety of the mail was 'print is dead'

So much of the comedy that I love came from Harold Ramis, and he did a lot to shape what I find funny.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:28 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I really want to sit down with my kid and watch Ghostbusters, which I know he would love, but has some adult humor for an 8-year-old (the ghost seducing Dan Ackroyd, jokes about lacking dicks, etc.) I would almost be willing to go looking for a lame tv-edit version just so we could discuss Gozer the Gozerian.
posted by emjaybee at 2:32 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


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posted by jpziller at 2:37 PM on February 24


Bill Murray's statement on Ramis' death.

godspeed, Spengler.

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posted by echocollate at 2:38 PM on February 24


Whaaaaaa? 8 is exactly the right age for Ghostbusters!

The stuff you mention just went straight over my head as a kid. I think there were some Bad Words, but it's not like I had never heard those before or hearing them once at age 8 turned me into a juvenile delinquent or something. Just show him Ghostbusters!
posted by Sara C. at 2:41 PM on February 24 [20 favorites]


I can’t tell you how many people have told me, “When I go to the movies, I don’t want to think.”

BLVR: Does that offend you as a filmmaker?

HR: It offends me as a human being. Why wouldn’t you want to think? What does that mean? Why not just shoot yourself in the fucking head? Or people’ll say that they don’t want to see any negative emotions. They don’t want to see unpleasantness. I did a comedy with Al Franken about his character Stuart Smalley, which was really about alcoholism and addiction and codependency. It had some painful stuff in it. When we showed it to focus groups, some of them actually said, “If I want to see a dysfunctional family, I’ll stay home.”


- Interview with Harold Ramis (via)
posted by crossoverman at 2:46 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


the ghost seducing Dan Ackroyd

"Seducing" is a very tactful way of describing that scene.
posted by brundlefly at 2:49 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


echocollate: "Bill Murray's statement on Ramis' death."
“Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”
Does this strike anyone else as cold?
posted by zarq at 2:50 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


No, not really. "He earned his keep on this planet" isn't effusive, but it works for me.
posted by maudlin at 2:53 PM on February 24


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posted by one weird trick at 2:55 PM on February 24


It's terse, but I don't think it is cold considering they have not wanted anything to do with one another for 20 years. I'd like to think it means "he achieved his potential" which isn't effusive but it's complimentary without qualification.
posted by griphus at 3:02 PM on February 24


Bill Murray is a complicated person, and his relationship with Ramis was just as complicated. I suspect that his statement was the merest possible tip of the iceberg of emotion that he's going through right now.
posted by Etrigan at 3:03 PM on February 24 [9 favorites]


OK. It just was not what I was expecting.
posted by zarq at 3:08 PM on February 24


Does this strike anyone else as cold?

It does strike me as clipped, possibly cold, but then again, the situation here is a famously eccentric and elusive actor whose close acquaintance with the deceased is two decades of strained silence in the past briefly joining a public conversation which he's probably expected to weigh in on while processing some pretty complex emotions.

I'm not sure what to expect "normal" to sound like under these circumstances. Murray has had his own relationship with Ramis and his work, he should be welcome to his own emotions and expressions.
posted by weston at 3:10 PM on February 24 [13 favorites]


I interpreted Murray's statement as a self-effacing joke. Something like "He had to work with me on these five projects. The poor sap. He earned his money."
posted by vibrotronica at 3:16 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:43 PM on February 24




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posted by Atreides at 3:48 PM on February 24


Ah, that sucks. This one really gets to me. Harold Ramis seemed every bit the nice guy that he was on screen. And Groundhog Day is on my top ten list; it is a genuinely transcendent film.

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posted by zardoz at 3:55 PM on February 24


I distinctly remember [Groundhog Day] getting mediocre reviews and box office receipts when it was released. Not sure when/how it became a classic.

Melismata, it was a number of factors, but largely what has sustained the film has been an audience in spiritual and philosophical teaching syllabi. As the NYT put it in 2003, "Since its debut a decade ago, the film has become a curious favorite of religious leaders of many faiths, who all see in ''Groundhog Day'' a reflection of their own spiritual messages." The National Review, no fan of Hollywood in general unless it involves a fat man pretending to be Michael Moore, even has an annually posted appreciation. The Independent wrote it has been hailed as "the most spiritual movie of all time" and had "become a crucial teaching tool for various religions and spiritual groups, who see it as a fable of redemption and reincarnation". TOR.com wrote, Groundhog Day Succeeds by Breaking the Rules of Every Genre. This is all very interesting because it is completely orthogonal to the normal process of film re-appreciation or cultish rehabilitation (and, no, I don't think it had a whole lot to do with Murray's later career successes, which have to be honest been intermittent). I think it's clear now that most people in the theater in 1993, critics included, had no idea what to make of it.

As much as I love his comedies, I am certain that Groundhog Day is Ramis's greatest legacy.

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posted by dhartung at 4:01 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


Egon was always my favorite Ghostbuster. I think he was my mom's too. Because I loved Egon so much, my mom made sure to rent me Meatballs and Stripes from Blockbuster. I remember getting Groundhog Day on VHS for Christmas the year it came out and we watched it all the time. I owe a lot of my sense of humor to his work.

I'm going to go cry into my spores, molds, and fungus.


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posted by Tesseractive at 4:13 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


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emjaybee: "the ghost seducing Dan Ackroyd"

That scene makes very little sense in the movie. There is no reason for the ghost to be there and we don't see it again. Also there is no ectoplasm in evidence. Seems like a cheap throw away joke that would have been better ont he cutting room floor.
posted by Mitheral at 4:27 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


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posted by rougy at 4:27 PM on February 24


The ghost blowjob scene was apparently significantly longer and more explicit.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:43 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 4:59 PM on February 24


I interpreted Murray's statement as a self-effacing joke. Something like "He had to work with me on these five projects. The poor sap. He earned his money."

The huge LA Times obit said:

Ramis was quiet about his illness, but friends did visit, including brothers and Second City castmates Bill Murray, from whom he'd been estranged for years..

I wonder what that was about.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:00 PM on February 24


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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:00 PM on February 24


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posted by running order squabble fest at 5:02 PM on February 24


From all accounts, a profoundly decent mensch.

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posted by dbiedny at 5:11 PM on February 24


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posted by SinisterPurpose at 5:15 PM on February 24


This is probably not the appropriate forum to wonder why Egon in the cartoons was blond.

I heard somewhere it was because they had the rights to the franchise but not the actors' likenesses, so they all had to look different enough from the actors yet still somehow read as the characters from the movie.

I haven't seen it myself, but I read that there is an episode of the Real Ghostbusters show that's about the making of the movie, and one character remarks on how the actors don't look anything like them. (There's also an episode later on, when production values went up and Janine's character design radically changed, where they not only explained it in-universe but build an episode around it, giving her a fairy godmother [ultimately the episode's villain] who was responsible for the changes.)
posted by JHarris at 5:31 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


LA Times: Bill Murray, from whom he'd been estranged for years..
charlie don't surf: I wonder what that was about.

Actually was discussed earlier in the thread (which, granted, is getting kind of tl;dr) , they had a difference of opinion as to how Groundhog Day should be filmed, Murray wanting it more philosophical, Ramis wanting it funnier. Is a tremendous shame.
posted by JHarris at 5:34 PM on February 24


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posted by Gelatin at 5:49 PM on February 24


Everybody I knew growing up has seen those movies. My uncle and I have had so many conversations in just Caddyshack and Stripes quotes, nthing that Harold Ramis shaped my sense of humor more than I can really quantify.

I've said this before, but "pick up that blood" is such a giant simple masterpiece of a line. It really sums up Ramis, his humor was simple yet broad. That Tad Friend article hits on him picking that up from Doug Kenney, another comic mind I had a ton of respect for.

Now someone is gonna say that Brian Doyle-Murray improvised that line, and it wouldn't surprise me at all.

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posted by Sphinx at 5:58 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I distinctly remember it getting mediocre reviews and box office receipts when it was released. Not sure when/how it became a classic.

It has a budget of $14million and made $70million at the box office - the 13th highest grossing film of the year.

And selected reviews from the time suggest is was generally well received. (I don't know if those aggregator sites can be trusted, since many of those reviews were probably written well after its release.)

So I think you might be remembering wrong.
posted by crossoverman at 6:02 PM on February 24


Whaaaaaa? 8 is exactly the right age for Ghostbusters!

Yes! In fact, I was 8 when it was first released and remember the whole family seeing it together at the cinema.
posted by crossoverman at 6:08 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:17 PM on February 24


The ghost blowjob scene was apparently significantly longer and more explicit.

The real mystery is why Ray puts on epaulets to have ghost sex
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:25 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Whaaaaaa? 8 is exactly the right age for Ghostbusters!

My biggest surprise on a recent rewatch is all the smoking. Not a deal-breaker for watching with kids, but I was really shocked at the haze of smoke over the entire thing.

Also, my son had a hard time processing them as the heroes, because they smoked.
posted by anastasiav at 6:29 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


See, the big Ghostbusters re-watching shock for me was that they're all psych profs at NYU in the beginning, and as an academic being horrified at Venkman's research misconduct. /killjoy
posted by Tesseractive at 6:47 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


The real mystery is why Ray puts on epaulets to have ghost sex

Do you not?
posted by jason_steakums at 6:56 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


The real mystery is why Ray puts on epaulets to have ghost sex

Just because your partner is dead is no reason to be a slouch! Dress up for the occasion, it will show you appreciate them all the more.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:57 PM on February 24 [10 favorites]


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posted by mkim at 7:07 PM on February 24


Groundhog Day was a really smart movie. Stripes and Caddyshack and Ghostbusters were fun too. Damn, looks like he was a primary writer in Animal House as well.

If I am going through the channels and I arrive at any of those I stop and watch the rest of the movie.
posted by vapidave at 7:18 PM on February 24


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posted by misterbee at 7:36 PM on February 24


It's been around nine years since I sat down and watched Ghostbusters all the way through. This sounds like a long time to someone I used to be, but this would be 2005, and I was watching through a wide-screen collector's edition my now-wife bought me. This was released to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the film.

I watched it again, tonight.

Man. How? How can a movie this old be so sharp, so edgy, so easily able to bridge disbelief into a world so fully realized! I have so many questions... how did they come up with the system to trap ghosts? How did they decide on the look of the equipment, the tattered, lived-in look of the jumpsuits, how did they meld science fiction so seamlessly with fantastic horror?

The dialogue... if you grew up in the '80s, you knew it... "He slimed me!" - "We got one!" - "You are so odd!"

If you grew up after then, you knew it... "Ray, if someone asks you're a god, you say yes!" - "You never studied!" - "Cats and dogs, living together, mass hysteria!" - "Imagine a twinkie 35' long and weighing 600 pounds." (Ooops! Someone forgot to cube the mass!)

And, the scary parts are no-kidding scary. As someone who has been in a Mythos-based roleplaying campaign with a college librarian, a mathematician, someone with IMPRESSIVE sideburns, someone who works on top secret military projects and someone who used to be a computer security expert for a TLA - this is the most Lovecraftian movie to make it to the screen, including all of the movies based on actual Lovecraft stories.

What motivated a comedy writer to go so deep into the Mythos that he blazed his own indelible path? How did he know it would work... did he know it would work? The four Ghostbusters - their character archetypes are perfect. Winston is added in 3/4's of the way through, and he slots in so naturally...

The movie is mysterious and terrible and funny and scary and exciting and triumphant. I have so many questions! I guess...

I guess I always will.

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posted by Slap*Happy at 8:17 PM on February 24 [10 favorites]


GB is a good movie, but yes, there are bits and prices that should have edited out for the sake of better sense making. Of course the same could be said about most movies especially 1980s movies.

I think Murray's response is OK, especially given Murray's general oddness, and hell it sounds kind mof real, as opposed to cookie cutter responses these things usually generate.

When I die, I'd hope someone would say the same of me 'he earned his keep on the planet'. But I like understated things
posted by edgeways at 8:17 PM on February 24


I think Murray's comments are very apropos and heartfelt, at least for the impression of Ramis I've always gotten (though who knows if it's anything like the reality of Ramis) which is basically "you guys have fun with the celebrity thing, I've got work to do". He seemed to carry his success very admirably, a quiet, humble giant whose work spoke for itself. Never just rested on his laurels either, even though nobody could begrudge him that if he did. Earned his keep indeed.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:10 PM on February 24


I once heard an interview with him. He was asked what the secret was to his success. He said that he met really talented people in acting school and just hung out with them. If you just hang out with talent, they take you along with them and you become successful when they do.

This is, of course, nonsense. His humor is not as in-your-face as some of the others, but the movies and projects he has been involved with would not have been nearly as good without him. He was just being humble, which goes with his personality.


.
posted by eye of newt at 9:23 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


In the bible, it says "Jesus wept."

If there is a Heaven, I'll bet he'll be spending a lot of time laughing his ass off now that Harold's arrived.
posted by Quasimike at 9:56 PM on February 24


.
posted by lalochezia at 10:16 PM on February 24


He was a very funny man whose work I enjoyed immensely. RIP, man.
posted by Lynsey at 10:16 PM on February 24


.

Great films. Thank you.
posted by mistersquid at 10:25 PM on February 24


.
posted by Token Meme at 10:28 PM on February 24


there are bits and prices that should have edited out for the sake of better sense making

I just rewatched it and, if anything, I think it was cut to shit and there are obvious scenes that should have been left in.

The blowjob epaulettes are from a deleted scene.

There's also no sequence where the tech is explained -- they just go straight from renting the firehouse and buying the car (ambulance? hearse?) to being able to trap ghosts.

The only thing I think really doesn't work is the "don't cross the streams" idea, which is pretty clearly only put in to set up the final move to defeat Gozer.
posted by Sara C. at 10:41 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


It's also to make fun of kids out camping, where everyone needs to visit "the bushes" at once, and some bright light gets the idea to "cross the streams" for the lulls. What results? Disaster. If there's an alien god, OK, it's an emergency, we'll deal.

But there better be an alien god.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:50 PM on February 24


Wait but I thought the entire "cross the streams" myth was from this to begin with?

Especially since what happens when you cross pee streams? Nothing.
posted by Sara C. at 10:55 PM on February 24


Sadly, I had never connected his name to his face. So my reaction on Twitter this morning was essentially "Oh, that's sad. It's crazy how I have no idea who this Harold Ram- OH. oh."

.
posted by that silly white dress at 11:27 PM on February 24


.
posted by zaelic at 11:53 PM on February 24


Especially since what happens when you cross pee streams?


Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:20 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


.
posted by How the runs scored at 4:07 AM on February 25


People have apparently started leaving memorial tokens at the fire house in Tribeca where they filmed Ghostbusters, including Twinkies.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on February 25


With considerable long-term effort at my workplace, I have managed to get the concept of "don't cross the streams" to be accepted as a mathematically axiomatic. This refers to writing mathematical proofs, when you must prove something like A = B, you can only perform operations one side of the equation. If you do operations on both sides, you have crossed the streams, that would be bad. This comes up in training often, and every time it is explained and the inevitable questions follow, I keep waiting for "I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, bad?'"
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:36 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


.
posted by crocomancer at 5:36 AM on February 25


sad
posted by Mezentian at 5:43 AM on February 25


The Murray comment strikes me as similar to Paul's comment on the death of John: "It's a real downer." If you see the video of him saying it, you see a guy who's so depressed and shaken he can barely speak; repeated in print, it seemed cold.

Murray had time to prepare, of course -- but he's also famously evasive and self-critical and difficult to parse. I think if he's said much more it would have seemed artificial, coming from him.
posted by lodurr at 5:48 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


Sara C.: "buying the car (ambulance? hearse?)"

It's a 1959 Cadillac professional chassis with rear entry - it could be used either as a hearse or ambulance.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:58 AM on February 25


His voice in Heavy Metal as one of the space cocaine snorting aliens is true legacy for me.
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:21 AM on February 25


Re: the estrangement from Murray. Tad Friend wrote a piece about Ramis in 2004 which is/was free for today at the Byliner. Talking about the tension and artistic differences of Groundhog Day....
"Offscreen, Ramis and Bill Murray were trapped in a cycle of personal strains. Murray’s marriage was breaking up, and he was behaving erratically—the whirling, unpredictable personality that Dan Aykroyd calls “the Murricane.” Ramis sent Rubin to New York to work with Murray on the script, because he was tired of taking his star’s 2 a.m. calls. Rubin says that when Ramis phoned him to check in, Murray would shake his head and mouth the words “I’m not here.” “They were like two brothers who weren’t getting along,” Rubin says. “And they were pretty far apart on what the movie was about—Bill wanted it to be more philosophical, and Harold kept reminding him it was a comedy.”

“At times, Bill was just really irrationally mean and unavailable; he was constantly late on set,” Ramis says. “What I’d want to say to him is just what we tell our children: ‘You don’t have to throw tantrums to get what you want. Just say what you want.’ ”

After the film wrapped, Murray stopped speaking to Ramis. Some of the pair’s friends believe that Murray resents how large a role Ramis had in creating the Murray persona. Michael Shamberg, a Hollywood producer who has known Ramis since college and who used to let Murray sleep on his couch, says, “Bill owes everything to Harold, and he probably has a thimbleful of gratitude.” "
posted by peacay at 6:51 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


From that piece.
“Interracial couple, big issues, and it would be my full fee,” Ramis said. “Ashton Kutcher is in,” he later told me dryly. “So that’s a relief.”
Communicating a wry tone through a writer, especially one who has put an otiose adverb in the middle of your one-two, is hard. That right there is making it look easy. I can see why he and Bill Murray were both essential and impossible collaborators.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:34 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Sheppagus at 8:07 AM on February 25


I'm a big admirer of Groundhog Day, and one of the things I've always thought made it work so well is that it is played for comedy. It gets in under your radar that way. So playing it "serious" wouldn't necessarily give it more impact. Playing serious, it could have ended up like The Razor's Edge, which caused a cinephile friend to burst out laughing in a couple of spots when we watched it in the theater. It was so, so serious, that it punched through the other side and into parody without realizing it.

I have to think Ramis would see that. He was a really smart writer.

Of course it takes the right touch to pull that off, and Ramis was such a deft writer and director that he could. Murray should have respected his skills and acted like a grownup.
posted by lodurr at 8:30 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Chrysostom: "It's a 1959 Cadillac professional chassis with rear entry - it could be used either as a hearse or ambulance."

Not too many hearses with gumballs though so the ghostbuster's car probably was an ambulance when Ray bought it.
posted by Mitheral at 8:41 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


.
posted by hooha at 8:41 AM on February 25


That Byliner piece is the same piece as the New Yorker article linked above. FYI.
posted by norm at 8:43 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


.
posted by yeolcoatl at 10:00 AM on February 25


If anyone is looking to create a great FPP, Esquire just put up "An Oral History of Ghostbusters" which includes interview material from Harold Ramis.
RAMIS: We very quickly came up with a model: Dan was the heart of the Ghostbusters, I was the brains, and Bill was the mouth.

I found my character on the front page of an abstract architectural journal. There was a picture of a guy and an article about his work. I didn’t understand a word, but his image was great. He was wearing a retro three-piece tweed suit, wire-rim glasses, and his hair was standing way up. I thought, “That could be my guy.” I took the name Egon from a Hungarian refugee I went to grammar school with, and Spengler was from [noted historian] Oswald Spengler.

posted by zarq at 10:04 AM on February 25 [7 favorites]


Obama released a statement about Harold Ramis' death. Check out the very last line.
Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of America’s greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago’s Second City. When we watched his movies – from “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” to “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” – we didn’t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold’s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:39 AM on February 25 [14 favorites]


Dan Ackroyd posted a farewell on Twitter that ends with "May he now get the answers he was always seeking." Between that and Obama's comment, it seems like he was a more spiritual (or at least spiritually inquisitive) person than he let on publicly.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:43 AM on February 25


He practiced Zen Buddhism.
posted by rocket88 at 10:50 AM on February 25


It's a Caddyshack joke.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:05 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]


He's got that going for him.
posted by brundlefly at 11:50 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


Gunga Galunga.

Also, "Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once. Forget it!"

.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:57 AM on February 25


Harold Ramis reminded me of listening to Gene Wilder - a very talented, accomplished man who was so warm, soft and humble, like cosmically humble.

Very rarely do I see someone in the public eye and go "oh I want to be that!" but him & Gene make (made) me feel that way.

Listening to either of them talk gives me tingles all over, like I'm listening to someone very very special... special for reasons I can't fully understand why, and I ought to STFU and listen.

RIP Mr Ramis!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:16 PM on February 25 [6 favorites]


For any NY-area mefites who don't frequent IRL, the UPCA theater has bumped the Ghostbusters screening up from June to March 23rd.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:11 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


It's a Cinderella story...

.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:04 AM on February 26


Tesseractive- The university where they work initially is Columbia not NYU, which if you've ever been on campus is immediately recognizable. One of the interesting things about Ghostbusters is how many iconic NYC locations they manage to get in (Columbia, NYPL, Lincoln Center, Tavern on the Green).
posted by miss-lapin at 8:55 AM on February 26


Scouting NY roundup of Ghostbusters shooting locations.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:09 AM on February 26 [4 favorites]


The fact that the albums the Ghostbusters and Caddyshack soundtracks and "Music From & Inspired By Animal House" are all trending in the Heavy Rotation section on rdio.com the past few days is a weird wonderful tribute.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:43 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]


On the bright side, there's at least a chance that his death will prevent Ghostbusters 3 from happening, saving us all the disappointment and distress.

Sony still planning to make Ghostbusters III over Harold Ramis' dead body, as it were.
posted by crossoverman at 5:40 PM on February 26


Ramis wanted Ghostbusters III to happen, so while it would be literally over his dead body, that would not be figuratively apt.

(Still hoping there's some way to bring in Ramis' image in ghost form. And lots of gags about how expensive NYC has gotten.)
posted by Sara C. at 5:52 PM on February 26


Bill Murray doesn't want to do it and Ramis is dead. Ghostbusters isn't Ghostbusters with just Dan Aykroyd.
posted by crossoverman at 6:57 PM on February 26


A rather rotund Aykroyd at that... Man Blues Brothers 2000 sucked so badily he should not be allowed near a movie script for the rest of eternity.
posted by edgeways at 7:03 PM on February 26


I was thinking maybe Bill Murray signed on this week or something. Pretty sure Ghostbusters III wouldn't get greenlit with only Aykroyd.

Let's all pray they don't reboot it.
posted by Sara C. at 7:04 PM on February 26


Let's all pray they don't reboot it.

Now you've said it out loud, they will!
posted by crossoverman at 8:21 PM on February 26


A darker, grittier Ghostbusters?

(Actually, speaking of realism, the older I get, the more I find myself thinking not "A demon in the form of a giant junk food mascot - unbelievable!", but "a concert cellist being able to afford to live in 55 Central Park West - unbelievable!".

Is this extreme case of Monica's Apartment ever explained within the movie? Do Gozer's otherworldly powers extend to rent control?)
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:57 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


reboot it.

Wes Anderson Ghostbusters.

Faintly silly costumes? Intricate props? Grown men pursuing the sort of career that ten-year-old boys fantasize about? A main set that lends itself perfectly to the "cutaway dollhouse" shots from The Life Aquatic? Vintage Manhattan locations?

And the property comes with a broken-in Bill Murray?

I wouldn't be surprised if Anderson already has a few Ghostbusters treatments squirreled away in a desk drawer.
posted by Iridic at 7:23 AM on February 27 [5 favorites]


My ideal writer for a reboot if you were doing a completely clean break from the original would be comics writer Benito Cereno (Hector Plasm, Tales from the Bully Pulpit).
posted by jason_steakums at 7:31 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]




"a concert cellist being able to afford to live in 55 Central Park West - unbelievable!".

Two things about this.

The first is that, apparently the original choice for Dana's apartment was on lower Fifth Avenue, just north of Washington Square Park. While this area is extremely gentrified today on par with CPW, in the early 80s it was not posh by any means. It's exactly the sort of place a professional concert musician might have lived back then.

Ultimately they weren't able to secure the building they wanted to use, so they went with the Upper West Side location instead.

One thing that's really important about Dana's building is that it needs to be huge, hulking, and impressive -- it can't be a tenement or a loft -- and in service to the story it's obvious that they went with a very specific Art Deco aesthetic. It's much more important that the exterior of the building look right than that the economics of Dana's life make perfect sense.

The second thing is that, aside from the fact that they happened to choose a landmarked building, and the art director only put one lock on Dana's door, it's not really that outlandish an apartment for her.

When I first moved to New York I was dating a guy who grew up in a doorman building on the Upper West Side, went to a posh private school, and had pretty much the idyllic upper middle class Manhattan childhood. His mom was a single mom who worked in publishing. Once upon a time, you really could be just a regular person with a regular job and make a decent living in New York. It's really only in the last five years or so that only investment bankers can afford to live in Manhattan.
posted by Sara C. at 1:59 PM on February 27 [4 favorites]


I'll also say that the apartment as shown isn't really big or architecturally exciting or out of the ordinary in any way. It looks enough like NYC prewar apartments I'm familiar with that I wasn't entirely sure they didn't shoot it on location.

The main reason people tend to freak about the apartments on Friends is that Monica and Rachel are only nominally employed most of the time.

There is a time within recent memory that one could have a small one bedroom apartment in Manhattan on a regular person's salary. It should be noted that Dana plays at Lincoln Center and pals around with internationally known concert musicians, which would put her in the upper echelon of professional cellists in the US. She probably makes a living wage.

It's a chef and a barista sharing a giant loft that gets ridiculous.
posted by Sara C. at 2:05 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


These are good points, and indeed Lower Fifth Ave would have made more sense.

(Interestingly, apparently the writers of Friends came up with a justification for Monica's apartment in the backstory - it was bequeathed to her (and Ross, possibly) by their great-aunt, or similar - but didn't put it into the on-screen narrative, possibly because it would have shut off various comic misadventure avenues regarding rent, new flatmates etc that they might have wanted to explore.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:37 PM on February 27


(Monica's apartment was explained in the text -- she was illegally subletting from her grandmother (who may have actually been dead at that point), who had lived there for so long under rent control that it was way below market value. A few episodes revolved around her nearly getting "caught" and evicted.)
posted by Etrigan at 2:45 PM on February 27


(Ah! That may be what I was misremembering...)
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:49 PM on February 27


Faintly silly costumes? Intricate props? Grown men pursuing the sort of career that ten-year-old boys fantasize about? A main set that lends itself perfectly to the "cutaway dollhouse" shots from The Life Aquatic? Vintage Manhattan locations?

Holy shit. Stop motion ghosts by Henry Selick.
posted by brundlefly at 2:59 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


I figured that between the being a cellist and later painting, Dana was a wealthy dilettante, pursuing whatever passion called her.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:31 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


If she was playing at the Lincoln Center, she'd be at Philharmonic level - that takes a lot of time and study. I think the lurch into museum curatorship is primarily a sign that Ghostbusters II is non-canonical.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:53 PM on February 27 [3 favorites]


A darker, grittier Ghostbusters?

When they did that for the animated side of the franchise, oddly enough, Egon was the only one one of the original crew they kept around (The other 3 did get cameos).

Also:

.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:53 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, what if we've been reading Dana wrong all these years?

What if she's not a concert cellist at all?

What if she's a professional conservator?

Maybe she works as a musical instrument conservator for the NY Philharmonic during the period of Ghostbusters I, but she takes some professional development courses and moves into a more visual arts specialization in time to be working for the Met in Ghostbusters II?

She's carrying around a cello and hanging out with important musicians because she restores instruments, not because she plays the cello.

Is it ever actually stated that she's a musician in the movie?
posted by Sara C. at 2:58 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


It's a tempting hypothesis! But... Dana is seen coming out of Avery Fisher Hall complaining that the composer is shouting at "us" to a violinist after a rehearsal... And then Venkman says that she was the best in her row. It's possible that the conductor was angry with her restoration, and the violinist was commiserating with her because he shouts at the musicians too, and that Peter was lying about having watched the rehearsal, and she was playing along with his belief that she was a musician for LOLs, so unless there's something else somewhere else that might just work... but I think it would be a stretch. Occam's razor suggests that she is a concert-level musician.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:03 PM on March 1


I may be overthinking this.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:03 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Oh, right. Forgot about the dialogue in that scene.

Dammit, I guess Ghostbusters II really is a shitty movie after all.
posted by Sara C. at 4:18 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Also, I will don my finest nerd hat here, to tell you that it says explicitly in the novelization that she's a cellist.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:57 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


I had to look this up to satisfy my own memory, so here's a full (?) scanned copy of a kids' version of the novelization: Ghostbusters Storybook (that's the page where she's introduced as a cellist).

And in looking for that, found a review of a different version of the novelization, which answers the question about Stantz's outfit in the ghost blowjob scene-
There’s another weird sequence that actually manages to answer a nagging question I’ve always had about the flick. In the movie, during the big Ghostbusters success montage, there’s an odd dream sequence bit where Ray is being, um, “serviced” by a rather fetching ghost. The bit that’s always bugged me is that Ray is wearing some sort of period military outfit in the scene with no explanation as to why. I guess, since it’s framed as a dream (the screen has one of those flowing wavey filters as a transition into the scene) I always just assumed he was dreaming about being in the Civil War or something. As it turns out, there’s an explanation for the military garb. In the book (as well as in the shooting script), there’s a sequence later in the film, right after Ray and Winston are driving through the city talking about the end of the world, when the two go to Fort Detmerring looking for a spook. They split up and Ray stumbles upon a room that is a replica of a revolutionary war officer’s barracks. He finds a uniform and puts it on, lays on a bed and promptly falls asleep. When he wakes, the ghost they were looking for is about to go to town on his junk. Apparently this sequence was largely cut, but I’m betting none of them wanted to ditch the blowjob joke, so they sandwiched it into the montage. What’s even weirder is that this is actually the culmination of a plot thread in the book where Ray is both lonely and changing his feelings about catching the ghosts. Since Peter is courting Dana and (in the book) Egon and Janine are becoming an item, Ray is looking to blow off some steam, and the experience with the ghost is just what he was looking for. Also, there’s a bit with Ray thinking about how it might be wrong to catch these ghosts just to jail them in the containment unit, and when he awakes to his spectral date-night he wonders if maybe some ghosts are good. Weird.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:15 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


I think the lurch into museum curatorship is primarily a sign that Ghostbusters II is non-canonical.

I am a nerd sitting here watching Ghostbusters II right now, and Dana tells Dr. Poha now that Oscar's getting older, she wants to return to the orchestra. So, fine art restoration is sort of a maternity gig?
posted by gladly at 7:51 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


...What if Ghostbusters is what happens to Dana after she gets out of the dog park...
posted by maryr at 8:40 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


What we didn't see was that Dana wasn't particularly great at restoration.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:43 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Also it bugs me that the Ghostbusters' actual in-universe logo is the Ghostbusters 2 film logo in Ghostbusters 2. Is it supposed to be a peace sign instead of the number 2 in the actual story world? Weird.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:46 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Bill Murray was a presenter in the Oscars just now, for cinematography - and after announcing the real nominees, he ad-libbed: "we forgot one. Harold Ramis, for Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, & Groundhog Day."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 PM on March 2 [10 favorites]


That's cute (so long as you can suppress your knowledge that the cinematography in those films was handled by Stevan Larner, László Kovács, and John Bailey respectively).
posted by Sys Rq at 7:20 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Hey, just be glad he wasn't presenting Best Supporting Actress.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:57 AM on March 3 [5 favorites]


"And you know who always supported actresses, was Harold Ramis. We miss you, buddy."
posted by Etrigan at 8:25 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


also also, instrument restoration takes many years to learn, as does fine art restoration, and I don't think there are many common skillsets.
posted by lodurr at 8:56 AM on March 3


That's cute (so long as you can suppress your knowledge that the cinematography in those films was handled by Stevan Larner, László Kovács, and John Bailey respectively).

I just watched Ghostbustersfor the first time in at least a decade and was struck by how good it looks. Good work, László!
posted by brundlefly at 10:01 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


also also, instrument restoration takes many years to learn, as does fine art restoration, and I don't think there are many common skillsets.

But isn't it more reasonable to assume that she's already a trained conservator when we meet her in Ghostbusters, but she switched gears for some reason to specialize in restoring a slightly different thing, rather to assume that she was a concert cellist and then randomly somehow became a fine art conservator?

While art conservation is a specialized skill that takes years to master, it's not outside the realm of possibility that one could take a few professional development courses and switch paths from one type of restoration to another.

(I actually know a few fine art conservators. AFAIK they are not especially specialized. Though obviously restoring a cello and restoring a painting require slightly different skill sets.)

All of the above said, it is actually established that Dana is a concert cellist who inexplicably becomes a conservator in the next movie. So quibbling over the nuts and bolts of whether one could have a minor career change is neither here nor there.

It really IS that hamfisted.
posted by Sara C. at 10:49 AM on March 3


Dana went to Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music in Nagakute, and dual-majored in music theory and art conservation, achieving graduate degrees in each, as well as a mastery of kendo and an instinctive loathing of sanrio characters. It was in the Croatian-language novelization.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:11 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


Maybe Zuul is still in her head biding her time - thus explaining Dana's uncanny cross-disciplinary aptitude and Vigo's interest in Oscar as a host, because DEMON BABY
posted by jason_steakums at 11:23 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


The Croatian novelization is clearly non-canonical, given the 45-page digression as to whether Egon Spengler was actually a Croat or a Serb.
posted by Etrigan at 11:32 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


The Croatian novelization is clearly non-canonical, given the 45-page digression as to whether Egon Spengler was actually a Croat or a Serb.

Yah, that matter was dealt with in the Slovakian Reddit AMA that Ramis did a few years ago, and kind of made everything canon again.
posted by Atreides at 1:21 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


At risk of taking this too seriously: Instrument restoration is REALLY REALLY DIFFERENT from fine art restoration. REALLY.

You would not expect Rembrandt to be able to make a cello. An instrument restorer basically needs to be able to make the instrument.

Similarly master restorer Heinz Klugeman may be the best man in Manhattan to bring a prized Guadagnini back from the brink, but I would not expect him to restore a Rembrandt.
posted by lodurr at 6:51 AM on March 4


Now I'm hoping that Aykroyd miraculously manages to get Ghostbusters 3 off the ground, just to see what super-specialized profession Dana is working in now.
posted by brundlefly at 10:15 AM on March 4 [4 favorites]


Was it you, Sara, that I was talking to about Akroyd? I just talked to someone out here who had worked with him recently and they talked about how he takes any opportunity to show people this UFO documentary project he's working on. (It came up because he's the most famous person I share my birthday with.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:20 AM on March 4


Maybe, upthread?

I don't have any insider knowledge of him. Just what I read in that oral history that's been going around.
posted by Sara C. at 11:28 AM on March 4


Nah, it was some female friend that was at Sunset Beer and works in film, which actually doesn't help me narrow it down that much.
posted by klangklangston at 11:34 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


He hit on my girlfriend once. Irritating, but it shows his good taste.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:43 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


Now I'm hoping that Aykroyd miraculously manages to get Ghostbusters 3 off the ground, just to see what super-specialized profession Dana is working in now.

In the most recent script leaked, she's the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
posted by Atreides at 12:22 PM on March 4 [3 favorites]


Conserving and restoring world peace.

(Scarily, it seems like Ghostbusters 3 being the movie version of "Extreme Ghostbusters", with Ray rather than Egon and Dana rather than Janine, may be the most credible option.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:52 PM on March 4


I had the honor of working on a home video release of a Canadian UFO documentary that featured extensive Dan Aykroyd interviews. It was so poorly done that I wouldn't be surprised if Aykroyd felt like he had to do one himself to have it done right.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:57 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]


I would be more likely to believe that if I hadn't seen Earth versus The Spider.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:33 PM on March 4


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