Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"It Was Nice Working With You, Dr. Spengler."

Harold Ramis 

I will talk more about the Ghostbusters 30th anniversary in future posts. Suffice to say I am deeply saddened by the loss of Harold Ramis. He was one of the comedic talents that shaped the humor of my childhood; and helped defined 80's comedies. I truly am saddened by his death, as are all Ghostbusters fans. 

In addition to his considerable talents on-screen, Ramis was also a successful screenwriter and humorist. He co-wrote both Ghostbusters films (with Dan Aykroyd) as well as Animal House, Stripes (in which he co-starred with Bill Murray), Groudhog Day, and Caddyshack (the latter two were also directed by Mr. Ramis). His wiki entry for director and writer (respectively) reads like a "Best Comedies of All Time" list. It also includes the first National Lampoon's Vacation film.  

His earliest writing gigs were for National Lampoon magazine, and as a joke editor for Playboy. His earliest television work was on the iconic sketch comedy TV show SCTV. The same show also launched the careers of John Candy and Rick Moranis, among many others. 

(Egon action figure by Mattel)

Mr. Ramis continued to work in film, television, and even videogames until his health declined in 2010. He never gave up hope that a third installment in the Ghostbusters franchise was on the way. Both he and Dan Aykroyd had been hammering out a script for several years. 

News of his death has inspired tributes from fans all over the world. Even President Obama issued a statement, giving his condolences to Ramis family, while also celebrating the great comedian's work. 

Fans of Ghostbusters set up a memorial at Ladder #8, the real firehouse used as Ghosbusters HQ in the film series. Tokens of photos, flowers, and even Twinkies have been left in tribute. Fans have also paid their respects by cosplaying as Ghostbusters at the site.  

Harold Ramis was survived by his wife, Erica Mann Ramis, and three children; Violet, Julian, and Daniel. 

Text Copyright Riley Joyce 2014. All images are copyright their respective owners. Ghostbusters is a trademark of Columbia Pictures. 

Mr. Ramis animated counterpart, Egon, from The Real Ghosbusters