Monday, February 24, 2014

Farewell, Egon -- R.I.P., Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis has passed away -- I heard the new this afternoon from Alex Jones, and was stirred.
Although until now never brought into this blog, as a child, I was crazy about The Real Ghostbusters, concurrent with being crazy about DuckTales and when I was first discovering Gladstone's duck comics. I liked the two live-action films, too -- the original was one of the first live-action films I ever watched in full, in fact. (I'm not entirely sure if it or Back to the Future came first for me.) My parents took my sister and I on a family outing to see Ghostbusters II in the theater, and I was so terrified by Vigo the Carpathian, I couldn't sleep for two weeks afterwards, with scenes from the movie replaying in my head all night. Looking back, the fact that it had that strong an effect on me is the reason I'm one of the rare individuals who prefers the sequel to the original.

I've always favored introverted, focused-on-singular-pursuit types, so it's a natural that Egon has long stood as my favorite Ghostbuster -- a role that Ramis defined, while Maurice LaMarche picked up the torch, holding it high for the duration of the animated series. (Ever notice how close his Egon is to his Brain?)

And let's not forget, Ramis didn't just perform in the two GB movies. He and Dan Ackroyd co-wrote the original, creating the entire franchise, and resumed their writing partnership for the sequel. A third movie has been in and out of Development Hell for nearly 25 years -- a few years ago now, it actually looked like there was some traction. Ramis in particular publicly expressed earnestness and enthusiasm at the prospect -- after all, the property was his and Ackroyd's baby. It is too bad that he never got to see it realized, as he was clearly looking forward to it.

I came across this on Facebook (not sure who created it), and found it poignant:

Of course, he was Harold Ramis, not Egon Spengler. He had a  long, full career that included many other projects, both as an actor and as a creator. I regret that I'm not familiar with most of them, and I don't mean to slight the rest of his life and work. But I certainly don't think that he'd NOT want to be remembered for GB -- after all, he was very fond of that particular one of his creations.

-- Ryan

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