9 Memorable Harold Ramis Moments from the Ghostbusters Films
It was the mid-80s. I couldn’t have been older than seven or eight... three feet of trouble in constant search of quality entertainment. It didn’t matter if it was unearthed outdoors or discovered on a couch in Los Angeles at my Uncle Frank’s house.
I recall being on edge as the VHS player sucked the tape into its mysterious mechanical bowels. When the screen came to life, I remember the butterflies. And that’s not bullshit. I recollect the somersaults my stomach executed that creepy but amazingly memorable – maybe even life-changing – night.
In retrospect I can say that watching Ghostbusters for the first time could be likened to the first time I glimpsed a pair of bare breasts, in the flesh, displayed before my own eyes. The heart pounds, and beads of sweat, heavy with anxiety, stream down the forehead. Hopes are high and can’t possibly be met. Then the credits roll, and the understanding that hopes were not only met but exceeded starts sink in. And a smile stretches across the face, immovable, powerful in its disclosure of gratitude.
That’s a special movie. And Harold Ramis was a special man, born of comedic nature, groomed into one of the finest figures Hollywood has ever known. I can’t do much, personally, to honor the man’s memory, but I can say a few words. Given the fact that this is a horror-themed site, it seems appropriate to speak a bit on the Ghostbusters franchise specifically, in which Ramis portrayed the unglamorous but absolutely vital and oddly lovable Egon Spengler.
In his honor, here are nine memorable moments featuring Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters films.
Ghostbusters 2 – Yo: Arguably one of the true brainless moments of the Ghostbusters sequel, this quick scene sees the guys digging a hole in the pavement in order to deposit Ray into the depths with the evil slime coursing beneath the city. But the guys run into some problems topside. It’s a good thing Pete’s there to smooth things over with the cops; it’s even better that Egon’s completely got his back. “Yo!”
Ghostbusters - Egon Fronts the Charge: Egon doesn’t get quite the introduction that Peter Venkman is treated to, but he makes up for it in this rather delicate assertion of power. As Egon marches down crowded library aisles, you can practically see the nerdy badassdom reflecting off his corrective lenses. This shot segues into the pic’s first big scare, and when you wrap it all up into one tidy scene, you’ve got greatness to behold.
Ghostbusters - Who is Louis?: Sequences like this really serve as a strong reminder that Harold Ramis was a true genius. This is one of those moments in the film in which nothing profound occurs, but as viewers we feel some impact all the same. What’s up with this Key Master/Gatekeeper business? The meeting between Louis and Spengler summons major intrigue, and as is often the case, Egon’s sitting right at the heart of the new plot twist, getting his hands dirty as he attempts to get to the bottom of things.
Ghostbusters 2 - Egon Gets a Little Sadistic: Egon’s place amongst the Ghostbusters has always been that of the low-key genius. He’s not the outspoken comedian, he’s not brash in any way, he’s mellow, and when asked to be anything else, he seems totally out of his element. Anything other than exhibit a little sadism and torture a married couple on the rocks, that is. Egon seemed to get a big kick out of ruffling these poor fools’ feathers, and we got the big Egon intro moment we missed from the first film. (It was dedicated to Bill Murray and his character, Peter Venkman, which is just fine with me.)