special disco mention #20: Harold ramis
Who you gonna call?
Ghostbusters had everything you could possibly want in a 1980s film – a bad boy theme tune by boogie maestro Ray Parker Jr, a stellar cast of comic actors including one of the big stars of the decade in Dan Ackroyd, one of the all time comic geniuses in Bill Murray, a super-babe in Sigourney Weaver, amazing special effects and an uber-geek for all the unpopular scrawny kids to aspire to in Harold Ramis.
So much to talk about, so many memories – but for this installment of Special Disco Mention, it’s all about Harold Ramis, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 69. His character in Ghostbusters was Egon Spengler, the awkward scientific genius who invented all of the amazing gear used to snare them ghouls. In real life, Ramis was a gifted comic writer who co-wrote the screenplay for both Ghostbusters and the follow up sequel as well as the later Bill Murray starring minor masterpiece, Groundhog Day which he co-wrote and directed.
He directed, produced, wrote and acted in quite a few other cheesy 80s and 90s comedies – and carried on in the same vein into the noughties, with such memorable classics as ‘I Want Someone to eat Cheese With’ (2006). The truth is, though, that his finest hour was the construction and portrayal of Egon Spengler PHD – I have a sneaking suspicion that Spengler is actually the sort of proto-hipster that young trendies around the world unwittingly style themselves upon, albeit through the lense of three further decades of geekdom. Geeks are so ‘hipster twenty-teens’, where as in the noughties, all the Dalstonites and Neukolln dwellers were channeling Timmy Mallet (somebody say Operation Yew Tree?). So, Egon Spengler, king of the hipsters, who’d of thought it?
Anyway, we’re getting off track. Harold Ramis, for being the earliest of pioneers in geek hipsterdom, and for being a big part of one of the defining films of the 80s, we raise a glass of fine bubbly. Rest in Peace.
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