Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Harold Ramis

My characters aren't losers. They're rebels. They win by their refusal to play by everyone else's rules. - Harold Ramis

The tough February continues. I always liked Phillip Seymour Hoffman in films. Especially Mission Impossible 3 and Almost Famous. But he had been battling heroin for decades. It was only a matter of time before it consumed him.

I loved Harold Ramis. Even though he was nearly 70 and overweight, I didn't picture this happening so suddenly.

Ghostbusters consumed my life long before Superman, Batman, or the Ninja Turtles. It's still in my top 10, sometimes top 5 films of all time.

There are pictures (that I'll have to dig up some day) of the Egon action figure I had when I was a kid. It was my favorite action figure. I played with him so often that the paint had come off of his face and was just the color of his blue uniform.

When we played Ghostbusters on the playground, I was always Egon. This was mostly because out of the three cousins, I was the tall, lanky, smart one. Ryan was the funny one (Peter Venkman). Jake was the slightly funny, and slightly smart best buddy, but he also had a striking resemblance to Dan Aykroyd's cartoon counterpart. (Ray Stantz)

We had the traps and proton packs and costumes and would run around saving the world from mischievous ghosts for hours on end. Vanquishing Gozer and fighting the Stay Puff Marshmallow man.

And the same cousins and I would watch Stripes fairly often, not only because Bill Murray and Harold Ramis made a great comedic duo, but because there were boobs, and we loved boobs.

Ramis was a writer on Caddyshack, Meatballs, Animal House, Back to School, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This/That. Think about that. Those are some of the biggest comedies of the past 30 years. And he was a writer, sometimes director, sometimes actor in them.

The world has lost one of the comedic geniuses coming out of the 70's. It highlights that we are about due to lose comics like Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Bill Cosby, among others. And other than Bill Murray, Ramis was probably my favorite of that group.

It's sort of selfish, but I'm really bummed that Ghostbusters 3 will never happen.

So Harold, rest in piece knowing that you left your mark.