As I write this, Ghostbusters is playing on my blu-ray player in the background. I’m watching it not because it’s one of my favorite movies of all time–second to Star Wars–or because it was a very quotable movie before quotable movies became a thing. I’m watching it in honor of the great Harold Ramis, who passed away yesterday.
Harold Ramis was influential to most of our childhoods; he wrote, directed, acted and produced most of the movies we grew up on. When I’m at work, my co-workers and I recite lines from Ghostbusters like it’s a second language. Being that we work in the print industry, our favorite line to say is: “Print is dead.” That, and many other lines get tossed around on the daily in my office.
Most of us were sad to hear of his passing, especially those of us who loved comedy and the art of film making. Most of us talked about our favorite Egon moments, others talked about what other movies Ramis has done and were shocked to discover what he had a hand in. For example I never knew he directed Bedazzled (2000) so that was a huge shock for me. I mean I really should have known!
Other movies that have influenced me: National Lampoons Vacation, a staple in every decent movie collection across the continent, hell maybe even the world; Animal House, the movie that showed me how to party and defined what a toga party should be; Caddyshack and Groundhog Day, of course; Stripes, the movie that completely misinformed me about what the army was when my brother joined; and Ghostbusters, the first movie I ever saw…technically (I was in a stroller asleep but that still counts damn it!)
I guess what I’m trying to say with all of this is thank you Harold Ramis. I thank you for all the movies you brought us, I thank you for all the comedic writers you have inspired and will continue to inspire for years to come. I thank you for shaping my childhood and allowing me to grow up with your movies. I thank you for inspiring me to be funny. I thank you for giving us something in common with one another when we quote your movies. I thank you for the laughs, I thank you for the painful laughs, but most importantly I thank you for what you have taught me. Keep people smiling and that laughter is the best gift you can give to anyone.
Thank you, Harold Ramis November 21, 1944 – February 24, 2014