Harold Ramis, 1944-2014

I just watched Ghostbusters again, for the umpteenth time. It’s just as funny as it ever was, but now there is a hint of sadness mixed in as well. Harold Ramis had an astounding career beside Ghostbusters, but that is the movie I will always go back to. I always identified with Egon. It is strange to see him on the screen, to hear his deadpan voice and to also know he’s passed on. It doesn’t seem right.

I wonder how many other people turned to Ghostbusters tonight.

– Stu Horvath

If you didn’t know, Harold Ramis was responsible for an abundance of great comedies over the last 30 years. My first brush with the actor version was with 1981’s Stripes, where he played alongside a man that would grace many of his efforts, Bill Murray. It wasn’t long before the two reunited for probably their best film together, Ghostbusters. What most don’t know is how many other landmark films have been in the hands of this talented man. It starts with Animal House, the seminal epic about fraternity life that catapulted John Belushi to stardom. Then it was Meatballs, his first collaboration with Murray about zany summer camp antics. Caddyshack is one of four films (along with Animal House, Back to School and Groundhog Day) in my top five all-time favorite comedies. Not only is the movie packed with amazing comedians, but Murray brought to life the unforgettable Carl; “a Cinderella story outta nowhere.” He moved on to Stripes and Ghostbusters, where he also co-acted. He had his hands in Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School and Robin Williams’ Club Paradise. And the list continues up to and past Groundhog Day, which I consider his best. Thank you Mr. Ramis for putting a smile on a face that often forgets to.

– Ken Lucas

People will gush about Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Animal House, Caddyshack and Stripes for weeks in the light of Harold Ramis’ passing, and rightly so. But to me he’ll always be sleazy SCTV station manager for Moe Green:

– Don Becker

This past weekend, I went down to Philly with my girlfriend. We saw a copy of Groundhog Day in a bargain bin and since it’s undeniably one of the most perfect films ever made, we decided to buy it and watch it the next day. As it turned out, that would be the same day Harold Ramis died. I’m writing this before we sit down to watch the film, but since I’ve seen it a dozen times – and even found the exact model clock Bill Murray smashes again and again in the film, which I keep on my bedside table – I can tell you that had Ramis not done anything else in film, this legacy alone would make him worth remembering, and mourning. The only thing I can say, as a fan, is thank you.

– Matt Marrone

Harold Ramis is responsible for many of my favorite comedic moments of all time. I’ll always remember him as Egon Spengler from the Ghostbusters movies, with the first Ghostbusters┬áranking among my favorite movies ever. In addition to playing the iconic character, he also co-wrote both Ghostbusters movies. I also have him to thank for writing and/or directing Animal House, Stripes, Meatballs, Back to School, Groundhog Day, National Lampoon’s Vacation, SCTV, and some of the best episodes of the American Office. Groundhog Day is a movie that has resonated with me for so long that I even wrote a short story back in college where [the movie] plays a central role in the plot.

There’s more that I’m missing, and I didn’t even touch on the fact that aside from playing Egon he was funny whenever he appeared in front of the camera ┬áin many other acting roles as well. It’s a terrible shame that we’ve been robbed of any future appearances and creative contributions from this comedic legend. Thank you for making my life a richer and funnier one, Mr. Ramis.

– Michael Edwards

Harold-Ramis-342930-1-402The first time my dad took me a drive-in movie, it was Ghostbusters. The movie was a seminal moment of my childhood, and my parents bought me every scrap of Ghostbusters merchandise they got their hands on. I even had the cheap plastic proton pack with the foam photon stream. I lived that movie in many different ways. What I didn’t realize at the time was that Harold Ramis co-wrote it.

When I was 13, all of my teachers were talking about a movie called Groundhog Day. Some called it repetitive, some called it silly, but all of them said it was hilarious. It’s still a movie that will hook me to the TV whenever it’s on, and I’m not quite sure why I don’t own it yet. The same can be said of Animal House, Stripes, and of course, Caddyshack.

I never realized Harold Ramis’ comedic impact until I was much older, and his movies occupy a special corner of my heart. Hearing of his death was like hearing of the death of an old friend. I’m not the first person to say this, nor will I be the only person to say this because for me, Harold Ramis was more than Egon Spengler. He defined a generation of comedians, actors, directors, and fans. Hearing of his passing brings up sadness and nostalgia, but mostly and overwhelming sense of gratitude.

I feel like America lost a good friend this week, and I hope Ramis’ family knows that the world mourns with them.

– Brian Bannen

Harold Ramis was one of those rare and quiet comedic geniuses who will go largely recognized for the small, yet vastly important roles he’s played in countless projects throughout his career, a career punctuated with classics that helped shape pop culture and will continue to. Like many from my generation, Ghostbusters was a big deal and I remember it fondly as one of those “gateway” films that drew me into horror and science fiction. The toys, costumes, and cartoon were mainstays in the Weinbrecht house throughout my childhood. I was deeply saddened when I read the news today of his passing as I’m sure he had more to give to his family, friends, and industry. Rest easy.

– Erik Weinbrecht

What can we say about Harold Ramis? His comedy informed so many of us here on Unwinnable. Whether it be his work as a writer/performer in SCTV, Stripes or Ghostbusters or as a director of classic films like Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation or Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis left an indelible mark on my generation. It brings me an indescribable sadness to see him go. Thank you for the laughs, Mr. Ramis; the world is a lesser place without you.

P.S.: Tell them about the Twinkie.

– Ian Gonzales

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