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Posted by tom on January 28, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


ghostbusters
Hey party people, well welcome to the New Year. Oddly enough this New Year has been nearly as tough for me this year as it was last year. I’ve been slammed with a pretty rough cold since the first week, which is why I haven’t really posted much here lately- cry me a river right? I know.

Anyway, I thought I’d show off a sketch of mine of one of my favorite shows as a kid: GHOST BUSTERS. But it’s not the Ghost Busters you are probably thinking about, this is the original from 1975. A live-action Saturday Morning show by Filmation. Which was about two goof-balls and their gorilla chasing down ghosts and sending them back to the great beyond.

A little while back, my sister got me the dvd set, all 15 episodes, and from time to time I have them playing in the studio while I work. Even though I loved them as a kid, they clearly don’t stand the test of time, but still I find them very charming. And as I often do, I start thinking about how to make the concept work today. Which inspired me to make this sketch (sorry I never finished it).

If you are unfamiliar with the show, I’ll tell you a bit more about it. It stars Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch- who were the comedic stars of the 60’s sitcom F TROOP (soldier and indians hijinks). Here, with a gorilla, played by Bob Burns (because he could supply his own gorilla suit and Filmation didn’t have to pay to make one) ran Spencer, Tracy, and Kong Ghost Busters (note Spencer Tracy was a very famous actor in the 40’s and 50’s). The gag is that Kong is not the gorilla, Tracy was the gorilla’s name. Tucker was Jake Kong and Storch was Eddie Spencer. On a play of the popular show at the time, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, the Ghost Buster would get recorded tapes in various objects giving them a new mission each week from their ‘boss’ Zero. After the tape had finished, it would self destruct in 10 seconds, unfortunately Tracy could never get rid of it before it blew up in his face every week.

Each mission pretty much dealt with the gang going to the old castle in town (apart from their office, the castle was the only set the show had), and facing off with the ghost of a monster, or famous bad person. Like the Red Baron, Billy the Kid, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, etc. So note, they didn’t ‘fight’ the Mummy, but the ghost of the Mummy- as they were ghost busters, not monster busters. Filmation had a very limited budget, and could only afford like two speaking roles per episode (aside from the main cast), so there was always a main monster and a flunky. And just like Tucker and Storch, they often tried to get famous (or at one time) actors to play the ghost. People like Ted Knight, Billy Barty, Huntz Hall, Joe E. Ross, Howard Morris, and Carl Ballantine. In the end, the ghost would get zapped with the Ghost Dematerializer, and the Ghost Busters would return to their office.

As you can see, it was all goofy fun with monsters- er ghost. Two things I loved as a kid. Marc Richards created the show and basically talked Lou Scheimer into making the show (and selling it to CBS) and letting him write and direct nearly every episode. A ton of work, but I’m willing to bet it was the best year of his life.

After Filamtion successfully sued the famous GHOST BUSTERS movie, they figured they’d save money and not get the rights to the movie, and instead create a new cartoon base on their old show in 1986. The new show featured Spencer and Kong’s kids, some girl from the future, and Tracy looked nothing like Bob Burns’ gorilla, so I had little interest in the show.

Anyway, with updated and a little more witty jokes, plus a more defined world- as low rent ghost busters, I think this concept could be successful. I’ll reveal one of my ideas, that Spencer and Kong we’re in the army together before becoming ghost busters- tying in a reference to the actors F TROOP history. This would also help build the history of the characters, and give the world more weight. Either way, let’s face it, loveable losers running from colorful ghosts is a tried and true comedy set-up.