Just a few rambling incoherent thoughts, I apologize in advance. Even I wouldn’t name this “He’s a ghost, buster!”
I know this isn’t comics related, and I know I’m bad about posting on here, I just wanted to take a moment to write a little something today about Harold Ramis. Celebrity deaths are not generally something that make me stop my day and give much more than a passing thought to. Very rarely though someone passes away, someone that was more than just a face on a screen, words on a page, someone that touches you, brings you joy, someone that though you never met has woven themselves into your thoughts, your heart, and when you realize how much their work has not just entertained you, but become a part of you.
One of the very first memories I have of seeing a movie in the theater, was Ghostbusters, or at least jumping out of my seat more than once. As a kid, it was just about the coolest thing I had ever seen. Scary, funny, great special effects, ghosts, monsters, and things that flew over my head for years. I still find something new every time I watch it, a movie I could not wait to introduce to my own kids. Like me, they loved it from the first viewing.
As you get older, you start recognizing names, you start seeking writers and directors of things you enjoy, you want to share them with people. You get a little older, go to the video store with your friends, get some pizza, some funny cigarettes, laugh together. Maybe not that last part, who knows. My point is good comedies leave a mark, you start connecting those dots, and as you connect those dots you realize they form a sort of web that runs back and forth, up and down throughout you. Even if you aren’t getting tangled in the web at the moment, it’s always there, like a cobweb in the corner of your garage you remember every so often is there, but keep forgetting to do something about.
I don’t know if any of this makes any sense, when I read online that Harold Ramis passed, it took a few minutes to really sink in, I cried, man. Just looking at the list of movies that he was involved with as a writer, director or actor, I started connecting those dots again… Animal House, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Armed and Dangerous, Groundhog Day, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Multiplicity…even his little part in Walk Hard, and so much more. Memories and laughter, marks left in my heart and mind throughout my life, from some of my earliest memories, to now. A web strung back and forth inside me. I never met the man, but my life was made better for having experienced his work, for sharing laughs with friends, for giving me things to talk about with strangers, and laughing with them. I’m no writer, just wanted to ramble, I probably should have waited a bit, gathered my thoughts and tried to write something that made any damn sense. Harold Ramis was a huge inspiration, he showed me that comedy could be smart, touching, absurd, vulgar, and beautifully, I don’t know…human. My thoughts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. Before I leave, here is a great quote from his IMDB page.
“Well, for me, it’s the relationship between comedy and life- that’s the edge I live on, and maybe it’s my protection against looking at the tragedy of it all. It’s seeing life in balance. Comedy and tragedy coexist. You can’t have one without the other. I’m of the school that anything can be funny, if seen from a comedic point of view.”
Thank you for everything Mr. Ramis, the afterlife just got a lot funnier.