Beard: Harold Ramis: Nerd iconWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer, director, actor — sure, the late Harold Ramis was all these things, but to a generation of nerds only one thing really mattered: He was in “Ghostbusters.” And not only was he in “Ghostbusters,” but in it he developed an icon for nerds everywhere in the lovable-but-warped Egon Spengler. And I once got to put words in his mouth.
Back in 2010 I had the extreme honor of co-writing an official “Ghostbusters” comic book for IDW Publishing and to play with characters and situations from my favorite comedy film of all time. That was a little bit daunting. I was determined to write them in a way that a reader would hear the actors’ voices in their heads while reading the story — and to do that, I had to channel Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and yes, Harold Ramis.
It was Ramis’ character Egon I was most nervous about writing. In Egon, Ramis represented nerds and geeks across the spectrum, though I suspect he wasn’t much of either himself in real life. The beauty of his writing and acting of Egon is that he brought warmth and humor to a character who could have come off as pretty cold and distant. The other Ghostbusters give him a hard time on occasion, but it’s apparent that Egon’s one of the boys. He’s their resident brainiac, sure, but he’s also a little child at times, interested in candy bars and eager to scrap when he feels he’s been wronged. And, to the triumph of nerds, he gets the girl at the end of the movie.
Ramis was a renaissance man, combining writing skills, precise comic timing and a charm and wit most actors would die for. The world will clearly be a less humorous place with his passing, but at least now he can get to the bottom of that pesky poltergeist situation.