Today I woke up and as far as I knew, it was shaping up to be a cold rainy Monday. That was until I opened my web browser and learned of the tragic news that had befallen the world; the news that Harold Ramis had died today at the age of 69.
As with most children of the 80’s for me Ramis was most closely associated with Egon Spengler, the no nonsense, straight man from Ghostbusters. But in reality, he was also so much more then that. His work has had a lasting effect on what my generation and those that come after me consider funny. Fans quote his movies daily; sound bits of his movies are played frequently on radio shows across America. I dare you to find someone who has no idea who Mr. Stay-Pufft is, at least someone over the age of 20. All of us, whether we realize it or not, have been touched by the years of his amazing work.
Through his long career both on and off camera, Harold Ramis touched our lives. From his over the top screw-ball comedies like Animal House, Meatballs, and Caddyshack; to his more grounded and subtle movies, all of them have been enjoyed by millions from all corners of the world.
In his films Ramis brought a voice to Hollywood that was clearly missing. His films were not meant for the winners of the world. He spoke to the freaks, the geeks, and the disenfranchised. In his world the Near-do-wells of Delta House could best the Rich Omegas, four slackers from New York cloud defeat a 100 ft marshmallow man to save the world, and even if you are a lowly caddy you can get the girl of your dreams… Well as long as you don’t mess with gophers.
Harold Ramis, you will be missed, but your legacy will never die. May you rest in peace.
Harold Ramis 1944 – 2014