Movies That Everyone Should See: “Ghostbusters”

In 1984, MTV was at the peak of its powers.

Nowadays, MTV is home to such fare as “Teen Mom”, “Jersey Shore” and “Real World/Road Rules Challenge”s. But in the mid 1980s, MTV was a cultural touchstone. Not only were they showing music videos, but music videos were as important (it seemed) as the song itself. There are still songs I can’t hear to this day without thinking of the video.

And one of the biggest videos of that year was Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters”. Here’s the list of celebrity cameos in that video, thanks to the song’s Wikipedia page: “Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Melissa Gilbert, Nickolas Ashford, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk, Terri Garr and Casey Kasem; all of whom exclaim the “Ghostbusters!” line of the song when shown.” The song itself hit number one on the charts and stayed there for three weeks straight.

That year, the Ghostbusters logo was everywhere. Posters and shirts and mugs with the little “Do not Ghost” symbol were all over the place. Of course, there were the requisite action figures, Ecto One mobiles, Slimer piggy banks, etc, etc. In the years since, this movie has spawned sequels (I’m including the long gestating Ghostbusters III), cartoons, video games, and countless merchandise.

What I’m trying to say, is this movie wasn’t just a big hit, it was a cultural event. It was the highest grossing comedy of all time at the time, and it entwined itself into our cultural DNA immediately.

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