The Egon Lesson

Harold Ramis died yesterday. One of the greatest comedians of the modern era, Ramis was a renaissance clown who wrote, directed, and acted. His movies are uniformly worth your time but, if somehow you’ve never seen Groundhog Day, do yourself an enormous favor and start there. It’s a glorious movie with a pitch perfect central performance that, years later, directly influenced one of the best Supernatural episodes ever. Plus you’ll never listen to ‘I Got You Babe’ the same way again.

Other, far better writers have eulogized him at length. For me, and countless others though, Ramis will always be remembered as Doctor Egon Spengler. Egon was the first time fiction turned, looked me in the eyes and nodded approvingly. He was tall and clever and weird. He had glasses. He had a sense of humor so dry it could go undercover as sand. He was a hero. A deeply weird, cerebral one but a hero nonetheless. He became, and remains, one of my role models. A lot of the time I still wanted to be Venkman, of course. I mean who doesn’t? But on the days when I wasn’t, I knew I was Egon and, more importantly, I knew that was a good place to be.

So, thank you Harold Ramis, for everything.


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