I have this theory that each member of the Ghostbusters team represents a different era of life and I can make my point just by using their introduction scenes.
Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) represents childhood. In his first scene, Ray busts into the lab where Venkman is “testing” two college students for ESP. Stantz is pure excitement, joy, and childlike naïveté. He doesn’t even pause to consider what Venkman is doing—he is single-minded in his belief and knows, before any actual evidence exists, that ghosts exist.
Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) represents adolescence. In his first scene, as previously stated, Venkman is trying to con an unsuspecting coed into a date. Venkman is the ultimate teenager: horny, caustic, thinks he’s above it all.
Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) represents adulthood. Zeddemore’s first line is his character: “If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.” For Zeddemore, belief and conviction do not factor into his job (ironic, since he is the only member to express his Christianity). He’s there to a do a job, get paid, and have a nice cigarette. Or Twinkie.
Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) represents old age. Arguably, the smartest and most analytical of the group, Spengler does not have time for anyone or anything else, as evidenced by his introduction: listening to a table through a stethoscope so intently he doesn’t notice Venkman’s hijinks.
There’s no real overall point to this except:
- Ghostbusters is a master class in economic characterization.
- And since I’m an adult, it means I’m Zeddemore. Which sucks.