Wait, there are four Ghostbusters?!?


By Shawn Robare

ghostbusters_poster

Poor Winston Zeddmore and Ernie Hudson, it seems like outside of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon and the various comic book series Winston/Hudson is always getting the shaft.  Whether it’s being dropped from 95% of the merchandising of the first film not appearing on the posters or on some of the home video releases over the years, the fact that Hudson is snubbed for most of the film’s original trailer (there’s even a montage of everyone who is starring in the film and when it gets to Hudson, the footage is there but only silence from the announcer), or the fact that Hudson was even passed over when he auditioned to reprise the character in the cartoon for crying out loud.  Both the character and the actor can not catch a break.  I’m surprised they didn’t put William Atherton on the poster just to rub it in a little more…

36249-ghostbusters-old-full

Well, I’ve been aware of these slights for awhile, but I never realized just how deep this snubbing went.  Last week I found that copy of Starlog (issue 98 from September of 1985) and while flipping through it there was a spotlight on Ernie Hudson, specifically in reference to his recent stint as one of the Ghostbusters.  At first I was just skimming the article because I thought it was probably a fluff piece, but the more I read the more I realized that even though he was overjoyed to work on the film and is happy with the final result, the Ghostbusters he helped make was not the one he signed on to star in.  In fact, if the version of the script that swayed Hudson to sign on had been filmed things would be a lot different!

Starlog 98

Sigh, Hudson doesn’t even get a blurb on the cover…

First of all, the way Hudson frames it in this article the character of Winston was in the film longer, originally hired at the outset with Janene when the trio of Stanz, Spengler, and Venkman open the business.  But aside from that there was originally a much richer back story for the character including the fact that he was ex-military, and not just some random guy off the street looking for a job.  He always felt like the odd man out in the films since he wasn’t a scientist like the other three (well Venkman is debatable.)  On top of those slights, some of his bits from the original script were dished out to other characters during filming.  For instance Winston was originally the character that was to be cornered by Slimer in the hotel hallway, which of course went to Bill Murray.  Then later in the film it was Zeddmore that had the Stay Pufy brain fart that brings the Destroyer in the form of a giant marshmallow man!  Well, at least he still gets the “big Twinkie” line…

You can read the article for yourself below…

So, what do you think, has Winston been getting the shaft?

  • I’m glad you whipped up a post about poor Winston. As a kid, I remember it bugging me that he was missing from merchandise & promotional materials. I liked the notion of FOUR Ghostbusters (along with TMNT, I might have believed all heroes come in sets of 4).

    • Thanks, yeah, I know it’s weird right? As a kid Bill Murray’s clout and the star power of the rest of the “billed” cast was lost on me and I just wanted to know why Winston wasn’t around. At least his Funko Pop figure has finally been released with the Ecto-1…

      • Good point. He’s a good sport about it all – attending a lot of conventions & such.

        I am happy Bill Murray got the scene of getting slimed though. I think his brand of comedy fit that gag best.

        • Totally, and we do get to see Winston get slimed in part II under the Tunnel. And he gets the Phantom Train scene, so there are those…

  • Robert (totheescapehatch.com)

    Great post! Ernie Hudson is pretty awesome and he deserves better (he’s really good in The Crow). I think one of the few things that Dan Aykroyd says that makes sense about Ghostbusters 3 is that Winston would have a more prominent role. I could definitely see him having taken on a leadership role in the Ghostbusters of the 21st century.

    P.S. I’ll be linking to this post of yours in one of my own tomorrow. :)

    • Thanks Robert! Yeah, as much as a Ghostbusters 3 without Ramis and Murray is kinda depressing, I’d love to see Hudson get a chance to get more screen time. And yeah, love him in the Crow, hell even goofy B-Movies from the 90s like The Substitute!

  • Retromash

    Awesome post Shawn. These old Starlog interviews are great!

  • Erfytu Jiojio

    They should have cut his character completely. He was the most boring and bland character in the cartoon show.

    • Wow, you’re just full of sunshine and lollipops aren’t you? Well, each to their own I guess…