7.6/101 Votes Alchetron
First episode date 6 September 1975
Created by Marc Richards
|Starring Forrest Tucker
Theme music composer Diane Hildebrand Jackie Mills
Opening theme "Ghost-Busters" Theme (sung by Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch)
Ending theme "Ghost-Busters" Theme (instrumental)
Composer(s) Yvette Blais Jeff Michael
Cast Larry Storch, Forrest Tucker, Alan Oppenheimer, Pat Fraley, Peter Cullen
The ghost busters 1975
The Ghost Busters was a live-action children's situation comedy that ran in 1975, about a team of bumbling detectives who would investigate ghostly occurrences. Fifteen episodes were produced. The show reunited Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch in roles similar to their characters in F Troop.
- The ghost busters 1975
- Episode 01 the maltese monkey
- Regular cast
- Ghosts and monsters
- Home video release
- Syndication repeats
The series was unrelated to the 1984 film Ghostbusters (though Columbia Pictures did pay Filmation for a license to use the name). Like the film, the series spawned its own animated sequel in 1986.
The primary humor of the series was slapstick, with scenes centered on the perpetual bumbling of the characters, good and evil alike. The series also made references to classic cinema; the names "Spencer" and "Tracy" were taken from the famous actor Spencer Tracy, while the name Kong – ironically not given to the gorilla – was a clear homage to King Kong.
Episode 01 the maltese monkey
Spencer, Tracy, and Kong billed themselves as "The Ghost Busters", bumbling paranormal detectives. Kong (Tucker) was the leader of the trio with Spencer (Storch) as his partner, and Tracy (a gorilla, played by Burns) as their assistant who also drove their barely-functional jalopy. Their headquarters was situated in a run down office building in an unspecified city (Spencer's name on the door was misspelled "Spenser" while the opening credits spelled his name "Spencer"). Outside of normal office equipment, plus a large armoire on which Tracy hung numerous hats including his trademark beanie, the office itself was also dilapidated, with peeling wallpaper and a pay phone near the door as the Ghost Busters' only means of communicating with prospective clients.
Each episode consisted of the same formula: in the pre-credits teaser, a ghost or monster (usually accompanied by a half-witted sidekick), would manifest themselves and vow to wreak havoc or vengeance on a particular person, the city, or even the world. After the credits, Kong would send Tracy and Spencer to a general store to get their next assignment from the unseen "Zero" (Scheimer). The tape-recorded message was usually hidden inside an everyday object such as a bicycle, typewriter, or toy. In a parodic homage to Mission: Impossible, the recording would end with Zero saying, "This message will self destruct in five seconds"; after Tracy counted down the seconds, the message (and often the item in which it was hidden) would explode in Tracy's face.
The Ghost Busters' assignments would invariably take them to the same place, a spooky castle with an adjoining graveyard on the city's outskirts (Kong would point out that the castle was the only one in or near the city), and after a series of farcical chases, the ghouls would be cornered and dispatched back to the netherworld by a "Ghost De-Materializer", usually activated by Kong as he triumphantly shouted "Zap!"
Ghosts and monsters
The show frequently made use of ghostly characters from popular and literary culture, and even real-life historical figures. These included:
In an interview conducted with Bob Burns III in 2007, he revealed that all 15 episodes were taped in 9 weeks every other day. He also revealed that the show did well enough for a second season, coming in at number 2 in the ratings, behind The Shazam!/ISIS Hour, but Filmation decided to put more money into their number 1 program; thus the plug was pulled. Lastly, he stated that it was rumored that the tapes of all 15 episodes were believed to have been destroyed, after having changed hands a few times. This rumor was put to rest, when a full set of the tapes was rediscovered, and subsequently released on DVD (see below).
In 1986, after the success of the Columbia film, the show was revived in animated format with Kong and Spencer's sons, Jake and Eddie Jr., inheriting their fathers' business (and Tracy the Gorilla) in Ghostbusters. Kong's first name was never mentioned in the original series. Spencer is named as Eddie in the second episode, "Dr. Whatsisname."
Home video release
BCI Eclipse LLC (under license from Entertainment Rights) released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 on April 17, 2007. The 2-disc boxset contains extensive special features including interviews, photo galleries and rare footage. In addition, unlike many of BCI's ER Filmation releases, this DVD appears to have been sourced from the original NTSC videotapes (the show having been recorded on tape rather than shot on film).
Prior to this, there were at least three VHS tapes released by Continental Video during the 1980's. These are now extremely hard to find. The show was billed as The Original Ghostbusters.
Australia received the complete series on DVD in a two-disc set on July 11, 2016.
As of 2009, this release has been discontinued and is out of print as BCI Eclipse has ceased operations.
In mid-2011 re-runs of The Ghost Busters aired on the Retro Television Network.