A Love Letter to Egon

Egon Spengler is the brain of the Ghostbusters. On the surface, cold and logical, Egon is truly the textbook definition of a scientist. He collects spores, molds, and fungus. Yet like Mr. Spock before him, there is both passion and fury bubbling deep beneath the surface. He does not suffer fools gladly.

This fire is seen several times throughout the franchise, though his dramatic line “your mother!” is the brightest, hottest time that fire burns. He’s ready to tear Peck apart. All his life he’s been questioned, and now, after a moderate success, he’s being questioned again. He’s ready to draw blood for his cause this time though. He’s been provoked and there’s no stopping him now!

The first time I knew Egon was something special was in a scene set before the Ghostbusters have truly established themselves as a crucial service to the city. The boys sit around eating chinese takeout and Egon, while Ray and Peter down some Budweisers, drinks a coke. That simple red and white can shows that he has preferences, that he is a character outside of what we see in this movie, and that the man has a sweet tooth that can’t be satisfied.

I’d say he’s on par with Ray for being a true Ghostbuster. He has the knowledge that makes ghost capture possible. Ray knows all the legends but it was Egon that figured out what frequency protons need to be thrown at to snare an ectoplasmic enemy.  

And as much as I’ve been talking exclusively about the character, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how crucial Harold Ramis was in bringing this character to life. The lines he delivers with a (mostly) unflappable monotone can mean so much more if you’re watching for his subtler facial expressions. Peter might be openly vocal with his smart-ass remarks, but Egon’s eyebrows reign supreme for sass.  

Maurice LaMarche also played Egon, though his vocal portrayal differed slightly from Ramis, he was still a Spengler. This version of Egon just had cooler hair and a little more imagination in the technology he built. LaMarche came back for The Extreme Ghostbusters as well, and that speaks volumes to Egon’s character within the Ghostbusters universe. Egon is the hand that passes the torch. He’s the only one qualified to.

While more emotionally closed-off than the other Ghostbusters, he has touching moments seen throughout the franchise. From the hug he and Janine share at the end of the first Ghostbusters to his final word being “Janine” in a near end of the world situation in The Real Ghostbusters, it’s clear his cold and calculating exterior doesn’t go too deep.

Egon is the brain of the Ghostbusters, but no man is a brain alone. Egon is a humanistic scientist, genuine in his beliefs and more than willing to fight for them.

Rest in peace Harold Ramis. You created a legend.

Amelia Wellman
I read, I write, I play videogames, Ghostbusters is my favourite thing in the known universe, but quasars come in at a close second. I've been known to cry at the drop of a hat over happy and sad things alike. I've also been known to fly into a rage if things don't go my way, leading to many a fight in high school and breaking someone's nose on the TTC one time. I'm an anxious introvert but also a loud-mouthed bad influence. Especially on my cat. He learned it from watching me, okay!

Leave a Reply