Ghostbusters: my date with Peck and Slimer

Who ya gonna call? Hot Nerd Girl!!

So my friend Hayden is slightly (and when I say slightly I mean majorly) obsessed with Ghostbusters

Ecto-1 ftw!

We once drove all the way downtown to a tech convention just to see Ecto-1 parked outside.  We stayed just long enough to take pictures and chat with the owner and then left. 

Then we got up early and headed to Costco to meet Dan Aykroyd and buy bottles of his Crystal Head vodka a while back.

So when Hayden found out that there would be a special showing of the film at Arclight Theatre with Ernie Hudson and William Atherton showing up for a Q&A session, it was pretty much mandatory that we attend.  Events like this are one of the few perks of living in Los Angeles.  You’d think there would be more perks, but nope, this town pretty much sucks.

It also happens to be Hayden’s birthday so it was a total score for me since it’s quite possibly the easiest birthday present ever.   

Hayden and HNG at it again

I showed up before Hayden did and just happened to run into William Atherton in the Arclight gift shop.  This was not my first time meeting Bill (we’re on a first name basis now).  I had met him once before in 2005 at the Whole Foods Market in Woodland Hills.  We were both grocery shopping and our eyes met.  We introduced ourselves, chatted for minute and then parted ways.  It was a moment, surrounded by organic, cage-free brown eggs, that I will never forget.  Hayden showed up a minute later and we took pictures with him and scored autographs.  I had Bill sign my crystal skull which he found highly amusing.  Amusing enough to write his note to Dan Aykroyd instead of to me.  A note that Danny (we’re on a first name basis now) will probably never, ever see.  But whatever.  Bill’s an awesome guy and not nearly as dickless as Venkman would have you think.

A girl and two pecks

Watching the movie on the big screen was epic.  Let’s just say that I was not old enough to watch it when it was originally on the big screen *ahem* so this was a real, if slightly fuzzy, treat.

Then came the moment we were all waiting for: the Q&A with Ernie Hudson (Winston), William Atherton (Peck), Joe Medjuck (Producer), Steve Johnson (Slimer, Visual Effects Artist), and Billy Bryan (Stay Puft Marshmallow Man).  Oh, but wait, Ernie Hudson decided not to show.  Or even call to say that he wasn’t going to show.


Ernie, you are dead to me

I know you’re so busy with your thriving acting career and all but really?  You didn’t even have the manners to call and say that you were so sorry that you couldn’t grace us with your presence?

Ugh.  Whatever.  My crystal skull didn’t want your signature on it anyways. One day I will have them all - muahahahaha

The Q&A sans Ernie went smashingly with one exception: the host decided that his questions were far more important than fan questions and only left enough time for TWO questions from the audience.  Douche.  As my friend Kate would say “That’s soooooooooooo LA…”

All in all it was a great night. And although the kid next to me made a strange clicking noise when he yawned EVERY 30 SECONDS, I had a great time hanging out with the people behind the magic.  If they ever do one of these for Star Trek I might just have a joygasm.  

I'm a case you didn't know

 Some fun facts learned:

  • Exploded Stay Puft was actually shaving cream.  Bill found out they were planning on dumping 100 lbs of the stuff on him and insisted they do a test run.  The test run knocked the stunt guy flat.  Oh, and they accidentally used mentholated shaving cream instead of regular.  Ouch.  Needless to say, all was rectified for Bill’s shot.
  • They filmed at all hours of the night and really pissed off the New Yorkers living in the neighborhood.  At one point Isaac Asimov came running out.  Dan Aykroyd got all excited and ran up to him and started telling him how huge a fan he was.  Asimov just stared and him and yelled “Are you the one responsible for all this???”
  • Francis Ford Coppola was filming The Cotton Club around the same time so when people got upset about the lights and noise the Ghostbusters crew started blaming it on Coppola.
  • They sometimes filmed without permits.  In the montage where they are running around New York catching ghosts, they are, at one point, really running away from a pissed off security guard.
  • The part of Venkman was originally written for John Belushi.  When John Belushi Graduated they brought in Bill Murray to replace him.  They had already created Slimer but completely revamped him as an homage to Belushi in Animal House.
  • Stay Puft is missing his tie in the scene where he explodes. Billy Bryan realized this in the middle of the night after shooting and woke up in a panic.  Since no one in the screenings ever noticed, they left it as is.
  • Stay Puft is the only aspect of the original script that survived.

No iron-on is a match for the 34DD's

I met Dan Aykroyd on Saturday

Ray, Tray, and Hay

This is cool for many reasons.

  1. It’s Dan Aykroyd
  2. Ghostbusters 3 is really starting to make headway
  3. My friend and fellow nerd, Hayden, is probably the biggest Ghostbusters geek in California, if not the country
  4. Ghostbusters 3 is really starting to make headway
  5. There’s a chance he’s going to put Hayden to work
  6. His vodka, Crystal Head, is based on the Legend of the 13 Crystal Skulls (which, sadly, George Lucas managed to make ridiculous in Indy 4)
  7. Ghostbusters 3 is really starting to make headway

H-Dogg was a little starstruck

First off, let me just say that Dan was super nice (that’s right, we’re on a first name basis now).  Hayden and I hiked over to Costco (!!!) to meet him and get some stuff signed (he was there to sign bottles of the vodka).  He really dug Hayden’s kickass custom made GB hockey jersey (he’s Canadian, it would be illegal for him to NOT like hockey) and Hayden just about passed out when Dan asked him for his business card.  We were the only people he stood up to take a picture with.  Probably because we were the only ones who didn’t try to kiss him on the lips (!!!)  I almost wore Hayden’s GB uniform (complete with a utility belt featuring blinking lights) but, alas, it was just too big to be comfortable so I opted for a t-shirt in Slimer green.  I would not have been the lone person in uniform (there were many); however, I would have been the only girl which would have almost been worth it.

Those ghosts won't know what hit 'em!

One of the perks of meeting famous people at Costco is the type of people you end up in line with.  The family in front of us were there shopping, oblivious to the fact that Dan would be there and the husband just happened to wear his GB shirt that day.  He was both excited to get it signed and bummed because he wouldn’t be able to wash or wear it again (although I’m skeptical about the last time it had been washed anyway).  The child, a boy around 3 or 4 years old was so excited to be The Incredible Hulk for Halloween that he told us about it.  Repeatedly.  As in, every 30 seconds or so.  Which would have been great if he had actually known anything about The Incredible Hulk.  But he didn’t.  Hayden and I taught much to this young padawan.  He was also very fond of death-defying shopping cart stunts and pulling electronics off of shelves.  I kept about 5 feet behind him at one point for fear I would end up with pink lemonade all over me.

Oh Dan, you couldn’t have done this at Whole Foods or something? BevMo would have been good!

Venkman's back

You may have seen Bill Murray decked out in GB gear at the 2010 Scream Awards.  He was the last piece in a puzzle that Aykroyd has been working on for over 20 years.  When asked, Dan brightened up and was visibly excited about the GB3 wheels being set into motion.  It is his baby after all.  Supposedly the script is written and the 2nd draft of it is being worked on which means that the soonest it will be released is sometime in 2012.  It will be interesting to see how they incorporate the advances in special effects and whether or not Hi-C will bring back Slimer Juice (aka Ecto-Cooler), which was quite possibly my favorite beverage as a kid.

$40 and change later I went home with a glass skull full of mediocre liquor and Dan Aykroyd’s signature plastered across the forehead.  I haven’t decided if I’ll crack it open or if it will make friends with the not-to-be-opened-for-fear-of-death-and-dismemberment Romulan Ale and Klingon Blood Wine.  I guess it depends on how long my bottle of Grey Goose lasts.  But if and when I do open it, I will certainly say a toast for Dan and his contribution to nerdom.

That's some nice head you got there