Fans of the 1984 sci-fi comedy Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel were introduced to a number of fiendish ghosts. But one spectral entity stands up in my mind as one of the most memorable in the series: Slimer.
But did you know that Slimer is allegedly based on a late, great comedy icon?
According to Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, the green ball of Ectoplasm is loosely based off of Animal House and Blues Brothers actor and Saturday Night Live cast member, John Belushi.
When screenwriters and stars of the film, Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, first started developing the idea of Ghostbusters, it involved John Belushi having a role in the film. But after a number of changes to the original script, and later Belushi's untimely death, he never had the chance to bust any ghosts. Still, Aykroyd and Ramis were able to pay a small tribute to their dear friend.
Reitman, who was also one of the producers of Animal House, claims that Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis had Belushi's character, John "Bluto" Blutarsky, and the real-life John Belushi in mind when creating Slimer. Remember this scene? It certainly feels very Slimer-esque.
Reitman compares the two saying that while Belushi's gluttonous Bluto portrayal is part of what makes Slimer the ghost of John Belushi, but also the fact that he was just a guy always looking for some good laughs:
"He’s just a party guy looking to have a good time."
Sadly, John Belushi passed away in 1982, two years before the movie was released at the age of 33.