The Real Ghostbusters: The Rise And Fall of The Coolest Cartoon Of the 1980s

“What’s scary about it is that we got it broadcast,” McCoy laughs. “Oh my God, we got so much shit. We had every evangelical right-wing religious nut in the world complaining about it. Even my own brother, who was born again, gave me shit about it.”

Not that they were the only writers to push the envelope when it came to blending laughter and scares on a kids show. Straczynski delivered some of the most striking episodes in this regard, including “Knock Knock,” in which subway workers unwittingly unleash evil creatures from hell into the underground system, and “The Thing in Mrs. Faversham’s Attic,” a spookfest about an old lady with spirits lurking in the roof of her home.

Others like the Reaves-penned “The Boogieman Cometh,” where Egon is forced to confront his own very real fear of the bogeyman and the Brennan-written effort “Night Game” where the gang must deal with a haunting at the New York Jaguars’ baseball stadium are regularly cited among the best and most unsettling.

Hickey and McCoy took inspiration from a variety of sources, both contemporary and otherwise, for their ideas.

“I have a background in folklore, so we were also looking into stuff like that we could use,” McCoy says, recalling the episode “Banshee Bake A Cherry Pie,” in which an Irish chart-topping singer is revealed to be a Banshee intent on wreaking havoc on the world.

Elsewhere, episodes like “The Long, Long, Long etc. Goodbye” served as an ode of sorts to Philip Marlowe stories—not something you would see in many children’s cartoons—while “Don’t Forget The Motor City” saw the guys head to Detroit to deal with some pesky gremlins, where they met a character who looked a lot like Aretha Franklin, even if she was rather carefully referred to as “the Queen of Soul.”


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Shiv Shakti (Zee) 14th October 2023 Written

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