Real Ghostbusters pilot

If you can remember the late 80s and early 90s, then you’re likely familiar with The Real Ghostbusters, an animated series adaptation of the hit supernatural comedy classic, Ghostbusters. The series continued the adventures of paranormal investigators Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore, along with their secretary Janine Melnitz and bad ghost turned mascot, Slimer.

There were some considerable differences between the show and the film franchise, and we’re not just talking about the lack of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. However, The Real Ghostbusters pilot was actually a little closer in style to the Ghostbusters movie. And while it never actually aired on television, it’s available online for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s The Real Ghostbusters pilot episode, titled Spook Central, from YouTube user mdmax09:

For a frame of reference, here’s the opening to the actual show:

As you can see, there are several noticeable differences between the pilot and the actual show (though some parts ended up in the opening title sequence), besides the fact that there’s no dialogue or semblance of a story.

First of all, the proton packs, neutrino wands and ghost traps are much closer in color scheme to the movies than they ended up being in the actual show. The Real Ghostbusters opted for much darker color gear.

Secondly, in the pilot, Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man are still villains, whereas in the show they ended up being friendly with the Ghostbusters. In fact, Slimer was their ghost pal, always eating stuff just like in the movie.

But perhaps the biggest difference is that the pilot retained the original uniforms from the movie, giving every team member the same beige jumpsuit as opposed to the different colored ones we all know today. So why the changed to the multi-colored uniforms that were different for each Ghostbuster? The simple explanation is that it made it easier for kids, the target audience, to tell each character apart. After all, the same thing was done with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, despite the fact that their original design gave them all the same color eyemasks.

However, The Real Ghostbusters actually gave an explanation in the show as to why they have new uniforms. The Ghostbusters Wikia explains that in the episode Citizen Ghost, a flashback is employed (seen in the header image) that actually has direct ties to the plot of the movie:

After their battle with Gozer, their headquarters was destroyed and all the ghosts had escaped. So they planned to first rebuild the Firehouse and the Containment Unit. Egon decided this time the Containment Unit would be larger so no problems would arise from overflow. The first order of business was to burn their original uniforms, from the movie, because they absorbed a frightening amount of psychokinetic energy from their battle with Gozer. Luckily though, they had new uniforms that Janine had forgot to tell them about before they left to fight Gozer, so they quickly changed out of them into their current ones.

What’s even weirder about that episode is that Venkman forgets to destroy the uniforms, they end up absorbing energy from a crack in the Containment Unit, and take the form of spectral Ghostbusters that the real Ghostbusters have to fight. Yeah, the show was super weird, if you don’t remember. If you want to know more about the pilot, there’s more information right here.

And in case you wanted anymore fun facts about The Real Ghostbusters, Peter Venkman was originally voiced by Lorenzo Music, who was also the voice of Garfield, who went on to be voiced by Bill Murray on the big screen. Music ended up being replaced by Dave Coulier eventually. Also, Ernie Hudson is the only cast member to audition for his own character in The Real Ghostbusters, but he lost the role to Arsenio Hall. The more you know…

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