Slime & Suits: When Murray Stopped Being a Ghostbuster

Bill Murray

The news is Bill Murray is definitely out of Ghostbusters 3, but as painful as it is, did anyone not see this coming? I think it’s safe to say that I have a pro-Murray stance. In fact, I’ve made my career thus far off of worshiping Murray and all that he is and ever will be. So, I’m not really one to point out any Murray related wrong doings (Garfield?), but it seems to me the essential problem with Ghostbusters is Bill Murray has become a man who does not get slimed.

What do you need to be a Ghostbuster? A beige jumpsuit, elbow pads, kneepads, a black backpack with blinking lights, goggles (optional), slime (optional). Just the outfit really. It’s not that difficult, yet Ghostbusters II features Bill Murray in a wide array of business suits and sweater vests. And when he does wear the Ghostbusters costume, he wears the slightly more fashionable, slightly less ridiculous, much less iconic blackish gray Ghostbusters costume.

I don’t know the exact history of the Ghostbusters team at the time, but, of course, there are always the rumblings of the Ramis/Murray feud. Whatever the actual issue is I think Ghostbusters II really says a lot about their relationships. Murray’s Peter Venkman won’t stay with the other Ghostbusters at the firehouse (he has his own apartment in this movie), he won’t dress up with the Ghostbusters, he won’t go on wacky hijinks with the Ghostbusters, and he won’t get slimed. It’s difficult to have a Ghostbusters film with one of the Ghostbusters not really into busting ghosts. One of the most memorable scenes of the first film is when Murray got slimed. In the second film, it becomes increasingly clear that he was not getting slimed, he was not getting dirty, and he was not wearing silly outfits. What would he do? He’d wear sweaters, he’d sit around, he'd play with a baby, and he’d go out to dinner.

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Sentinels Doing Things

It’s funny that Marvel has taken an anti-mutant stance after years of X-men comics about equal rights. Of course, it’s not a political statement but more about saving a few bucks. It’s about some odd regulation that makes it cheaper to ship non-human action figures than it is to ship human action figures, and by arguing that Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, and etc. are not human, Marvel saves some dough. And according to all the Ghost Rider hub bub, they need it! However, all these government regulations defining what is and what is not human got me thinking about the Sentinels.

The Sentinels are giant government sponsored robots designed for hunting down and incapacitating mutants. This is all well and good until a minor logic flaw makes the Sentinel robots realize that they hunt mutants, mutant are human, and therefor they hunt humans. Which I have no problem with because that is always what is bound to happen when you construct giant robots. Prime directives are just meant to be broken. When you construct colossal machines of doom expect that at some point they will turn against their evil creators, it’s a given. It happens time and time again, at some point your shiny new cybernetic law enforcement agent will throw employees (or recently fired employees) from windows. My problem is that our government is involved with this, meaning someone had to pass regulations to create giant robots. Not that the government isn’t stupid enough to make giant robots—I’m sure they have some giant robot factories someplace right now as I speak—but that they would pass legislation without tacking on any riders to the giant robot bill. Like why not have the Sentinels do something else when not waging a race war. Why limit it to mutant genocide?

Why spend billions of dollars on mechanical bounty hunters with no other practical functions? Giant robots have literally hundreds of uses if not dozens. I can’t imagine a single aspect of our everyday lives that wouldn’t benefit from three story tall robotic overseers. For instance, they could rescue small children trapped in wells. Just reach in a giant arm and pluck those suckers right out. Of course, the eventual programing glitch might go something like this: Sentinels rescue children, children are soft and squishy, if children were less soft and less squishy they wouldn’t need rescuing, Sentinels are hard and metal, replace children with Sentinels.

Still Sentinels just seem totally underutilized to me. They only things they seem to do consistently are rip the roofs off of houses to play peak-a-boo and have their heads torn off, surprisingly easily on both accounts. Here are some other everyday uses for Sentinels:


sentinel building

Sentinel robots could slap together new building like Legos. Think of all the hard working blue-collar folks they could put out work. A good, well-paying job isn’t the American dream; it’s getting a robot to do it for you.

Glitch: Sentinels build shelters for man, shelters keep man warm, Sentinels warm man with laser cannons in palm

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Groundhog Day: The Walking Tour

Bill Murray

Another Groundhog Day has come and gone and come and gone and come and gone, but this year I decided to do something to break the monotony. The time has come for me to make my pilgrimage to Groundhog mecca… no, not Punxsutawney, PA. It turns out the movie Groundhog Day (which I have written so much about) was filmed just an hour and half away from me in Woodstock, IL. Not only that, but Woodstock, IL, has become practically a Groundhog Day amusement park. Not an amusement park for the holiday of Groundhog Day, the way the real Punxsutawney is, but to celebrate the movie! It’s like a shrine to places Bill Murray has stood. There’s even an actual plaque that says Bill Murray stood here.

So, for the 20th anniversary of the Groundhog Day movie I decided to hop a train and make my way to festivities.


Woodstock's Groundhog Days featured a week of events that included several screenings, a dance (hopefully with bachelor auction), a symposium, and a walking tour of filming sites… BING! You get to see the Pennsylvanian Hotel, Gobbler’s Knob, the Puddle!, Tip Top Café (which doesn’t exist in any capacity, so really isn’t worth taking a picture of or seeing), the Alpine Theater, the bowling alley, and the Cherry Street Inn. All of which was mostly within 50 ft. of each other. So, if you like walking tours but hate walking then this is the tour for you. BING!

Woodstock has become what it was fictionally portrayed as being. It's now crammed with various Groundhog merchandise: shirts, mugs, buttons, stuffed animals, and cookies. And just about every restaurant has a framed photo of Murray.

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Happy Groundhog Day!

I was going to do a follow up about our classic Groundhog Day piece, but I figured I still have six weeks, so what’s the rush?

In the mean time, enjoy these other Groundhog Day stories:

Visit the film locations in Woodstock, IL! Maybe, it's time for a pilgrimage.

Groundhog Day: Where are they now? It turns out Bill Murray had a pretty good little career after the movie.

12 things you probably didn’t know about the movie “Groundhog Day” unless you’re a dork like me.

Why did Bill Murray keep going back in Groundhog Day?
Instead of rehashing my how long article, they actually asked something important... why?

Groundhog Day’s lost radio tape, not really, but it does have me acting poorly in it. And by “acting poorly” I mean just being actually awkward and stupid.

Top Gnardicles of 2011

A brand new year, same old laziness. But let’s look back at the Year in Gnards, which featured such memorable articles as… that thing with that person. And that other thing about something or other. Memorable is perhaps a stretch, more like a vast array of forgettable schlock, but, dammit, it's my forgettable schlock. This last year there were no articles that people loved such as Groundhog Day math or even articles that people hated like Doug’s Racist Funnie Bone. Bland was my goal for 2011 and when I hit the middle, I hit it hard! You could, of course, blame how few articles I wrote in 2011. You could say that there were no good articles because there were so few articles written, but the few articles I wrote weren’t very good either so that couldn’t be the problem. Want proof?

Here are the top articles that most of you didn’t read… enjoy (or not):

10. Sewer Cinema – There’s a lot of movie posters with manhole covers on them. That’s it.

9. Hooded Injustice – A post inspired by NBC’s mega hit show The Cape. It’s a good thing that it’s the #1 show on television or else this article would be a complete waste.

8. MTV’s Teen Wolf – As you can see, I don’t watch a lot of very good shows on TV. Could that be part of the problem?

7. Me Trying to Milk Groundhog Day Fame and Glory Even More – I think I’ve done all I can do.

6. The Raping of Goldie Hawn – So, this is what you degenerates like? (I do not advocate rape or Goldie Hawn)

5. The Law of Cartoon Pants – Naked cartoons… now this is what the internet is all about!

4. In Defense of Robin – Batman & Robin gay jokes. Not particularly original or clever, but internet traffic obviously doesn’t require either.

3. Cosby Sweaters! – I think most people liked the creepy pictures, but my favorite part was figuring out how much he spent on sweaters: between $60,000 and $100,000!

2. The True Paternity of Girls on Full House – Sex, intrigue, blonde girls: it has everything the web could want. Side note: it took me about 3 hours to get those charts right, and they’re still kind of off kilter.

1. Pictures of Rachael Leigh Cook – That’s all it takes: no jokes, no clever graphs, no witty one liners. Just a moderately hot girl that we kind of sort of remember from the 90’s.

Where's Wolf Gnards?

I know all you hardcore Gnarders out there are wondering where Wolf Gnards has been (if, of course, there is a such thing as "hardcore Gnarders," which I doubt). Where have I been? I've been away... facing mirror images that were not my own, leaping from life to life, putting things right that once went wrong, and hoping each time that my next leap will be the leap home. Mostly I've been laying low, ducking fans who complain I make too many stupid Quantum Leap references. If those are even fans or if they exist at all or they're just digital spiders built for one purpose: to nitpick pop culture articles nitpicking pop culture. But if you imaginary fans do exist, rest assured that Wolf Gnards will be returning soon with regular updates. And if you imaginary fans don't exist than I'm just talking to myself, confirming to only myself that I do plan to write more articles in the upcoming year. Which is nice because I was kind of worried.

And if my mom is the only one reading this: I think I left some socks at your place. Can you send me my socks? They're white. You don't have to air mail them or anything, regular postal service will do. They look like this:

Missing Sock

And if my mom isn't reading this, and if there are actual hardcore Gnarders out there then the time has come to unite! Follow Gnards on Twitter or Facebook or both. Follow me anywhere you can. Find other gnards out there, pair up, spread the word. I mean you really can't call yourself a Gnarder unless you're covered in gnards. 2012 will be the Year of the Gnards... which I believe is in the Chinese Zodiac. And if you see my sock, please, send it to me.

And, yes, a post saying there will be posts is not a real post.