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.

Follow up:

Where's Peter Venkman: Ghostbuster?

Ghostbusters 2
Three Ghostbusters and a photographer from the mall.

Check them out in their off time, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd are wearing scientist type white smocks, Ernie Hudson is in the Ghostbusters II black jumpsuit, and Bill Murray is in a blue sweater. Their outfits tell you exactly who they are. Ramis and Aykroid: smart guys. Hudson: man of action. Murray: some dude. This motif repeats itself throughout the film.

Ghostbusters courthouse
I feel like they wrote the court scene just for an excuse to keep wearing suits and ties.
Train Tunnel
Murray is noticeably not in the scene when they all don silly yellow rain slickers.
Mood Slime
Which is followed by the scene of them being slathered head-to-toe in pink slime (and much more slime than Murray was ever slimed with). Side note: if he was to be slimed, did Murray prefer to be slimed with the more masculine green slime opposed to the effeminate pink slime? Is there slime sexism?
They're in the underwear, covered in goo, yet Bill Murray is the one who stands out.

One argument I’ve heard is that Murray needed a place of his own and to be decked out in more formal attire in order to woo Sigourney Weaver. However, this would mean that women are not attracted to Ghostbusters, which is patently incorrect.

  1. Ladies love a man in uniform.
  2. Ladies love a man who knows how to handle his proton accelerator.
  3. Busting makes them feel good.

Additionally, Sigourney Weaver is now a single mother looking for someone, anyone, to help raise a surprisingly ugly baby. Let’s face it, she has fewer options on the table, Rick Moranis isn’t even stalking her anymore (although, there’s the new guy at work sexually harassing her), and she has all kinds of demonic baggage. Whatever Peter Venkman’s faults were in the first film, she might be willing to overlook them at this point.

If we really look back the writing was on the wall in the first movie, or the marshmallow was on the wall, or lack thereof.


As you can see, Bill Murray is covered in nearly 87% less marshmallow than the other Ghostbusters, that’s a significant decrease in marshmallow coverage. Now there is an actual legitimate argument that this is for the above mentioned romantic reasons. He was covered in fewer marshmallows here because he has to embrace Weaver and be generally romantic. However, let’s also remember that her character was a dog just minutes before, and as an audience if we're willing to accept that he can get over her being dog then the least she can do is look past a little marshmallow. Instead this scene demonstrates more of a philosophical choice: either you can be committed to being a Ghostbuster and be committed to a universe where a 50 ft. tall marshmallow man just exploded over the city, thus being entirely covered in marshmallow, or you can have a little marshmallow on your head and shoulder and collect your paycheck.

Willingness to Be Slimed

The more you get paid then the less willing you are to be slimed, and the more desperate you are to get a laugh then the more willing you are to get slimed.

Slime Chart
  • phillyradiogeek
    Comment from: phillyradiogeek
    03/07/12 @ 08:58:48 am

    Thanks for showing your work :)

  • CR
    Comment from: CR
    02/04/13 @ 04:07:25 am

    Lest we not forget Moranis sits up next to weaver with his pants unbuckled, hair on end, like he just had his mind blown.

    Sigorney might have had a little extra something to pass on to Murray in that hero kiss!!! (Doh)

    Murray pooped out, but he did the voice over for the video game and showed up on TC Awards as pictured. I think old actors realize it ain't cheap living large in the future. Better to grab that cash cow. GB3 will be huge. I think it's all a ploy to drum up support and in the end Murray 'gives in' tp his loving fans.

    My only hope is recent special FX can help make it look really great.
    Those guys need some 'just for men' haircolor for sure.

    I'm not positive if using all the original members is going to work or not or just look like 'grumpier old men' with proton packs...

    Maybe at their age a cameo or coming out of retirement to help the younger GB's might be more appropriate.

    I will surely LMAO reading the teen reviews for those who didn't have a clue and get stuck with the old farts for 2hrs!

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