Tuesday Toonsday: Get to Know The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters

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Guys, I don’t know if you can hear me, but spooky ghosts have taken over Saturday Mourning Cartoons.  While I try to get myself, Sean, and Matt to safety, it’d be great if you could call someone.  Who you gonna call?  I mean, the cops might be nice for starters.  Maybe some exorcists.  Oh, I know!  How about The Real Ghostbusters?  If they’re busy, you can also try the Extreme Ghosbusters.  Wait, you don’t know about them?  ::sigh:: Alright, check out this handy character guide below (thanks to Wikipedia in two parts) while I … shit, Barron just got slimed.  We’re leaving him behind.  Sorry, buddy.

the-real-ghostbustersThe Real Ghostbusters:

The series continues the adventures of paranormal investigators Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, their secretary Janine Melnitz and their mascot ghost Slimer.  (Yeah, there’s not much character depth here since they just port over the personalities of the live-action cohorts.)

Extreme Ghostbusters (aka Ghosbusters Dark, which is amazing):

extreme-ghostbusters-egon-spenglerEgon Spengler (voiced by Maurice LaMarche)
The only original Ghostbuster to become a regular in this spin-off series, Egon takes on the role of mentor for the new team of Ghostbusters. He still lives in the fire house with Slimer, enabling the building to become the Ghostbusters headquarters when paranormal activity starts again. Before the first ghost escaped, Egon was teaching classes on the paranormal at New York City College – four people taking his class was double the usual. He usually leaves the field work to the new members, opting to provide audio back-up from the fire house and information on their current adversary, but has joined them in action when he feels the crisis requires his presence. Other than ghosts, he also has an interest in mold and started to grow cultures in Eduardo’s bathtub when the two roomed together. He continues to have romantic tension with Janine. The official website gave his age as 41 and in “The Sphinx”, he suffered a mid-life crisis and tried to prove he could physically still cut it.
extreme-ghostbusters-janineJanine Melnitz (voiced by Pat Musick)
The Ghostbusters’ original receptionist returns to the role after she is reunited with Egon by taking his Paranormal 101 class at New York City College. Like Egon, she watches over the new team, and on occasion contributes an active part in ghostbusting. According to Egon, she also functions as the team’s accountant and collector. She also shows off obvious signs of attraction to Egon, but he is completely oblivious to this, which only frustrates her. The official website said “she’s spent the last decade flitting from job to job… trying not to pine for Prof. Spengler”.
Eduardo Rivera (voiced by Rino Romano)
extreme-ghostbusters-eduardo-riveraSeemingly a lazy, sarcastic and somewhat clueless character, Eduardo nevertheless makes himself an integral part of the team by being determined and reliable. Eduardo, along with Garret, resembles original Ghostbuster Peter Venkman in that, like Venkman, Eduardo is sarcastic, has a penchant for pursuing attractive women, and is generally unscientific and constantly spouts pop culture references. He also reads “J.N. Kline” young-adult horror novels. Eduardo has a long-running subplot dealing with a love/hate relationship between him and Kylie, although it is very much revealed “In Your Dreams” that he has intimate feelings and dreams about her. In “Rage”, Eduardo reveals to have an older brother, Carlos “Carl” Rivera, an NYPD officer who is angry with Eduardo for not being a police officer like the rest of their family, and thinks the Ghostbuster are a scam, which is why Eduardo kept his job a secret. In “Fear Itself”, it’s revealed that Eduardo has a fear of death (specifically his own). He has a vicious rivalry with Slimer, but has ended up working with the ghost, and volunteered to save him in “Slimer’s Sacrific”. He also has a on the surface rivalry with Garrett with the two often mocking each other and attempting to one up the other. In spite of this as the series goes on the two seem to have the closest thing to a friendship even though Garrett’s enthusiatic personality completely contrasts Eduardo’s cynical attitude. (The official website claimed he slacks off due to fear of failure).
extreme-ghostbusters-roland-jacksonRoland Jackson (voiced by Alfonso Ribeiro)
The mechanic of the group. Roland is the most level-headed and mechanically-gifted of the new Ghostbusters, helping Egon repair and improve the Proton Packs and Ecto-1; his reason for joining Egon’s class was seeing the Ecto-1 at an auto show. Roland approaches the paranormal from a practical point-of-view, and in the episode “Fear Itself” reveals that his only fear is the dangerous breakdown of his equipment. In “The Infernal Machine”, he became disgruntled that his technological efforts were being taken for granted. Roland’s strongest wish is to get into the Ivy League and become a doctor. He’s a very staid, square personality, slow to anger, though he came close to striking one of the racists in “The True Face of the Monster”; it’s implied he’s had to deal with racist attitudes before. Roland has twice come under the mental control of villains, the Siren in “Sonic Youth” and Luko in “The Infernal Machine”. “Grease” reveals Roland is the oldest in a lower middle-class family and volunteers for the Little League and helps the homeless; in “Grundelesque” we meet his very mischievous younger brother whom Roland (at first) refuses to believe is a troublemaker.
extreme-ghostbusters-garrett-millerGarrett Miller (voiced by Jason Marsden)
Despite being a lifelong wheelchair user, Garret has a very ‘jock’-like attitude and is a huge fan of extreme sports and attempting mad stunts. In the episode “Grease”, it’s revealed that Garrett was born with the inability to walk and studying to be a physical therapist, and throughout the series he only refers to his condition to mock it (and in “Be Careful What You Wish For”, uses it as an excuse to dump some work on Eduardo). He is the most headstrong and enthusiastic of the new Ghostbusters, often claiming that he’s in it only for the adrenaline rush; he was left bitterly disappointed in “Ghost Apocalyptic Future” to learn he was the only Ghostbuster not remembered in the future dystopia. While he studies to be a physical therapist to help other disabled people, his secret dream is to be an NBA star. In “Fear Itself”, it’s revealed that Garrett is claustrophobic (though he never admits it to anyone), and has a deep disdain towards the FBI ever since the incident where two agents arrested them under the belief they were causing the sabotages and released a gremlin they recently captured while they were on a plane. He has a rivalry with Eduardo, the two of them constantly bantering and trying to one-up each other. In “Deadliners”, we find out Garrett wrote a (bad) horror story starring himself (the other Ghostbusters died on the first page, to their annoyance).
Garrett is the only Ghostbuster in the history of the franchise never to be made as a toy (all other Ghostbusters received at least two toys, including Louis and Janine).
Bob Higgins has said that during a focus group of young children, the creators found Garrett was the most popular character: “when we asked… which of these characters would you want to be and they all wanted to be Garrett, they all wanted to be the guy that does the crazy things. They all wanted to be the guy that was the leader and they all kind of saw him as the leader of this group [even though he wasn’t]”.
extreme-ghostbusters-kylie-griffinKylie Griffin (voiced by Tara Strong, credited as Tara Charendoff)
The only member of the new team to have any sort of paranormal knowledge before signing up as a Ghostbuster, after her friend Jack was a victim of the Grundel. Kylie is in awe of Egon when the series began, but this soon shifts to a more equal footing, and becomes somewhat of the unofficial leader in the field, after Egon. Kylie’s calm exterior often sets her as a foil against Eduardo’s brashness, as part of the ongoing love/hate dynamic between the two. She is also the one who most commonly wields the Ghost Traps. She is depicted as something of a “Goth” girl, judging by the black hair and lipstick. In the episode “Grease”, it is revealed that her parents divorced and she currently lives alone with her cat; she was highly close to her grandmother Rose, who died a year before the show started, and both her interest in the paranormal & Gothic styling are implied to be related to her grandmother’s death. In “Fear Itself”, it’s revealed that Kylie is afraid of maggots as she finds them creepy, and in “Heart of Darkness” it is revealed she used to be “Cheerleader of the Year” when she was in the 8th Grade of her junior high school (something she finds mortifying). There is a running gag where she often replies with the sentence, “I’m not a…”, followed by what has happened. It is also hinted throughout the series that she’s attracted to older, intelligent men.
Kylie Griffin also appears in the Ghostbusters comic books published by IDW Publishing. In the comics, she originally only appeared in cameo roles as a worker in Ray Stantz‘s occult book shop before being made a Ghostbuster in issues starting in 2013.
extreme-ghostbusters-slimerSlimer (voiced by Billy West)
Slimer remains the most unchanged of all the characters in terms of personality. However, he is given a less cartoony look to fit in with the series’ overall style. In “Fear Itself”, it’s revealed that Slimer is afraid of broccoli (which is ironic, as he has been shown to eat anything). Slimer is very well-meaning, but is often pushed around by the Ghostbusters as he gets in their way and eats continually. His actions often affect the story, usually adversely, though he often acts to fix his mistakes and on a number of occasions has been shown to have a heroic nature and that he can wield a proton pack.[17] He’s got a strong rivalry with Eduardo, similar to the one he had with Peter Venkman, though several episodes show that Eduardo – and the other Ghostbusters – do care for him as much as he annoys them.[18] He’s been living with Egon for over a decade now, and the two are closer than in the original series; when trying to get Egon to discipline the ghost in “Glutton for Punishment”, Janine says she knows the two have been through a lot together, and in “Slimer’s Sacrifice” Egon immediately suits up to enter the Containment Unit to rescue him, but after he is attacked by the ghost, Eduardo goes in to save Slimer.

You can watch the entirety of the series by picking up the entire collection of The Real Ghostbusters on DVD here.  Extreme Ghostbusters is much tougher to find on Region 1 DVD, but if you are interested in picking the series up on VHS tape,you can find them at this link.  Please consider buying  either or both through our referral link since it helps to fund the podcast. Thanks!