HAROLD RAMIS AND HULK’S ORIGIN STORY

A Hulk's gotta start somewhere, and this one started with GHOSTBUSTERS.

HULK'S NOT REALLY READY TO TALK ABOUT THE DEATH OF HAROLD RAMIS.

NOT IN ANY KIND OF MEANINGFUL SENSE. THE TRUTH IS THIS IS HAPPENING MORE AND MORE LATELY WITH ALL THE CINEMATIC HEROES THAT ARE DYING. THIS IS NATURAL, SADLY. THE OLDER WE GET, THE HIGHER THE ODDS THAT THE DECEASED ARE THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO HELPED SHAPE OUR LIVES IN SOME FORMATIVE WAY. AND WHEN IT IS PERSONAL, THEN IT'S NOT REALLY A MATTER OF APPRECIATION OR ABSTRACTION, THEN IT'S REAL. THEN IT'S LOSING SOMETHING TANGIBLE. AND SO IT JUST FEELS ALL THE MORE SENSELESS. ALL THE MORE BASE AND NEEDLESS. WE CAN TALK ALL WE LIKE ABOUT DEATH BEING A NECESSITY IN GIVING LIFE MEANING, BUT THAT DOESN'T ALSO MEAN THAT IN THE MOMENT IT ISN'T A VILE WASTE OF SOMETHING AS PRECIOUS AS A LIFE WELL-LIVED.

HULK KNOWS THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE THE IDEA OF "SOME DUMB HULK" TALKING ABOUT SERIOUS LIFE THINGS IN THIS MANNER, AS IF DECORUM IS OBVIOUSLY THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IN CASES LIKE THIS. HULK UNDERSTANDS, BUT INSISTS THAT THE GENUINE NATURE AND INTENT IS THE ONLY THING THAT DOES AND CAN EVER MATTER. THAT'S SORT OF WHAT THIS WHOLE HULK THING IS REALLY ABOUT SO WHY NOT NOW? AFTER ALL, THOUGHTS LIKE THESE ARE JUST REFLECTIONS, AND SO IF HULK COULD, HULK WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ONE EARNEST REFLECTION ON A TRUE GIANT.

WHEN HULK WAS A YOUNGER HULK, HULK WAS KIND OF OBSESSED WITH GHOSTBUSTERS. WHO WOULDN'T BE? A MOVIE AS VIVID, FUNNY AND CHOCK-FULL OF CINEMATIC GLORY AS THAT ONLY COMES AROUND ONCE IN A LONG WHILE. AND MAMA-HULK, EVER THE CURATOR OF LIL HULK'S INTERESTS, GOT HULK A BOOK CALLED MAKING GHOSTBUSTERS BY DON SHAY. NOW, TO THIS POINT HULK ALREADY LOVED MOVIES. BUT FOR THE MOST PART, THEY WERE JUST THESE LOVELY THINGS THAT EXISTED IN DARKENED ROOMS AND WENT ON TO LIVE IN OUR BRAINS (OR POSSIBLY OUR TOY SETS). SO THE IDEA THAT PEOPLE MADE THEM IN ANY KIND OF REALISTIC, CONCRETE CAPACITY WAS A REVELATORY ONE. AND THAT BOOK SHOWED EVERY PART OF THE PROCESS. NATURALLY, HULK DEVOURED EVERY PAGE. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME HULK HAD EVER SEEN A SCRIPT AND HULK BEGAN WRITING AWAY ON AN OLD TYPEWRITER, DESPERATELY TRYING TO GET THE FORMAT. HULK ASKED A MILLION QUESTIONS AND BECAME OBSESSED WITH EFFECTS AND CAMERAS. AND FROM THAT POINT ON, THERE WAS NO STOPPING HULK. LEGO SETS BECAME MOVIE BACKDROPS. KITCHEN TABLES WERE TURNED ON END AND COVERED WITH CONSTRUCTION PAPER BACKDROPS OF THE NEW YORK SKYLINE. OUR SUPER 8 CAMERA SWOOPED AND SWOONED AS HULK'S BROTHER WORE A WHITE BEDSHEET STUFFED WITH PILLOWS, TURNING HIM INTO OUR VERY OWN HOMEMADE STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN. AS FAR AS HULK WAS CONCERNED, THIS WAS THE BIRTH OF ACTUAL CINEMA.

20+ YEARS LATER HULK'S STANDING IN THE SAME ROOM AS HAROLD RAMIS.

GRANTED, IT WAS IN A PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY AND SO HULK COULDN'T REALLY START ATTACKING HIM WITH "ZOMG!"-LEVEL ENTHUSIASM, BUT STILL, THERE HE WAS. AND OBVIOUSLY, BY THIS POINT HULK'S ENTHUSIASM WASN'T JUST ABOUT GHOSTBUSTERS, BUT THAT ENTIRE RIDICULOUS OEUVRE OF HIS. AND IT IS RIDICULOUS. NO HUMAN BEING HAS A RIGHT TO BE THAT INTEGRAL TO SO MANY GREAT THINGS FOR SO MANY YEARS. AND DESPITE THE PLETHORA OF GREATNESS, HULK'S BRAIN JUST COULDN'T HELP BUT GO BACK TO THE WHOLE GHOSTBUSTERS THING. MAYBE IT WAS THE FACT THAT EVERY OTHER KID ON THE PLAYGROUND FASHIONED THEMSELVES AS PETER VENKMAN, WHEREAS HULK RELUCTANTLY ADMITTED TO BEING AN EGON SPENGLER-TYPE EVEN THEN; THE QUIET AND SLEEPLESS NERD MORE COMFORTABLE PLAYING THE ZELIG FIGURE INSTEAD OF THE FRONT AND CENTER STAR. BUT REALLY IT WAS THAT DAMN MAKING-OF BOOK AND THE WORLD THAT OPENED UP BECAUSE OF IT. THAT'S THE KIND OF THING THAT DEFINES "ORIGIN" TO US. THE FORKS THAT SEND US ON OUR WEIRD CHOSEN PATHS. AND SO IN THE ELEVATOR RIDE WITH RAMIS THAT FOLLOWED, HULK COULDN'T HELP BUT LET IT ALL SLIP. GOOD LORD, THE GUSHING. THE MAKING-OF BOOK. THE HOME MOVIES. THE TACIT ADMISSION THAT IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THIS WHOLE SILLY CAREER ENDEAVOR... HE DIDN'T LAUGH IT OFF OR ANYTHING. PEOPLE SAY HE HAD THIS WAY OF BEING KIND WITHOUT FALLING ALL OVER HIMSELF TO DO SO. HE JUST NODDED ALONG POLITELY AS HE HAD PROBABLY HEARD IT A MILLION TIMES BEFORE IN A MILLION DIFFERENT WAYS. THEN THE ELEVATOR DINGED AND HE ONLY SAID ONE THING BEFORE THE GOODBYE:

"Well, If it wasn't Ghostbusters it would have been something else." HE PAUSED FOR A MOMENT, THEN LET OUT A HINT OF A SMILE: "But you're probably lucky it was."

HULK WAS.

<3 FOREVER.

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