My First Crush Was Egon Spengler

Lauren Modery
3 min readNov 24, 2021

Watching Ghostbusters: Afterlife brought back memories of my first great love — Harold Ramis.

It takes a lot for me to go to the movie theater — even outside of a pandemic — but Ghostbusters: Afterlife looked too good to miss. And boy was I right.

Not only is the film well-written, well-performed (McKenna Grace is FANTASTIC), and entertaining, it taps into strong feelings of nostalgia — particularly if your favorite Ghostbuster was Egon Spengler, played by the very talented and dearly departed Harold Ramis.

Gathering from the trailer that the film centers on Egon’s character, I had anticipated getting choked up while watching the film. And for the most part I kept my cool, that is until the last 10 minutes of the film. Then I LOST IT.

I mean, I cried like a stupid little baby.

I cried for my childhood.
I cried for all the wonderful people who have left us since the first movie premiered.
And I cried for the passage of time.

I couldn’t think or talk for 30 minutes after the film.

And this strong emotional reaction reminded me of my deep love for my very first crush.

Dr. Egon Spengler forever

I was barely a living, breathing human when the first Ghostbusters premiered, but being a child of the 80s meant that Ghostbusters was must-see viewing at some point during my early years.

At the tender age of 5, I was too young to fully understand the film’s storyline or jokes, but there was one thing I was certain of — I was madly in love with the bespectacled, deadpan man with poofy hair.

Why? I have no idea. But looking back, I see a theme: nerds with glasses.

That theme also included a massive love for Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future and Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park. (Coincidently, Lloyd and Goldblum were both considered for the role of Spengler.)

There’s a sub-theme here as well: Jewish nerds.

While Christopher Lloyd is the only non-Jew of the trio, I had plenty of others crushes at the time who fit this theme: Harpo Marx, Woody Allen (this was before I knew…

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Lauren Modery

Freelance writer; film Loves Her Gun premiered @ SXSW ‘13; used to be a Hollywood assistant; rail enthusiast; check out my dumb blog, hipstercrite.com