The Ghost Busters

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This article is about the 1975 TV series. For the animated series, see Ghostbusters (1986 TV series). For the unrelated 1984 film, see Ghostbusters . For other uses, see Ghostbusters (disambiguation).
The Ghost Busters
The Ghost Busters (TV series) cast photo.jpg
Larry Storch, Forrest Tucker, Bob Burns
Created by Marc Richards
Starring Forrest Tucker
Larry Storch
Bob Burns
Theme music composer Diane Hildebrand
Jackie Mills
Opening theme "Ghost-Busters" Theme
Composer(s) Yvette Blais
Jeff Michael
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 15
Executive producer(s) Norm Prescott
Lou Scheimer
Dick Rosenbloom
Producer(s) Norman Abbott
Location(s) United States
Production company(s) Filmation
Original channel CBS
Audio format Mono
Original run September 6, 1975 – December 13, 1975
Related shows Ghostbusters (1986 TV series)

The Ghost Busters was a live-action children's television series that ran in 1975, about a team of bumbling detectives who would investigate ghostly occurrences. Only 15 episodes were created.[1]

This series reunited Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch in roles similar to their characters in F Troop. Tucker played Jake Kong (his first name is never actually given in this series), and Storch played zoot suit-wearing Eddie Spencer. The third member of the trio was Tracy the Gorilla, played by actor Bob Burns (credited as Tracy's "trainer").

The series was unrelated to the 1984 film Ghostbusters (though Columbia Pictures did pay Filmation for a license to use the name). It did, however, spawn its own animated sequel like the 1984 film did.

Episode formula[edit]

Each episode would always begin with Spencer (Storch) and Tracy (the gorilla) stopping at a convenience store to pick up the tape recording by the unseen "Mr. Zero" (recorded by co-executive producer Lou Scheimer) that explained their mission for the episode, in a parody of Mission: Impossible. It would be hidden inside a common object such as a bicycle, typewriter or painting. The message would always end by saying, "This message will self destruct in five seconds." It would then explode in Tracy's face for comic effect. Their investigation would take them to the same "old castle" on the outskirts of the city, and after a series of chases and pratfalls the Ghost Busters would corner the ghost (and his/her "sidekick"), which they would dispatch back to the afterlife with their Ghost Dematerializer.

The primary humor of the series was physical and slapstick, with scenes built around the characters' bumbling. The series also made references to classic cinema; the names "Spencer" and "Tracy" were taken from the famous actor Spencer Tracy, and Kong a clear homage to King Kong though, in a twist of irony, the gorilla's name was Tracy while Tucker's character's surname was Kong. Guest stars included Ted Knight, Jim Backus, and Billy Barty.

Animated series[edit]

In 1986, after the success of the Columbia film, the show was revived in cartoon format with Kong and Spencer's sons, Jake and Eddie Jr., inheriting their fathers' business and Tracy the Gorilla in Ghostbusters.[2]

DVD release[edit]

BCI Eclipse LLC (under license from Entertainment Rights) released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 on April 17, 2007.[3] The 2-disc boxset contains extensive special features including interviews, photo galleries and rare footage. In addition, unlike many of BCI's ER Filmation releases, this DVD appears to have been sourced from the original NTSC prints.

As of 2009, this release has been discontinued and is out of print as BCI Eclipse has ceased operations.[4]

Syndication repeats[edit]

In mid-2011 re-runs of The Ghost Busters aired on the Retro Television Network.


The Ghost Busters frequently made use of ghostly or ghoulish figures from popular culture and famous literature. These include Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, a Mummy, The Red Baron, The Canterville Ghost, Count Dracula, Billy the Kid and Belle Starr, and the captain and first mate of the Flying Dutchman.

List of episodes[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1 "The Maltese Monkey" 6 September 1975 (1975-09-06)

The Ghost Busters must stop the Fat Man and Rabbit from summoning the ghost of gangster Big Al Caesar, who will help them steal the stuff dreams are made of: the Maltese Monkey.

Guest Stars: Billy Barty, Johnny Brown
2 "Dr. Whatshisname" 13 September 1975 (1975-09-13)

Dr. Frankenstein returns, seeking the brain of the world's most gullible fool to transplant into his Monster. Enter Eddie Spencer.

Guest Star: Bernie Kopell, Bill Engessor
3 "The Canterville Ghost" 20 September 1975 (1975-09-20)

The Ghostbusters' assignment is to rid a haunted mansion of the cowardly ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville. But little do they know that master criminal "Mr. C" is after the priceless Canterville diamond worn by Sir Simon.

Guest Stars: Ted Knight, Kathy Garver, Len Lesser
4 "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" 27 September 1975 (1975-09-27)

Hoping to remove the curse of the werewolf from hapless Harry Albert, Gypsy fortuneteller Sophia comes seeking to steal the Baldus Lupus Amulet that Spencer recently unearthed.

Guest Star: Lennie Weinrib, Dodo Demsey
5 "The Flying Dutchman" 4 October 1975 (1975-10-04)

The ghostly captain and his sidekick from the Flying Dutchman take up residence in the castle, looking for new crewmen for their ship. And what "empty-headed scalawag" might fit the bill?

Guest Star: Stanley Adams, Phillip Bruns
6 "The Dummy's Revenge" 11 October 1975 (1975-10-11)

The Phantom of Vaudeville and his ventriloquist's dummy return from beyond to settle a score with Slappy, Maxie, and Nijinsky, three vaudevillians who wronged them in the past. Guess which trio gets mistaken for the three troublemakers?

Guest Star: Tim Herbert, Brain Berlin
7 "A Worthless Gauze" 18 October 1975 (1975-10-18)

The Ghost Busters become embroiled with Egyptian Queen Forah and her Mummy as they search for the ape-sorcerer Simios, who in turn can bring them to Spen-Zah, possessor of the secret of immortality.

Guest Star: Barbara Rhoades, Richard Balin
8 "Which Witch Is Which?" 25 October 1975 (1975-10-25)

The ghost of a witch reappears to get revenge against the descendant of Edward Spencer, the spell-dissolver in old Salem who brought ruin to witches. Matters become complicated when the ugly witch transforms herself into a seductive beauty who might lure the Ghost Busting Spencer to his doom.

Guest Star: Huntz Hall, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Leigh Christan
9 "They Went Thataway" 1 November 1975 (1975-11-01)

Those ghostriders in the sky are the spirits of Billy the Kid and Belle Starr back to round up a new gang of cattle rustlers. The Ghost Busters disguise themselves as cowboys to get the Dematerializer drop on 'em.

Guest Star: Marty Ingels, Brooke Tucker
10 "The Vampire's Apprentice" 8 November 1975 (1975-11-08)

The Ghost Busters may get the bite put on them when Count and Countess Dracula return from the other side in search of a warm-blooded donor.

Guest Star: Dena Dietrich, Billy Holms
11 "Jekyll & Hyde: Together, for the First Time!" 15 November 1975 (1975-11-15)

The ghost of Dr. Jekyll appears, and is bedeviled by his alter ego. But if he can find a dolt with no personality at all, he can neutralize the effects of the personality-splitting formula and rid himself of Hyde forever. Oh, Spencer?

Guest Stars: Joe E. Ross, Severn Darden
12 "Only Ghosts Have Wings" 22 November 1975 (1975-11-22)

The ghosts of the Red Baron and Sparky return to repair their plane, the Spirit of Icarus, so that they can once more engage their enemies: Lord Smedly Hargroves and his grease monkey, Tracy Holmes-Harrington... who bear a startling resemblance to two of the Ghost Busters.

Guest Star: Howard Morris, Robert Easton
13 "The Vikings Have Landed" 29 November 1975 (1975-11-29)

The ghosts of Erik the Red and Brunhilda return to plant a Viking banner and establish their claim to having discovered America prior to the loathsome Lothar the Hun.

Guest Star: Jim Backus, Lisa Todd
14 "Merlin the Magician" 6 December 1975 (1975-12-06)

Merlin and jester Gronk are pursued from the Great Beyond by their nemesis Morgan le Fay, who intends to trap them in this era. The Ghost Busters befriend and assist the broken-down magician in his battle with the beautiful sorceress.

Guest Stars: Ina Balin, Huntz Hall, Carl Ballantine
15 "The Abominable Snowman" 13 December 1975 (1975-12-13)

Spencer stumbles onto the scene when Dr. Centigrade is searching for a warm-blooded heart to transplant into the Abominable Snowman. Final episode of the series.

Guest Star: Ronny Graham, Richard Balin


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