Chosen One of the Day: the celebrities in 1984's Ghostbusters music video

Contributed by
Aug 11, 2017

If you’ve been reading our site and Fangrrls for a hot minute, you may have picked up on my never-ending love for the ridiculous and tackiest aspects (aka all) of ‘80s pop culture. And few things truly capture that special, magical time like music videos. Seriously, find me a music video from that decade that’s aged well and isn’t at least 50% messy. I’ll wait.

One such gem is the music video for the theme song to 1984’s Ghostbusters. From the minute the synthesizer starts in Roy Parker Jr.’s biggest (and only) hit, the video is one giant WTF. Why is this woman walking into an abandoned one-family house located UNDER an exit ramp off the FDR? And why, when she sees said sketchy house is completely pitch black sans the neon furniture, does she put her stuff down and make herself comfortable? And why are there random people jumping up from behind the couch? And WHY does she act like THAT’S NOT AT ALL WEIRD or call the police?!?

I could keep going on a frame-by-frame analysis of all the f*ckery in this video, but that’s not the point of this post. (But for real. Ivan Reitman, what were you thinking?) The point is to call out the true heroes of this high art, and those are the 12 celebrity cameos in this video, of which maybe two make a shred of sense (John Candy and Chevy Chase often worked with Harold Ramis). The rest go from “ok sure” to “who blackmailed them into this” on the scale of randomness, like Peter Falk.

This video came out a full three years before The Princess Bride, and I’m fairly certain the number of kids who were avid fans of Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roast  or Columbo back in ‘84 are slim to none. This string of cameos is so desperately out of touch, and was even when it came out. But that’s exactly why I love it. It’s a reminder of a time when Hollywood hierarchy wasn’t defined by Twitter follows or full of reality stars. It was a time when, even if you were too young to know who he was, Peter Falk was a goddamn star and his appearance in a music video was the only proof you needed.