Watch Dan Aykroyd & Bill Murray Goof Off in a Newly Unearthed Ghostbusters Promotional Film (1984)

If you weren’t in the indie cin­e­ma exhi­bi­tion indus­try in the 1980s, you prob­a­bly haven’t heard of Show­est. But this was *the* con­ven­tion back then, a chance to trav­el to Las Vegas, shmooze with film dis­trib­u­tors and Hol­ly­wood stu­dios, smoke cig­ars, drink sin­gle malt Scotch, run up your company’s tab and have a dim mem­o­ry in the morn­ing of vis­it­ing a strip club. You know: Busi­ness, Amer­i­can Style!

And so what we have here is a pro­mo­tion­al film for an up-and-com­ing 1984 movie called Ghost­busters. Not the trail­er, you see, that’s for the gen­er­al pub­lic. Instead, this is two of the film’s lead actors, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Mur­ray, direct­ly address­ing atten­dees, implor­ing them to check out what could be the sci-fi com­e­dy of the sum­mer. “It’s gonna make E.T. look like Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Mur­ray quips.

There’s a few things appar­ent from this pro­mo film: Ack­royd and Mur­ray are com­plete­ly wing­ing it, and this prob­a­bly took as long to shoot as it takes time to watch. Also, per­haps: they’ve been “cel­e­brat­ing” if you know what I mean. Maybe. Alleged­ly. Either way, you can tell these guys are goof­ing about and mak­ing each oth­er laugh. And it also ends with a Ghost­busters theme that isn’t the Ray Park­er, Jr. clas­sic. It’s…well, it’s this, if you need to hear the whole thing.

And final­ly: there’s a few jokes that, if not total­ly “rapey” per se, do assume a woman-as-sex­u­al-favor vibe. To that I would posit: Ack­royd and Mur­ray knew their audi­ence (unfor­tu­nate­ly). (It was the Rea­gan era, and don’t for­get, the main vil­lain of Ghost­busters is the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency!)

But let’s not end on a down note. Instead, let’s just quick­ly add that as of this writ­ing, the *oth­er* Ghost­busters star, Rick Mora­nis, has just appeared after years in seclu­sion to appear with Ryan Reynolds in a cell­phone com­mer­cial. Yes, it’s also advance pro­mo for a Hon­ey I Shrunk the Kids reboot, but I’ll take what we can get these days.

P.S. If you’re won­der­ing what hap­pened to Show­est, the con­ven­tion arm of the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of The­ater Own­ers (NATO, for short, go fig­ure), you can read all about it here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Zen of Bill Mur­ray: I Want to Be “Real­ly Here, Real­ly in It, Real­ly Alive in the Moment”

Bill Mur­ray Explains How He Was Saved by John Prine

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd Get Bri­an Wil­son Out of Bed and Force Him to Go Surf­ing, 1976

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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