Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Ghost Busters: "The Abominable Snowman" (December 13, 1975)

In the final episode of the Saturday morning series The Ghost Busters, the evil Dr. Centigrade (Ronny Graham) materializes with his sidekick, the Abominable Snowman, in the local graveyard. 

Everything the Abominable Snowman touches turns to ice, so he needs the heart of a warm-blooded human to replace his own.  

Dr. Centigrade determines the perfect candidate: Spenser!

Zero (Lou Scheimer) assigns the Ghost Busters to take down the ghostly duo, but Spenser bumbles his way onto Dr. Centigrade’s operating table.

The Abominable Snowman certainly made the rounds on Saturday morning television. He appeared in the third and final season of Land of the Lost (1975-1977), and in Bigfoot and Wild Boy (1977-1978) too.  Here, in The Ghost Busters, he is a shaggy, innocent (ghost) creature with no menace whatsoever. 

All the evil in the episode is provided by the scenery-chewing Ronny Graham who, as Dr. Centigrade, delivers his dialogue to the camera, consistently breaking the fourth-wall.

The actual plot here is a hold-over from “Jekyll and Hyde: Together for the First Time.” That episode saw Dr. Jekyll plotting to use the personality-less Spenser for a supernatural grafting of the Mr. Hyde personality.  In this episode, Spenser’s heart is needed to give the abominable snowman new life.

As we come to the end of The Ghost Busters journey, I will confess that I have developed a grudging respect for the slapstick, immensely silly series from 40-plus years ago.  

The same jokes get repeated every single week, the plots are ludicrous, and the sets and acting are cardboard.  And yet the show breaks you down with its inanity and good-heart. 

The Ghost Busters breaks through your resistance, and you just have to laugh at its weird flights of fancy.  I don't know that Saturday mornings have ever produced a weirder program than this one. 

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