The Ghost Busters 1.3 – The Canterville Ghost

I certainly didn’t expect to watch The Ghost Busters and be surprised by anything, but that’s Ted Knight as the ghost of the week, Simon de Canterville. He had a regular job on The Mary Tyler Moore Show when this was taped; I wonder why he did this job. I guess that since they probably only needed him for two days, one to read and rehearse and one to tape, it didn’t bite into his schedule too much. Marie suggested blackmail.

Also in the cast this week: Kathy Garver, who had played Cissy in Family Affair, and Len Lesser as a jewel thief in a zoot suit. Lesser had dozens of one-off parts for decades, but is best known as Uncle Leo in Seinfeld.

I’m intrigued by how the use of guest stars affected production, because I suspect that it’s the tradeoff for the cheap, cheap, cheap reused sets instead of the much more elaborate ones employed by the Kroffts. Since the Kroffts used the same repertory of actors throughout a 17-episode season and never changed costumes, they could erect one large set, shoot all of the scenes for all of the episodes on it, dismantle it and build the next big one. But since Filmation had new actors arriving once or possibly even twice a week, they couldn’t tear anything down. Some of the scenes may have been shot all at once, like the location filming of Larry Storch and Bob Burns getting a new assignment from Zero. They probably did all fifteen of those in one long day, but the studio stuff was probably freshly taped every episode with the guest actors.

Daniel is still loving this show, and laughing from start to finish. He loves the slapstick, and this time they pulled a “short” pun – not electrical, a pair of boxers – which had him roaring. I really like the way that Tracy keeps defying physics with some magical power only to have Kong ignore the magic that just happened and tell him to quit clowning around.

The best gag this time: looking for something brave and bold for Simon de Canterville to do and break the old curse, Tracy draws a sloppy picture of a stick figure and a tall shape. Kong translates the scribbles thusly: “Climb Mount Everest blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back? No, he can’t do that, his ears would pop!”

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1 Comment

Filed under filmation, ghost busters

One response to “The Ghost Busters 1.3 – The Canterville Ghost

  1. Facts I should have remembered before I wrote this: while Ted Knight was indeed engaged as a regular on Mary Tyler Moore, he’d been a voice actor for Filmation for almost a decade before this episode was made.

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