The Boogieman Cometh
Production Number: 75008 [1986 - ABC Season One]

The episode opens up with the Ecto-1 in hot pursuit of a tractor trailer cab being driven by a ghost named Louie.

Eventually, the truck crashes and Louie gets out. He attempts to scare the Ghostbusters away, but they don't really give a shit. Peter calls Louie a "another 2-bit dead hood" and the cigarette-smoking villain is quickly put away.


Back at the Ghostbusters HQ, everyone is really tired and Peter instructs Janine not to let anybody in while they all go to sleep. Moments later, Peter discovers that Slimer has slimed his pillow and he threatens him with a bomb that's supposed to disintegrate all spirits within a 50-yard radius. (I'm only mentioning this scene because that bomb will be important later on.)


Although Janine was told not to let anybody in, she decides it's okay to make an exception when two young kids, Megan and Kenny Carter, show up wanting to hire the Ghostbusters (offering them all the money in their piggy bank). When asked why they need the Ghostbusters' help, Kenny says it's the Boogieman, and Megan confirms that he lives in their closet. Peter thinks the children have "overactive imaginations", but Egon insists that they investigate.


Once they arrive at the Carters' apartment, Egon gets a strong PKE reading from the closet. But when they open it, there's predictably nothing unusual in there.

But then the clock strikes midnight and all sorts of freaky things start happening in there, mainly a glowing light followed by, certain enough, the Boogieman's ugly head.


Perhaps weirdest of all is that Egon says, "It's him", to which the Boogieman replies, "I remember you." Although they can't catch him because he isn't a ghost, the Ghostbusters manage to drive him back through the closet portal with their proton beams.


But the noise awakens the kids' parents, who don't believe the Ghostbusters' story about the Boogieman living in the closet. So, they're forced to leave. They head back to the firehouse to discuss ways of capturing the Boogieman. Since he isn't a ghost, they'll have to come up with another means besides their usual ghost traps.


Back at HQ, Peter questions Egon as to what the Boogieman meant when he said, "I remember you". Egon explains that when he was a child, the Boogieman would come out of his closet and scare him. The Boogieman was the reason Egon started investigating the supernatural world. He wanted to find a way to stop him. Since they can't go back to the Carters' apartment, Ray suggests they look for another place that's haunted by the Boogieman, and Egon thinks he might be able to use that Ghost Bomb (from earlier) to seal off the Boogieman's realm forever.


Meanwhile, the Boogieman is still terrorizing the Carter children, but Winston had gone to check on them and easily drives him back into the closet portal again.


The following morning, the other Ghostbusters had spent all night looking in other children's closets for the Boogieman with no luck. Remembering the tale of "the Mountain and Mohamet", Peter suggests that they should look for an unoccupied room that has a portal to the Boogieman's realm, instead. After checking a few rental apartments, they find one with a portal... in the city slums, apparently.


They set up the room with the haunted closet to look like a child's bedroom. Egon tosses a pile of stuffed animals onto the bed to complete the ruse, and Ray recognizes one of the dolls as his childhood hero, Dopey Dog. Egon realizes they need someone who can pass for a child to entice the Boogieman, and Ray has inadvertantly nominated himself.


Ray's not too happy about his new role, and he starts being antagonistic about it, demanding Peter give him a glass of water.


After Peter leaves the room, Ray asks to be told a bedtime story. Winston assures Peter that Ray is only trying to get into the role, but Peter is annoyed. The bedtime story he tells?

"Once upon a time there were four Ghostbusters who had a job to do, only they couldn't do it because one of them wouldn't go to sleep! The end!"



Despite Ray's lack of enthusiasm, the plan works perfectly and the Boogieman takes the bait. "What do we have here? A rather large toddler?", he asks just as Ray and the other Ghostbusters reveal themselves and blast him back into the portal.


The Ghostbusters follow the Boogieman into the portal and end up in his domain - a weird, "in-between" place full of doors that open up into children's closets all over the world.


When they spot the Boogieman, the chase is on... and it leads to some hilarious hijinks as they first chase him across a mobius strip, and then through several people's houses in the real world as he runs in and out of the closet door portals.


It ultimately ends with them tumbling down a slide in the Boogieman's realm and falling on a platform, surrounded by snakes. Instead of attacking, the snakes form a dome, effectively sealing them in.


But the proton beams turn the snake-dome into fireworks (?) allowing the Ghostbusters to escape their prison. Once free, they jump across a series of floating tables (which I can't help being reminded of a platform video game), and find a place to set up the Ghost Bomb that Egon was talking about earlier. Egon hooks all four proton packs up to the bomb to give it the necessary power for the explosion to seal off the Boogieman's realm forever.


But before they have a chance to escape, guess who shows up? Egon goes off to face him alone, but the Boogieman gloats that once he's finished with the Ghostbusters, he'll "deal with" the Carter children.


The Carter children see what's going on through the closet portal and decide they have to do something to help. Kenny grabs a bag of marbles, and they proceed to hurl some insults at the Boogieman, including, "Your head's too big" and "You have bad breath".


Kenny uses the marbles to trip the Boogieman, who falls off the platform and hangs by one hand over the side. While he's momentarily disabled, Egon orders everyone to get out before the bomb explodes.


When he's got his footing, the Boogieman attempts to chase after them, but realizes he's too late. The bomb is about to go off...


...and it does, causing a loud explosion and a cloud of orange smoke to billow out of the closet. The noise has once again awoken the kids' parents...


...but this time they realize the Ghostbusters had been right about the Boogieman being real all along. The children can sleep well, knowing that the Boogieman is gone for good.


Back at the firehouse, Peter is putting his clothes away, when something reaches out of the closet and takes them from him. The Ghostbusters assume this means the Boogieman is back.


But it's just Slimer, although Peter isn't very happy about the prank. Har har har.

Notes & Trivia

I feel this is the first truly great episode we've had. I'm not kidding when I say that the part of this episode where Ray is pretending to be a little kid and keeps bugging Peter, and Peter tells him the "bedtime story" is one of the greatest moments in television comedy.

First episode to feature a cold opening.

I find it amusing that Peter says he's never heard of a window in a closet before, because many houses in our neighborhood have walk-in closets with a window in the back...

... including ours!

When Peter asks, "Do you know what they say about the mountain and Mohamet?", he is referring to a Francis Bacon proverb, "Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled: Mahomet called the hill to come to him again and again: and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, 'If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.'"

In the last shot of Peter sitting on the bed before they go to investigate the Boogieman situation for the first time, his clothes have spontaneously changed from his pajamas to his Ghostbusters jumpsuit.

Also, when Ray is lying on the platform before the snakes form a dome around it, his gloves are colored like his skin.

"Roons for Rent!" LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL!

The Tahiti song "The Boogieman" plays just after they arrive in the Boogieman's domain and start running around, on up until they land on the platform with the snakes.

As much as I like this episode, I have to confess I'm not entirely clear on the whole, "If you're not afraid, he can't hurt you" thing. The Boogieman certainly seems capable of hurting people, whether or not you're afraid that he will. That chair he lobbed earlier could have hurt had it actually landed on someone.



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