Ghostbusters: 10 Things Only Fans Know About Winston Zeddemore

Since they first made the scene in 1984, the Ghostbusters have captured the imaginations of generations of wannabe paranormal investigators. While Ghostbusters doesn’t have the massive amount of movies, cartoons, books, and comics that some of the other pop culture icons do, there’s no shortage of work for the die-hard fans to dig into.

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Take, for example, Winston Zeddemore. The last person to join the original Ghostbusters, the movies don’t reveal too much about Winston. Thankfully, the novelization of the original movie, as well as the comics, video games, and animated series have given fans more information about the hero’s life outside of the famous firehouse.

10 Winston Was Born To A Religious Family

The oldest son of Edward Lee and Lucille Zeddemore, Winston has a few younger siblings, although a definitive count has never been given. The Zeddemore family were strict Baptists, which is likely why Winston is so well versed in the Bible.

By all accounts, Winston’s family was very close. When Winston joined the Ghostbusters, he was living with his parents and his father is his emergency contact. Winston also played baseball as a child and still has a baseball trophy that he is very proud of.

9 Winston Used To Be A Fortune Teller

Before joining the Ghostbusters, Winston had a number of careers. He worked as a fortune teller on Coney Island to pay for college, and then joined the Air Force shortly after graduation where he reached the rank of Captain and was placed in charge of perimeter security at Reese Strategic Air Command base.

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After leaving the Air Force, Winston worked for Sentry Alarms where he invented an electronic barrier system. Sentry Alarms shut down the offices Winston worked at, which is how he ended up out of work and applying for the Ghostbusters position.

8 Winston Was The Only Person To Apply For The Job

As seen in the 1984 film, Winston was hired by Ray Stantz while still in the middle of his interview with the Ghostbusters office manager Janine Melnitz. As it turned out, Winston was a perfect fit for the team; he worked especially well with Ray. What Winston wasn’t aware of is that he was the only person to apply for the job. If he had known that, he may have been able to negotiate for a better salary. Instead, Winston started off at $11,500 a year, which would be $30,613 today.

7 Winston Has A Number Of Skills The Rest Of The Team Don’t Have

Peter, Egon, and Ray all worked at Columbia University before starting Ghostbusters, and that also happened to be where they all went to school. As such, the three men had no actual tactical training when they strapped some unlicensed nuclear accelerators to their back and started the business.

Lucky for them, Winston’s time in the Air Force gave him, and the team, the skills they needed to bust some ghosts. Winston is a small-arms expert and has a black belt in the martial art Wing Chun, and is a professional pilot.

6 Winston Flew The Friendly Skies After The Ghostbusters Shut Down

As revealed in Ghostbusters II, the team was forced to disband after the city sued them for damages, claiming that the whole battle with Gozer was a scam. The company was forced to shut down, and each member went their own ways. While Ghostbusters II showed that Egon had his own lab, Peter became a talk show host, and Ray opened a bookstore, it fails to show how Winston makes a living – aside from the occasional party appearance with Ray. An early draft of the Ghostbusters II script revealed that Winston was working for an airline, presumably as a pilot.

5 Winston Has An Honorary Doctorate In Parapsychology

Revealed in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters Volume 2, Winston received a doctorate in parapsychology. In the 2009 Ghostbusters game, Winston talks about sending a lot of time at the Museum of Natural History’s Egypt exhibit while working on his doctorate.

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But Winston wasn’t one to sit on his laurels. While being a Ghostbuster was his job, Winston knew it wasn’t something he could keep doing and began to go to night school to get his law degree. Whether or not he ever received his degree remains unknown.

4 Winston Was Married In The Comics

In the one-shot Ghostbusters: Tainted Love by Dara Naraghi and Salgood Sam, Winston met substitute teacher Tiyah Clarke while clearing out some ghosts from a high school. Winston and Tiyah started dating and before long they fell in love. At one point, the goddess Tiamat removed a piece of Tiyah’s soul, making her forget who Winston was. Thanks to some quick thinking by Peter Venkman, who used a ghost to create a second meet-cute for the couple, Tiyah and Winston’s relationship began anew. Winston and Tiyah were married at a wonderful ceremony at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, which the other members of the Ghostbusters attended.

3 A Version Of Winston Was In The Original Ghost Smashers Script

The original script for Ghostbusters, which was written by Dan Aykroyd and called Ghost Smashers, was set in a future where ghosts were a regular part of life and the Ghost Smashers corporation was huge. That story centered on two employees of Ghost Smashers, who would have been played by Aykroyd and John Belushi.

While Egon would be added to later versions of the script, there was a version of Winston in that original draft, though he was named Ramsey. It wasn’t until Harold Ramis came on to help Aykroyd rewrite the movie that the version of Winston that appears in the movies was created.

2 Eddie Murphy Was Considered For The Role

While the role of Winston Zeddemore would go to Ernie Hudson – and it is impossible to really imagine anyone else playing the character – the actor wasn’t the first choice for the character. Aykroyd initially created Winston with Eddie Murphy in mind after working with Murphy in Trading Places.

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When Murphy turned down the role because he was filming Beverly Hills Cop, both Yaphet Kotto and Gregory Hines were considered for the role. In the end, director Ivan Reitman suggested that they look for someone who could be a straight man to the team instead of another comedic actor.

1 A Lot Of Winston’s Lines Were Given To Peter

Since the original plan for Winston was to have the character be played by a comedian, he was given a fair amount of comedic lines in Ghostbusters. When Reitman decided to cast Ernie Hudson, a more serious actor, the decision was made to give those lines to someone else.

Winston was initially written to be more sarcastic, almost like a second version of Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman, so the decision was made to give the lines to Murray. Sadly, this led to Hudson having a smaller role than was originally intended, but he does get the last line in the film, loudly exclaiming “I love this town!

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