Phoenix Comicon: Why Do You Hate Us, William Atherton?

Posted by on May 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

“Here.” Johnny said, handing me a twenty. “Let’s get some pictures with him.” Before a massive Stay-Puft marshmallow man and Ecto-1 from the 1984 smash hit Ghostbusters sit William Atherton, who played the oppressive (and dickless) Walter Peck from that film. Like a starving orphan, I walked up to what looked like his manager with the slightly crumpled currency in hand. “Yes, I’d like two pictures with William Atherton.” I said, saying it to the manager, but looking right at William. He bounced right up, as friendly as could be.

Keith and I were up first. They pulled us around a series of tables. When we ready to pose, William stretched his arms out for a big ol’ hug. He’s 63 now, nearly thirty years departed from his role in Ghostbusters and over twenty since playing the jerk reporter Dick Thornburg (noticing a trend?), I didn’t want to squeeze too hard or I might break him. I mean, I’m kind of a big guy.

Then the moment came: click!

Y’know, William (Bill?) seems like a great guy and he was more than happy to embrace us, but what in the world is he staring at in our ten dollar photo? His rep/manager? No idea. So Johnny hands the camera over to William’s rep/manager dude so he can step in the shot. And then:

Again: what in the world is he staring at? He seems to be looking at the exact same place that he was in the previous picture, but what in the world is it? His head looks photoshopped on his neck, there’s nothing real about it. The tricky thing is he’s such a nice guy and he could not look less interested in standing with the world-class writers of FleshEatingZipper.

Mister Atherton, why do you hate us so? :(

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