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April242012

Who First Said "Print Is Dead," Dr. Venkman?

Filed under: Looked Into   Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

A rewatch of the original Ghostbusters prompted an urgent Google search, with these satisfying Metafilter results. The asker’s question (also my question):
Print is dead? I was watching Ghostbusters (1984) this weekend, and at one point the character Egon Spengler is asked a question, to which he responds: ‘Print is dead.” What is the earliest recorded use of this phrase?
Among the satisfying replies:
I found a reference in the Antioch Review (1967) that uses “print is dead” as the characterization for Marshall McLuhan’s scholarship, which make a lot of sense to me in this context. This previously is also pertinent.
And:
Someone else in that group also mentions that the “print is dead” line actually gained some popularity in the early 80s in tech circles as the personal computer gained prominence. It likely wasn’t the earliest recorded use, but Egon’s quote may have just been a result of the growing sentiment of the time.
Meanwhile, a recent post on Movies.com answers the question I somehow didn’t think to ask, which is what the various Ghostbusters would look like if they were cartoon ghosts. Now you know.


Best of all, I learned from the Metafilter thread above that Harold Ramis went to the high school three blocks from my new home in Chicago! This must be why I keep watching his movies. Anita O’Day went there, too, which gives me shivers. So did Shecky Greene and Sidney Sheldon, but not all at the same time.

Related: The Contested Number of Years That Bill Murray Is Stuck in “Groundhog Day”

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