Nearly a decade before the hollywood film hit the scenes, this ape was squishing evil ghosts like they were bad bananas! Who is he? He’s Tracy the Gorilla. In addition to drive the villains insane, this mad monkey even drove the car.
Back in 1975, Filmation had a live-action show titled “The Ghost Busters”, which starred Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch (primarily known for their roles on F-Troop), alongside tracy the Gorilla. The three would get notices of new missions at the local convenience store, and these messages would wind up self-destructing in poor Tracy’s face. After getting ready for their mission, they would then go to the nearby haunted castle, confront the ghost, and eventually eliminate it with their dematerializer. This series was primarily a slapstick goofball comedy, and only lasted for a single season of 15 episodes.
In 1984, Columbia made the world famous movie with the same title & fundamental premise, but didn’t realize that the name had been used before. They made a deal with Filmation to use the name for the film, but were not allowed to use it for the later cartoon (which answers the question so many of us asked back in the day; “Why is the cartoon titled ‘Real’???”. It was implying that the other was a fake). Meanwhile, in 1986, Filmation themselves created their own cartoon, based on their live-action show:
This cartoon is alternately known as “Ghostbusters”, “The Original Ghostbusters”, and “Filmation’s Ghostbusters”, with the latter two serving to distinguish it from “The Real Ghostbusters” cartoon by DiC. Tracy co-stars in this series as he did in the previous one, but with different human partners. His new partners are the sons of his original partners (who in turn have been captured by Prime Evil (the chief villain of the series, just in case his name wasn’t a dead giveaway (Heh, get it, “GHOSTbusters”, “DEAD giveaway”? …..Well I thought it was funny….)). The overarching plot of this series is that the new Ghostbusters are seeking to defeat Prime Evil and save their fathers, though the series is primarily just episodic. While the live-action series just had one gadget, the cartoon gave them a slew of gadgets, including a sentient car which could transform and even fly. What’s more, these gadgets were apparently built by our hero of the day, Tracy the Gorilla!
Here are the intros to the two shows: