Near the very end of the new Ghostbusters' closing credits, my boyfriend called my attention to one name as it scrolled by: Ryan E. Kemp, credited as “GB Superfan.” “Who is that?” I wondered aloud. So I Googled him.
Here”s what I found:
Ryan E. Kemp was indeed a Ghostbusters superfan (a.k.a. “Ghosthead”), serving as the founding member of a group called the Western Kentucky Ghostbusters. After being killed in a car accident last October, Brock Parker, a member of the Alabama Ghostbusters group, approached Ghostbusters 2016 director Paul Feig at a Los Angeles screening and asked if he would memorialize Kemp with a credit (a campaign for the same purpose had previously picked up steam on Twitter). Luckily, Feig remembered meeting Kemp at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo and gladly agreed to do what he could. From AL.com:
“Feig told me in March that Ryan was the kindest and sweetest soul. And it crushed him when he heard about Kemp being killed. He told me how Ryan encouraged him not to listen to so many of the negative voices, and rather pay attention to the good guys and gals in the community.”
It was then that Parker brought up the end credits memorial. “Paul said, 'I want to do that, and I will make every effort to do so. Ryan was a beautiful person, and I am so honored to have met him twice. He made me feel welcomed into Ghostbusters.'”
Kemp was known to fellow Ghostheads for his sense of humor (he studied at The Second City Training Center in Chicago, IL “for a week or two” every summer, in addition to being involved in local improv groups) and energetic personality. To get a better sense of who he was, here”s how his profile bio reads on the Ghostbusters Fans forum:
Born the poor immigrant son of a Filipino merchant, I grew up on the rough streets of Hershey, Pennsylvania and earned the trust of a ruthless gang of Twizzler snorters. The ladies were fine, and the bling was substantial, but after I saw a guy overdose on Amazing Fruit, I decided that the life of a licorice smuggler was not the life for me. A couple years later I decided to enlist, and fought bravely along side RC cola in the Cola Wars. During which I lost my left hand, (turns out it was up my sleeve). I tell you if I live to be 100, I'll never forget the murderous look I saw in New Coke's eyes as he looted and burned that orphanage. After being discharged for failure to battle wearing pants, I started a small carpet cleaning business, and married my lovely wife, (I forget her name, but I want to say it's Carol, or maybe Rhoda, let's just call her Bass Boat…). I spent most of my free time either going to comic book conventions dressed as Jonathan Kent, or wondering where my life went wrong. I'll guess I'll stop here as someone is at my door. I hope it's a clown. I could use a party…
You can read more about Ryan here.