DR. PETER VENKMAN
"Egon could you try to keep the noise down, the neighbours are complaining...from Alaska."
"Egon could you try to keep the noise down, the neighbours are complaining...from Alaska."
The Real Ghostbusters (1986-1987)
The Real Ghostbusters (1987-1991); Extreme Ghostbusters (1997)
C/N In the Novelization of the first movie, Richard Mueller actually conjectures this background for Peter Venkman, but it would contradict the background established elsewhere (Ironically enough, by Mueller, himself!). This is transferred over to Charlie. Thanks to Miss Janine for the information, and Dr. Riddle for the compromise idea. Charlie's birth date is conjectured through Brian Doyle-Murray's birth date. Thanks for the dates Guys!
F/N Charlie and Margaret Venkman are established from Sheila Paulson's work. However, Charlie's middle name, "Conrad", is from Doc Fritz.
Peter's middle name is Charles.
F/N Peter's middle name derived from Sheila Paulson work.
Is a Scorpio - Oct. 25, 1954. (Mean Green Teen Machine)
Peter's genealogical background is somewhat widely dispersed, as summed up in his comment "The women in my family slept around." (Including his Grandmother Venkman.). According to Peter, he's a little bit of everything: Some Irish, some German, some French and some Dutch. (Deleted from Ghostbusters II)
F/N Peter's surname, "Venkman", is believed to have been formed from the prefix "Venk", a possible variation of "Fink". It is explained as some sort of foreign word, possibly meaning something like a rascal, a rodent, or a con. It is believed that the surname is of German extraction, but that has not yet been proven. It is also believed that "Venkman" is not a common surname. Further investigating through dictionary entries shows the following info on "Fink":
fink ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fngk) Slang
1. A contemptible person (Contemptible, adjective.
1. deserving contempt or scorn; held in contempt; mean; low.
Ex. a contemptible lie. Cowards and cheats are contemptible people.
(SYN) worthless, despicable.).
2. An informer.
3. A hired strikebreaker.
intr.v. finked, fink_ing, finks
1. To inform against another person.
2. To withhold promised support or participation: They said they'd help us, but then finked out.
C/N Thanks for that info Matthew!
Peter may be nominally Catholic, presumably from his mother's side ("Nobody steps on a church in my town!!!")(Ghostbusters)
The main resentment towards Charlie by the other Ghostbusters is what he did to Peter as a child; always breaking his promises of visits at Christmas and other occasions, and forcing both Peter and his late wife Margaret to move across the U.S. as he dodged both the law, and his former partners (He usually blames his partners when he gets caught conning; most of the time he gets away with it.). Charlie was away a lot when Peter was young; Peter convinced himself that Christmas was unimportant due to his father making promises to be there but never showing up. Peter has since started enjoying it. Charlie's wife, Margaret died when Peter was still a child. Charlie Venkman has sent the guys' lives into a hurricane of trouble at least three times according to the RGB history, though this varies depending on the fan fiction universe. He makes his living as an itinerate salesman and conman. Peter does not approve of this but tolerates it with good humor and affection. Conman or not, Charlie is still Peter's dad, and Peter will always help him out no matter what. Peter has paid fines for some of the trouble that Charlie has caused. However, Peter is prone to outbursts if Charlie has committed something of incredible stupidity. His schemes all have one prominent theme, conning people, even his own son Peter. He sometimes refers to himself as "Dr. Venkman"; he uses this guise to trick people into thinking he's actually a Parapsychologist. (X-Mas Marks The Spot, Venkman's Ghost Repellers, Cold Cash And Hot Water)
His first appearance was in, where he was selling "Venkman's Ghost Repellers", red ponchos that prevented ghosts from harassing the wearer (Peter proved the ineffectiveness of the "Ghost Repellers"; using Slimer, Peter acted as a Matador and Slimer, not resisting the chance, charged the poncho as a ghostly bull, leaving a slimey mess on the material of the poncho.). His most notable appearance was when he teamed up with the fake spiritualist, Dr. Alfred Bassingham. The two conartists released the full wrath of Hob Anagarak, a demon Charlie discovered during his short span in Alaska. After this incident, Charlie went off to Hollywood in a quest to get the rights for a movie based on the adventure. Though assumption and realistic thinking tell us it never went through. He turned up again when he was searching for the mythical treasure of Sierra Tamale. He considers reprints of valuable information to be very reliable. He also knows how to cook (Breakfast and eggs at least.). (Cold Cash And Hot Water, Venkman's Ghost Repellers, The Treasure Of Sierra Tamale)
C/N Something I chanced across suggested that Charlie actually abandoned Peter at a carnival, however I cannot prove or disprove this, as it works with Charlie's conman nature. The episode, Venkman's Ghost Repellers goes along to prove the old adage, that New Jersey is indeed another dimension.
Charlie's first appearance was in, where he was selling "Venkman's Ghost Repeller", red ponchos that prevented ghosts from harassing the wearer (Peter proved the ineffectiveness of the žGhost RepellersÓ; using Slimer, Peter acted as a Matador and Slimer, not resisting the chance, charged the poncho as a ghostly bull, leaving a slimey mess on the material of the poncho.). His most notable appearance was when he teamed up with the fake spiritualist, Dr. Alfred Bassingham. The two conartists released the full wrath of Hob Anagarak, a demon Charlie discovered during his short span in Alaska. After this incident, Charlie went off to Hollywood in a quest to get the rights for a movie based on the adventure. Though assumption and realistic thinking tell us it never went through. He turned up again when he was searching for the mythical treasure of Sierra Tamale. (Cold Cash And Hot Water, Venkman's Ghost Repellers, The Treasure Of Sierra Tamale)
Peter has stated that his mother, Margaret Venkman does not own a car. Has also stated that she reads Celebrity Magazine. Though this might have simply been as a form of exasperation. (Ghostbuster Of The Year, The Devil In The Deep)
C/N These are two of the few facts used to disprove the death of Peter's mother. Although this also may be a reference to her being deceased.
His mother is definitely dead; he was raised by his father, and had to travel a lot to dodge the law and Charlie's disgruntled marks. Has stated that he regrets not spending more time with his mother. Gave Mrs. Faversham a 100% discount due to her reminding him of his mother. (RGB #9, The Thing In Mrs. Faversham's Attic)
F/N Even though it is not stated in the show, information from NOW's RGB comic line supports Peter's Mother being dead by this point. For further information please consult Doc Fritz' Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline available through Ghostbusters.net.
Has an Uncle Alf (His father's half-brother; they have the same mother, but different fathers.), who owns a farm in Iowa (Sometimes Charlie hides out there, when he's dodging both the law and his former partners.). He recommended that Peter go into the "hardware business". Peter refers to him as his "abominable" uncle. (The Collect Call Of Cathulhu, RGB #13)
Size: 38 long. (Hanging By A Thread)
Plays dumb so that it's harder for people to second-guess him. (RGB #10)
He refers to himself as "The kid from Brooklyn", and grew up in a tough neighborhood. Once called himself "Slim Venkman" (The Bird Of Kildarby, Ghostfight At The OK Corral, You Can't Teach An Old Demon New Tricks)
Gets hay fever every spring. (Standing Room Only)
Likes Chinese food, taco pizza, and carrots. Eats peanut butter and onion sandwiches because Slimer won't steal them. Knows how to make chicken soup (RGB #27, They Call Me Mr. Slimer, RGB #19, Two Faces of Slimer)
Used to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. (Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II)
Hates it when his hair is tousled. Three main fears: Falling, premature burial, and being eaten. Hates/fears Cockroaches, Bats, Bugs and Rats. (Jailbusters, RGB #17, Janine, You've Changed, 20,000 Leagues Under The Street, Drool, The Dog-Faced Goblin, My Left Fang)
Sleeps late often. Has a morning language based on a series of grunts that only Egon can understand. Peter: "Grunt." Ray: "Translation Egon?" Egon: "Get out of my face or eat flaming terror." Dreams of winning awards that are out of his league and owning expensive cars. Also dreams about Kim Basinger. Dreamed about the Sandman the morning of the day they encountered him. (Numerous episodes, Mr. Sandman, Dream Me A Dream)
Can predict when the phone is about to ring. (Apocalypse -- What, Now?)
Gets wistful during toy commercials. They remind him of the "Robot Command set [he] never had". Had a 3-D puzzle when he was a kid (It may have been one of those Millennium Puzzles.) (RGB #6, RGB Vol. II #3)
Loves trains and model trains. Owned a train set before it was devoured by Slimer, who pretended to be a tunnel. Was kidnapped by the Spirit of Casey Jones in an attempt for the spirit to correct the wrong he made when he died. (Last Train To Oblivion)
Favorite T.V. series is "The Bob Newhart Show". Likes to watch Mister Wizard, in hopes of learning how to trap Slimer in a milk bottle. (Victor, The Happy Ghost, RGB #10)
Loves old movies. Got a kick out of seeing blimps in old movies. Aspires to have his face on the big screen. Loves Western movies and books. Dewey LaMorte was his favorite Western author. He read LaMorte's books all through college. Used to read Spooks Illustrated as a kid, especially the swimsuit issue. Reads tabloids; Favorite headline: "Lost In Arctic, Ate Own Foot, And the Sock Too". Doubts the guy really ate the sock. (The Ghostbusters In Paris, RGB #15, Lights, Camera, Haunting, Ghostfight At The OK Corral, Ghostbuster Of The Year, RGB #13)
Peter seems to be either a Star Wars fan, or a Darth Vader fan going by his mention of Vader twice in the cartoon. His wish to use the Death Star also goes beyond casual mentioning and borders on fanboyish desire, though he'd probably never admit it. (The Revenge of Murray the Mantis, Elementary My Dear Winston)
Is a sports fan; likes Baseball, Football (New York Giants), Fishing (Unusually in New York Bay.), and Hockey. Played college football. Is a Ping Pong player; played in college. Likes to watch Trampoline Wrestling. Skin dives. Has a collection of Baseball cards. Claims to have once coached a basketball team for underprivileged children, and that they were city champs. (Once Upon A Slime, The Haunting Of Heck House, Station Identification, RGB #10, Very Beast Friends, Back In The Saddle Pt. II, Deleted from Ghostbusters II)
Plays Chess, sometimes with Winston. Razzes Egon by pretending to confuse Chess and Checkers. (Look Homeward Ray, RGB #12)
Loves Aretha Franklin. Can sing; performed the song Touching Old Magic during a history of Halloween session at a High School in New York. Knows the song Cumbaya. Has a buddy at Insanity Records who gets him all the new stuff before it hits the stores. Makes fun of MTV. Had a top of the line stereo, which is now deceased along with a ceiling lamp and his own bed after playing Shanna "O" Callohaugn's Love Makes Me Live. Has a keyboard. He used it to create a high feedback on the firehouse's recreation room loudspeakers. Peter's music was used to help defeat the Undying One's undead hordes. (Don't Forget The Motor City, The Halloween Door, Banshee Bake A Cherry Pie?, Who're You Calling Two-Dimensional?, Moaning Stones)
Prefers country circuses to city ones. (RGB #24)
Hates roller coasters. (RGB Vol. II #0)
Likes Cat Stevens' Moon Shadow. (RGB #5)
Carries a nail file and can pick locks with it. (You Can't Take It With You)
According to Janine, he's a lousy speller. (RGB #12)
Has a pin from the 1964 World's Fair. (Masquerade)
Has gotten into a fight with a class bully. "... Got into a fight with a guy named Rick, big guy, big muscles, brains of a trout." (Citizen Ghost)
Lost his lunchbox in the 5th Grade. He only got to spend a few minutes with it before it was eaten, box and all by Slimer. (The Brooklyn Triangle)
Knows cars; was fixing Janine's red VW Beetle. Reads Popular Mechanics. Used to drive a cab. Once owned a car; it eventually blew up due to gremlin interference. Owns, or at least drives a yellow car of unknown make and vintage. Has also, as part of a trap for the Headless Motorcyclist, drove a motorcycle and a red sports car similar to that owned by "Buddy", the boyfriend of Ichabod Crane's descendent. (Beneath These Streets, RGB In GB II Vol. #3, Don't Forget The Motor City, Baby Spookums, The Headless Motorcyclist)
Isn't afraid to explore a woman's lingerie drawer; namely Dana Barrett's. (Ghostbusters)
Has a friend who's a practical joker. Has a friend who owes him five bucks and has been sent Troll as a way of getting even. Also has a buddy named Chuck with a theatrical supply store. (They Call Me Mr. Slimer, Trollbridge, Rollerghoster)
Once emptied the Rialto Theatre by hiding a water bottle of beef stew under his shirt and emptying it in a "fake upchuck" routine. (RGB #23)
Attended Woodstock in 1969 and was high there. (Lost And Foundry)
Used to work in carnivals during summer break from high school. Can juggle. (Busters In Toyland, Rollerghoster)
C/N Something I chanced across suggested that Charlie actually abandoned Peter at the above-mentioned carnival. However I cannot prove or disprove this, as it works with Charlie's conman nature.
Once went to a girlfriend's party as a swamp monster by smearing 100 pounds of peanut butter on himself; she broke up with him after he hugged her. Had some really weird Tunnel of Love experiences. Likes to case parades for girls. (Shock, huh?). Has been chased by women in need of shaves before. (RGB #3, #8, #15, #19)
Prefers to wear a blue robe when posing as a Wizard. (RGB #11)
Loves to make jokes about Buffalo. (RGB #13)
Was a box boy. (The Two Faces Of Slimer)
He belongs to a health club. (Partners In Slime)
Flunked music in high school. (Egon's Dragon)
Entered Columbia University as a student in 1973; attended for seven years. He obtained doctorates in Parapsychology and Psychology. Studied Engineering in college; after studying it for two years, he found out it had nothing to do with trains. He also studied Metallurgy. Has technical knowledge; knows how to reverse the polarity on a neutron stream; built a microwave emitter weapon and an Ectoplasmic energy capacitor. However, his inventions tend to blow up after use, so he hasn't got too much technical knowledge. His weakest college subject was Economics. Has knowledge of Physics; enough to teach a seminar on it to ghosts. Also has knowledge of Chemistry; enough to get a job in the field (Which he promptly lost by blowing up his interviewer.). Could have some medical training. "300 CCs of Thorozine." Was with a frat house: Affectionately termed Tri Kuppa Bru (The members were all slackers like Venkman.). Was known as a prankster and the fraternity still honors him for running his underwear up the flagpole while he was still wearing them. Motto: "Tri Kuppa Bru, Brothers through and through, so what if we're a mess? We always pass the test!" Claims that after seven years of college, he can't remember if it was positive to negative, or positive to positive. He met Egon Spengler in college, at Columbia University. Egon single-handedly got him through graduate school. In 1980 they were employed by Columbia University to do Parapsychological research in Weaver Hall. Soon after, Peter introduced Egon to Ray Stantz (Who was hired in 1982, and assigned to work with the two of them.). By 1983, they were under the department management of Dean Yeager. While a little short on academic credentials, Venkman is long on confidence, charm and salesmanship. (The Thing In Mrs. Faversham's Attic, Ghostbusters, Last Train To Oblivion, Janine's Day Off, The Devil In The Deep, Standing Room Only, Ghost-Busted, The Old College Spirit)
F/N It is commonly believed by some that Peter had the typical attitude of a Jock when he first met Egon. However, this simply hid the more, less seen learned side of Peter.
Was criticized by Dean Yeager as being a poor scientist, and was given a list of reasons why: "Your theories are the WORST kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy, and your conclusions are highly questionable. You are a POOR scientist, Dr. Venkman. And you have no place in this department, or in this University." (Ghostbusters)
Usually conducts the business side of the company. (Ghostbusters)
Nicknamed Walter Peck, "Pecker". (Ghostbusters)
Owns an apartment. (Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II)
Can fly ECTO-2 and standard/military helicopters. Is a pretty good pilot of small jet aircraft, the ECTO-4. Loves flying. (Poultrygeist, Adventures In Slime And Space, RGB #14, Apocalypse -- What, Now?)
Has, on occasion, made bets with the other members of the Ghostbusters (Knock Knock, Look Homeward Ray)
Calls Egon "Spengs" and "Tex". Calls Ray "Tex" occasionally. (Ghostbusters, You Can't Take It With You)
C/N The fan fiction community usually reserves his use of the nickname "Tex" for Ray.
Calls his Proton Gun "Ol Betsy". (Ghost-Busted, Egon's Ghost)
At one point he had a snack stockpile hidden under his pillow. Used to have a jar of jellybeans under his pillow; Slimer ate them. (Something's Going Around, The Revenge Of Murray The Mantis)
Owns a dancing hula girl lamp that sits on his desk; it was impersonated by the Copy Cat and Venkman uttered his love for the trashy novelty item and horror at it's imminent destruction through unsure Ghostbusting. Owns a snow globe that contains the shrunken form of Heck House. (The Copy Cat, The Haunting Of Heck House)
Has crashed ECTO-1, though not exactly though his driving skills. (Apocalypse -- What, Now?)
Stated that Janine is the only person who knows where the company checks are. (Sea Fright)
Egon once said he lives an unexamined life. (Night Game)
Throws darts at a picture of Inspector Frump. (The Headless Motorcyclist)
Performed an impression of a Seal. (Apocalypse -- What, Now?)
Once asserted that Slimer ate anything. "... that isn't nailed down or on fire." (Slimer Come Home)
Has a lifelike Slimer mask, which he used to impersonate Slimer to enact his revenge: Sliming Slimer. (The Halloween Door)
Sometimes carries a paperback edition of Tobin's Spirit Guide. (RGB Vol. II #0)
Once told Slimer there was a doughnut under Janine's shower cap (The Devil To Pay)
Has fired a cannon. (Sea Fright)
Was once attacked by a ghostly Parrot. A G-Class Avion Vapor, with Vocalisation Abilities. "No Big Deal, Birds always do this to me." (Sea Fright)
Has a poster of "Luscious Linda". Egon... borrowed it once. (RGB #4)
Once had a dream where, dressed as Batman, tried to seduce Kim Basinger (Mean Green Teen Machine)
Posed as the ghost of Christmas Past; this was made more difficult by the ghost being female. Posed as a pizza vendor. Pretended to be one of the knights of Kildarby Castle. Has posed as a road worker. Has impersonated both a Con-Edison worker and a Gas Inspector. Has dressed in Drag to help locate the witch Kestrel. (X-Mas Marks The Spot, The Bird Of Kildarby, Mean Green Teen Machine, Ghostbusters II, If I Were A Witch Man)
Has been impersonated by Copycat. (The Copycat)
Prevented Egon from electrocuting Ray back into the team. (Look Homeward Ray)
Had an argument with an Ectoplasmically animated coat rack, hat, coat, wig, and mask. (The Thing In Mrs Faversham's Attic)
Had his luggage thrown out of a private jet by a stewardess over Cleveland, Ohio. (Take Two)
Got into a fight with a movie director and did something to the director's pants that Egon hadn't seen done before. Peter received a black eye for his troubles. (Take Two)
Admitted is frustration of not being played by Robert Redford. "He (Bill Murray) doesn't look anything like me." (Take Two)
C/N Against common belief, evidence has been found to support that, if anything, the first movie was simply that, a movie based on the Ghostbusters' first adventure. This helps to explain the changes that happened on the second movie that were against the core feeling of Ghostbusters. The details of this can be found in Fritz' Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline.
Had a vendetta with a particular poltergeist after it threw a basketball at him. He busted it. (Cry Uncle)
Had one of his boots stolen by one of the "Spawn of Cthulhu". Attacked the "Old One" Cthulhu while standing up on a moving rollercoaster car at Coney Island. (The Collect Call Of Cathulhu)
Seriously considered feeding Ray to the "big ghost" as a peace offering. (The Hole In The Wall Gang)
Had a block of wax smash into his face, he then tripped over and slammed his face, wax and all into a Ghost Trap. (Apocalypse -- What, Now?)
Expressed an interest in keeping some of Tummel's money; was persuaded not to. (You Can't Take It With You)
Resolved to attack every "happy, sneering" motorist with Janine's desk lamp. (Don't Forget The Motor City)
Dated Dr Doris Tibbs, who bore a strong resemblance to the long dead Lady Genevieve. The recently released tyrant, Sir Bruce Sans Petit, who was trapped in a tapestry by Merlin, kidnapped her. (A Hard Knight's Day)
Was once turned into a rat by accident. (Short Stuff)
Along with Janine's help, they managed to land a 747. The landing was subject to the Infamous Rule of Landing: Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. (Janine's Genie)
Heckled the Minor-Demon, Dib Devlin after going through the shenanigans surrounding the fake game show. (The Devil to Pay)
Had his soul played for at a spectral baseball game of Good versus Evil. (Night Game)
Was the only member of the team not to go on the free vacation to Hawaii provided by Super Express. He went to go participate in Mardi Gras which had finished by the time the Ghostbusters had defeated Malachi (Play Them Ragtime Boos)
Rode a woolly mammoth and described the experience as a feeling like a heavy metal rock concert behind his eyeballs. (Moaning Stones)
Once claimed to have "... broken everything" after a chaotic ride through the New Jersey Parallelogram. (Venkman's Ghost Repellers)
Was once turned into a "superhero" by accident. (Venk-Man!)
Was, for probably no more then 10 minutes, been a very well regarded rock star known simply as "Dr. V". (Banshee Bake A Cherry Pie?)
Explained to the Mayor that "you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and the windows of the United Nations Building all needed replacing anyway.". (RGB #5)
Was once kidnapped by a group of ninjas. (RGB #5)
Almost got killed by a rampaging werewolf after he called it "Ugly". (RGB #5)
Once posed as Cody Jarrett's "Torpedo" Peter Gunn. (RGB #7)
Sold a cable T.V. Special from Al Capone's tomb at Midnight on the anniversary of Al Capone's death. (The Ghostbusters Live From Al Capone's Tomb)
Once hosted his own tabloid paranormal talk show, "World of the Psychic with Dr. Peter Venkman" on WKRR, Channel 10 in New York. (Ghostbusters II)
Was once covered in a large amount of leftover Psychomagnetheric slime left over from the Vigo incident. (Partners In Slime)
F/N Interestingly enough, while the slime was pink in the second movie, it was yellow when first seen in the above episode, and then changed to red when Peter got angry. Also note this is an episode that shows Janine's Birthday, and so was October 23rd. (1989).
After Ghostbusters Inc. closed down after the Vigo case and the team went it's separate ways, Venkman became a agent and continued to pursue a third movie based on their adventures. Egon: "Still working on that third movie about us?" Peter: "I'm holding out until Brad Pitt becomes available." (Back In The Saddle Pt. I)
F/N This episode was written when info and the possibility of a third movie vanished.
C/N As stated in the Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline, Venkman was never successful in fixing the deal.
Peter is estimated to be around 6'1" and from 180 to 190 lbs.
Bill Murray is estimated to be around 6'2".
F/N Above info gathered from the Real Ghostbusters Fan Fiction Recommendations and from GBN Member Van Damme.
Dark brown with greenish-blue trim.