5 Reasons Why Winston Zeddemore Is The Best Ghostbuster, By Far

Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters
(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Who you gonna call? Well, if it was up to me, and the Ghostbusters were actually real, then I’d call Winston Zeddemore, played by one of the major actors on Quantum Leap, Ernie Hudson

Even though Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Egon Spangler are great and all, for my money, Winston has always been the best Ghostbuster. But, why do I think he’s the best? Well, you’re about to find out!

Ernie Hudson in Ghostbusters II

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Winston Has Always Represented The Audience 

The Ghostbusters’ universe is a strange one. Even though it exists in our world, Ray, Peter, and Egon seem like they exist on an entirely different planet, with Peter (Bill Murray), being the closest to somebody who you might actually meet in real life out of the three. With all of their scientific-talk, and Ray and Egon’s technobabble, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the first Ghostbusters is more sci-fi than a supernatural comedy. 

But then, in comes good old Winston, who will believe anything you say as long as there’s a steady paycheck involved. Winston is pretty much the everyman on the team, and in a lot of ways, he’s meant to bring the audience into the story a bit more. 

Yes, Winston doesn’t come until later in the first Ghostbusters (much to the actor’s shock at the time), but once he does, he somewhat grounds the film. He’s the guy who believes in God and thinks that all of these ghosts might be a sign of the apocalypse, which is a perfectly rational thing to believe if you’re just now learning that ghosts are floating all around New York City. In a lot of ways, he’s one of the very best things about Ghostbusters. However, he’s the best in more ways than one.  

Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd at a kid's birthday party in Ghostbusters 2.

(Image credit: Columbia)

He Brought Diversity To The Team

One beef that I always had with the original Ghostbusters, great as it was, is the poster, as Ernie Hudson wasn’t even on it! Now, this was back in 1984, and Columbia Pictures was likely being super uncool, thinking that Hudson being on the poster would hurt the movie, rather than help it. And maybe they were right. I don’t know. I was only one back in 1984, and I don’t know how audiences would have responded to Winston being side-by-side with the other Ghostbusters.

You know what, though? I don’t care. I’m happy to live in an era where there are multiple movies that explore race and social justice, and that we’re all now aware that it was messed up to leave Hudson off the poster. But, that’s neither here nor there. The fact is, Winston brought diversity to the team, which is just another reason why he’s the best.

Also, he brought diversity in more ways than one. Winston isn’t a scientist, nor does he have a PhD. He’s just a regular guy off the street who was answering a help-wanted ad. Sure, his qualifications expanded in novelizations and further stories, but as far as we know in the first movie, he’s just some average dude. So, in that way, by just being an average dude, he adds diversity to the initial team of three which consists of academics and pedants. 

Oh, and he’s also Black, which is diversity in itself. So, yeah. When it comes to the four Ghostbusters, Winston has diversity on lock. And, I don’t know if you know this or not, but diversity is a really good thing! 

From left to right: Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis all looking at slime in Ghostbusters 2.

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

He's Often The Voice Of Reason On The Team 

Many people would likely argue that Peter is the voice of reason on the team, but no. He is the voice of snark, and that's not reason. Snark is snark. Ray and Egon? They’re often in their own little worlds, discussing all matters of scientific jargon back and forth, which is hilarious, don’t get me wrong. I love every member of the Ghostbusters. Hell, I love every version of the Ghostbusters, including the 2016 movie

But, another reason why Winston is the best Ghostbuster is because he’s the one who often has the most logical thinking. For example, when Gozer asks Ray if he’s a god, and he says no, Winston scolds him by saying, “Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say ‘Yes!’” 

He also often stays calm in the face of danger, acknowledging that they have the tools and the talent to take on any threat. In the sequel, when he gets hit by a ghost train (which I’ll get into shortly), when Egon asks him what number the train was that went through him, Winston, who’s still in shock, is all like, “Sorry, I missed it…” Because what else do you say when a freaking ghost train goes right through you? Speaking of which… 

Ernie Hudson on the left in Ghostbusters II

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

He Got Hit By A Ghost Train And Lived To Talk About It 

I know a lot of people give Ghostbusters II crap, but honestly, I think it’s better than the original. I know, I know. Blasphemy, right? But, you have to remember. The original Ghostbusters came out in 1984, and its sequel came out in 1989. I was six years old by then, and I saw the movie in theaters. So, in a lot of ways, Ghostbusters II is MY Ghostbusters

Anyway, back to Winston. One scene I’ll always remember is when he, Ray, and Egon are in the subway, and this ghost is like, “Wiiiiiinston.” Then there are those heads all around them, which scared the living crap out of me as a kid, as I’m sure you would imagine. But, instead of running scared, they just keep on going through the subway, until a freaking TRAIN goes right through Winston. 

And you know what? He still went on to fight Vigo by the end of the movie, because Winston, like all of the other Ghostbusters, ain’t afraid of no ghosts. But only Winston lived to talk about a ghost train actually driving THROUGH him.  

Ernie Hudson sits at his desk while telling a story in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Winston Is The One Who Is Actually Keeping The Ghostbusters Alive  

I have to be honest with you. Even though I like all of the Ghostbusters movies, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is my least favorite. However, one thing I love about the movie is how it righted a big wrong from the original flick, and that’s Zeddemore’s importance to the team, because honestly, he’s the one keeping the lights on now.

That’s right, in a post-credits scene, we learn that Winston, now a shrewd businessman, buys the old headquarters back, and even restores the old Ecto-1. Not only that, but he’s the one who’s been paying the rent for Ray’s occult bookstore, because he’s just an overall good dude. 

So, in that way, Winston is pretty much the only reason that the Ghostbusters are back in business, further solidifying my argument that he’s the best freaking Ghostbuster!

But, what do you think? Do you also love Winston as much as I do? For more news on all things Ghostbusters-related, be sure to swing around here often!  

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.