The ghost with the most
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Michael McDowell|
|Designed by||Warren Skaaren|
|Performed by||Michael Keaton|
Betelgeuse is a perverted spirit shown in the Beetlejuice movie and TV series.
In the movie, he used advertisements to get the Maitlands to hire him as a "bio-exorcist" to rid their house of the new living dwellers of the house, the Deetzes. They summon him when they learn that he can be summoned if his name is said three times in a row. Things go bad when the self-proclaimed "ghost with the most" starts scaring the family in ways that seriously harm them, and schemes to marry Lydia Deetz as his way of 'escaping' the netherworld so he can wreak further havoc. Fortunately, saying his name three times can also be used to get rid of him, and in the end, Betelgeuse ends up in the waiting room for the deceased. Additionally, he gets his head shrunk when he switches numbers with a head shrinker to avoid a long wait, and thinks he looks better with a smaller head.
Concept and creation Edit
The character of "Beetlejuice" was originally envisioned by McDowell as a winged demon with takes on the form of a short Middle Eastern man. In this version, the ghost would intend on killing the Deetzes rather than scaring them, and would attempt to rape Lydia instead of marry her. This Beetlejuice also only needs to be exhumed from his grave to be summoned, after which he is free to wreak havoc, being impossible to summon or control the spirit by saying his name three times. In this version, he would wander the world freely, appearing to torment different characters in different manifestations. McDowell's script also featured a second Deetz child, nine-year-old Cathy, the only person able to see the Maitlands and the subject of Beetlejuice's homicidal wrath in the film's climax, during which he mutilates her while in the form of a rabid squirrel before revealing his true form. The film was to have concluded with the Maitlands, Deetzes, and Otho conducting an exorcism ritual that destroys the poltergeist.
Betelgeuse's name is often spelled phonetically as "Beetlejuice", as in the title. However, during the film his name spelled Betelgeuse (like the star) during his ad on TV, and everywhere in the grave scene. There has been great debate over which spelling of his name is correct. Some say that because his name is the same as the introduction, this is proof they meant it as Beetlejuice, while others claim that was an error as the credits of the film spell his name "Betelgeuse". Nowhere during the film is his name spelled Beetlejuice, unless watched with subtitles on, in which it is said from Lydia's interpretation from playing charades with him. The Maitlands used the astrological spelling... after several mispronunciations.
Some also argue that he may not have been permitted to write his name the way it should, much like he can't say his own name (much like a demon's case, in which saying its name would attract its attention).
- A prolonged joke on Community had Betelgeuse show up after the third time his character was mentioned on the show.