Most Ghostbusters 3 news remains purely hypothetical, no matter how many prospective actors’ names get tossed around, or how often Dan Aykroyd vows to reintroduce you to the now-old and infirm Ghostbusters, and force you to confront some harsh realities about your own mortality. But rarely are those hypotheticals as specific as the one Daily Show vet and lovably tweedy humorist John Hodgman dropped on the latest episode of Tom Scharpling’s “The Best Show.” After discussing real-life ghosts—and following cryptic hints that he was performing some “secret errands” for Dan Aykroyd—Hodgman then posed this question to the WFMU audience:

“If you were hypothetically offered a role in Ghostbusters 3… would you take the role? Let's say you're [playing] sort of the dissolute son of Egon, the Harold Ramis character, and you're kind of like John Candy in Splash, you're kind of a mess. But it turns out you're a natural ghost-whisperer, a natural psychic. But here's the thing: Bill Murray's not going to be in this movie, and probably not happy that you are. But you get to be in a major role, in a major movie and one of the greatest franchises of all time. Would you do it?”

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Again, it’s all hypothetical—and Hodgman perhaps intentionally muddied the waters even further by later tweeting, “Tom @Scharpling will be in Dan Aykroyd's Ghostbusters 3 as Harold Ramis's deadbeat son, who is also a ghost whisperer,” which certainly argues for the idea that it’s all just one big joke. Nevertheless, it’s a very specific joke, one that suggests last year’s rejection-in-concert of Ghostbusters 3 from Hodgman and Patton Oswalt may have come from a place of experience with the actual storyline.

Or perhaps it just speaks to our natural cynicism about the project that, yes, we’d readily accept without question the idea that Egon would have a slacker psychic son, and that, naturally, John Hodgman would be asked to play him. And perhaps Hodgman’s “secret errands” for Dan Aykroyd, unless they involve vodka or aliens, are all about feeding that cynicism, thus lowering expectations to a level where we might finally accept Ghostbusters 3? Like all Ghostbusters 3 speculation, it remains open-ended and annoying. [via io9]

UPDATE: To the surprise of probably no one, Hodgman has confirmed that he was just joking, and has even apologized for leading both io9 and The A.V. Club on. When we told him it was okay, that we were pretty skeptical anyway, he replied, "I know you were, but still. I DO NOT need Dan Aykroyd coming after me." Too true. He has that giant-ass RV.

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