Everyone should know Dan Aykroyd, the man who created such iconic movies as The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters. Frankly if you don't have a clue who I'm talking about you better read this article over at least 3 times to let it sink in. Now before Dan got into films he was a household name on TV's Saturday Night Live for 4 years in the 70s, getting to test out material that would net him worldwide fame.
It was a live show...on Saturday's
SNL was (and is still today) a beacon for upcoming talent and has guided fellow comics like Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Steve Martin to major stardom. In fact recent female comedians Kristen Wig and Melissa McCarthy, who rose to fame on the show, have now gone on to become big players in Hollywood and even star in the modern reboot of Ghostbusters which is of course Aykroyd's brainchild. I'm sure you haven't heard anything about that one though...
Dan wrote many sketches in his time on the show and his reccurring characters helped gain the show and Dan a huge following. He won an Emmy award in 1977 for his efforts and was continuously nominated for an acting Emmy but has never actually achieved one (yet).
Dan left the show in 1979 with fellow comic John Belushi after drugs had overtaken most of the cast and crew. The event was known informally as the Great SNL Exodus. So straight out of the show he teamed up with Animal House director John Landis to make the seminal classic Blues Brothers. This was just the beginning of a spate of hits for Dan and his fellow SNL veterans which would continue right into present day. My personal favorite has to be Ghostbusters and I don't think I'm alone on this one.
So, to celebrate Dan's work, check out this very early screen test for SNL. If you don't laugh then I think you'd better go to the doctor's office for a funny bone transplant...
Dan's still appearing in TV and movies on a semi regular basis and has also has returned to SNL many times to star and host. This year he just appeared in a cameo role in the new Ghostbusters reboot and produces the film accordingly. Also he has his own vodka brand known simply as crystal head vodka which I've never tried but I'd try just for the novelty. He is truly a man of many talents and I look forward to whatever ventures he has in store for us in the future.