Daniel Edward Aykroyd CM OOnt (/ˈækrɔɪd/ AK-royd; born July 1, 1952) is a Canadian and American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer.

Dan Aykroyd
Aykroyd in 2009
Daniel Edward Aykroyd

(1952-07-01) July 1, 1952 (age 71)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Canada
  • United States
EducationCarleton University
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • screenwriter
  • producer
Years active1971–present
(m. 1983; sep. 2022)
Children3, including Vera Sola
RelativesPeter Aykroyd (brother)

Aykroyd was a writer and an original member of the "Not Ready for Prime Time Players" cast on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live from its inception in 1975 until his departure in 1979. During his tenure on SNL, he appeared in a recurring series of sketches, particularly featuring the Coneheads and the Blues Brothers. For his work on the show, he received five Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series in 1977. After his departure, he has since returned to guest roles.

Aykroyd gained prominence for writing, and starring as Dr. Raymond "Ray" Stantz in Ghostbusters (1984), and Ghostbusters II (1989) and has reprised his role in various projects within the Ghostbusters franchise. He also is known for his comedic roles in The Blues Brothers (1980), Trading Places (1983), Spies Like Us (1985), Dragnet (1987), The Great Outdoors (1988), Coneheads (1993), and Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), a sequel of the 1980 film.

In 1990, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Boolie Werthan in Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Other dramatic roles include in My Girl (1991), Chaplin, and Sneakers (both 1992). Aykroyd has done supporting roles in Tommy Boy (1995), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), 50 First Dates (2004), The Campaign (2012), and Behind the Candelabra (2013).

He starred as Reverend Mike Weber, in his sitcom Soul Man (1997–1998). He has since appeared on various television shows including It's Garry Shandling's Show (1990), Home Improvement (1997), Family Guy (2009), The Simpsons (2021) and The Conners (2019). Aykroyd is also a businessman, having co-founded the House of Blues chain of music venues and the Crystal Head Vodka brand.

Early life


Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952, at The Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario.[1] His father, Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd (1922–2020), a civil engineer, worked as a policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau,[2] and his mother, Lorraine Hélène Marie (née Gougeon; 1918–2018), was a secretary.[3][4][5][6] His mother was of French Canadian descent and his father was of English, Scottish, Irish, French, and Dutch ancestry.[7] His paternal ancestor was Englishman Samuel Aykroyd from Halifax, Yorkshire, who emigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Upper Canada near Kingston, Ontario in 1810.[8] His brother, Peter (1955–2021), was also an actor.

He attended St. Pius X and St. Patrick's high schools, and studied criminology and sociology at Carleton University, but dropped out before completing his degree. He worked as a comedian in various Canadian nightclubs and ran an after-hours speakeasy, Club 505, in Toronto for several years.[9]

Aykroyd developed his musical career in Ottawa, particularly through his regular attendance at Le Hibou, a club that featured many blues artists. He describes these influences as follows:

There was a little disco club there called Le Hibou, which in French means 'the owl.' And it was run by a gentleman named Harvey Glatt, and he brought every, and I mean every, blues star that you or I would ever have wanted to have seen through Ottawa in the late '50s, well I guess more late '60s sort of, in around the Newport jazz rediscovery. I was going to Le Hibou and hearing James Cotton, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins, and Muddy Waters. I did actually jam behind Muddy Waters. S.P. Leary left the drum kit one night, and Muddy said 'anybody out there play drums? I don't have a drummer.' And I walked on stage and we started, I don't know, Little Red Rooster, something. He said 'keep that beat going, you make Muddy feel good.' And I heard Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett). Many, many times I saw Howlin' Wolf. As well as the Doors. And of course Buddy Guy, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. So I was exposed to all of these players, playing there as part of this scene to service the academic community in Ottawa, a very well-educated community. Had I lived in a different town I don't think that this would have happened, because it was just the confluence of educated government workers, and then also all the colleges in the area, Ottawa University, Carleton, and all the schools—these people were interested in blues culture.[10][11]

Aykroyd's first professional experience, which he gained at the age of 17, was as a member of the cast of the short-lived Canadian sketch comedy series The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour with Lorne Michaels, among others.[12] He was a member of the Second City comedy troupe in 1973 in both Toronto and Chicago.[13]



Saturday Night Live


Aykroyd gained fame on the American late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). He was originally hired, and paid $278 a week (equivalent to $1,603 in 2024), as a writer for the show, but became a part of the cast before the series premiered. The original cast was referred to on the show as "The Not Ready For Prime Time Players". Aykroyd was the youngest member of the cast, and appeared on the show for its first four seasons, from 1975 to 1979. He brought a sensibility to the show which combined youth, unusual interests, talent as an impersonator, and a manic intensity. Guest host Eric Idle of Monty Python said that Aykroyd's ability to write and act out characters made him the only member of the SNL cast capable of being a Python.[14]

He was known for his impersonations of celebrities such as Jimmy Carter, Vincent Price, Richard Nixon, Rod Serling, Tom Snyder, and Julia Child. He was also known for his recurring roles, such as Beldar, father of the Coneheads family; with Steve Martin, Yortuk Festrunk, one of the "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" brothers from Bratislava, Slovakia; sleazy late-night cable TV host E. Buzz Miller and his cousin, corrupt maker of children's toys and costumes Irwin Mainway (who extolled the virtues and defended the safety of the "Bag-o-Glass" toy); Fred Garvin – male prostitute; and high-bred but low-brow critic Leonard Pinth-Garnell. Aykroyd and Jane Curtin parodied the Point/Counterpoint segment on the CBS news show 60 Minutes, which featured the liberal Shana Alexander and the conservative segregationist James Kilpatrick, by portraying the two as hating one another; Aykroyd's first words in response to Curtin's point were, "Jane, you ignorant slut!".[15]

Aykroyd's eccentric talent was recognized by others in the highly competitive SNL environment; when he first presented his "Super Bass-O-Matic '76" sketch, a fake TV commercial in which a garish, hyper-pitchman (based on Ron Popeil) touts a food blender that turns an entire bass into liquid pulp, the other writers and cast members considered the sketch "so exhilaratingly strange that many remember sitting and listening, open-mouthed ... Nobody felt jealous of it because they couldn't imagine writing anything remotely like it."[16] Aykroyd later said that the inspiration for the sketch was seeing his aunt Helene Gougeon (a culinary writer and food columnist in Montreal) put a bass into a blender in order to make a bouillabaisse when he was 12 years old.[17][18]

While Aykroyd was a close friend and partner with fellow cast member John Belushi and shared some of the same sensibilities, Aykroyd was more reserved and less self-destructive. Aykroyd later recalled that, unlike Belushi and others of his peers, he was uninterested in recreational drug use.[19]

In 1977, he received an Emmy Award for writing on SNL; he later received two more nominations for writing and one for acting. In Rolling Stone's February 2015 appraisal of all 141 SNL cast members to date, Aykroyd was ranked fifth (behind Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, and Mike Myers). "Of all the original [SNL] greats, Aykroyd is the least imitated", they wrote, "because nobody else can do what he did."[20]

In later decades, Aykroyd made occasional guest appearances and unannounced cameos on SNL, often impersonating the American politician Bob Dole. He also brought back past characters including Irwin Mainway and Leonard Pinth-Garnell. In 1995, he appeared on the show to introduce a performance by Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip.[21] Aykroyd, who is a fan of the band, had personally lobbied Lorne Michaels to book them as musical guests.[22]

During some guest appearances, he resurrected the Blues Brothers musical act with frequent host John Goodman in place of Belushi, who was by then deceased. He became the second member of the original cast to host SNL in May 2003, when he appeared in the season finale. During his monologue, he performed a musical number with James Belushi similar to the Blues Brothers, but neither Aykroyd nor Belushi donned the black suit and sunglasses. On March 24, 2007, Aykroyd appeared as a crying fan of American Idol finalist Sanjaya Malakar (played by Andy Samberg) during "Weekend Update". On February 14, 2009, he appeared as U.S. House Minority leader John Boehner. Aykroyd also made a surprise guest appearance, along with many other SNL alumni, on the show of March 9, 2013.[23]

The Blues Brothers


Aykroyd was a close friend of John Belushi. According to Aykroyd, their first meeting helped spark the Blues Brothers act. When they met in a club that Aykroyd frequented, he played a blues record in the background, and it stimulated a fascination with blues in Belushi, who was primarily a fan of heavy rock bands at the time. Aykroyd educated Belushi on the finer points of blues music, and with a little encouragement from then-SNL music director Paul Shaffer, it led to the creation of their Blues Brothers characters.[24][25]

Backed by such experienced professional R&B sidemen as lead guitarist Steve Cropper, sax man Lou Marini, trumpeter Alan Rubin, and bass guitarist Donald "Duck" Dunn, the Blues Brothers proved more than an SNL novelty. Taking off with the public as a legitimate musical act, they performed live gigs and in 1978 released the hit album Briefcase Full of Blues (drawn from the fact that Aykroyd, as "Elwood Blues", carried his blues harmonicas in a briefcase that he kept handcuffed to his wrist, in the manner of a CIA courier; Belushi originally carried the key to those handcuffs). Briefcase Full of Blues eventually sold 3.5 million copies, and is one of the highest-selling blues albums of all time.[10] The band was much further popularized in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, which Aykroyd co-wrote. A sequel, titled Blues Brothers 2000, was released in 1998 and featured John Goodman as Belushi's replacement.[citation needed]

Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles was a regular haunt for the original Blues Brothers in the early days of the band. Belushi and Aykroyd became fixtures at the recording studio, while Blues Brothers band member Steve Cropper called Cherokee his producing home. Whenever they needed a bass player, they were joined by another band member, Donald "Duck" Dunn. During this time, Cropper, along with producing partner and Cherokee owner Bruce Robb, worked on a number of music projects with the two comedians/musicians, including Belushi's favourite band, Fear, and later Aykroyd's movie Dragnet.[citation needed]

The Blues Brothers Band continues to tour, both with and without Aykroyd. The band features original members Cropper and Marini, along with vocalist Eddie Floyd. Aykroyd sometimes performs as Elwood, along with Belushi's younger brother Jim Belushi, who plays "Brother Zee" on stage. They are most frequently backed by the Sacred Hearts Band.[26]

Other film and television work

Aykroyd (right) on the set of The Great Outdoors, 1987

Concurrent with his work in Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd played the role of Purvis Bickle, lift operator at the fictitious office block 99 Sumach Street in the CBC Television series Coming Up Rosie.[27]

After leaving SNL, Aykroyd starred in a number of films, mostly comedies, with uneven results both commercially and artistically. His first three American feature films all co-starred Belushi. The first, 1941 (1979), directed by Steven Spielberg, was a box-office disappointment. The second, The Blues Brothers (1980), which he co-wrote with director John Landis, was a massive hit. The third, Neighbors (1981) had mixed critical reaction, but was another box-office hit. One of his best-received performances was as a blueblood-turned-wretch in the 1983 comedy Trading Places, in which he co-starred with fellow SNL alumnus Eddie Murphy and Jamie Lee Curtis. He also appeared in Twilight Zone The Movie in the prologue and at the end of Segment Four as the passenger and the ambulance driver.[citation needed]

In the early 1980s, Aykroyd began work on a script for the film that eventually became Ghostbusters, inspired by his fascination with parapsychology and his belief in ghosts. The script initially included a much greater fantasy element, including time travel, but this was toned down substantially through work on the script with Harold Ramis (who became a co-writer) and director Ivan Reitman. Aykroyd originally wrote the role of Dr. Peter Venkman with Belushi in mind, but rewrote it for Bill Murray after Belushi's death. Aykroyd joked that the green ghost, later known as "Slimer", was "the ghost of John Belushi" and was based on Belushi's party-animal personality. Ghostbusters was released in 1984 and became a huge success for Aykroyd, who also appeared as one of the lead actors; the film earned nearly US$300 million on a US$30 million budget. Aykroyd also briefly appeared in the hit 1984 action-adventure film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as an escort with a British accent.

Dan Aykroyd in 1982

Aykroyd's next major film role was in the 1985 spy comedy film Spies Like Us, which like The Blues Brothers was co-conceived and co-written by Aykroyd, and directed by Landis. Aykroyd had again intended for Belushi to be the other lead in the film; the part was instead given to SNL alumnus Chevy Chase. The film was intended as an homage to the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby Road to ... movies of the 1940s to 1960s. Bob Hope made a cameo appearance in the film.[citation needed]

Dragnet, in which Aykroyd co-starred (with Tom Hanks) and co-wrote, was released in 1987. The film was both an homage and a satire of the previous Dragnet series, with Aykroyd playing Sgt. Joe Friday as a police officer whose law-and-order attitude is at odds with modern sensibilities.[citation needed]

In 1988, Aykroyd co-starred (with John Candy) in the comedy film The Great Outdoors. Aykroyd appeared in four other films released in 1988 (The Couch Trip, She's Having a Baby, Caddyshack II, and My Stepmother Is an Alien), all of them critical and commercial failures.[citation needed]

A sequel to Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, was released in 1989; Aykroyd and the other co-creators were reluctant to make another Ghostbusters film, but succumbed to pressure from the film's studio, Columbia Pictures.[28] The film, while considered inferior to the original, was another big hit, earning US$215 million. Aykroyd was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for 1989's Driving Miss Daisy. He was the fourth SNL cast member to be nominated for an Oscar, after Joan Cusack, who was the third.[29]

Aykroyd's directorial debut was 1991's Nothing but Trouble starring Demi Moore, Chevy Chase, John Candy, and Aykroyd, sporting a bulbous prosthetic nose. The film was a critical and box-office flop. Most of Aykroyd's other films in the 1990s were similarly poorly received, including Coneheads (also based on a SNL skit), Exit to Eden, Blues Brothers 2000, and Getting Away with Murder. Four exceptions were My Girl (1991), which starred Jamie Lee Curtis, and Macaulay Culkin, Sneakers (1992), which starred Robert Redford, Tommy Boy (1995), which starred SNL alumni David Spade and Chris Farley, in which Aykroyd played the role of Ray Zalinsky, and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), in which Aykroyd had a well-received role as a rival hit man.[citation needed]

In 1994, Aykroyd made a guest appearance in an episode of the sitcom The Nanny as a refrigerator repairman. In 1997, he starred as an Episcopal priest in the ABC sitcom Soul Man, which lasted two seasons. In 1998, he voiced the role of Chip, a wasp, in DreamWorks Animation film Antz.[citation needed]

In 2001, Aykroyd starred in the Woody Allen film The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Most of his subsequent film roles have tended to be small character parts in big-budget productions, such as a signals analyst in Pearl Harbor (2001), a neurologist in 50 First Dates (2004), an annoying neighbor in Christmas with the Kranks (2004), and a fire captain in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007).[citation needed]

In 2009, Aykroyd and Ramis wrote and appeared in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which also featured Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, William Atherton, and Brian Doyle-Murray. In 2010, he played the voice of the title character, Yogi Bear, in the live-action/CGI-animated-film Yogi Bear. That same year, Aykroyd and Chevy Chase guest-starred in the Family Guy episode "Spies Reminiscent of Us", an homage to Spies Like Us.[citation needed]

Aykroyd appeared in two February 2011 episodes of CBS's The Defenders as Judge Max Hunter, which also starred Jim Belushi.[30] He also appeared on Top Chef Canada as a guest judge.[31] He had supporting roles in the 2012 political comedy film The Campaign, which starred SNL alum Will Ferrell, and in the 2013 HBO film Behind the Candelabra.[citation needed]

In 2014, Aykroyd voiced the role of Scarecrow in Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, and had a supporting role in the comedy film Tammy. In 2015, he appeared in a State Farm insurance commercial along with Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, as the Coneheads, talking to "Jake", a State Farm agent,[32] and played the emcee of the video game championship in the science fiction comedy film Pixels.[citation needed]

Aykroyd was one of the executive producers of Ghostbusters, a long-discussed reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise, which was released in 2016. Aykroyd had a cameo appearance in the film, along with many of the rest of the surviving original Ghostbusters cast.[33][34]

In early 2021, Aykroyd provided the voice of the Postage Stamp Fellow in the episode The Dad-Feelings Limited in the TV series The Simpsons. He also reprised his role of Dr. Ray Stantz in the movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Aykroyd expressed interest in having the surviving three actors of the original Ghostbusters team continuing to reprise their roles for as many sequels as possible while they were alive. Aykroyd again reprises his role in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.[35]

Other musical endeavours


Aykroyd participated in the recording of "We Are the World" in 1985, as a member of the chorus. He wrote the liner notes for fellow Ottawa-born blues musician JW-Jones's album Bluelisted in 2008. Until its ending in 2018, he hosted the internationally syndicated radio show "Elwood's BluesMobile", formerly known as the House of Blues Radio Hour, under his Blues Brothers moniker Elwood Blues.[36]

Business ventures

Bottle of Crystal Head vodka

In 1992, Aykroyd and Hard Rock Cafe co-founder Isaac Tigrett founded the House of Blues,[37] a chain of music venues, with the mission to promote African-American cultural contributions of blues music and folk art.[citation needed]

Many other music and Hollywood personalities helped to finance it at its start. It began as a single location in Cambridge, Massachusetts, although other locations quickly followed, starting with a venue in New Orleans in 1994. In 2004, House of Blues became the second-largest live music promoter in the world, with seven venues and 22 amphitheatres in the United States and Canada. It was bought by Live Nation in 2006.[38]

On New Year's Eve, 1994, Aykroyd opened the Aykroyd's Ghetto House Cafe on Princess Street in Kingston, Ontario.[39]

In 2007, Aykroyd and artist John Alexander founded Crystal Head Vodka, a brand of high-end vodka known for its distinctive skull-shaped bottle and for being filtered through Herkimer diamond crystals.[40]

Aykroyd is also part owner of several wineries in Canada's Niagara Peninsula, and the company that distributes Patrón tequila in Canada.[41][42]

In 2016, Aykroyd partnered with TV producers Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey and game developer Ike McFadden to release an online-casino game that features the Blues Brothers. Aykroyd provided the in-game voice of his Elwood Blues character via voiceover.[43]

Charitable works


In 2009, Aykroyd contributed a series of reminiscences on his upbringing in Canada for a charity album titled Dan Aykroyd's Canada. He helped start the Blue Line Foundation, which is redeveloping flood-damaged lots in New Orleans and helping first responders buy them at reduced prices. Coastal Blue Line LLC, hopes to eventually rebuild 400 properties in New Orleans.[44]

Aykroyd is a member of Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.[45]

Personal life


Aykroyd was briefly engaged to actress Carrie Fisher, proposing to her on the set of The Blues Brothers. In the film, she appeared as a jilted girlfriend of John Belushi's character Jake Blues. Their engagement ended when she reconciled with her former boyfriend, musician Paul Simon. In 1983, Aykroyd married actress Donna Dixon. The couple met on the set of Doctor Detroit released the same year and appeared together in four additional films: Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983); Spies Like Us (1985); The Couch Trip (1988); and Exit to Eden (1994). Together, they have three daughters, including Danielle (known by her stage name, Vera Sola). The couple announced in April 2022 that they were separating after 39 years of marriage, but would remain legally married.[46]

Aykroyd maintains his Canadian roots as a longtime resident of Sydenham, Ontario, with his estate on Loughborough Lake.

In a 2004 NPR interview with host Terry Gross, Aykroyd said that he had been diagnosed in childhood with Tourette syndrome (TS). He stated that his TS was successfully treated with therapy.[47] In 2015, he stated during a HuffPost Show interview with hosts Roy Sekoff and Marc Lamont Hill that he has Asperger syndrome which was "never diagnosed", but was "sort of a self-diagnosis" based on several of his own characteristics.[48]

Aykroyd is a former reserve commander for the police department in Harahan, Louisiana, working for Chief of Police Peter Dale. While on the force, Aykroyd carried his badge with him at all times.[49] He currently serves as a reserve deputy of the Hinds County Sheriff's Department in Hinds County, Mississippi. He supports the reserves with a fundraiser concert along with other blues and gospel singers in Mississippi.[50]

Aykroyd's passions for the outdoors, geology and paleontology, which he attributes to watching his father work on constructing the Gatineau Parkway which included blasting through granite rock formations to run the highway,[51] have led him to join Canadian paleontologist Philip J. Currie on a number of digs, including fundraising digs and galas as fundraisers for the construction of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembley, Alberta,[52] which recognized Aykroyd's contributions by naming its theatre the Aykroyd Family Theatre.[53]

Aykroyd has acquired American citizenship.[54]

Friendship with John Belushi


In an appearance on the Today show, Aykroyd referred to John Belushi and himself as "kindred spirits". In the biography Belushi, Aykroyd claims that Belushi was the only man with whom he could ever dance. Aykroyd and Belushi were scheduled to present the Academy Award for Visual Effects in 1982, but Belushi died only a few weeks prior to the ceremony. Though devastated by his friend's death, Aykroyd presented the award alone, remarking from the stage: "My partner would have loved to have been here to present this, given that he was something of a visual effect himself."[55]

Aykroyd was openly hostile to the 1989 film Wired, a biopic of Belushi which was based on the 1984 book of the same name by journalist Bob Woodward, starred Michael Chiklis in his film debut as Belushi, and featured him as a character played by actor Gary Groomes. Along with Belushi's widow Judith and brother Jim, and many other friends, associates and relatives of Belushi, he boycotted the film and the associated book for misrepresenting Belushi's life,[56] and expressed his desire that the film would flop at the box office, which it ultimately did. During an interview for MTV's The Big Picture in June 1988, he said, "I have witches working now to jinx the thing... I hope it never gets seen and I am going to hurl all the negative energy I can and muster all my hell energies [against them]. My thunderbolts are out on this one, quite truthfully." He had actor J. T. Walsh removed from the film Loose Cannons after Walsh had already done two days of filming in the role of Grimmer, after finding out that Walsh had been in the cast of Wired.[57] Walsh, who had played Bob Woodward in Wired, was replaced as Grimmer by fellow Canadian Paul Koslo, causing the film a $125,000 production delay.



Aykroyd considers himself a Spiritualist, stating:

I am a Spiritualist, a proud wearer of the Spiritualist badge. Mediums and psychic research have gone on for many, many years ... Loads of people have seen spirits, heard a voice, or felt the cold temperature. I believe that they are between here and there, that they exist between the fourth and fifth dimensions, and that they visit us frequently.[58]

Aykroyd's great-grandfather, a dentist, was a mystic who corresponded with author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the subject of Spiritualism, and was a member of the Lily Dale Society.[58] Other than Spiritualism, Aykroyd is also interested in various other aspects of the paranormal, particularly UFOlogy. He is a lifetime member of and official Hollywood consultant for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). Along these lines, he served, from 1996 to 2000, as host of Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, which claimed to describe cases drawn from the archives of "The Office of Scientific Investigation and Research". In 2005, Aykroyd produced the DVD Dan Aykroyd: Unplugged on UFOs.

Aykroyd was interviewed for 80 minutes by UFOlogist David Sereda, discussing in depth many aspects of the UFO phenomenon.[59]

On September 29, 2009, Peter Aykroyd Sr., Dan's father, published a book entitled A History of Ghosts. This book chronicled the family's historical involvement in the Spiritualist movement, to which Aykroyd readily refers. Aykroyd wrote the introduction and accompanied his father on a series of promotional activities, including launches in New York and Toronto, appearances on Larry King Live and Coast to Coast AM, and various other public-relations initiatives. Aykroyd also read the introduction for the audio version of the book.[60] In 1997, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry awarded Aykroyd in absentia the Snuffed Candle Award for hosting Psi Factor and being a "long-time promoter ... of paranormal claims". Following the awards, Joe Nickell wrote to Aykroyd asking for the research behind the "cases" presented on Psi Factor, particularly a claim that NASA scientists were "killed while investigating a meteor crash and giant eggs were found and incubated, yielding a flea the size of a hog".[61]




Year Title Role Notes
1977 Love at First Sight Roy
1979 Mr. Mike's Mondo Video Jack Lord Priest / Himself
1941 Motor Sergeant Frank Tree
1980 The Blues Brothers Elwood J. Blues Also writer
1981 Neighbors Vic Zeck
1982 It Came from Hollywood Himself Documentary
1983 Doctor Detroit Clifford Skridlow / Doctor Detroit
Trading Places Louis Winthorpe III
Twilight Zone: The Movie Passenger / Ambulance Driver
1984 Ghostbusters Dr. Raymond Stantz Also writer
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Art Weber Cameo
Nothing Lasts Forever Buck Heller
1985 Into the Night Herb
Spies Like Us Austin Millbarge Also writer
1987 Dragnet Sergeant Joe Friday
1988 The Couch Trip John W. Burns Jr.
She's Having a Baby Roman Craig Uncredited cameo
The Great Outdoors Roman Craig
Caddyshack II Captain Tom Everett
My Stepmother Is an Alien Steven Mills
1989 Driving Miss Daisy Boolie Werthan
Ghostbusters II Dr. Raymond Stantz Also writer
1990 Loose Cannons Detective Ellis Fielding
Masters of Menace Johnny Lewis
1991 My Girl Harry Sultenfuss
Nothing but Trouble Judge Alvin "J.P" Valkenheiser
Also writer and director
1992 Chaplin Mack Sennett
Sneakers Darren "Mother" Roskow
This Is My Life Arnold Moss
1993 Coneheads Beldar Conehead Also writer
1994 A Century of Cinema Himself Documentary
Exit to Eden Fred Lavery
My Girl 2 Harry Sultenfuss
North Pa Tex
1995 Canadian Bacon OPP Officer Uncredited cameo
Casper Dr. Raymond Stantz Uncredited cameo
The Random Factor Dexter Voice role
Tommy Boy Ray Zalinsky
1996 Rainbow Sheriff Wyatt Hampton
Celtic Pride Jimmy Flaherty
Feeling Minnesota Detective Ben Costikyan
My Fellow Americans President Bill Haney
Getting Away with Murder Jack Lambert
Sgt. Bilko Colonel John T. Hall
1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Grocer
1998 Antz Chip Voice role
Blues Brothers 2000 Elwood J. Blues Also writer and producer
Susan's Plan Bob
1999 Diamonds Lance Agensky
2000 The House of Mirth Gus Trenor
Loser Dad
Stardom Barry Levine
2001 The Curse of the Jade Scorpion Chris Magruder
Evolution Governor Lewis
The Frank Truth Himself Documentary
On the Nose Dr. Barry Davis
Pearl Harbor Captain Harold Thurman
2002 Crossroads Pete Wagner
Unconditional Love Max Beasly
2003 Bright Young Things Lord Monomark
2004 50 First Dates Dr. Joseph Keats
Intern Academy Dr. Cyrill Kipp
Christmas with the Kranks Vic Frohmeyer
2007 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Captain Phineas Tucker
Shortcut to Happiness Julius Jenson
2008 War, Inc. The Former Vice President
2010 Yogi Bear Yogi Bear Voice role
2012 The Campaign Wade Motch
The Ultimate Sacrifice Narrator Voice
2013 Behind the Candelabra Seymour Heller
2014 Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Scarecrow Voice role
Tammy Don
Get On Up Ben Bart
2015 Pixels 1982 Championship MC Cameo
Being Canadian Himself Documentary
2016 Ghostbusters Taxi Driver Cameo
Also executive producer
2019 Cleanin' Up the Town:
Remembering Ghostbusters
Himself Documentary
2021 Ghostbusters: Afterlife Dr. Raymond Stantz Also executive producer
2023 Zombie Town Len Carver
2024 Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Dr. Raymond Stantz Also executive producer[62]


Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Gift of Winter Goodly / Rotten / Maple Television short; Voice
1975–1978 Coming Up Rosie Purvis Bickle 32 episodes
1975–1979 Saturday Night Live Various Roles 97 episodes
1976 The Beach Boys: It's OK Cop Television film; also writer
1978 All You Need Is Cash Brian Thigh Television film
1986–1991 The Real Ghostbusters Creator
1990 The Dave Thomas Comedy Show Various Episode 1.2
It's Garry Shandling's Show Boolie Shandling Episode: "Driving Miss Garry"
The Earth Day Special Vic's Buddy Special
1991 Tales from the Crypt Captain Mulligan Episode: "Yellow"
1994 The Nanny Repair Man Episode: "Sunday in the Park with Fran"
1995 Kelsey Grammer Salutes Jack Benny Himself Special
1996–2000 Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal Himself (host) 88 episodes
1997 The Arrow Crawford Gordon 4 episodes; also creative consultant
Home Improvement Reverend Mike Weber Episode: "Losing My Religion"
1997–1998 Soul Man Reverend Mike Weber 25 episodes
2000 Normal, Ohio Frank Wozniak Episode: "He Always Gets His Man"
2001 Earth vs. the Spider Inspector Jack Grillo Television film
History's Mysteries Narrator (voice) Episode: "The Children's Crusade"
2002–2009 According to Jim Sergeant Danny Michalski 5 episodes
2006 Living with Fran Judge Episode: "Going Crazy with Fran"
2009 Family Guy Himself (voice) Episode: "Spies Reminiscent of Us"
2011 The Defenders Judge Max Hunter 2 episodes
2012 Happily Divorced Harold Episode: "Fran-alyze This"
2017–2023 Workin' Moms Kate's Dad 4 episodes
2019 The Conners Buddy Episode: "The Preemie Monologues"[63]
2020–2021 Hotel Paranormal Narrator (voice) All episodes
2021 The Simpsons Postage Stamp Fellow (voice) Episode: "The Dad-Feelings Limited"
2023 The Unbelievable With Dan Aykroyd Himself (host) All episodes

Video games

Year Title Voice role Notes
2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game Ray Stantz Also writer
2010 Yogi Bear: The Video Game Yogi Bear
2015 Lego Dimensions Ray Stantz Archive sound
2019 Planet Coaster Ray Stantz [64]
2019 Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered Ray Stantz Also writer
2022 Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Ray Stantz [65][66][67]
2023 Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord Ray Stantz [68]

Guest appearances on SNL

Date Episode Host / Musical guest Role(s)
February 13, 1988 Season 13, Ep. 11 Justine Bateman, Terence Trent D'Arby Bob Dole
May 15, 1993 Season 18, Ep. 20 Kevin Kline, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon
March 25, 1995 Season 20, Ep. 16 John Goodman, The Tragically Hip Bob Dole, Elwood Blues, Irwin Mainway, Tom Snyder,
Rush Limbaugh, Robert Stack, Miner
February 7, 1998 Season 23, Ep. 14 John Goodman, Paula Cole Bob Dole, Elwood Blues, Irwin Mainway, Ernesto
September 26, 1998 Season 24, Ep, 01 Cameron Diaz, The Smashing Pumpkins Yortuk Festrunk
November 3, 2001 Season 27, Ep, 04 John Goodman, Ja Rule Dr. Keith Vester, Elwood Blues, Leonard Pinth-Garnell
February 2, 2002 Season 27, Ep. 12 Britney Spears Mormon, Judge Lindenwell
March 8, 2003 Season 28, Ep. 14 Queen Latifah, Ms. Dynamite Bob Dole
May 17, 2003 Season 28, Ep. 20 Dan Aykroyd, Beyoncé Andrew Card, Patrick Fitzpatrick, Esteban
Donnie "The Finger" Dabinski, Butch, Sam Elliott
March 24, 2007 Season 32, Ep. 16 Peyton Manning, Carrie Underwood Himself
February 14, 2009 Season 34, Ep. 16 Alec Baldwin, The Jonas Brothers John Boehner
March 9, 2013 Season 38, Ep. 16 Justin Timberlake Himself, Yortuk Festrunk
February 15, 2015 Season 40 40th Anniversary Special Super Bass-O-Matic 2150 Spokesperson, Elwood Blues

Awards and nominations

Aykroyd's star on Canada's Walk of Fame

In 1977, Aykroyd received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series for his collaborative work on Saturday Night Live. In 1994, he received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Carleton University.[69] In 1999, Aykroyd was made a Member of the Order of Canada.[70] He was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2002.[71] In 2017, he was made a member of the Order of Ontario in recognition for being "one of the world's most popular entertainers, well-known for his time on Saturday Night Live and the 1984 classic movie Ghostbusters."[72]

Year Nominated work Accolade Results Ref
1977 Saturday Night Live Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series (shared with other writers) Won [73]
1978 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Variety or Music Nominated [74][75]
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series (shared with other writers) Nominated
1979 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Program Nominated [76][77]
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series (shared with other writers) Nominated
1985 Ghostbusters Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation Nominated [78]
1989 Caddyshack II Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor Won [79]
1990 Driving Miss Daisy Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated [80]
1990 American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated [81]
1992 Nothing But Trouble Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director Nominated [82]
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay (shared with Peter Aykroyd) Nominated
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor Won
1995 Exit to Eden
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor Nominated [83]
Exit to Eden Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Couple (shared with Rosie O'Donnell) Nominated
2002 Crossroads The Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Fake Accent: Male Nominated [84]
2007 Saturday Night Live TV Land Award for Favorite Elvis Impersonation (shared with John Belushi) Nominated [85]
2018 Workin' Moms Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting or Guest Actor, Comedy Nominated [86]
2020 Canadian Screen Award for Best Guest Performance, Comedy Nominated [87]

See also



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Further reading

  • Hill, Doug, and Weingrad, Jeff, Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live. Vintage Books, 1986. ISBN 0-394-75053-5.
Preceded by Weekend Update anchor
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Position inaugurated
MTV Video Music Awards host
1984 (co-host with Bette Midler)
Succeeded by