If ever a paper were written on the connection between ideas that emerge in bars at night and their impact on art, Dan Aykroyd would have to be given a chapter of his own.
Legend has it that it was at his own bar in Manhattan that he first converted John Belushi from hard rock to the blues and then pitched the idea for a sketch for Saturday Night Live to him.
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At the time, both were working in New York for this legendary satirical show, usually abbreviated to “SNL”.
Aykroyd was known for his talent for imitation.
However, for the role he was sketching in the bar, he wanted to keep his means to a minimum: his nimble eyes disappeared behind large sunglasses, he wore a black suit, hat and narrow tie - the character of the Elwood Blues was complete, who, together with his brother Jake (played by Belushi), is on a mission from God to play the blues.
Belushi was thrilled, as was SNL producer Lorne Michaels, and the audience went wild when they first appeared on the live show.
Shortly thereafter, Aykroyd, supported by director John Landis, turned it into the film "Blues Brothers", which was released in 1980 and found a cult following.
A little later, audiences praised another film based on Aykroyd's ingenuity as "cult": He co-wrote the screenplay for "Ghostbusters" (1984) with Harold Ramis.
Giving himself a supporting part in the Ghostbusters Quartet, leaving the main stage to Bill Murray and concentrating on using his talent to bring the animations of green squirming gooy ghosts to life through stares in wonder for the audience.
He learned early on not to rely solely on talent.
A Catholic school kicked him out, he dropped out of college, but then unloaded freight trains or drove postal trucks in his Canadian homeland.
Eventually he opened bars, even while he was already starring alongside Hollywood's A-League, for example with Tom Hanks in the cop comedy Dragnet (1987) or with Morgan Freeman in Miss Daisy and Her Chauffeur (1989), for which he received an Oscar nomination).
He still has the bars, and sometimes he puts on his black sunglasses for benefit concerts.
Today he is seventy years old.Keywords: