No, SNL’s Lorne Michaels Didn’t Stop Dan Aykroyd From Joining Animal House

Dan Aykroyd Ghostbusters Cigarette Drooping From Mouth

There are good comedies, there are great comedies, and then there are legendary comedies. For a specific generation of comedy fanboys and fangirls, John Landis' Animal House is definitely part of that third category. The film has carved out a legacy as one of the most beloved and successful comedies in the history of cinema, but while Landis apparently made recent remarks about the possibility of Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd being stopped from from being in the film, Aykroyd has now spoken out to put those ideas to rest. The comedian recently explained,

Great Landis reminiscence about Aretha, but he is flat wrong regarding Lorne not releasing me for Animal House and John knows it. In fact, Lorne put no pressure on me, said I was free to go, but I decided not to leave him short-handed. Also, [Paul] Shaffer voluntarily stayed with Gilda [Radner] and her Broadway show because he had pre-committed to it. John makes Lorne out to be some 'warden' of talent. He is not. He is, however, the greatest impresario and promoter of comedians, actors and musicians in history, and a true empire builder with the interests of talented people at heart. He served Landis very well as a producer on one of John's really great films -- The Three Amigos. Just want to set the record straight, and, again, a great piece.

This all came up in a recent tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, who played a crucial role in John Landis' The Blues Brothers. In his remarks to Deadline, Landis said that Saturday Night Live head honcho Lorne Michaels wouldn't let Dan Aykroyd out of his contract to appear in the film alongside John Belushi. According to Aykroyd, however, this wasn't the case, and instead he personally opted to stay at Saturday Night Live during the production of the film. Of course, Aykroyd and Belushi would go on to share the spotlight in the aforementioned_Blues Brothers - _but Aykroyd says he was not kept from working on the first National Lampoon movie.

Of course, there's an argument to be made that everything turned out for the best in the long run. Animal House has become a classic in the years since its debut (something explored in this year's A Futile and Stupid Gesture), with John Belushi serving as the standout comedic performance for many fans. Meanwhile, Dan Aykroyd's apparent decision to stay with SNL while Belushi was filming the movie helped further establish him as one of the most versatile and reliable members of the early cast as others were leaving to take on the big screen and stage worlds.

So, it would appear that settles that. Make sure to keep it here for more information related to all of the films (comedy genre or otherwise) that are set to debut in the near future, and head over to our comprehensive movie premiere guide if you are on the lookout for further details about all of 2018's most notable release dates.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.