Peter Aykroyd, former Saturday Night Live writer and cast member and younger brother of Dan Aykroyd, recently passed away. The comedian and screenwriter was honored by SNL with his own title card during the episode hosted by Simu Liu last night. In addition, the show also tweeted out a video of The Java Junkie.
The Java Junkie was a short film/ segment written and directed by Tom Schiller who made a lot of shorts during the early SNL years. It stars Peter Aykroyd as a down on his luck man named Joe who recently lost his job and girlfriend. He drowns his sours and quickly spirals out of control after an entire day of pounding coffee inside the same diner. It’s quite artistic, as many of Schiller’s SNL works were and pokes fun at a 1950s style cautionary warning film. You can watch it below, courtesy of SNL…
Peter Aykroyd 1955-2021 SNL '79-'80 "The Java Junkie" pic.twitter.com/5IJWJTezgzNovember 21, 2021
Peter Aykroyd also had a long career outside of his one season in 1979-1980 on Saturday Night Live. He has a story by credit on the 90s horror-comedy Nothing But Trouble. The film starred Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, John Candy and Demi Moore. It flopped at the box office and didn’t receive particularly kind reviews from critics, but it has since developed a cult following, probably because of how unapologetically out there it is. In addition, he also co-developed the science fiction drama Psi Factor, which ran for eighty-eight episodes on Canadian television over four seasons. Other highlights include voicing Elwood Blues in the Blues Brothers Animated Series alongside Jim Belushi, as well as many smaller movie roles including in Dragnet, Spies Like Us and Coneheads.
Saturday Night Live is typically very good about honoring its long and storied history. Cast members return on a pretty regular basis, and there seems to be a sense of community and shared experience in a way that’s fun for viewers to see. As such, it’s not a surprise SNL found a way to pay tribute to Peter Aykroyd. It’s also nice to see the show tweet out The Java Junkie, as it’s a good representation for how weird and different the show was willing to be, especially in the early 1970s. There was a lot more high concept bits going on that weren’t necessarily trying to produce laugh-laugh-laugh, more trying to comment on something or explore some kind of new idea. In that way, a good, more modern day comparison might be when Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney would get really weird.
Our thoughts go out to Dan Aykroyd and the entire Aykroyd family during this difficult time.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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