Friends, by the time that Dan Aykroyd appeared as a guest MTV VJ to promote his 1983 picture Doctor Detroit, the music video station was almost two years old. While the music videos themselves have been cut out obviously due to copyright issues – when this originally aired back in early May of ’83 – Aykroyd was showing music videos for the likes of Falco’s Der Kommisar, Billie Jean from Michael Jackson, Men at Work’s Overkill, and Duran Duran’s Rio to name a few. While it would be a couple of years later before I really began to get into music much less have access to MTV on my cable service – I would have been pretty excited back in the day to see Dan Aykroyd’s appearance, especially because the music television station was teaming up with Universal Studios to give away the stretch limousine from Doctor Detroit. In addition to Aykroyd doing impressions and generally having fun with his VJ duties – he debuted Devo’s music video for the then upcoming film.
When I was growing up I was lucky enough to catch some of Saturday Night Live – while a lot of the times the humor went over my head there were more than a few segments that I remember watching with my Father. Aykroyd appeared on SNL as one of The Not Ready For Prime Time Players from 1975 until 1979 – he was one of my favorite performers with skits such as the Coneheads and his numerous celebrity impersonations of the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling, Julia Child, and President Jimmy Carter to name a few. As I’ve already mentioned – in his 1983 MTV VJ segment he does a few impersonations too – although I’m not quite sure that the audience back in the day would have recognized his Robert Stack impression from The Untouchables. Having said that I bet the teenagers and young adults of the day certainly recognized Yortuk Festrunks – even if Steve Martin wasn’t there to back him up as two wild and crazy guys.
How about that awesome advertisement for Atari’s Centipede? For what it might be worth, thanks to my Father being a fan of the early SNL series, we caught the likes of not just Doctor Detroit but 1941, Trading Places, and of course The Blues Brothers at the local Drive-In theater. In fact I am such a fan of the last film that I devoted the ninth episode of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast to it – why not give it a listen?