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Dan Aykroyd

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Elwood Blues

Elwood Blues
Elwood Blues
Instrument: Vocals, Harmonica

Elwood Blues was born on December 6th, 1953. He was abandoned by his mother, and left at "Peter's Newspaper Stand". The newspaper stand owner called the police, and Elwood was taken to "St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud" orphanage in Calumet City by Patrolman Mike Delaney. As the child had no name, Sister Mary Stigmata named him 'Elwood Delaney'. 'Elwood' came from the fact that he was the fifth abandoned child left at the orphanage, and they were given names alphabetically. 'Delaney' was from the officer who found him.

While Elwood was at the orphanage, he met Jake Papageorge. Jake had a bad influence on Elwood, who was originally a quiet, shy student. After spending more time with Jake he began to cause fights, disrespect authority, commit crimes and pay little attention to his schooling. Elwood preferred to read car magazines. But he also shared a common bond with Jake. They both loved music, and they would spend hours with the orphanage janitor, Curtis. Curtis would teach them to appreciate music, and he also taught Elwood to play the harmonica. Jake and Elwood formed a band called 'The Ravens'.

On March 23, 1962 Elwood changed his name to 'Elwood Jake Blues', and Jake changed his name to 'Jake Elwood Blues'. Elwood was sent to 3 different foster families, but in each case he was sent back to the orphanage for being too much of a problem child! Elwood hated being separated from Jake, and he would do anything he could to stay with him. In 1970 he stole a car when Jake was moved away from the orphanage, and he was put on probation for 7 months.

In June 1971 Elwood Blues finished high school, and toured with Jake in the Blues Brothers. Both he and Jake committed many crimes along the way, and their police records became very large. In 1977 Jake robbed a gas station to pay for a room service bill, and was sentenced to 5 years prison. During this time Elwood stayed in regular contact with Jake. He sold the 'Bluesmobile' for a microphone, and bought a 1974 dodge monaco ex-police car instead.

In 1980 Jake was released from prison after 3 years for good behaviour, and he and Elwood decided to reform the Blues Brother to raise money to save their orphanage from being closed down. Elwood quit his job at the propellants factory and, together with Jake, tracked down all the members of the band. After meeting with Maury Sline, their booking agent, they organised a concert at the Palace Hotel Ballroom in Lake Wazapamani, which sold out. While there, they were offered a recording contract by Clarion Records president Michael Glabman, which they accepted. They used part of the money to save their orphanage from being closed, but were arrested shortly afterwards, along with the rest of the band.

Elwood remained in prison until 1998, when he was released. It was then that he learned about the death of his brother Jake. With nowhere else to turn he visited Sister Mary from the orphanage where he and Jake grew up. He found out that Curtis had passed on, and St Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage had closed down. Elwood also discovered that Curtis had a son, Cab, and he immediately set out to find his 'brother'. He was also assigned to be a mentor for an orphan called Buster, who he took under his wing as he set out to 'put the band back together'. Eventually, Elwood succeeded in reforming the Blues Brothers Band, along with Buster, Cab, and 'Mighty' Mack McTeer, the bartender from Willie Hall's Stripster Club.

After meeting with Maury Sline, the Blues Brothers performed at Queen Moussette's Battle of the Bands. After losing the competition to the 'Louisiana Gater Boys', led by Malvern Gasperon, Elwood took Buster and fled from the police, and from Sister Mary.

These days, Elwood Blues lays low as much as possible, but he performs with the band whenever he can get far enough away from the police. Recently, he discovered that Jake actually had a brother, Zee, and asked him to join the band. Zee accepted, and now he and Elwood perform together whenever they can.

Biography of Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd
Date of Birth: 1st July, 1952 (Aged 64)

From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

Table of Contents

Daniel Edward Aykroyd (born July 1, 1952 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter, and musician. He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of the Blues Brothers (with John Belushi), and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.

Early life

Aykroyd was born on Dominion Day 1952 at the Ottawa General Hospital. He grew up in the Canadian capital where his father Peter Hugh Samuel Cuthbert Aykroyd was a policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His mother Lorraine Gougeon is Franco-Ontarian. Brother Peter also became a comedy actor.

Aykroyd attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute, St Pius X, and St Patrick's where he was briefly expelled from the latter: he dressed up a pig to look like the pope and brought it to school for show and tell. He went on to study criminology and sociology at Carleton University but dropped out before completing.

He worked as a comedian in various Canadian nightclubs. Aykroyd went on to gain experience in The Second City comedy troupe and in the National Lampoon stage shows. While working with Second City, Aykroyd moonlighted as the announcer for Citytv in Toronto.

Saturday Night Live

Aykroyd gained fame on the American late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live, where he was a writer and cast member for its first four seasons, from 1975 to 1979. Aykroyd brought a unique sensibility to the show, combining youth, unusual interests, talent as an impersonator and an almost lunatic intensity. (Eric Idle, of Monty Python, once said that Aykroyd's ability to write and act out characters flawlessly made him the only member of the SNL cast capable of having been a Python.)

He was known for his impersonations of celebrities like Jimmy Carter (where the President talked someone down from a bad acid trip by telling them to listen to some Allman Brothers), Richard Nixon, Julia Child (in an oft-replayed sketch where she cannot stop bleeding after cutting herself while cooking), Tom Snyder, and others. He was also known for his recurring roles, such as Beldar, father in the Coneheads family; with Steve Martin, one of the "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" Czech brothers; 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, perhaps the retail leader of the "Bag-o" series of toys; Fred Garvin – male prostitute; and high-bred but low-brow critic Leonard Pinth-Garnell. He also co-hosted the Weekend Update segment for a season with Jane Curtin, coining the famous catchphrase "Jane, you ignorant slut" during point-counterpoint segments.

Aykroyd's talent was recognized by others in the highly competitive SNL environment: when he first presented his famous "Super Bass-O-Matic '76" sketch, a fake commercial in which a garish, hyper pitchman (modeled after Ron Popeil) touts a food blender that turns an entire bass into liquid pulp, "to [other writers and cast members] the 'Bass-O-Matic' was 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." [Hill and Weingrad p. 143]

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.

In 1977 he received an Emmy Award for writing on Saturday Night Live; he later received two more nominations for writing, and one each for acting and Outstanding Comedy-Variety series.

In later decades, Aykroyd made occasional guest appearances and unannounced cameos on Saturday Night Live, often impersonating the humorous but slightly bitter American politician Bob Dole. He would also bring back past characters including Irwin Mainway and Leonard Pinth-Garnell. During a couple of his guest appearances he resurrected the Blues Brothers musical act with frequent host John Goodman in place of John Belushi. Finally in May 2003, he hosted the season finale of Saturday Night Live. It was a unique hosting choice as he was not promoting a project at the time and he did not bring back any characters for this appearance. He became the second member of the original cast to host the show. On March 21, 2007 he made his most recent cameo appearance as a crying fan of Andy Samberg portraying American Idol finalist Sanjaya Malakar during Weekend Update.

The Blues Brothers

Aykroyd was good friends with John Belushi, who recruited him for Saturday Night Live. According to Aykroyd, it was his first meeting with Belushi that helped spark their popular Blues Brothers act. When they met in a speakeasy Aykroyd frequented, Aykroyd put on a blues record to play in the background, and it stimulated a fascination with Blues in Belushi, who was primarily a fan of heavy metal. Aykroyd educated John 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.

The Blues Brothers was a legitimate musical act, releasing the hit album Briefcase Full of Blues, in 1978, and performing live gigs.

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." Not a few years before, when he and John Belushi were making an appearance on the "Today" show, he referred to them as "kindred spirits." In the biography "Belushi", Aykroyd claims that John Belushi was the only man he could ever dance with.

In 1992, Aykroyd, along with many other notable music and Hollywood personalities, founded the House of Blues. Its mission is to promote African-American cultural contributions of blues music and folk art. As of 2004, it was the second-largest live music promoter in the world, with seven venues and 22 amphitheaters in the United States and Canada. Aykroyd also contributes his voice to the weekly House of Blues Radio Hour, which he hosts in the character of Elwood Blues.

Film Career

After leaving Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd starred in a number of mainly comedy films, with uneven results both commercially and artistically. When starting out in the film industry Aykroyd would star with his old friend Belushi in three films, The Blues Brothers, Neighbors and 1941. One of his best-received performances was as a blueblood-turned-wretch in the 1983 comic drama Trading Places; a notable flop was in the earlier 1941 (though director Steven Spielberg received the brunt of the criticism).

Aykroyd originally wrote the role of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters (1984) with John Belushi in mind, but rewrote the part for another famous SNL player, Bill Murray, after Belushi died. Aykroyd used to joke that the green ghoul (who would later come to be known as "Slimer" in the animated series and was credited as such in the second film) was "the ghost of John Belushi", based on the similar party animal personality. Ghostbusters became a huge success for Aykroyd as a co-creator, co-writer, and one of the lead actors.

Aykroyd's acting career reached its peak when he received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for 1989's Driving Miss Daisy.

His directorial debut was 1991's Nothing But Trouble. It starred Demi Moore, Chevy Chase, John Candy and Aykroyd himself, sporting an oddly phallic prosthetic nose. The film was a critical and box office flop. Other efforts in the 1990s, including Exit To Eden, Blues Brothers 2000, and Getting Away with Murder, were also poorly received.

In the 2000s, Aykroyd's film appearances have tended to be small character parts in big-budget productions, such as a signals analyst in Pearl Harbor and a neurologist in 50 First Dates.

Family and Honors

For a time, Aykroyd was engaged to Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher (who hosted the Saturday Night Live episode in which Aykroyd and Belushi gave their first polished performance as the Blues Brothers, and had a cameo role in the Blues Brothers film). He has been inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame and maintains his Canadian roots as a longtime resident of Kingston, Ontario, with his estate on Loughborough Lake. In 1994 Aykroyd received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Carleton University. In 1998, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Aykroyd also received a dubious honor in 1997, when the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal "awarded" him the Snuffed Candle award, for "contributing to the public's lack of understanding of the methods of scientific inquiry." CSICOP did this in response to Aykroyd's program Psi Factor.

Aykroyd married actress Donna Dixon in 1983. They have three daughters (Danielle Alexandra, Belle Kingston and Stella Irene Augustus).

He is Canadian of French and English extraction and can trace his family name back to the Norman Conquest.

Featured Movie Scenes

The Blues Brothers
Dan Aykroyd featured in many scenes in this movie.
Click here to view the SCMODS Movie Guide for The Blues Brothers

Dan Aykroyd appears on the following Blues Brothers Albums:

Briefcase Full of Blues (1978)
Briefcase Full of Blues (1978)

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