Dan Aykroyd Gives His Surprising Thoughts On Cancel Culture

By Faith McKay | 6 days ago

Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd started on Saturday Night Live in 1975. While he isn’t seen as much today, he’s still working in Hollywood as an actor and writer. Fans are currently waiting to see him reprise one of his most iconic roles in Ghostbusters: Afterlife on November 19, 2021. This has him doing interviews. In one of his most recent with The Hollywood Reporter, they dove right in by asking him what he thinks about cancel culture. The star answered honestly, reflecting on his career and where audiences are at today.

Here’s what Dan Aykroyd had to say when he was asked what his impression of comedy and cancel culture is.

There is enough range in humor where you don’t have to go scatological and you don’t have to go pulling any divisive cards to get a laugh. There is so much in the world to comment on that is outside the realm of offensiveness. As a writer, you can go to other areas and have successful creative endeavors. Scatological humor is fun. It’s easy laughs. But there is more intelligent writing that can happen if you stay away from the offensive material that should be rightly canceled for its hurtfulness. Who can be the subject of an impression today? That’s an area of discussion. Can I do my James Brown imitation? He was one of my best friends. I do his voice pretty good. But maybe I shouldn’t anymore.

Dan Aykroyd in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter

The writer and actor explores a lot in his response. At the end, he discusses who should be doing imitations. One of the interesting parts of his response is that he ends by saying “anymore”. As someone with such a long career, Dan Aykroyd has likely done a lot of things that wouldn’t be acceptable to many in the audience today. By adding the “anymore”, he acknowledges that he’s done things in the past that he wouldn’t now. Often, when comedians discuss cancel culture, they express that they find it frustrating. They enjoyed their past jokes, and find it difficult that audiences receive them differently today. In his response, Dan Aykroyd expresses that he thinks comedians should be pushing themselves to look beyond jokes that might be easier, but are now considered offensive and hurtful. It sounds like he believes that writers should step up to the challenge presented.

dan aykroyd cancel culture

With comedians like Dave Chappelle railing against cancel culture, it can seem like that’s the predominant narrative. However, Dan Aykroyd’s take on cancel culture is shared by many others as well. For example, Seth Rogen made headlines when he shared that he feels comedians need to not only keep up with the culture, but accept that if they have a lasting career, they’re going to tell jokes that age badly. Basically, it’s part of the job. He said, “Jokes are not things that necessarily are built to last,” and then added, “If you’ve made a joke that’s aged terribly, accept it.”

In one of the other questions during his interview, Dan Aykroyd shares that he still watches Saturday Night Live every week. He last appeared on the sketch show in 2013. He watches it now so that he can, “see where the trends are going in writing and performing.” For Aykroyd, it sounds like this is part of how he is keeping himself informed on what audiences find funny today. When he said that writers should push themselves to make intelligent jokes, it sounds like he thinks that requires some research and planning.

Soon, audiences will see Dan Aykroyd return for a small part in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. He’ll be joined by Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, and Ernie Hudson. The story is set to focus on new characters, so his appearance will be a passing of the torch. Audiences can see his third appearance as Dr. Raymond Stantz on November 19, 2021.