Dan Aykroyd with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters behind him

Dan Akroyd: It’s Time to Ditch This Kind of Comedy

Sorry, Dave Chappelle -- comedy legend Dan Aykroyd says offensive comedy should be "rightfully cancelled" for its hurtfulness.
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While some comedians have come out to criticize “cancel culture” and defend offensive material, Dan Aykroyd has a different opinion on the matter.

The comedy legend says you don’t need to be divisive to get a laugh and that offensive jokes “should be rightly canceled for its hurtfulness.”

Dan Aykroyd sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for an interview ahead of the new Ghostbusters flick. He reprises his role as Ray Stantz in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which is slated to premiere in theaters on November 19.

Comedy and Cancel Culture

During the interview, he touched on his opinions concerning hurtful comedic material, and the supposed cancel culture over it.

Shows, comedians, actors, and the like have all started seeing public backlash for hurtful material. Most recently, of course, Dave Chappelle’s newest Netflix special, The Closer, caused quite a stir. He spent the better part of it making a slew of hurtful and harmful remarks concerning the transgender community — and proudly labels himself “team TERF.”

And while Netflix co-CEO Ted Srandos refuses to do much of anything, Netflix employees staged a walkout and the whole matter has inspired plenty of conversation surrounding comedy and cancel culture.

Enter Dan Aykroyd, an original member of the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” on Saturday Night Live. You likely also know him as one half of the Blues Brothers, the co-founder of the House of Blues, or perhaps as the patriarchal Conehead, Beldar.

Universal Pictures via GIPHY

Dan Aykroyd’s Opinion on Controversial Comedy

During his interview with THR, he made his opinions known concerning comedy and cancel culture. According to Aykroyd, it’s time to walk away from outdated offensive material in the name of laughs. There’s “enough range in humor” that no one needs to “go pulling any divisive cards to get a laugh.”

(And sorry fans of toilet humor, he also mentions not going “scatological,” too.)

“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,” the SNL alum said.

As an experienced comedian, actor, writer, director, and producer, I’d say Dan Aykroyd has plenty of experience with the subject. He probably knows what he’s talking about.

“There is more intelligent writing that can happen if you stay away from the offensive material that should be rightly cancelled for its hurtfulness,” Aykroyd told the outlet.

He goes on to discuss outdated comedy that could be considered offensive, dropping specifics from one of his own past comedy routines: “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.”

His comments highlight something that all those outraged comedians (and keyboard warriors) mad at “cancel culture” are missing: Aykroyd has remained willing to learn.

Instead of defending outdated material that garners cheap laughs, why not stay willing to have tough conversations? Changing, growing, and challenging yourself to create without alienating or harming marginalized groups of people.

Chord Overstreet via GIPHY