R.I.P. Peter Aykroyd

Well, the title of this post may sound like that of an Agatha Christie novel, but no, that’s Roger Aykroyd. And if you are a fan of the eponymous English writer and historian, rest easy, for he still breathes and walks among us. But comedy fans have reason to be sad, for Canadian comedian Peter Aykroyd, younger brother of Dan, has just passed way, one day after his 66th birthday. No cause has been publicized yet. I hope it wasn’t due to birthday party excess.

Like Dan, Peter was a grad of Second City Toronto, and was a cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live (just the 1979-80 season, when the original cast was starting to drift away but just before the ill-fated and notorious sixth season). He also wrote the story for Dan’s much maligned 1991 comedy Nothing But Trouble, which I defended so glowingly here. He was also in Dan’s movies Doctor Detroit (1983), Spies Like Us (1985), Dragnet (1987), C.C.P.D. (1992) and Coneheads (1993) as well as The Blues Brothers Animated Series (1997) along with Jim Belushi. With Howie Mandel he was in Gas (1979) and The Funny Farm (1983). He also appeared in Tom Schiller’s films The Java Junkie (1979) and From Here to Maternity (1985).

In Canada, Aykroyd was also known as the creator of the program PSI: Chronicles of the Paranormal, which ran from 1996 through 2000.

My sympathy goes out to his better known brother, whom I have heard proudly mention Peter in interviews, and is at this very moment engaged in the roll out of the new Ghostbusters sequel. Knowing of his own paranormal predilections, and the fact that their dad, also named Peter, passed away last year, I believe the chances are precisely zero that no attempt to contact the recently departed will be made.