Dan Aykroyd‘s original “Saturday Night Live” screen test shows how crazy and versatile the eclectic comic was — he does seven different characters.
It also shows that when it comes to the storied audition process for one of TV’s longest-running programs, much has changed over the last three decades.
We’re using Will Ferrell’s famed stage tryout, which happened in 1995, as a point of comparison here.
Aykroyd’s audition is just over 6 minutes — Ferrell’s is 1:15.
Aykroyd is hunched over a desk in front of a green screen — Ferrell has the space of a stage and a couple of props.
Aykroyd rambles and riffs, while Ferrell is prepared and focused.
And during Aykroyd’s, there’s uninhibited laughter from off-screen — a practice that had become famously uncommon by the time Ferrell came around.
Fans of the modern “SNL” often give the show’s early years a bad rap — they say it’s bland, not as experimental as today’s show.
But watching Aykroyd in the raw shows that the old guard of talent was anything but vanilla.
Both videos below.
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