Peter Aykroyd, an Emmy-nominated writer and actor who worked on Saturday Night Live in its fifth season, has died at the age of 66. SNL confirmed the news with a tribute during the November 20th show hosted by Simu Liu. The cause of death has not been revealed.
Born November 19th, 1955, Aykroyd followed in his older brother Dan Aykroyd‘s comedic footsteps, first joining the Toronto Second City troupe and then landing on SNL during the 1979-80 season. Along with the rest of the writer’s room, he shared an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program.
Peter Aykroyd collaborated with Dan several times throughout his career. Peter is credited with the story for Dan’s screenplay for the 1991 movie Nothing But Trouble, which starred Chevy Chase, John Candy, and Demi Moore; the younger Aykroyd had a small role as Mike the Doorman. He also created the Canadian series PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, which Dan hosted.
Peter acted in several of Dan’s biggest films, including 1983’s Doctor Detroit, 1987’s Dragnet, and 1993’s Coneheads. In 1997 he voiced Elwood in The Blues Brothers Animated Series, taking over a part originated by Dan and playing opposite Jim Belushi, who was filling in with voiceover work for his brother, John.
Saturday Night Live paid tribute with a clip from Tom Schiller’s short film The Java Junkie, a noir spoof in which Aykroyd becomes addicted to coffee. His former SNL cast mate Laraine Newman wrote on Twitter, “So sad to hear that Peter Aykroyd passed away. Gilda Radner took me to see him at Second city in Toronto and I was dazzled. What a brilliant improviser.”
Another SNL alum, Alan Zweibel, recalled, “I worked w/#PeterAykroyd. He was a very funny, really nice guy who starred in Tom Schiller’s short “The Java Junkie” & contributed to the soundtrack of “Dragnet”-a movie I co-wrote w/his brother @dan_aykraoyd. My fondest thoughts & condolences go out to Danny & the Aykroyd family.” Check out some tributes below.
"The Java Junkie" pic.twitter.com/5IJWJTezgzAdvertisement
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) November 21, 2021
Where did I see Peter? In his elegant attire reading lines with Laraine Newman in the famous 'Douchebag Sketch' on SNL May 1980.https://t.co/LhVAIHu7XE
— Barry Johnson (@HuffStoney) November 22, 2021
I worked w/#PeterAykroyd .He was a very funny, really nice guy who starred in Tom Schiller's short "The Java Junkie" & contributed to the soundtrack of "Dragnet"-a movie I co-wrote w/his brother @dan_aykroyd
My fondest thoughts & condolences go out to Danny & the Aykroyd family. https://t.co/bNpJ03KkJs
— Alan Zweibel (@AlanZweibel) November 22, 2021