Posts Tagged ‘Extreme Ghostbusters’

Mid Week Mini: Dan Aykroyd

August 25, 2010

Dan Aykroyd

Born: 1st July 1952,

Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I’ve been meaning to do a mid week mini on Dan Aykroyd for a while now, but once again I got myself bogged down in the huge amount of information on this talented comedian, writer, and actor to name but a few professional titles this man holds. Two things finally inspired me to do this mini homage to one of my favourite actors of all time; 1) Dan Aykroyd Wines and Vodka. Bizzare on many levels but strangely suited, and 2) The Great Outdoors (1988), not only a Dan Aykroyd film I’d never seen, but one I’d never even heard of! I figured it was then time to write this blog. I’ve been a fan since I first saw Ghostbusters (1984) and Dragnet (1987) so I’ve selected what I believe is some of his best movies, cameos and latest outings in the movie, and gaming world.

In my opinion, below are some of Aykroyd’s best performances in cinema, albeit in my favourite films list at least.

Dragnet (1987) Sgt. Joe Friday

Just the facts ma’m, just the facts. Dan Aykroyd plays Sgt. Joe Friday, the by the book character playing against Tom Hanks, the much more ‘laid back, casual detective’. They balance each other out perfectly, and although the plot seems just a tad bizzare its reminiscent of what made the original series so memorable and succesful in the first place. Good chemistry and a good formula.

Ghostbusters (1984) Dr. Raymond Stantz

All time favourite film (probably mentioning that a bit too much) some awesome funny moments, riddled with adult humour (most of which I missed as a kid) and great special effects. Hearing the approach of the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, seeing his head bob into view above the buildings and finally seeing him in full view still sends shivers down my spine. Will watch it over and over and stands proud as my favourite film.

Peter Venkman: “Go get her Ray”

Raymond Stantz: “Gozer the Gozerian? Good evening. As a duly-designated representative of the City, County and State of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin, or to the next convenient parallel dimension”

Peter Venkman: [dryly] “That oughtta do it. Thanks very much, Ray”

Trading Places (1983) Louis Winthorpe III

Great film and great comedy performance from all involved. Both the character of Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) and Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) are immediately likeable, even though one is a self involved snob and commodity broker and the other a down trodden yet clever con man. Both develop as characters brilliantly and come out the other side more or less on level terms, and much to the expense of the Duke brothers who set them up in the first place. The salmon/beard eating scene still grosses me out.

The Blues Brothers (1980) Elwood Blues

“Its 106 miles to chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, its dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it.” My favourite quote in this awesome comedy musical, and definitely Jim Belushi’s finest hour (also has a cameo appearance in Trading Places) This film has a brilliant soundtrack and features some legendary singers and artists. Always cheers me up when I watch it.

Possibly some of his greatest, or for me most memorable cameos:

Casper (as Ray Stantz), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Evolution. After watching The Great Outdoors you realise Aykroyd doesn’t always play the part you expect him too.

I loved the fact Dan Aykroyd and the rest of the cast returned for Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009), not only as voice actor for Dr. Raymond Stantz but also as writer, something that shone through with the delivery and humour of the first 2 films. Despite the game being quite an easy run through, meaning I  finished Ghostbusters way too quickly, it was very funny and aesthetically very pleasing, with a fun and simple control system. Ramis and Aykroyd capture some of the magic of the films and give us something fresh but just as fun, quirky and charming as the original Ghostbusters movie. The Ghostbusters video game gave me some high hopes that the new movie, Ghostbusters III (scheduled for 2012) might be pretty awesome.

Check out below a few websites to read up on Dan Aykroyd, including the Dan Aykroyd Vodka/Wines site here and the IMDB page for Dan Aykroyd

I’ve always been pleased to know we share something in common, and that’s an interest in the supernatural. Dan Aykroyd has an extensive collection of books on the subject.

Other interesting facts, hopefully all true, according to the fountain of all knowledge, Google:

He is in the horn section of B.B. King’s “In The Midnight Hour”

music video.

Once worked as a mail sorter for Canada’s national postal service

Older brother of Peter Aykroyd. Like Peter, an alumnus of the Second

City comedy troupe in Toronto.

Left Handed

Police buff

A police buff.
Was good friends with John Belushi.
Is very interested in the supernatural and has an extensive

collection of books on the subject.

He appeared in the music video and sang in the choir on the

song “We Are The World.”

He is in the horn section of B.B. King’s “In The Midnight Hour”

music video.

His grandfather was a Mountie.
Was once engaged to Carrie Fisher.
Once worked as a mail sorter for Canada’s national postal service.
Older brother of Peter Aykroyd. Like Peter, an alumni of the Second

City comedy troupe in Toronto.

Left handed.

Mid Week Mini: Frank Welker

April 15, 2010

Frank Welker

Born: 12 March 1946, Denver, Colorado, USA

Job: Voice Actor

I have the utmost respect for voice artists, who  are the talented individuals who we never really seem to hear much about (ironically), and don’t seem to be as recognised in the public eye as on-screen actors, even though they bring as much talent, hard work and entertainment to our screens, if not that little bit more.  

There are many talents in the voice acting world, but none have left me as impressed and star struck as Frank Welker. This mid week mini is a dedication to a veteran actor, who specialises in voice acting and who is responsible for a broad spectrum of character voices and other vocal effects that have appeared over the last 40 years in film and television. Frank Welker’s resume is as impressive as his range of vocal talents and memorable character voices. Please check out Franks IMDB page to see the impressive list of over 600 projects he has been involved in.

I actually became fascinated by voice acting through Futurama, I realised some of the talent involved in this show actually voiced characters from cartoons going back to my childhood. After I discovered Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, Morbo, Calculon) voiced Egon Spengler from The Real Ghostbusters I decided to look further. I found Frank Welker’s impressive career not only started back in the 1960’s but quickly realised he practically voiced all my favourite cartoon characters from my childhood. Amongst others he voiced Ray Stantz and Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters as well as Nibbler from Futurama. Frank Welker lends his talents to more distinct voice acting including animal and creature vocals as well as speaking roles.

Frank Welker’s most recurring role is as the voice of Fred from Scooby-Doo. According to the ‘interweb’ (take it or leave it) he has done every voicing of Freddy “Fred” Jones for all of the Scooby-Doo series with the sole exception of “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo” (1988). Even in parodies and cameos on different TV shows (such as Family Guy) he has always done this voice and has played the character since 1969.

Another character I instantly recognised was that of Megatron in Transformers (1984). Recent speculation as to why Welker didn’t return to the role alongside Peter Cullen in the Transformers Movie was strange news indeed but at least he reprised his role for the Transformers video game, you can check out a small clip of Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Frank Welker (Megatron) working together again below.

Characters such as Nibbler (non-speaking and speaking) and Slimer, who don’t really talk but speak through different noises and sounds all have a similar Welker sound to them, each one reminds me of the other in some way. I love the way he can change from a character such as Ray to Slimer instantly and you’d think it was two different actors. Looking at IMDB Frank is often cast in animated productions as the “voice” of various animal or creature characters or listed as “additional vocal effects”. Other famous “non-speaking” roles include the voice of the monkey Abu from Aladdin (1992), its sequels and the TV series adaptation as well as Dungeons and Dragons (1983 – 1985) as Tiamat the dragon and Uni, two very different characters of good and evil in the same show.

The character I remember most fondly is Dr. Raymond Stantz from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series (1986-1991) as well as a few episodes of Extreme Ghostbusters (1997). I think he brought great character to Ray and it was great to see the interaction between him and Slimer. Slimer’s voice is what also made me realise his work in other cartoon series.

Animal vocals you might also recognise include Santas Little Helper (The Simpsons), Dino (The Flintstones), Furrball, Gogo Dodo (Tiny Toon Adventures). These are just a few of the ones I’ve recognised, more so since I became aware of Frank’s distinct talents and style. I could probably go on but these particular projects I have grown up with and love to re-watch when the mood takes me, I love listening out for all the parts played by Frank Welker as well as keeping up to date with other voice artists and finding out what they have been in.

As well as the IMDB page please visit this webpage on Frank Welker it is a goldmine of information and has its own interesting information, vids, downloads and links.

One of the clips from the website is from a Rolf’s Cartoon Club Special on The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, this clip includes a reading session with Maurice LeMarche (Egon) and Frank Welker (Ray and Slimer)

Making of Clip “The Real Ghostbusters”

More Ghostbusters info can be found here at Spook Central!

More recently Frank has been involved in Alice in Wonderland (2010) as additional vocal effects and Toy Story 3 (2010) as the character RC. I always look forward to listening out for Frank Welker in the latest movies and cartoons and when I discover something new or related to cartoons I watched during my childhood it brings back some great memories.


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