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Dan Akyroyd “wouldn’t do” one of his biggest comedy movies now

Forty years after the release of Trading Places, star Dan Aykroyd has been reflecting on its more uncomfortable aspects, and says they wouldn't happen today.

Trading Places

Dan Aykroyd has been reflecting on one of his early comedy movie hits on its 40th anniversary. In the early to mid 1980s, the stars of Saturday Night Live were riding high and transitioning into movies, making some of the biggest comedy hits of all time. Akyroyd followed up the success of The Blues Brothers by teaming-up with his young SNL co-star Eddie Murphy for 1983’s Trading Places.

The year after Trading Places, Aykroyd would make monster hit Ghostbusters, and the rest is history. Murphy’s rise to superstardom was even more meteoric, with him starring in some of the best 80s movies – 48 Hrs, Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop one after another in quick succession – all when he was under 23 years old.

Trading Places also co-starred Jamie Lee Curtis, and is now regarded as a beloved comedy classic which is among the best Christmas movies. But certain aspects of it have not aged well at all, which Aykroyd acknowledged when he spoke to The Daily Beast from the set of Ghostbusters 4.

Aykroyd began by singing the praises of his co-stars; “[Eddie] was just starting out and developing his comedic gift and comedic voice. To see and be a part of a talent emerging like that was part of film history. Jamie Lee Curtis and I became good friends too, and we remain so to this day.”

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Aykroyd then reflected on the scene in which he posed as a Jamaican character; “Well, I was in blackface in that film and I probably couldn’t get away with it now. Eddie and I were improvising there. Eddie is a Black man and his entourage were all Black people, and I don’t think they batted an eye. There was no objection then; nobody said anything. It was just a good comic beat that was truthful to the story.”

“I probably wouldn’t choose to do a blackface part [nowadays], nor would I be allowed to do it. I probably wouldn’t be allowed to do a Jamaican accent, white face or Black. In these days we’re living in, all that’s out the window.”

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