Sunday, June 8, 2008
When Dan Aykroyd showed up for work at Saturday Night Live in the fall of 1977 for the third season, he was, for the first time in his career at NBC's Saturday Night, sans mustache. This was a really good idea. He was the show's most versatile impressionist, doing both Nixon and Carter, among others, and neither of those gentlemen had a mustache.
It was cute when Chevy Chase did Gerald Ford while making no attempt at mimicry, but you can't let everyone do that. With Aykroyd, it was just very distracting. If I were Lorne Michaels, I would have told him to shave it off long before then.
When Bill Murray arrived to work at NBC's Saturday Night in early 1977, he too had a mustache. He shaved it off about six weeks into his stint, but then, a few weeks into the third season, it came back. (Aykroyd's did too, for some reason, but only for a couple of weeks, before it could get really messy.) Why he would do this, I do not know. Maybe he was afraid he didn't look enough like a guy who drove a truck for Jewel/Osco.