Aykroyd plays Dr Ray Stantz in GhostBusters, an eager, if slightly goofy, scientist investigating paranormal activities in a world where ghosts and the supernatural are real.
I stumbled on this interview with him from a few years ago that seems to indicate Aykroyd may have thought GhostBusters was a documentary.
The earnest interviewer (a “UFOlogist”) says he had to interview Aykroyd because:
I thought it was like Einstein was hiding inside of a comic genius, just so that if he told us the real truth he wouldn’t have to believe it.
Whatever that means.
Aykroyd’s calm, measured delivery might be worth listening to if the material wasn’t batshit insane. The interview goes for over an hour, interspersed with footage of distant shaky blobs, dramatic zooming with the standard motor drive sound effect (“click-click-click-whir”) to show how much more convincing they are as larger pixellated blobs. Sadly none of them are as impressive, or as pretty, as the one Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy described and immediately recognised as the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.
All the standard conspiracy theories are trotted out, wrapped in enough non-sequiters and question-begging to make your head spin. “In theory if there were another species in the universe” leads to, in the same breath, “the extraterrestrial machines that are coming and going”. Having dispensed with any sense of objectivity he launches into deep discussions of the “obviously intelligently controlled machines” and their technology and how we might benefit from them. Crop circles, cattle mutilation, abductions – it’s all there.
Of course Famous People are always assumed to have special insight because… well… they’re famous, so they can pontificate on pretty much anything they like and get an audience. Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy, whose respective training in pulling silly faces and flashing their boobs in Playboy qualify them to comment on medical research, have used this to great effect on the soapbox of Anti-Vaccine madness.
Aykroyd is a familiar face soberly discussing a complex subject with all the standard buzzwords like quantum energy, anti-gravity and multiple universes. If you’re a Famous Person, you say it with a straight face and you speak with authority I guess it’s easy for a casual viewer to swallow the story. Perhaps that’s why so many of them are actors; it’s what they do for a living.
It’s possible that I missed the killer argument towards the end because, to be honest, I couldn’t sit it out. He started to cite Fox News coverage, Ronald Reagan and “64% of Americans” belief in UFOs as evidence and it all started to get unbearably silly.