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Doctor Detroit

Back in 1983, Dan Aykroyd made his first film without John Belushi, DOCTOR DETROIT. Meant to kickoff a film series, it bombed hard at the box office, but became a hit on VHS (remember those tapes??).

Aykroyd stars as eccentric, quiet College professor who spends his days teaching romance in literature, while never experiencing any of his own.

His morning speedwalk through Chicago crosses paths with pimp Smooth Walker (Howard Hesseman from WKRP) and his quartet of gorgeous girls.

That squad includes Fran Drescher (The Nanny) and Donna Dixon (Spies Like Us).

When Smooth finds himself $80k under water to HIS boss Mom (Kate Murtagh) he tells her that he's getting forced out by the NEW, brutal pimp in town Doctor Detroit.

Now he needs to CREATE the Doctor. Where could he possible find a stooge to set up as the Doctor? Anyone that's seen a Jerry Lewis movie knows that our quiet professor is about to become the Doctor.

But what you're probably not ready for is just how FAR Aykroyd will go in creating the alter ego he's forced to become.

Donning a blonde fright wig and a crazy voice that makes Christopher Walken's speech patterns seem dull, Aykroyd is hilarious, turning Detroit into an iron-fisted man of action.

It's all very predictable in an 80's sitcom fashion, but still delivers some solid laughs especially in the conclusion, when Aykroyd's mild mannered Clifford the college professor must MC a University dinner for a major donor at the same time the "Pimp Ball" is taking place across the hallway in the other ballroom.

For an R-rated 80's comedy, its the most G rated vision of prostitution in film history.

TK Carter (The Thing, Seems Like Old Times) is hilarious as Smooth's driver who quickly becomes Clifford's guide into the underworld.

Stealing the entire movie EVERY time he's on camera is George Furth (Blazing Saddles, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) as Clifford's dad. Furth nails every line and expression and lands every joke to perfection, he's hilarious.

The film's conclusion announces in Star Trek font that "DOCTOR DETROIT II: THE WRATH OF MOM" will soon hit theatres. As the film was about to open, Aykroyd was already writing the sequel. But the film bombed hard, barely earning back it's budget in theatres before fading fast in the early summer of 1983.

You can't blame Aykroyd, who invests in both characters down to the smallest tics, showing off the same mad comic chops he so often displayed in the early years of SNL.

Dated, quirky and as perfectly "early 80's" as the pastel costumes and big old stretch Lincoln limos, DOCTOR DETROIT gets a B-.

Its longest lasting legacy is Aykroyd and Dixon's 35 year marriage, they wed shortly after meeting on the film! Any movie with a title song by Devo and a live performance by James Brown has my attention....

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