Dan Aykroyd’s Classic SNL Holiday Sketch

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“We’re just packaging what the kids want”

Saturday Night Live cast members assume many roles throughout each season. Some are selected for their physical resemblance of celebrities or other people in the news (though as the series has demonstrated, their top notch makeup department allowed even Kate McKinnon to play former Attorney General Jeff Sessions).

When Chevy Chase portrayed Pres. Gerald R. Ford in the first season – Chase’s only year on the sketch comedy series – he did it sans makeup.

Dan Akyroyd, one of the series’ original cast members, famously played a variety of celebs and characters, from Jimmy Carter to Julia Child to Bob Dole to Beldar Conehead.

On a holiday sketch which originally aired in Season 2 in December 1976, the versatile Aykroyd played a toy company president. Aykroyd’s character, an oily character named Irwin Mainway–complete with pinky ring–was asked to defend his company’s new offerings on a television program, Consumer Probe. That week’s guest host, Candace Bergen, portrays the interviewer who questions Aykroyd’s character about the safety of his holiday toy line.

“Mr. Mainway, this is simply a bag of jagged, dangerous glass bits.” Aykroyd plays the sleazy toy executive perfectly, showing off his pinky ring, tugging at his tie and hiding beyond a pair of sunglasses. “Yeah, it’s broken glass. It sells very well, you know. We’re just packaging what the kids want.”

Mainway continues to defend the product. “It’s a creative toy. It teaches the kids about light refractions, prisms and that stuff.”

“So you don’t feel this product is dangerous,” Bergen’s character asks.

“No. We put a label on every bag. It says: ‘Kid… Be careful… Broken glassss…'” says Mainway, emphasis the last “s.” He continues, noting the other offerings in the “Bag O'” product line, including nails, vipers and sulphuric acid. “They’re decent toys, you know what I mean?”

Bergen tries to turn the tables on Aykroyd by showing him several traditional (and presumably safe) toys. Not surprisingly, Mainway finds potential hazards – real or supposed – with each one.

Watch Aykroyd and Bergen on the SNL sketch, Consumer Probe, our Classic Video

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Aykroyd, born July 1, 1952, was with SNL in its first four seasons, earning two Emmy Awards. He famously teamed with fellow cast member John Belushi as the Blues Brothers, which yielded an enormous-selling 1978 album, Briefcase Full of Blues, and a hit 1980 movie. He later starred in Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Ghostbusters with Bill Murray, among many others. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in Driving Miss Daisy.

Related: Eddie Murphy in SNL‘s ‘Mister Robinson’s Christmas’

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  1. Jeff Tamarkin
    #1 Jeff Tamarkin 12 December, 2018, 11:04

    Fixed, thanks!

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