Dan Aykroyd Remembers Making ‘The Great Outdoors’ With John Candy

by John Jamison
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In 1988, Dan Aykroyd and the late John Candy starred alongside one another in the John Hughes-penned The Great Outdoors. Aykroyd remembers the experience fondly, and he even revealed that he’s in the process of making a sequel with original director Howard Deutch.

The one-two punch of Aykroyd and Candy in The Great Outdoors made for a classic 1980s comedy. The movie saw two of Canada’s funniest and most talented actors play off each other as brothers-in-law.

John Candy played Chet Ripley, a devoted family man who’s just looking to spend a peaceful weekend at the cabin with his wife and kids. Dan Aykroyd played Roman Craig, the abrasive, high-rolling brother-in-law with a haughty family of his own. As fate would have it, the Craig family crashed the Ripley family’s weekend in the woods, leading to a series of hilarious and dangerous situations as the two clans learn to co-exist.

John Hughes, the acclaimed writer of classics such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, wrote the script. But despite his prowess as a director, The Great Outdoors was captained by Howard Deutch. According to Dan Aykroyd, the decision to go with Deutch proved a good one.

“Howie Deutch was a really fun director on the picture. He loved handling Candy and me. Howie and I are working on the sequel, called The Great Outlaws. I am looking for the Candy figure. There are some really interesting names, but I can’t say who. Howie and I are tickled to bring back Roman as a Ponzi scheme guy who victimizes a federal agent. Who knows? If I find the right partner …” Aykroyd told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview.

‘Saturday Night Live’ Star Dan Aykroyd Recalls a Fond Memory of John Candy

Dan Aykroyd and John Candy got their starts doing sketch comedy. There was no better place for Canadian performers to develop comedy and improv skills than Second City Toronto. The world-famous club started in Chicago but expanded to Los Angeles and Toronto locations.

During his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dan Aykroyd was asked to share his feelings on what would have been John Candy’s 71st birthday. Dan Aykroyd referenced one particular sketch he did with Candy. The memory is heartwarming and very appropriately Candy, to say the least.

I remember this one night in Second City Toronto, we were doing this sketch where Dave [Thomas] and I were these two cops, and we were trying to arrest Candy, who was being disorderly. And he scooped me up and put me on one shoulder and whipped around and put Dave on the other shoulder, and he whirled us around the room. (Laughs.) He was very strong,” said Aykroyd.

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