June 22, 2013 / by tom
Movie #3 – Doctor Detroit
Year – 1983
While attempts to launch a franchise aren’t uncommon, attempts to launch a comedy franchise are. Dan Aykroyd’s hubris knows no bounds, I suppose. The story revolves around Clifford Skridlow, a timid college professor who, through a series of “hilarious” hijinks, is conned into pretending to be a pimp by the name of Doctor Detroit. Presumably he earned his doctorate and is not actually a medical doctor – though the film never makes that clear.
Skridlow poses as Doctor Detroit in order to protect a group of prostitutes and their pimp (Howard Hesseman) from a vengeful mob-boss referred to cryptically as “Mom”. “Mom” is played by Kate Murtagh who is probably best known for being the waitress on the cover of Supertramp‘s album, Breakfast In America.
So went wrong? Really? You read all that and you’re still asking went wrong? Well, if you must know, it’s an aggressively unfunny, cliché-riddled affair. Aykroyd adopts a “funny voice” so grating that it would make Adam Sandler cringe. Although the film opened a mere month before the infinitely superior Trading Places, it was long gone by then. The film promised a sequel, Doctor Detroit II: The Wrath of Mom – a joke which, I’m sure, would have only grown funnier by the time a sequel was released. Sadly that day has to yet to arrive.
I say “yet” not because while there aren’t any plans to make one we’re talking about Dan “Mother F**king” Aykroyd. For God’s sake, the man got a John Belushi-less Blues Brothers sequel made 18-years after the original. Don’t ever underestimate him.