Dan Aykroyd wants you to drink Crystal Head Vodka
[Above: Aykrod ponders his next career move]
Celebrities hawk products. This is just how the ad world works, according to Mad Men (which we trust implicitly, of course). Sometimes the ones shilling make sense (see: Tiger Woods for Nike) and sometimes we're simply amazed that Pharrell is a PC—or that 50 Cent-sponsored condoms ever existed.
Then there's Dan Aykroyd, whose recent promotion of Crystal Head Vodka not only reveals an apparent longstanding involvement with its development, but also a longstanding involvement with its inspiration: "the invisible world."
And as if the product itself—a quadruple-distilled vodka from Newfoundland bottled in glass skulls symbolizing extraterrestrial symbology—wasn't outré enough, watching Akroyd's eight-minute long PSA for the spirit (and ensuing spiritual life brought on by imbibing) is a journey of proportions only measurable through culture's greatest common denominator: live-blogging.
Below is the transcript of our Recreational Consumable Industry Correspondent's struggle to make it through the entire video. We dare you to do the same.
0:03: Into a backlit, chair-filled dining room strides a portly and bespectacled Dan Aykroyd. "Since childhood," he says into the camera, "I have been fascinated with the invisible world—a world which can help us get through life if we know how to draw upon its power." I half-expect him to pull out a proton pack and reveal that Ghostbusters was based on true events.
00:59: I am wrong. This is, if possible, even stranger. Half a minute in he was talking about "the presences of spirits and beings once living, now gone into another life, but who continue to intrude into our waking consciousness...by haunting people or places." But now what's this? The "supra-form of reality as valid as our normal form of reality" has given way to sad truths. "There is no jar of ectoplasm," he says. "And no one will show us the bodies from Roswell. We've had nothing to touch—until now." This is like something straight out of that West Wing scene where Sam Lloyd's character wanted to tour Fort Knox. That, or Seven Days.
1:11. Aykroyd is in fact trying to sell me something but hasn't gotten to it over a minute into the commercial. The Crystal Heads are creepily stacked everywhere around him. I suppose he's trying to sell, as they say, a lifestyle.
1:14: Apparently we're not just looking at glass skulls, but accurate renderings of the human skull, constructed to "demanding specifications after two years in development." Holy head-carvings, Dr. Stantz, what the hell?
1:50: I suppose I should give some credit for Aykroyd posing the question at hand: "Why did we do this?"
1:55: So...this is about the 13 Crystal Skulls theory. This video's fourth wall is hardly enough for me not to feel somewhat unsafe right now, as Aykroyd explains that there are seven of these heads in human custody, but no researcher can figure out how they were carved.
3:00: Yes. Here it is. Aykroyd is referencing the disappointing and horribly sloppy fourth Indiana Jones flick The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as scientific evidence of extraterrestrial existence. Somewhere, Marshal McLuhan screams.
3:20: The Aztecs are dragged into this, as Aykroyd cites their belief in the skulls' "life-affirming symbology." At this point, I'm amazed that the use of a quadra-syllabic word didn't shatter the glass.
4:00: So these crystal heads are supposed to help us channel this "symbology" and connect with the idea that "there's more to life than mere material reality. Hopefully this acceptance will lead to a less violent and more harmonious world." At least his heart's in the right place, if not his head.
4:24: Finally, the vodka comes in. "Now, what to put in a bottle laden with such symbology and iconographic value?" Reasons Aykroyd, it "should have joy associated with it, shouldn't it?"
4:45: And of course, how to literally bottle joy? "We have this mystic symbol in which we have chosen to enclose joy in the form a very pure alcoholic beverage. Which beverage, however?" Aykroyd muses with a finger to his lips. "Only the most challenging arena in the legal recreational consumables industry: Vodka." Right. That arena.
6:00: Okay, so not only is the vodka quadruple-distilled, but the alcohol guy says that Aykroyd wanted to distill through diamonds! Diamonds.
7:12: Even though most most people don't like any taste in their vodka, Aykroyd is assured that people will enjoy the "creamy sweetness" of Crystal Head. I don't know what creamy and sweet vodka tastes like, but I do know that I just threw up a bit in my mouth.
7:24: He takes a shot. No expression. Either 1) it's water, or Aykroyd had been drinking this so often that 2) it's affected him and 3) he doesn't even taste the creamy sweetness anymore.
7:55: Winding down, we're told that this will help us reach a "non-enhanced pure spirit." How the vodka is itself not an enhancer, I could not profess to know. But now, somehow, this seems like a pretty small issue. Maybe it's part of the invisible world logic. I'll go look it up. In my invisible encyclopedia.