Well Played, Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd as Judge Max Hunter
Why is this man smiling?
Well, first off he’s back on screen with Belushi. A Belushi at least. In the picture above, he’s torturing Jim Belushi’s lawyer character as Judge Max Hunter in the CBD series, The Defenders. I got a kick out of this little scene at the start of last episode because I like Dan Aykroyd and because I like seeing lawyers being tortured.

But he didn’t make me burst out laughing until much later in the show, when he wasn’t even in the scene. Check out Belushi’s desk (highlighting mine):

Many of you are laughing now too. If you aren’t, the highlighted bottle looks like a skull. It is a vodka called Crystal Head. I wrote about a controversy surrounding it here, and also about their promotional gift pack with the coolest shot glasses evar.
The reason it’s so funny to see this bottle suddenly appear on that desk in this episode is that Crystal Head is owned by one Dan Aykroyd. Now that’s product placement I can live with happily. I wonder if it was part of his guest star contract, or if he just slipped two bottles to the set dresser on condition that one ends up on the desk.

Judge Hunter has nothing to do with the rest of the episode after that first scene, and I had just remarked to my wife that either Aykroyd really wanted to hawk Crystal Head, or The Defenders was engaging in a seriously expensive bit of stunt casting to use Dan Freaking Aykroyd as a throwaway bit character when they ended by teasing the next episode….

30-40 hits of Ecstasy, a gun, and a hooker on a gurney will require a bit more work by your Defenders, even if you are a judge in Las Vegas.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t find a way to shoehorn this post into Tiki Month somehow. So, in honor of Aykroyd’s fine vodka in the awesome bottle (a Tiki decoration in it’s own right), I offer you this vodka based Tiki drink. It’s a modification of the classic Blue Hawaii, a cocktail that embodies all that was right and all that was wrong about Tiki, and one that originated as a cheap promotional stunt to boot.


  • 3 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz. Crystal Head Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Bols Blue Curaçao
  • Bacardi 151

Combine all ingredients except 151 in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a glass with a large chunk of ice. Drizzle 151 over the chunk of ice as a float. Cut a wheel of lime and drop a few drops of grenadine on each side so it colors the pulp. Mount on the rim of the glass.

Rather than post a photo of this more-tasty-than-it-deserves-to-be concoction, I’ll take this excuse to post one last screencap from the Defenders. This image from the opening credits is the inspiration for making this particular drink. It is also a good way to highlight my contention that Las Vegas may have a thousand themes, instead on just one, but at it’s heart, it’s naughty, less dangerous than it looks, gloriously inauthentic heart, it is just the world’s largest 24-hour Tiki bar.


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