Dan Aykroyd Reveals How He Met Bill Murray Long Before ‘Ghostbusters’ – ‘He Welcomed Me to America’

Ghostbusters writer Dan Aykroyd recalled the chance meeting with comedian Bill Murray, which sparked a decades-long friendship and working relationship.

The original cast of Ghostbusters appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, where Aykroyd revealed that Second City in Chicago had hired his touring company – and Murray was their tour guide.

Before ‘Ghostbusters,’ Bill Murray ‘welcomed’ Dan Aykroyd to America

“We got hired by Second City,” Aykroyd told Late Night. “And we swapped companies with the Chicago company. The Toronto company went down to Chicago, and Chicago went to Toronto. And our guide when we arrived in Chicago was Bill Murray.”

'Ghostbusters' stars Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray met in Chicago wearing suits and standing arm in arm.
Ghostbusters stars Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray |Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

“Who met us, took us around,” he continued. “Got us settled in apartments. And showed us the grocery stores and the local bars. And at that time, I think you were in the touring company [Aykroyd said to Murray]. But he was – You know, he welcomed me to America. Where I got my first H-1 and my work permit. And Billy was there as my sponsor.”

Bill Murray recalled how Dan Aykroyd was the wildest dancer ever

During the appearance, Murray reminisced about how he considered Aykroyd the “funniest” comedy dancer of all time. “When he started going out with this girl, Rosie Shuster,” Murray recalled. “The two of them were the two worst dancers I’d ever seen in my life. They’re both Canadians and really dangerous. And they wore big shoes and boots. And they got a lot of speed up and a lot of centrifugal force that they could not control.”

Aykroyd looked on laughing. “And so you’d have to go like, ‘OK where are they?'” Murray continued, gesturing that he’s looking around the room. “‘OK, good. Let’s just keep moving this way.’ You’d have to sort of counterclockwise from them in order to not get hurt.”

The ‘Ghostbusters’ stars joked about meeting fans who have tattoos of them

Becoming movie stars meant that sometimes fans go all-in with adoration. Ghostbusters, Blues Brothers, and even Saturday Night Live‘s sketch The Coneheads are some tattoos both stars have seen. Meyers recounted a story where a man approached Murray on a golf course in Spain. The man wanted to show Murray his tattoo, but Murray thought the man may attack him.

“And you know, when a man in another language starts running at a good speed at you, you know, I’m like …,” Murray said. “I’m don’t know, how far away is he? Do I hit him with a 4-iron? Or do I hit him with a wedge? So and then I didn’t know what to say except, ‘Mucho gusto.'”

He laughed and added, “I was happy.”

Bill Murray was never supposed to be in the original ‘Ghostbusters’

Aykroyd revealed in another interview that he originally wanted John Belushi and Eddie Murphy to star in the original Ghostbusters. “I wrote it for Eddie Murphy,” Aykroyd said in the Netflix series The Movies That Made Us (via ComicBook.com). “It was me, John Belushi, and Eddie Murphy. We were supposed to be the original Ghostbusters.”

Murphy turned down the role when Aykroyd pitched it to him while they were making Trading Places. So the role written for Murphy became Murray’s part of Peter Venkman.

RELATED: Did Harold Ramis and Bill Murray Ever Reconcile Their Feud After ‘Groundhog Day’?