JAMESTOWN — After gifting his historic Harley Davidson to the National Comedy Center last month, comedian Dan Aykroyd rolled onto West Second Street to officially hand over the motorcycle during a block party Friday.
The street and sidewalk were lined with people, cameras at the ready, as Aykroyd rode on his Harley, presumably, for the last time.
The former “SNL” star jumped the curb in front of the National Comedy Center and drove onto a designated area of the sidewalk marked with a red carpet. Aykroyd promptly kissed his former motorcycle, pointed to the National Comedy Center and said “new home.”
He then proceeded to the stage where TPT & St. Vith were performing during the block party and began to sing.
Forty years ago, Aykroyd rode the now historic artifact to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, commonly referred to as “30 Rock,” during the original days of “Saturday Night Live.” Aykroyd would frequently traverse New York City streets from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the Harley during the early days of the show.
Last month, Sen. Chuck Schumer helped secure the bike for the National Comedy Center. Officials at the comedy center reached out to the senator as a precautionary measure in case there were issues when shipping the motorcycle across the U.S.-Canadian border from Canada where the bike was being stored.
“Last week I was asked to help on a mission from God to make sure @dan-aykroyd’s historic @harleydavidson from the early days of @nbcsnl could clear customs and arrive at its new home, the @NtlComedyCenter in Jamestown! It arrived safely in time for their opening in two weeks!” Schumer tweeted at the time.
The motorcycle will now be on display at the comedy center as one of its historical artifacts along with numerous others from comedians George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, Shelley Berman, Rose Marie, Lenny and Kitty Bruce, Brad Anderson, Rusty Warren and Jamestown’s Lucille Ball.
“It’s a cool piece,” said Tom Benson, chairman of the National Comedy Center. “It’s one of many, many, many interesting artifacts that we have been able to accumulate over the last six to nine months. The experience is not an artifact-based experience, but we’ve been able to obtain some really cool stuff that links the electronic experience with learning about comedy artifacts. We’ve gotten things like a piece of the original Laugh-In wall, Archie Bunker’s jacket, (Aykroyd’s motorcycle). These artifacts we’ve found are a way to make the experience whole. It adds a lot to the package.”
Eric Tichy and John Whittaker contributed to this story.