5. Dan Aykroyd
Of the original greats, Aykroyd is the least imitated — just because nobody else can do what he did. His seriousness, his biker-intellectual intensity — he could grab your attention just standing onstage for the "good nights" and asking if anyone could sell him fuel tanks for his '71 Harley. The classic sketch where he's a grumpy mechanic telling his daughter Gilda a bedtime story about doing a wheel alignment — only Aykroyd could make that so touching as well as funny. He had a real empathy for American hucksters and sleazebags – what makes the "Bass-o-Matic" sketch isn't the joke (a fish in a blender, big deal), it's Aykroyd's demented grin.
Greatest hit: President Jimmy Carter, talking down a kid from a bad acid trip. "Remember, you're a living organism on this planet and you're very safe. You've just taken a heavy drug. Relax, stay inside and listen to some music — do you have any Allman Brothers?" If the actual President Carter could have governed like that, the 1970s might have turned out differently.