- 1 hr 29 min
Clifford Skridlow is a kind, bashful, and superlatively nerdy college professor of literature who through a series of comic misunderstandings ends up living the high-life as a flashy Chicago pimp, and challenging the most ruthless of local organized crime chieftains for dominance over the city. 'Doctor Detroit' is a comedy featuring Dan Aykroyd in the title role of pimp and crime boss. During his morning jog, professor Skridlow crosses paths with flesh peddler 'Smooth Walker' (Howard Hesseman) who is riding in the back of his limo with some of his working girls. Walker is actually on the run, looking to escape the debt he owes to 'Mom', one of Chicago's most notorious (female) criminal masterminds. Smooth takes off for the Caribbean, and leaves the ladies behind where they are at risk of being 'acquired' by Mom. Ever the gentleman, Clifford agrees to help the girls out of their jam, but to do this (and at the same time raise money for the university), he must assume the identity of 'Doctor Detroit', a freaky street pimp with a medieval gauntlet for a right hand. After a few scary meetings with Mom, ‘Doctor Detroit’ manages to bluff his way into taking his place as top pimp in town, and the professor begins to enjoy his new found life. The plot of the film ceaselessly calls for Clifford to find new ways to balance his professional career with his life of crime. The climax of the movie has the professor as Doctor Detroit making an appearance at the underworld's annual "Players Ball" where he is to receive a special honor. A problem arises when the university he works for schedules a fund raising event that very evening in the same hotel. Of course, the only solution Professor Skridlow can think of involves multiple costume changes and distracting the crowd with the musical genius of legendary entertainer James Brown.