I've always sort of hated him. I'm reading "Wired" and it's making me hate him more.
He haunts Bungalow 3 at the Chateau, you know. You could visit and give him a piece of your mind, OP.
People who knew him disliked "Wired." They said all it did was make Belushi out to be a drug-crazed maniac and completely ignored all of his good qualities, his "humanity." Apparently a lot of people thought a great deal of him. Some people really like types like that: wild, uncontrollable larger than life personalities with a self-destructive streak.
I thought he was funny sometimes. But in my opinion he was mostly an asshole, shit-faced drunk and stoned a lot of the time.
I've read every SNL book available and the main thread throughout was "John would steal from you to get drugs" "John told women that they weren't funny." "John was often too fucked up to preform." "John lived to make others uncomfortable." I don't know why it took me so long to read Wired but if anything, it does humanize him while driving home the point that all of the above complaints about him were true.
WHET Judy Belushi?
He complained that he hated catchphrases and costumes and that he wanted to be taken seriously but he sabotaged those efforts b/c catchphrases and costumes were all he was good at. Had he lived, he wouldn't have had Bill Murray's career. And Jim Belushi wouldn't have been foisted on us.
Seriously...does he haunt the Chateau? Some druggies get stuck crossing their energy over.
John Belushi was weird in that he was completely against type for a comedian. usually, those guys were the high school outcasts with lots of anger that fuels the comedy.
JB was a football star and president of his high school. He was the first of the high school winners that were allowed to continue to win.
This trait is now seen in the corporate world, where popular high school and college kids once got their asses handed to them because work back then wasn't high school the way it is now.
[quote]Seriously...does he haunt the Chateau? Some druggies get stuck crossing their energy over.
It's so amusing, the superstitious nonsense people make up.
There was no "energy;" he was dead.
Overrated, fat tub of shit, can't stand Bill Murray either.
He was a big deal when I started college way back when. And we all thought he was hilarious BECAUSE he was a wild man, an asshole and seemed to thumb his nose at all things "establishment." Which is, of course, what young, testosterone-laden COLLEGE age and college mentality young boys/men were and are. We loved "The Bees" and Animal House and Samurai Warrior and "Cheesburger, cheeseburger." We all either wanted to be him or wanted to have friends who were like him. He was an arrogant, obnoxious comedy god, of sorts. But then he died. And we grew up. And we realized what a blooming mess of a human being he was, what a REAL asshole he was, what a drug addict he was. And he wasn't funny anymore. Now, watching any of his stuff, it's not funny, even in context. In fact, I don't think I have literally laughed at anything I have seen of his work in over thirty years. He is an iconic figure but not for his comedy. At least not to me.
He was a comic genius as far as his timing and his characterizations. Brilliant IMO. But he, like most true comedians, was not a nice person.
[quote]He was a comic genius
He was an overrated slob.
Glad he's dead.
[quote]WHET Judy Belushi?
and WHET Judy Tenuta?
One other reason to hate John Belushi: Making his brother's career possible.
The most overrated funny man of all time. Venerated by het dude-bros who think shitting and dick jokes is what passes for comedy.
I saw his audition for SNL on YouTube.
Two things jumped out: 1. He was VERY coked up; and 2. He wasn't very funny. He did some really bad impressions.
Here's the audition tape. I'd say he's on a lot coke too.
I always liked his impression of Joe Cocker. And he did have his moments on SNL. And of course, he was perfect as Bluto.
A monster when he was drunk/high. He'd been friends with Carly Simon until he forced her to the ground and mock raped her. She never spoke to him again, obviously. He was cruel and abusive under the influence.
There's a quote about Jim getting poor reviews for some Pirates of Penzance revival and John consoled him by saying "He's a faggot, faggots don't like Belushis." Yup.
What amazes me is that he was surrounded by such strong female comedians Gilda, Jane, Larraine, Anne Beattes and he still insisted that they weren't funny. I do wonder what kind of career he'd've had if he'd survived. His drug use makes Lindsay seem like a teetotaler. I was shocked that he was only 33 when he died. He looked 45 when he was on SNL.
I sort of liked him in this interview with Gene Shallit, apparently in the middle of a days long binge.
All those skits on SNL aren't remotely funny anymore.
He was the first to do stunts we now see far too often.
What comic genius. Only proves that so much of early SNL was funny only because it was considered cool to think it was funny, not because it was.
The early SNL *was* funny because of a talented cast and writers who knew how to finish a sketch. The writing was fresh and original and didn't heavily rely on lame parodies of TV shows and movies like today's lame mess.
Nobody disputes that Belushi was a total asshole, but he was brilliant when he was on his game and not fucked up with drugs.
What a waste. Dead at 33 when he had a great career in front of him.
[quote]The early SNL *was* funny because of a talented cast and writers who knew how to finish a sketch.
You really don't have an appreciation for what you claim to admire.
The early writers tried NOT to "finish a sketch" because they thought it was "too Carol Burnett" if the sketch had a story arc or even jokes. They were going for something more experimental.
They sometimes succeeded, but, more often, did not.
Here ya go, r4. You know it must be true when it comes from a black web page.
I remember hearing some story about Teri Garr and Carrie Fisher trying to contact the spirit of Natalie Woods off Catalina and Belushi came through on the Ouija board. He told them he was trapped in Hollywood. He also told them Darryl Gates was in cahoots with a prostitution ring.
I'm sure no one was under the influence!
I never thought he was funny.
The bees sketch?
The Japanese dude with the sword?
Nice link R26. I'm more interested in Cathy Smith. What a life she had. I wonder whet her? Still a junkie? Anyone read Judy Belushi's book? That's the one that supposedly humanizes him but he sounds like a complete asshole to her in WIRED. He was such a misogynist I have to wonder if he was gay. Also, the piggy way he got into needles pretty much guaranteed that he would've contracted AIDS.
Cheeseburger Cheeseburger was a brilliant running sketch. His Beethoven was awesome. Belushi also did the best Captain Kirk (better than Shatner).
Had he lived would The World According to Jim have been The World According to John instead? And would Jim have even had a career?
Not Born Yesterday
"He was such a misogynist I have to wonder if he was gay."
Most straight guys are misogynists, and there are definitely more of those than there are gay men. Was he a homophobe? That's more indicative of homosexual tendencies.
I wonder about kathy smith too
Well, he called gay guys faggots, didn't appear to have any gay male friends and always acted disgusted by them. You have to wonder. Altho he could rarely get it up b/c of the drugs. He rarely drank, it was all 'ludes and coke and finally heroin.
Oh and it's interesting that Belushi and Chris Farely's last words to anyone were "Please don't leave." Belushi, to Cathy Smith, Chris Farley's to a prostitute. Both women supplied the heroin to them.
He was funny at first with his overwhelming anger/outrage act, and it was weirdly exciting to see a character so out of control, especially on TV in those days. That was before it became apparent that it wasn't just shtick.
But he once did a very sweet sketch in which he played himself in old age, visiting the cemetery and the graves of his fellow SNL cast members. He talked about each one of them fondly, and I remember him saying "Ah, there lies Gilda..." and reflecting on why he was the last one left: "Because..... I'm a DANCER!" and then he broke into a softshoe routine. That's the Belushi I'd like to remember.
Oh and I'd like someone to do a WIRED type book about Chris Farley. That guy had some demons. Mostly Catholic guilt and growing up listening to people make fun of his nearly 600lb father and then in turn making his own weight the center of his comedy.
Do u thimk dan ackroyd is an aspie
To me, John Candy was a bad photocopy of John Belushi, and Chris Farley was a worse photocopy of John Candy.
It's like they successively filled a niche that just needed a body with a loud voice.
John Candy should not be in a comment about John Belushi or Chris Farley....ever.
Candy has more talent in his little finger than Belushi and Farley combined.
I read "Wired" and it confirmed everything I suspected of Belushi. An out of control, spoiled, egomaniac. Reading how all those Hollywood agents and managers and producers and directors catered to his every whim was repellent. They knew all the money he asked for was going for drugs, but still coughed it up willingly. Their eyes were on the prize: Boffo at the box office.
John Candy was infinitely more talented than John Belushi or Chris Farley. The only thing they all had in common was that they were all overweight. Belushi and Farley were pretty limited performers. John Candy was very funny and also a good actor. And everyone who knew him said he was a really nice guy; not a druggie, a family man, a class act.
My apologies to Mr Candy
But Chris Farley still seems like a bad photocopy of Belushi
John Candy is buried in a crypt just above Fred MacMurray and June Haver.
I dunno why but I always thought he would have been the nice diplomatic one of the SNL cast.
I remember reading Wired years ago. If I'm not mistaken, didn't "Wired" out De Niro & Robin Williams as druggies? I remember reading somewhere that De Niro did drugs with Belushi a couple of days before he died. Robin Williams too.
I also remember he was sequestered with the guy who play Father Guido Sarduci trying to finish a screenplay about Wine or Grapes or something. The screenplay was never finished. This was on a different occasion before he binged out and killed himself.
He & Sarduci were high on drugs and couldn't get anything done. I always wondered about Dan Ackroyd. He and Belushi were besties and I find it hard to believe Ackroyd never did drugs with him.
Bill Murray used to deal BEFORE he joined SNL.
John Candy did some brilliant, inspired comedy with SCTV. Definitely not in the same class as Belushi and Farley.
I think Belushi and his colleagues came along at the right time: trendy, anti-establishment drug humor. I put Cheech & Chong and (sorry to offend, but) George Carlin in the same boat. That humor really doesn't hold up over time.
John Candy should have had the Oscar for Only the Lonely. I love the story about Maureen O'Hara. John came in to find his name and the star on his huge trailer. He saw the small trailer they gave Maureen. He changed name plates but left the star. She stayed in the that trailer with the star for the entire filming.
Ah, but us John Candy fans are hijacking the thread. Sorry. I'll go have my daigo mutt babies now.
Influence of frats before Animal House was self-limiting because Greeks were considered "square." Belushi helped unleash those people just as Reagan came into office, and the rest is W.
[quote]I think Belushi and his colleagues came along at the right time: trendy, anti-establishment drug humor. I put Cheech & Chong and (sorry to offend, but) George Carlin in the same boat. That humor really doesn't hold up over time.
You must be the product of too many drugs if you think George Carlin doesn't hold up over time.
He was a comic genius, whose material was brilliant. How dare you mention him in the same sentence of low-brow trash like Belushi.
There were funny fat guys with loud mouths before John Belushi such as Oliver Hardy, Jackie Gleason, etc. In fact, John Belushi looks a lot like Lou Costello. If John had lived, would he had teamed up with Dan Ackroyd or Bill Murray to make an Abbott and Costello type film such as "Hold That Ghost" or "Ghostbusters?"
Ackroyd admitted to doing heroin and cocaine. They were all on drugs. Remember this is a time when they thought cocaine wasn't addictive. Wired also seemed to imply that Tom Brokaw also did coke w/ Belushi. Not right out and say it but mentioned that he and Jane Pauley had to be up for the Today Show at some ungodly hour like 3:30 am and John would often hang out on the set with them. And yes, John became enamored with heroin by way of Robert DeNiro whose long been rumored to be a functional on and off addict.
The Venkman role in Ghostbusters was written for John. The ghost "Slimer" is a tribute to him. What I don't understand is how he could also binge eat WHILE on coke. Like be shot up with coke in a restaurant bathroom and then go out to the table and eat two giant steak sandwiches and a double order of fries. That's insane to me.
Oh, yeah the book WIRED also outed Jack Nicholson as big cokehead which everyone knew but he had "downstairs coke" for regular guests and "upstairs coke" for VIPs and women he wanted to fuck.
I just find this time in Hollywood to be sort of fascinating. And if you think about it, movie quality plummeted from the 70s to the 80s when coke really overtook the scene. It kind of gives credence to the rumors that coke has made a comeback in Hollywood when you look at the awful dreck they're foisting on us now.
And I agree, John Candy is the tragic loss of the fat guy trifecta. He was so much more.
There is an oral biography called THE CHRIS FARLEY SHOW. It's so depressing you can't stand it.
Read Judy's book. You really will fall in love with him. She even forgives Cathy Smith.
"I remember reading Wired years ago. If I'm not mistaken, didn't "Wired" out De Niro & Robin Williams as druggies? I remember reading somewhere that De Niro did drugs with Belushi a couple of days before he died. Robin Williams too."
Yes, Williams and DiNiro were pals of Belushi's who would drop by to see him and shoot the breeze and do a few lines of coke. Apparently in Hollywood, offering your guest some coke is the equivalent of offering your company a cup of tea or a soft drink. It's considered a refreshment, not an illegal drug.
I'm reading Judy's book. And you're right she does make him seem very loveable. And in keeping with the "Lorne Michaels is evil" theme that seems to run thro all the SNL books. John Belushi basically delivered 90% of the original cast and Lorne still didn't want to hire Belushi.
Lorne is an asshole of the highest order. There's a reason that the Kids in the Hall made the awful CEO of the drug company an imitation of Lorne. So was Mike Meyers' "Dr Evil."
>>John Candy should not be in a comment about John Belushi or Chris Farley....ever.
There's nothing to forgive, r56.
She shot him up *at his request* as she always did, and he OD'd. The fact that she did hard time for that is bullshit.
I'll never forget Ackroyd saying that "John was deadly afraid of needles" i.e, he would never have anyone do that. Bullshit--he's a fucking addict, of course he'd have his junkie girlfriend do it. No one wanted to acknowledge that he was just another asshole junkie, so she was made out to be evil.
All the powerful/name people around him did him just as much damage in different ways, but that was cool.
This is an interesting article on the subject of Bob Woodward's book Wired making Belushi very unlikeable. This Al Franken quote sums him up nicely...
Of all the people I interviewed, SNL writer and current Sen. Al Franken, referencing his late comedy partner Tom Davis, offered the most apt description of Woodward’s one-sided approach to the drug use in Belushi’s story: “Tom Davis said the best thing about Wired,” Franken told me. “He said it’s as if someone wrote a book about your college years and called it Puked. And all it was about was who puked, when they puked, what they ate before they puked and what they puked up. No one read Dostoevsky, no one studied math, no one fell in love, and nothing happened but people puking.”
Judy Belushi comes off as a unlikeable, moronic enabler in the Wired book -- as though she didn't really want to help him and just wanted to keep the party train going. Then occasionally she'd freak out and yell at his dealers. Odd.
Yeah, I did not come away from "Wired" with a good impression of Judy. When she did some coke at a party, it was justified as her needing to relax and "blow out" after a hard day's work.
She needed to have an office of her own at NBC for her to edit some pictures for the design of the album cover of a Blues Brothers record. Such hard work.
I will give John credit for taking care of his extended family financially. They required a lot of money each month and John gave it to them.
"Wired also seemed to imply that Tom Brokaw also did coke w/ Belushi."
No, it actually said just the opposite. Belushi even complained to Brokaw's *children* that Tom was a health nut who refused to "party" with him.
I'm reading some of the recent memoirs of Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, the two drug addicts/alcoholics in KISS. They're both utter assholes. Anyway, Belushi was a buddy of Frehley's. They had a lot in common; both were coke fiends. Frehley said that shortly before Belushi's death he got a call from him. Belushi wanted to hook up and party with his buddy Ace, but Frehley was trying to lay off the drugs for a little while and said he couldn't do it just then. That was the last time he spoke to Belushi. Frehley gushes about what a great guy and a gifted performer Belushi was. That's what his friends said about him: he was a great guy and a brilliant comedian. Seems none of his buddies wants to fess up to the truth: Belushi was a fucking douchebag. All they talk about are his good qualities. They never mention what a tool he was. No wonder he ended up dead at 33. No doubt his cronies enabled the hell out of him.
Belushi used to frequent a place I worked at back then.
He was always friendly, even when stoned and drunk, always unfailingly friendly. In the first-hand experience of myself and my coworkers, he was a nice guy. We all thought so. I can't speak for what he was like elsewhere, but when he was around where I worked, he was very well liked.
Yeah, we commented about his massive partying, and his incredible stamina for partying for days on end, but he was never a jerk when he was around.
He might be a gadget. Get it fucken ash holes. Get it????
Eh, r13, that honor would definitely go to Chris Farley. I like r36's posts: that's the Belushi I would like to remember, too. He did have a gentler, side, and showed at least a reasonably good dramatic ability (usually in the Marilyn Miller sketches) that could well have been worked on, had he lived and had been interested.
But no doubt he was more often an asshole then not. Hate Chevy Chase all you want, but he comments on Belushi and his behavior were retry accurate, ultimately. And stealing money from Jane Curtin's purse to buy drugs and simultaneously dissing her for not being funny - classy guy.
I'm gonna be honest - I've seen a lot of people put John Candy in a different talent category, but aside from the fact that he was apparently a nice guy, I don't see it. And no way does Carlin belong in this category. If anything, his best material was in his final years (his 70s hippy dippy stuff actually holds up the least well). His last special and his Bill Maher appearances were so spot on and I miss his presence a great deal.
There's some clip of Chris Farley on Jay Leno the year he died (Shannen Doherty was the other guest) and it was such a train wreck that he looked like he was going to keel over any minute. And about two or three years before that, I saw him at the "original" High Life on 72nd and 1st. He came over to our table and was super sweet (unlike Belushi, Farley did seem like a nice guy), but he was sweating so profusely and was so obviously coked up beyond belief that it was just jarring.
Great big fat person.
Also meant to say it kind of baffles me how certain actors (like DeNiro) somehow evade the druggie persona when they were probably as heavy users as say Robin Williams. Some just luck out with the press, I guess.
I'm mentioned in the book!!!
[quote]Oh and I'd like someone to do a WIRED type book about Chris Farley. That guy had some demons. Mostly Catholic guilt and growing up listening to people make fun of his nearly 600lb father and then in turn making his own weight the center of his comedy.
We had a DL Book Club thread about the new Chris Farley biography. I have to say I liked him better after reading it, and came away with a better impression of his basic nature and comedic talents, which I didn't with any of the Belushi biographies.
Here's the clip of Farley on the Tonight Show with the audience cheering and screaming when it was clear he was totally lost on drugs. Around 6:10 blood comes out of his nose -- he sniffles it back up and no one says a word. How they let him out onstage in that condition... well, I guess it's Hollywood, and as long as you make money it doesn't matter that you're literally dying on camera.
[quote]How they let him out onstage in that condition... well, I guess it's Hollywood, and as long as you make money it doesn't matter that you're literally dying on camera.
And Mom and Brother in the audience laughed right along, smiling happily for the camera. WTF? (Not to say Chris' behavior or condition was their fault, because it wasn't, but I think I would have been too sick with worry to even sit in the audience and watch.)
R36 I tried to load a video clip of it but the only one I could locate was at yahoo.com and it wouldn't download properly.
As I recall, the skit was pretty dark but funny - the sweetest moment was his recollection about Aykroyd and then dropping a rose on his grave. They appear to have been true friends, from most accounts.
What I remember from seeing the sketch live on tv was that Belushi ambiguously danced on the grave of Chevy Chase. Again according to many accounts, there was deep animosity between them. From all accounts I've ever heard or read, Belushi wasn't alone in his disdain for Chase.
Sweet skit , I agree - but with signature Belushi irreverence too.
Pretty much all of SNL's first 20 years are unwatchable.
R76 another sweet sketch was when he was on an airplane, seated next to (host) Jill Clayburgh, and he didnt want to wear his glasses. Probably have to go on Hulu plus to find it.
I think the second golden era of SNL was more consistent but I think the reason why the original will still probably be always held in slightly higher esteem by most is because - even once it hit its peak around season 3 - it was less on autopilot. They still made room for the one or two "riskier", more off center, low key sketches.
R78 Thanks - I don't think I ever saw that sketch. I'll look for it.
The show tried to stretch it beyond the confines of the very popular formulaic sitcom/variety show humor of the era. A lot of that had perhaps more, or at the very least equally as much, to do with the writers' edgy intentions than the performers' personas.
Michael O'Donaghue was a perfect example of this; he was one who was about as weird, dark, and edgy brilliant as they got at the time. The original National Lampoon alums were pretty out there.
Oops, it's O'Donoghue not O'Donaghue. My apologies for the spelling error.
I've read wired and both of Judy Belushi's books, also Cathy Smith's book...it's not very long(about 150 pages) and only a couple of chapters are on Belushi/that night in the bungalow. Seems to me he was a nice guy but could also be an arsehole
A couple of things:
DeNiro wasn't a heroin addict. He liked coke occasionally. Belushi asked him about actually taking smack for a film role. Apparently,being a method actor,Deniro didn't try and talk him out of it.
Agree about Belushi's wife being an enabler. She was running around telling people not to give him drugs, but she herself was culpable. She talks in her diary about her and john going to Ronnie Woods house and freebasing(wood even wrote out instructions for john on how to make it)
Also, poor Robin Williams, forever connected to Belushi's death, but actually only spent 15 minutes with him that night and despite whats reported in the media, they weren't big friends,they were just starting to get to know each other.
I'm starting to think the thing that's kept SNL on the air all these years is that people just love to bitch about the show. People have probably been saying it was a shell of its former self since Chevy Chase left (or at least since it started gaining a huge audience around the time of the third season).
I agree that Belushi's movie career might not have amounted to much. I loved his work in "Animal House" (along with its very talented ensemble), but "Blues Brothers" was just manic garbage (with the exception of the Ray, Aretha and Cab stuff) and he and Ackroyd famously ruined Larry Gelbart's "Neighbors" script.
I will say this for Belushi's early career: He was terrific in the Lampoon stage show "Lemmings" as the MC of the "Woodchuck Festival of Peace, Love & Death" (he also played bass throughout the show, but I strongly suspect Christopher Guest overdubbed those parts on the album). That show was such a precise destruction of rock star (and audience) pretensions that it makes Belushi's Keith Richards-inspired downfall look all the more pathetic. But I will also say that a lot of talented people (Del Close, Michael O'Donoghue-no great fan of Second City-Bill Murray, the SCTV crew) who witnessed Belushi's early Second City stage work have spoken of it with a degree of awe ever since.
Belushi was brilliant when he wasn't playing a costumed character.
One sketch where he plays a guest who won't leave is fucking hilarious, simply because he hits all the obnoxious guest points perfectly and does it without a costume orf accent.
And when he puts his cigar in the dip I piss myself laughing every time.
R82 so why do you think Williams was forever linked to Belushi's death (by the majority public I mean) in a way DeNiro never was? Simply because DeNiro was "DeNiro?"
He was a sexist and a slob, but he was a comic genius compared to Jim Belushi.
That was Belushi's parents.
I hated Blue Brothers ....Can tolerate Animal House...LIke someone said upthread..that frat boy comedy ushered in the 80s and Reagan and just general male douchebaggery.
R88 and others--I've loved the Blues Brothers since I first saw the movie in 1983 on TV.
It was funny, had great music and it's about a couple of losers who set out to do some good and actually accomplish it, rules be damned.