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John Adam Belushi (January 24, 1949 – March 5, 1982) was an Albanian-American Blues singer, a member of the original Blues Brothers, and a fellow Mission of God activist. Besides singing the blues, Belushi was also a Japanese Samurai delicatessen slicer, a college Animal House 'zit', a Toga Party campaigner, a National Guard fighter pilot, a stand-in Captain for the Starship Enterprise, a bit part actor of little consequence on the original cast of "Saturday Night Live", and finally, a dead-as-a-doornail speed-ball jockey who was thrown from his horse and died at the young-old age of thirty-three.
Belushi was born in Chicago, nineteen and forty nine; yeah, he was born in Chicago, nineteen and forty nine; and his mama told him, "son, you is lookin' mighty-fine!" Well his first friend went down, when he was only twenty-one; yeah, his first friend went down, when he was only twenty-one, and his father told him, "son, you had better get a gun!" From that point on Belushi always complained, "things just don't seem the same, babe, yeah, things just don't seem the same!" After that, John began playing harmonica, after a fashion, although not strictly in the tradition of Paul Butterfield or Stevie Wonder.
He had a younger brother named James who was much more organized, sober and clever than John. Jim was able to converse with animals, dogs in particular, as well as being both an expert thief and a decorated police detective - which is a fairly normal combination. And, most importantly, Jim never rode a horse to his doom. But, in spite of James' longevity, his late elder brother, John, is still better remembered - as much for his portrayal of himself as the characters he acted-out.
John Belushi was the son of Agnes and Adam Belushi, Albino immigrants who fled Albino and moved to America in 1934. Yeah, they moved to America, in 19 and 34, and his mama told him, 'we is looking mighty poor!' Once settled in the United States Adam promptly invented Girl Scout Cookies, but having failed to patient his new new idea, he was sued by the Girl Scouts for trademark violation. Losing the legal case and having no money Adam traded his eldest and most unruly son, John, to the Scouts committee in restitution. But John was unrivaled as a lil devil and he was soon abandoned - after being sexually used and abused - much to his delight.
Wandering the mean streets at a tender age John grew up in the Blues town of Chicago along with with a younger brother, James Belushi, who ran away from home to join him. When John was a child he was always able to trick his younger brother into eating his vegetables whenever they were found in garbage cans. John picked up a drug habit at the age of 9 which he never mentioned to anyone. His childhood was hardly a typical one, unless you dare to call John Belushi "typical." With John and his brother both down and out on skid row, lady luck decided to shine lightly on them, and, as is usually the case, they both embarked on successful acting careers - each going his own way.
Saturday Night Live
John had starred in plays and stuff, doing impressions, and perfectly emulating Joe Cocker and just about everyone else on the planet. He had become so TO-GA! that he joined the Second City comedy troupe. There he met some certifiable nut cases who would later become the original cast of Saturday Night Live, which was amazingly enough a hit. It drew record ratings, and soon the other Saturday Night Live, a sports show with armchair quarterback Howard Cosell, was canceled. Because of the conflicting titles Belushi's comedy show was referred to as NBC's Saturday Late Night Live - which had at least 15 commercials between each skit - before becoming THE Saturday Night Live or its abbreviation, SNL.
On Saturday Night Live John, who had serious personality disorders, starred regularly as:
- Samurai Futaba
- Captain Ned, one of Miles Cowperthwaite's cronies
- Jeff Widette, from the Widettes
- Kevin (from The Mall sketches)
- Kuldorth (from The Coneheads)
- Matt Cooper, from the Land Shark sketches
- Pete, from the Olympia Cafe
Apart from impersonating himself, Belushi also impersonated the following, among many others:
|Babe Ruth||Cesar Romero||Dino De Laurentiis|
|Elizabeth Taylor||Elvis Presley||Franklin Roosevelt|
|George Wallace||Henry Kissinger||Hermann Göring|
|Jabba the Hutt||Jawaharlal Nehru||Jimmy Hoffa|
|John Lennon||Leonid Brezhnev||Marlon Brando|
|William Shatner||Woody Hayes||Yasser Arafat|
John's ability to impersonate almost anyone and anything made him a big ham among less serious audiences, as well as other, less serious actors. In reality, the impersonations were under-intentional, or over-intentional, and John would often switch coincidentally after the end, and often in the middle, of a SNL skit. His perpetually confused ex-wife told many unreliable people, "John couldn't control himself. I remember one time I was sound asleep in the kitchen and when I looked up I saw John dressed as a samurai cutting a tiny block of cheese with a katana sword. Another time I remember he was Teddy Roosevelt and he commandeered me when I got home and didn't let me leave the kitchen for 48 hours. It wasn't all that bad, in fact I enjoyed it; but still, make believe Sushi sandwiches aren't very helpful when you're horny. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen!"
Animal House was John's big break. It was a true-to-life film that took place at two fraternities called Alpha and Omega. These fraternities later became condemned because of John's grotesque antics. This film is very famous for it's TO-GA! scene. The Toga-party scene includes the classic chant of "TO-GA! TO-GA! JOHN TESH! TO-GA! TO-GA!..." and is the greatest scene from any movie of all time, says film critic John Belushi himself.
Belushi and fellow SNL cast member Dan Aykroyd created this sketch where they were two blues musician brothers known as the Blues Brothers, go figure. When the two left the show in 1980, they spun these characters off into a smash-hit movie initially called the Blues Neighbors, but later shortened to "Neighbors". This plus other films constituted a pretty good run of luck for John, who seemed like he could do no right until he reached his dreaded adulthood. And that was all
she he wrote.
On March 5, 1982, Belushi was found dead-as-a-doornail in his room at Bungalow number 3, or maybe it was 4?...anyway it was in a room of the Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, the divorce capitol of America. The cause of death was a Speedball-martini, incorrectly stirred not shaken, without ice; a combined injection directly into his third eye of cocaine, STP, Demerol, Paint Thinner, Nitro-glycerin, liquid C4 and heroin.
On the night of his death, he was visited separately by friends Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Pee Wee Herman, Mick Jagger, Carey Fisher, Jane Fonda, Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Capt. Kangaroo, Madonna, Luke Skywalker, Jimmy Page, Capt Beefheart, and Robert De Niro, each of whom left the premises after unsuccessfully attempting to revive Belushi by shaking him vigorously and then leaving him dead in the company of assorted others, including some spaced-out bitch who injected John with the speedball that killed him, as well as loan sharks, ninja assassins, candy-men, and Russian mobsters. His death was investigated by forensic pathologist Dr. Ryan Norris and the famous firefighter Red Adair among others, and while the findings were disputed between suicide or murder or BOTH, it was officially ruled a righteous accident. From that point on Belushi never complained, "things just don't seem the same, babe, yeah, things just don't seem the same!"
- Animal House (1978)
- The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (1978)
- Goin' South (1978)
- Old Boyfriends (1979)
- 1941 (1979)
- The Blues Brothers (1980)
- Continental Divide (1981)
- Neighbors (1981)