Per Showtime, the documentary will examine Belushi’s extraordinary life in the words of his collaborators, friends, and family, including Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Penny Marshall, Lorne Michaels, Carrie Fisher, Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, Jane Curtin, Ivan Reitman, and his high school sweetheart and later wife Judy Belushi.
“From his early years growing up in Wheaton, Illinois, John Belushi showed an extraordinary talent for comedy and music. It was a visit to the Second City theater in Chicago where he discovered his true calling, and from that moment John became an unstoppable and pioneering force in the comedy world. From National Lampoon’s “Lemmings” and “Radio Hour” to one of the founding cast members on “Saturday Night Live,” his insatiable drive kept the candle burning at both ends. John simultaneously appeared on “Saturday Night Live” each Saturday night while filming “Animal House” forming a band, The Blues Brothers. The result: By age thirty Belushi was on the number one television show, had the number one comedy in movie history and the number one record album in the world. But as John’s fame grew, so did his demons, and not even Judy could save him from the drug use that would eventually take his life. This film captures the complicated and singular essence of a beloved American icon who changed culture and comedy forever,” according to the network’s statement.
“Belushi” will premiere on Showtime on November 22.
Belushi began a major name in the entertainment industry for his work on the early seasons of “Saturday Night Live”; he had 79 credits on the show before departing in 1980. His aforementioned The Blues Brothers band, which originated from a musical sketch on “Saturday Night Live” and still records and tours today, also resulted in two iconic films based on the duo.
Laraine Newman, one of Belushi’s fellow cast members on “Saturday Night Live” Season 1, shared a newly-unearthed telegram from Belushi and Aykroyd wishing the rest of the “Saturday Night Live” cast well in a series of tweets on Monday.