My Yearly Reminder Of Why I Am Furious At John Belushi And Those Who Helped Kill Him…

I have to remember to post this clip from Saturday Night Live every year at this time: the first Saturday in March. Every time I see it, I laugh…then I get sad, and finally I am furious.

Don’t tell me that drug abuse is a “victimless crime.”

Belushi was a once in a generation comic talent. As a director and writer (and occasional performer) of comedy, I immediately recognized his presence, technique, timing and physicality: he had a gift, and it should have been a gift to the world. He wasn’t political, or partisan, or mean. He was just brilliantly, creatively funny, with the rare opportunity to make millions laugh for decades, and to keep the world a happier place. John Belushi sqaundered that gift with his stupid, selfish, irresponsible love for drugs, encouraged and nourished by the smug pro-drug culture of the time, epitomized by Saturday Night Live, its Sixties-rooted sensibilities and its smug, elitist writers and performers.

Their irresponsible—but effective!—cultural advocacy killed Belushi as surely as the drug overdose that ended his life. He himself is primarily responsible, of course, but the culture that created, encouraged and applauded his obsessions and addictions share much of the blame. It won, of course. On the way, that culture robbed us of the potential joy we might have derived from Belushi, Prince, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brad Renfro, River Phoenix, Tom Petty, Brittany Murphy, Jim Morrison, Heath Ledger, Janis Joplin, Whitney Houston and so many more.

With so many more to come.

3 thoughts on “My Yearly Reminder Of Why I Am Furious At John Belushi And Those Who Helped Kill Him…

  1. He was a little bit before my time.

    And, I was kind of late in getting into SNL

    Still have to cross Animal House off my list.

    But, yes, this was a pretty good clip.

    SNL had a reputation of dragging out bits. This was dragged out, but got funnier as it was—then abruptly ended.

    It struck me as very Python-esque.


    • The ability (and courage) to hurl oneself to the floor with abandon has always been high on my list of admirable traits. I have a fractured spine from my own enthusiasm. It got the laugh.

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