Monday, March 5, 2012

"TV Party Tonight:" John Belushi, Hardcore Funnyman (Live from New York - 1982)

30 years ago today way back in 1982 - a greatly unique, [w]reckless, and promising young man passed away @ the hands of one last fatal "speedball:" John Belushi. He was an up-and-coming comedian, who really only revealed a segment of his many talents to the word while briefly on top. Belushi was a member of the inaugural Saturday Night Live cast (1975), along with buddies Chevy Chase & Dan Aykroyd. SNL-bred John Belushi characters which present-day audiences might recognize include: Jake E. Blues & Kuldorth [Conehead]. Following his 1979 departure from the popular sketch comedy show, Belushi appeared in a number of successful movies and assorted TV shows: National Lampoon's Animal House, The Rutles, 1941, The Blues Brothers, and lastly Neighbors (1981). At the time of his sudden death, Belushi was working on a number of projects, which were ultimately cancelled.

A little known John Belushi-related factoid is that he was an avid Hardcore Punk fan and aficionado; Perfectly aligned with the genre's 1975-80 rise, Belushi was presumably a fan of East Coast Hardcore's finest bands... Black Flag, Minor Threat, The Ramones, The Misfits, Fear, Beastie Boys, Scream, Bad Brains, etc. John Belushi was instrumental in booking Fear for his Halloween 1981 "comeback" appearance [hosting] SNL. Hardcore Punk was still figuring itself out as a genre and I bet that American youth had never seen anything quite like it on Live TV! Fear's aggressive set has since gone down as Punk folklore: Ian MacKaye slamdancing alongside John Belushi, an New York press-deemed "riot," flying Jack-O-Lanterns, nationally broadcasted curse words, and roughly $500,000+ worth of studio damage. John Belushi was a hard-PARTYING Rock "N" Roll funnyman who truly led a life of excess; Imminently peacing out with the 3 things he loved most... booze, dope & women!

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