It’s a little surprising (yes, even in this existential economy) that we made it to 2020 without a documentary about John Belushi. The late, great comedy legend and SNL icon is the subject of the latest doc from filmmaker R.J. Cutler, whose credits include The War Room (which he produced) and The September Issue, as well as the upcoming Billie Eilish doc. Cutler’s latest, simply titled Belushi, is set to premiere November 22 on Showtime, which has released a trailer for the upcoming doc and boy does it sure look heartbreaking:
Belushi explores the life of its eponymous subject through the perspectives of his friends and loved ones, including Dan Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels, Chevy Chase, Penny Marshall, and Jim Belushi, as well as fellow departed icons Harold Ramis and Carrie Fisher. One of the focal points of the doc is Belushi’s relationship with his wife, Judy Belushi—an important part of his life that doesn’t usually receive much attention. That aspect certainly adds another tragic dimension to Belushi’s passing, and if the trailer for this doc is any indication, it’s going to be a real tearjerker.
Here’s Showtime’s official synopsis for the doc:
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 SNL each Saturday night while filming Animal House and forming a band, The Blues Brothers. The result: By age thirty Belushi was on the #1 television show, had the #1 comedy in movie history and the #1 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.