‘Belushi’ Trailer: R.J. Cutler Showtime Doc Traces Life & Legacy of ‘SNL’, ‘Animal House’ Icon

     September 30, 2020


The official trailer for director R.J. Cutler‘s new documentary, Belushi, leads with a killer sentiment from the subject of the documentary: “I’d rather be an anarchist than a professional.” The anarchist-wannabe in question is the late John Belushi, whose life and legacy will be the subject of Cutler’s documentary, coming to Showtime in November.

Belushi’s imprint on the comedy world is deep despite his relatively brief run in the spotlight before his untimely death at age 33 in 1982. With just 13 movie and TV credits to his name, including Saturday Night LiveAnimal House, and The Blues Brothers, Belushi was a chaotic comedy king in the ’70s and early ’80s. Belushi’s star burned bright and hot, lighting up movies and TV for as long as possible.

Now, nearly 30 years after his death, Cutler’s documentary will trace the Animal House alum’s life and legacy through the work of his former co-stars and collaborators, using audio recordings and footage of Belushi’s life in front of and behind the camera. We’ll hear from folks including Belushi’s Blues Brothers co-star Dan Aykroyd, Carrie Fisher, Ivan ReitmanJohn LandisHarold RamisChevy ChasePenny Marshall, Belushi’s wife Judith Belushi Pisano, and many, many other stars.

Belushi will premiere on Showtime on November 22 at 9/8c. You can watch the official trailer below. Get even more Showtime updates here.

Here’s a statment/synopsis on Belushi from Showtime explaining the doc in further detail:

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.

Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.