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'Belushi': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about Showtime's docu on comedian John Belushi

'Belushi' examines the too-short life of the once-in-a-generation talent who captured the hearts of devoted audiences
John Belushi in archival footage (Showtime)
John Belushi in archival footage (Showtime)

In March 1982, actor and comedian John Belushi was found dead by his fitness-trainer and occasional bodyguard Bill Wallace. Wallace had arrived at Belushi's bungalow at the Chateau Marmont to find that Belushi had overdosed and died due to combined drug intoxication involving cocaine and heroin; a drug combination that is known as a speedball. It was his friend, Catherine Evelyn Smith -- a rock groupie and a drug dealer -- who had shot him with the fatal dose.

Belushi was just 33 years old when he died. Even at a young age, Belushi had amassed several brilliant opportunities, most notable of which was that he was one of the seven original cast members of 'Saturday Night Live' ('SNL') when it was started by Lorne Michaels. Belushi was also known for his films, '1941', 'The Blues Brothers', and 'Neighbors'.

A new documentary from Showtime, simply titled 'Belushi', honors who Belushi was and his works onscreen. Read on to know more details about the documentary.

Release date

'Belushi' will premiere on Showtime on Sunday, November 22, at 9/8c.


Using previously unheard audiotapes recorded shortly after John Belushi's death, director RJ Cutler's documentary feature, 'Belushi' examines the too-short life of the once-in-a-generation talent who captured the hearts of devoted audiences.

Told using previously unheard audiotapes, 'Belushi' examines his 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.

It was a visit to the Second City theater in Chicago where Belushi discovered his true calling and from that moment he became an unstoppable and pioneering force in the comedy world. With his insatiable drive taking him from National Lampoon's Lemmings and Radio Hour to becoming one of the founding cast members on 'Saturday Night Live', Belushi kept the candle burning at both ends. He simultaneously appeared on 'SNL' each Saturday night while filming 'Animal House' and forming a band, the Blues Brothers. The result: By age 30, Belushi was on the No. 1 television show, had the No. 1 comedy in movie history and the No. 1 record album in the world. But as Belishi's fame grew, so did his demons and not even his wife 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.


RJ Cutler

 RJ Cutler (Getty Images)

RJ Cutler is an American filmmaker, documentarian, television producer, and theater director. His work includes the documentary films 'The War Room', 'A Perfect Candidate', 'Thin', 'The September Issue', and 'The World According to Dick Cheney'.


'Belushi' is executive produced by longtime Belushi collaborator Sean Daniel and Bill Couturie. Cutler, John Battsek, Diane Becker ('Inventing Tomorrow', 'Sid & Judy') and Trevor Smith ('Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry', 'Dear...' ) produce. The film is produced in association with Sky Atlantic.


The documentary will be a deep dive into the life of American icon John Belushi and feature previously unheard audiotapes from his life.


If you like this, you may like:

'Too Young to Die'

'Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon'

'The Blues Brothers'

'Growing Belushi'

'Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon'