I am a fan of the 70s and 80s comedy scene in New York, Chicago, and Toronto, and I thought I knew everything about it. If you like the history of comedy, you’re going to gobble up a massive pile of new stories. I discovered how Belushi was the main guy everyone looked up to and how he was upstaged by his old theater castmate Chevy Chase as SNL became a hit, and the moment he hit his stride on the show when Chase left.
“…makes ample use of animation to illustrate key moments in his life.”
One thing I’ve come to appreciate about Showtime Channel documentaries is how much they lean into its unique graphical style and look of its documentaries. This visual style is especially crucial as the majority of the film’s source material is audio recordings. Along with the typical photos and videos that we’ve seen of his life and career, Belushi makes ample use of animation to illustrate key moments in his life. As much as I appreciated the animation, as it looks incredibly cool, it does teeter on being overused by the end.
Going in, I was such a massive fan of the late comedian that I was eager to see Belushi, but at the same time hesitant because I thought I knew everything about him already. Belushi does not disappoint, solely because of its A-list talent and the depth and honesty they bring to Belushi’s life. The documentary is the definitive documentary and profoundly heartfelt celebration of John Belushi’s life. He was loved, admired, and a flawed human being. Who isn’t? If anything, Belushi never lets his tragic death overshadow the story of an extraordinary life.
Belushi screened at the 2020 AFI Fest.
"…you're going to gobble up a massive pile of new stories."