Show Business: End of a Samurai Comic

John Belushi: 1949-1982

It was all too trite and tragic. Another pop star found in a hotel room, dead of undetermined causes at an obscenely early age. In their blackest moods, the writers for NBC's original Saturday Night Live might have used these facts to make a satiric point about the self-destruction of performers who spoke most electrifyingly to their generation. And at the end of the skit, the victim—played by SNL 's reigning cutup, John Belushi—would have sprung back to life, bounced to his feet and bellowed: "But no-o-o-o!" But yes. Late last...

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