The Polish rock group Lady Pank (who provided the music for the animated TV series O dwóch takich, co ukradli ksiezyc (1962)) wrote a song called "John Belushi", which appears on the album "Tacy Sami". The tune was composed by Jan Borysewicz and the lyrics were written by Zbigniew Holdys.
Starred alone in a black & white "Saturday Night Live" (1975) sketch titled "Don't Look Back in Anger", in which he played himself as an old man visiting the graves of the other original SNL cast members, himself being the last survivor. In an odd twist of fate, Belushi was the first of the cast to die.
Was billed as "Kevin Scott" on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" (1975), as a spoof on suggestions that his name Belushi be softened or changed, for the television audience. (John's Albanian family had kept the name when they came to America, so he wanted to also.)
The epitaph on Belushi's tombstone (on Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts) read, "He made us laugh, and now he can make us think." John's grave drew so many curious viewers that his casket had to be moved and reburied in an unmarked corner of the cemetery...after which Belushi's fans posted a new epitaph for him which has since become famous: "He could have given us a lot more laughs, but NOOOOOOO!" (This was taken from one of his more-famous catch-phrases on "Saturday Night Live" (1975).)
Was good friends with fellow "Saturday Night Live" (1975) player Dan Aykroyd. Belushi personally met with Aykroyd at a speakeasy that Aykroyd frequented to discuss the possibility of Aykroyd joining "Saturday Night Live" (1975), which is where they hit it off. While they were talking, Aykroyd put on a blues record, which stirred a fascination in Belushi, who was primarily a fan of heavy metal. SNL music director Howard Shore later heard about Aykroyd re-familiarizing Belushi with blues music and suggested that they do a musical sketch, which eventually led to the birth of their popular "Blues Brothers" act.
Appeared with Michael O'Donoghue in "Wolverines," the very first sketch on the first S.N.L. show in 1975.
His performance as John "Bluto" Blutarsky in Animal House (1978) is ranked #48 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He bought his famous "College" shirt seen in Animal House (1978) at a small shirt shop on "The Strip" (Illinois St. or US Rt. 51) in Carbondale, which still exists.
A scene was deleted from 1941 (1979) in which his character met Dan Aykroyd's character right before he boarded the Japanese sub. They looked at each other as if recognizing one another, a nod to their real life friendship. It was the only scene in the film where they interacted.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 61-62. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
He discovered the band Fear and brought them to Cherokee Studios to record songs for the soundtrack of a major motion picture, he and Dan Aykroyd were starring in, called Neighbors (1981).
Made a "Guest Star Appearance" on an episode of the 1982 TV series "Police Squad!" (1982) which showed him underwater wearing cement shoes. He died shortly before the episode aired, so the scene was cut and replaced by a segment with William Conrad. After the success of the The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) movies in the early 90s, ABC-TV re-aired episodes of "Police Squad!" and hoped to re-edit the Belushi scene back into the episode. However, the footage could not be found and is now presumed lost or destroyed.
Was scheduled to present the first annual Best Visual Effects Oscar at the 1982 Academy Awards with Dan Aykroyd, but died weeks before the ceremony. Aykroyd presented the award alone, and stated from the podium: "My partner would have loved to have been here tonight to present this award, since he was a bit of a Visual Effect himself."
The part of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghost Busters (1984) was originally written for Belushi. After his death, the part went to fellow SNL player Bill Murray.
Had signed to play a supporting role in Once Upon a Time in America (1984), but died before the film went into production. He was replaced by James Woods.
His friend Dan Aykroyd used to refer to the green ghost Slimer from Ghost Busters (1984) as "the ghost of John Belushi", based on the similar party animal personality.
John was the original choice to be Dan Aykroyd's co-star in Spies Like Us (1985) (in the role that eventually went to Chevy Chase). Aykroyd and Belushi discussed the upcoming movie with Gene Shalit on The "Today" (1952) Show; the clip is included as a special feature on the "Best of John Belushi" DVD.
While co-hosting an episode of "Siskel & Ebert & the Movies" (1986) with Richard Roeper, longtime friend and collaborator Harold Ramis revealed that it was Belushi's longtime ambition to play Ludwig van Beethoven in a feature film.
Is portrayed by Michael Chiklis in Wired (1989)
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 38-40. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Is portrayed by Eric Siegel in Gilda Radner: It's Always Something (2002) (TV).