DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

SNL Classic Collection – The Best of John Belushi (2010)

This compilation should please most of the many fans of the late Belushi.

Published on January 22, 2011

SNL Classic Collection – The Best of John Belushi (2010)

SNL Classic Collection – The Best of John Belushi (2010)

Studio: Saturday Night Live/Lionsgate
Video: 1.33:1 color
Audio: English Dolby stereo
Extras: Belushi’s original screen test, Photos, Interview for Rolling Stone, TV appearance with Dan Aykroyd, Family album, Outtakes, Additional sketches
Length: 105 minutes
Rating: ****

John Belushi, who was one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live and helped bring it into stardom, was one of the most brilliant comics of all time. His super-intensity and unpredictableness changed comedy.  This compilation should please most of the many fans of the late Belushi.  It includes the wonderful parody of Star Trek with Belushi as Captain Kirk, and Chevy Chase throwing a fit when Elliott Gould as the network exec reaches up and takes Mr. Spock’s pointy ears back while telling the cast the show was canceled. Belushi shines as one-half of the Blues Brothers with Aykroyd, he does the increasingly-intense news commentaries with Jane Curtin, and does amazing impersonations of Joe Cocker, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. Buck Henry, Robert Klein, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray also appear in some of the great sketches.

The one bit I thought not only unfunny but also in bad taste was a short film of Belushi as an old man dancing thru a cemetery where are buried all the other SNL cast members and talking about them.  And the first one is Gilda Radner. I suppose the idea is to show that he could be a really fine actor.  I somehow missed the Coneheads on the original SNL, and here is “The Farbers Meet the Coneheads” – hilarious. There are two Samurai sketches – the Tailor and the Hotel, as well as the famous Cheeseburger sketch.  The compendium concludes with Belushi singing “I’m a King Bee” in his bee costume. (There’s also an entire DVD available of nothing but the SNL bee sketches – my personal favorites.)

– John Sunier




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