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SNL - Best of John Belushi

61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

During his time at SNL, original cast member John Belushi created some of the most memorable characters in television history. One of the most brilliant comedic performers of all time, Belushi’s rebellious presence and intensity changed the face of comedy forever. From classic original characters like the Blues Brothers. King Bee and Samurai Warrior to incomparable impressions of Joe Cocker, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and more, you can experience the best of Belushi for years to come. Plus enjoy extra bonus material, including interviews form SNL’s original cast and writers and never before seen footage as well as the very first SNL sketch of all time.

John Belushi could say more with an eyebrow than most performers can with their entire body. Yet he wasn't a minimalist. Far from it, he could go over the top in a way that’s never been surpassed. Spanning 1975-1979, this collection includes his bemused Beethoven, who speaks through his fingers rather than his mouth--until he morphs into Ray Charles. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there's "Samurai Delicatessen," in which his Toshiro Mifune-styled chef grunts and slices with abandon, or those "Weekend Update" commentaries, where he implodes at the end of a deranged tirade. Then there's his nimble-footed "Joliet" Jake Blues and the poignant "Don't Look Back in Anger," in which an aged Belushi visits the graves of his cast mates. In these skits, spoofs, and musical performances, he’s joined by the likes of Buck Henry, Elliot Gould, and, naturally, the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features


Product Details

  • Directors: Kenneth Bowser
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A6T22G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,327 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By bostonears on December 19, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was a college student in the late 1970's, and back then, every dorm room and frat house on campus settled down at 11:30 on Saturday nights, so that everyone could gather 'round the tube to watch the original SNL. Man was that show funny, especially John Belushi.

This DVD does an admirable but insufficient job of conveying Belushi's comic genius. A few of the sketches, such as Cheeseburger, haven't withstood the test of time, and left me wondering why I thought he was so funny. But then he really shines on others, such as Samurai Night Fever, Godfather Vito Corleone in therapy, and his Joe Cocker rendition of "With A Little Help From My Friends," which is so dead-on that on one episode of SNL (NOT the version on this disc) Joe himself comes out on stage in the middle of Belushi's performance, to the astonishment of the audience who thought Joe was already the one performing. But the skit that still has me laughing out loud every time I see it is Belushi's impersonation of Elizabeth Taylor choking on chicken in the middle of an interview. I know it's morbid, but it's oddly sublime, and no other comic could have pulled it off. In fact, no other comic would have even attempted it, and that's what made Belushi one-of-a-kind.

The main reason I'm giving this DVD only four stars is because the run time is a scant 78 minutes, and surely the SNL archives hold enough Belushi gems that they could have put out two or three hours worth. Nevertheless, this is as close as you can get to seeing Belushi in his prime.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By JP on January 16, 2007
Format: DVD
I only saw one reviewer mention the VHS but, for some reason they failed to mention the following....the DVD is incomplete!!!

Like some of the other reviewers, I was really looking forward to this being released on DVD. I bought the VHS way back in 1983(so old it's in mono!!!) and was greatly looking forward to hearing the musical performances in 5.1!

But....lo & behold... this isn't the entire VHS that was originally released!!! And among the missing parts is THE major reason I was looking forward to the DVD - the single greatest Blues Brothers performance (in my opinion)....B Movie Boxcar Blues!!! I was so disgusted that I have yet to do a skit by skit comparison so am not sure what else is missing but I am certain some comedy skits are missing as well.

I also soon realized that there are many new skits as well and one of them is the Samurai Night Fever skit with OJ Simpson. Since this wasn't on the original VHS it can only be an editing decision made after the OJ fiasco. As another reviewer noted, we definitely could have done without this skit and I hope OJ didn't get any proceeds from its addition. In fact the only reason I can think of for its inclusion is the demand for more Samurai skits. But they could have picked from many others, the 2 skits with Frank Zappa conducting his band & The Samurai musician are both priceless and rarely aired.

Also, I agree with the reviewer who stated there are better Joe Cocker skits too. In addition to the one mentioned with Joe himself, there is also a hilarious skit with Belushi doing his impersonation along side a female singer (I forget who....Ann Margaret?) and she ends up laughing so hard she can't finish the song!!

Bottom line....if you are a fan of Belushi by all means get this!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Aldini on September 12, 2005
Format: DVD
I have been waiting a long time for this to come out on dvd. I own the best of on video. It is a must for Belushi fans! All the bits are great and I love that they show the complete Star Trek, Blues Brothers and Joe Cocker bits. The old video skipped a bunch of stuff from the Star Trek sketch, and also the end of the Joe Cocker song where Belushi lays down on the floor and drinks down the beer from the can and then spits it back into the air. Just wondering why they only have 2 of 3 Beethoven sketches on the dvd. There were three on the show back in November of 1975 with Belushi doing The Temptations (My Girl). I would also loved to have scene The Honeymooners bit when they dress up in the bee costumes. But anyway getting back to the good stuff I am so happy that they put the Samurai Night Fever sketch on the dvd. Can you believe OJ Simpson is in that? The dvd closes with the King Bee song which I can watch 100 times. I love when Belushi does the cartwheel and tumbles. The Extras are also great with the screen test and the Today show interview with his pal Dan Ackroyd. Go out and get this dvd!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. P Sheon on July 22, 2005
Format: DVD
if this is the same as the video tape that came out a long time ago, we are in for a treat! my dad was a huge belushi fan, and converted me at the age of 10. the samurai, and jake blues have been ingrained into me for 20 years. that might explain alot...... anyhoo... of all the snl dvd's (outside of the eddie murphy one from the late 80's) this is the one to get.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Keith on September 7, 2005
Format: DVD
this dvd is awesome! john belushi is one of my favorite comedians and im happy they finally made this on dvd. this dvd is a good mix of all his good stuff. this is definetly a must have for any belushi fans or snl fans in general. even though it doesnt say it on amazon, the dvd also has a lot of special features like his original audition, and inside look.
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