Judy Belushi Pisano, widow of John, about Showtime’s doc “Belushi.”
“It captures his essence. His 1982 drug death overshadowed his life, and the repercussion went on for years. I’d have liked some edits of my own, which would’ve made me happier because I only see him one way. But it captures his uniqueness. R.J. Cutler, who did this, understood his spirit.”
On it Jim Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels all say John was private in a time before Twitter or Instagram.
Cutler: “Judy let me hear his 60 to 70 hours of audio tapes. People magazine launched him in ’74. ‘Saturday Night Live’ in ’75. John was no celebrity sharing everything. The opposite. His cursing and blessing was private. He bristled when journalists pried into his personal life.”
Judy: “He started in Chicago at ground zero comedy mecca Second City and learned at this Harvard of improv that live theater is infectious. ‘Animal House,’ ‘The Blues Brothers’ and ‘Saturday Night Live.’ It was the trifecta. A heady time to access who you are and come back to Earth.
“Listen, I’m still watching ‘SNL.’ Chris Farley reminds me most of John. Will Ferrell, from the same school, shares his humor and dedication.” The film shows the really good and lousy bad. Watch it with a cheeseburger.
What I’m hearing
Sing for Hope’s giving online holiday gifts like arts experiences from opera’s Renée Fleming, actors Lea Salonga and Tituss Burgess and makeup lessons with a “Kinky Boots” drag queen. It’s personalized singing telegrams called SingforHopeGrams. Proceeds to those who need. Tax-deductible. SingforHope.org.
And Joan Hamburg’s daughter, Liz, is turning grannies into geeks one click at a time. Her team, Candoo Tech, a mashup of Stephen Hawking and Mother Teresa, helps seniors and dummkopfs navigate Zoom, e-mail, telemedicine, Amazon, e-books. One 105-year-old now connects with Mars. I’m hoping for help to open my peanut butter.
And B’way stars, temporarily unemployed, sing online every Friday. Chirp with them. Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater continues its “Sip and Sing.” Show tune words show on the screen. Executive director Tracy Mitchell: “Two things I like are drinking and singing. 5 p.m. Fridays, 500 people — such as Judy Collins and Kelly Ripa — also Zoom along.”—
Bits & pieces
Drums beat that President Trump might do a White House ta-ta gala. A wham-bam superjam larger than an orchestrated demonstration. Just sayin’ … Dec. 17, held virtually 1 p.m., New York Women in Film & Television award goodies to Awkwafina, Rachel Brosnahan plus Grammy winner Rashida Jones … “The Pink Panther’s” returning. Julie Andrews’’ ex-husband Blake Edwards created the original. She’s co-producing … And Netflix shelled out $30 mil for new thrill “The Guilty,” which stars the still-employed Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard, Riley Keough. Director’s Antoine Fuqua. It’s based on a Danish drama that takes place one morning in a 911 call center.
The moods behind “The Croods: A New Age.”
Emma Stone is Eep, a charming B.C. name: “We’ve been doing this 10 years. Original Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener, Ryan Reynolds are all back. Newies Peter Dinklage and Leslie Mann are hilarious. On a total trip. Introducing new colors you didn’t even see in the first movie.”
Cage: “It’s a ‘Box of Happy’ at a time when we need happiness.”
Reynolds: “Animated movies are like dance floors. Just get out there and freestyle.”
Right. But first, help me open my peanut butter.
It’s only in New York, kids, only in New York.