Inside The Deadly Drug Addiction That Hid Behind John Belushi’s Comedic Exterior

Aug. 4 2017, Published 5:18 p.m. ET

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In 1980, John Belushi was an absolute success, both on stage and on screen, has learned, but his life took a quick turn as soon as stress and his massive drug addiction began to grown.

“With Belushi having the number one album, the number one TV show and the number one movie, people expect him to knock it out of the park every single time.” says Joe Guse, Author of The Tragic Clowns.

Under pressure and under the influence of a serious drug habit, Belushi began to get a bad reputation on set.

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“He became an unpleasant guy to be around sometimes when he was on drugs because coming down from cocaine changes someone’s personality,” adds Guse.

Soon his deadly addiction began to take over his life, and he would often hold up production during filming – which of course, led to resentment and anger between the cast.

Guse claims: “There were days when there were 100 people waiting around to do a scene and John won’t come out because he’s not ‘on’ or he doesn’t have his drugs – so this isn’t that fun-loving guy that we used to know, this is someone that’s become a real primadonna and a real problem.”

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His next two films came nowhere close to matching the success of Animal House and Blues Brothers – both of which became hit films during his day.

“John Belushi really tried to break out of the character which he was know for: that slapstick comedy, and with Neighbors and Continental Divide he approached characters different than what audiences I think really wanted to see,” says Entertainment Journalist, Adrian Mainella, in the clip.

“This guy that was on top of the stratosphere for years all of a sudden makes two bombs in a row and he’s feeling it, he’s feeling the pressure,” says Guse.

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The comedian tragically of an overdose in his L.A. hotel room in 1982, at the young age of 33.

Under the Influence: John Belushi & Chris Farley airs Friday, August 4 at 9 ET/PT.


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