Aykroyd opens up on 30th anniversary of John Belushi's death
March 2nd, 2012
03:39 PM ET

Aykroyd opens up on 30th anniversary of John Belushi's death

On March 5, 1982, comic great John Belushi died at 33 of an overdose, and the late star's friend and colleague, Dan Aykroyd, is opening up about what could've been.

Had Belushi lived, Aykroyd tells "Showbiz Tonight" in an exclusive interview, “He would be directing plays and musicals. He would be one of the premier directors on Broadway."

The actor continues, "that would have been his destiny, because he was so intelligent and so well referenced there. He was more of an academic than the 'Bluto' image would have you believe.”

And although cocaine and heroin had a role in his death, Aykroyd says that during "the last summer of his life, not a powder nor a pill did he touch. Nothing. Just smoked a little bud, that was it. And wine and beer and food, you know. If he'd been a pot head he'd be alive today. ‘Cause that doesn't kill ya."

Catch the full interview on "Showbiz Tonight" on HLN at 11 p.m. ET/PT Monday.

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. oh please

    everyone knows
    if youre FAT
    all the fat guys DIE when they coke it up

    March 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Drew

    Saw his son in a Pilot taping of an improv type skit show (think SNL and Mad TV Smashup) and it's evident that his comedic spirit lives on in his children. We may have lost a great one 30 years ago, but his legend continues. That's the true test of genius.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    Probably better for his legacy that he died when he did.
    Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy......all horrible now, just kind of fumblefookin' around.
    Funny, funny guy, but at least we didn't have to watch a decline like all these other SNL guys, his decline was his peak.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • richdix

      Early death makes heroes out of marginal people, Buddy Holly. James Dean, Curt Cobain, Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, Lennon,Elvis, Jesus.

      March 10, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • BobBob

      You can't be addicted to pot, there has NEVER in the. History of the world been an overdose from pot. Pot is as dangerous as crossing the street. Not even close to the dangers of cigarettes or booze. And it's bull@&$ if you say that pot has more chemicals when smoked, cigarettes have 400 chemicals mixed in with it and when smoked these chemical change into 40,000 different new carcinogens and chemicals that you inhale. Pot has about 35 diffferent chemicals naturally in it and when smoked these done even come close to the amount of cigs, it turns into about 578 according to health Canada. Yes pot is more dangerous then breathing air or not smoking at all, but sitting in a traffic jam in LA exposes you to around 23000 different pollutants carcinogens. Ill take my chances with pot then a car. Don't believe the bs u have read about pot. As we can see everything that was written about it the past has not come to fruition. Booze and cigs kill pot doesn't

      March 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cathleen

    Ya, right. 'Cause that whole speedball thing (that killed him), that's ALWAYS done just on a lark, right out of the blue, right? Bull.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Slim Straight

    First concert I ever saw was the Blues Brothers at the Universal Amphitheater...awesome show, you guys killed it, and left me with some awesome memories...RIP JB

    March 5, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jerome Horowitz

    It was a different time, that's for sure.
    He had the ability to be funny without being profane, a talent rarely seen in comedy today.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Vumba

    Wow! I love the plug about smoking pot. Of the whole article they had to make sure that got in there. That's the tease? That's the part that's going to make me listen to Dan's revisionist history of the situation. You can pretend that John was going to do a lot of things, why not be the President? The fact is DRUGS, booze, and no one around (uh-ho Dan) to tell John to stop! Why not? Because maybe his friends were doing the same thing...and they got lucky.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      There is no Uh-oh, Vumba. What happened to John Belushi slammed the brakes on many a celebrity as well as regular people at that time. Ackroyd said so at that time and many times since then.

      'The only thing new in the world is the history they don't know.'

      Read a book. Belushi's death likely saved hundreds of lives. It's no big secret.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. Friend of Bill

    People, places and things.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bubbish

    Odd that I can clearly remember exactly what I was doing when I heard on the radio that John Belushi had died-my friend, then 2 1/2 yr. old daughter and I had been to Disneyland that day, and on the way home, we heard the news. My friend and I were shocked, being huge fans of SNL, "Bluto", "The Blues Brothers", even "1941". Such a waste and loss of talent and rare comedic gifts.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      A newlywed, I was a guest of a friend on a yacht, THE BLACK GOLD. Sitting on the fantail, I was being served breakfast. The newspaper read, JOHN BELUSHI FOUND DEAD OF OVERDOSE. I can still remember my shock and surprise, sitting there in the sunshine. It put a pall on the trip. He was far too young to die for no good reason. We've so needed his humour over all the stupid years.

      Wonder what he'd say about things now?

      March 11, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. LouAz

    Why does CNN keep "celebrating" and apologizing for drug/booze addict entertainers that commit suicide ? CNN sounds like the catholic church and their pedopriests.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Vumba

      I am interested in your examples on how CNN and the Catholic Church are doing the same thing. Please provide...

      March 5, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      lou: how is CNN apologizing?

      March 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • trekker59

      Maybe you should change your name to LouAss...

      March 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Point out the apology to me in the article. I'm curious as to where it appears. Kindly post a quote; I'd like to read it, please.

      Your issues are showing, LouAz. You might want to tuck them back there.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael

    It sounds like Danny takes a few puffs himself. But he's right. I've never heard of anyone ODing on it. Not something that I care to do, but there are much worse vices.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Penny Nickels

    Can't believe it's been 30 years. We lost so much when we lost Belushi. Imagine him in one of those Ace Ventura movies or co-starring with Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Penny Nickels

    John was on a mission from God (Blues Brothers movie). How sad that he was not able to complete it.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. SMC

    Cheezburgah, cheezburgah, cheezburgah....Pepsi, Pepsi Pepsi. I love this man, amazing talent.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Meyer C. Dhoates

    John Belushi could have given us so much more, but Nooooooooo!!!!

    March 5, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  16. pazke

    I was only 12 when he died, but I remember feeling very sad when I heard the news. Animal House is one of my all time favorite movies and I loved watching him on SNL. It was a tragedy for him to die so young, even if it was at his own hand.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  17. GWB5


    March 5, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  18. A fan

    Belushi was a genius, we lost a lot when we lost him.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  19. Ron Jeremy

    Damn drugs....They take away so many before their time... Cigarettes, booze, pot, coke, meth....etc... They will all kill you. Live your life with a free and clear mind.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  20. Duck Butter

    This just in......
    John Belushi still dead.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  21. Joeymom

    I liked Akroyd better than Belushi.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  22. Fox

    Wow, SO many people who comment here mistake opinion for thought.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  23. Flooby

    Aykroyd 'opens up' CNN? A few words about Broadway? I was expecting to read something worthwhile. Even Belushi is laughing at how stupid this article is and then he stopped and said "What's CNN?"

    March 5, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  24. John

    Shame on you Dan. Other people knew Belushi during that "last summer" as well. He was every bit into speedball during that time-frame and the period leading up to his overdose. We still carry the torch for him, but don't try to make him angelic for it was his tendency to color outside the lines that brought him fame and admiration. He lived and died a trailblazer. We honor him for who he was, not who you would have us believe.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Constance Leigh Craven-Cox

      Trailblazer? Yeah, 'Continental Divide' and 'Neighbors' really set the world on fire – being the worst movies ever. I am a huge fan, but not everything Belushi touched turned to gold.

      March 5, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  25. Josh

    Its hard to morn someone, when its their very own stupidity that ended their life. Belushi quite willingly took the illegal drugs that ended his left. And Aykroyd didn't care enough at the time to intervene.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      You talk of stupidity, yet you are unable to properly spell "mourn", then you begin a sentence with "and".

      The irony of you calling someone else stupid is rich.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |

      You obviously don't get it. Being an addict is not a choice. When you are one your body chemistry demands that in order to survive you have to take................Oh what's the point you are an idiot and being one is a capital crime.

      March 5, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Connie

      Who are we to judge the actions of Belushi? It's so much easier to sit back and wag our finger at someone else, as if we've never made any mistakes of our own. You speak of the situation as if you were there - as if you knew them personally and exactly what intervention efforts were made by his friends. Unless you did, I doubt you have any room to offer such a black and white opinion.

      March 5, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick Lewis

      @Jimmy Joe.

      It's perfectly acceptable to start a sentience with "And" or "But." It's just really easy to wear out that structure.

      Aside from that, you are right. Dude's a fool.

      March 5, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • monah

      Jimmy Joe Jim Bob; beginning a sentence with "and" is perfectly acceptable grammar. You didn't pick up on Belushi "ended his left" although that was probably just a typo. "Morn" may have been a typo as well. Grammar/spelling lesson is over, unless of course I made my own mistakes. Nevertheless the article is about John Belushi. RIP John your humor will never be forgotten!

      March 5, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      josh: most people end their lives through their stupidity. some just make it more obvious

      March 5, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Well, now. Since you make such a claim, how was Dan Ackroyd to do anything from thousands of miles away where he was making a film? When he last saw and spoke to John Belushi, he was fine.

      Where were you? Why didn't you do something about it? Why didn't YOU save him? Oh, right, you weren't born yet, were you?

      March 11, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  26. Jt_flyer

    The man was pure comedy. All he had to do was move an eye brow.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • trekker59

      What does that make Jim Carry then? In a couple of his movies, he talked out of his ass hole.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  27. hggdgdfg

    John is missed. His shoes can never be filled. A comedic genius taken too soon.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  28. John S

    Its sad that some of our brightest young talent does so many stupid things to end their lives. They may have been very smart and talented people. But they seemed to have never been able to realize how they were hurting themselves.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  29. woodrow

    Belushi was a drug addict. That is how they go. Cathy Smith shot him up with a speedball and he died. Drugs are dangerous. He took his chances. He wasted the rest of his life.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
    • sobernsane

      Thankyou Woodrow for cutting through all the BS about Belushi and you can also add Farley into the equation.

      March 15, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  30. Thomas

    Sorry Danny Boy, pot used on a consistent basis will lead the user to more heavy drug use...so in essense it WILL kill you. John had a problem neither you or I could understand, and he would have

    March 5, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
    • pinostabaum

      okay, you know that the whole gateway-drug message was just propaganda put out to ban marijuana, right? there are no studies that actually establish it as any kind of gateway.

      March 5, 2012 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      if it is other drugs that kill someone, why are you blaming pot?

      if you want to play the correlation-not-causation game, if people generally have alcohol and/or tobacco before they have pot, would they not responsible for the later deaths that yo blame pot for?

      March 5, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Oy. You really are a fool, aren't you?

      March 5, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • geoz

      You do well with "arrogance" but not so well on "facts."

      March 5, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Roz

      Pot is a gateway to other drugs like chocolate is gateway to obesity or coffee is a gateway to alcoholism.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      The only reason pot is a "gateway" drug is because people realize how harmless it is, and yet it's 100% illegal – moreso than even cocaine (numbing agent) or opiates (painkillers). "If it's so harmless, maybe some of the other illegal drugs are harmless too."

      If the government would draw the line between legal and illegal to match the line between mostly harmless and will mess up your life, I think there would be fewer people take up the harder drugs.

      March 5, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |

      Marijuana is not lethal, but it is foolish to believe that chronic pot smoking has no ill effects. It CAN be addictive, it CAN have a debilitating effect on a person's will and drives, it CAN dull the senses, and it CAN numb a person's emotions when they should likely be fully experienced. Yes pot should be legal, and though it is not in a class with heroin, cocaine, or many pharmaceuticals, it is far from harmless.

      March 5, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Ummm...

      Breathing through the nose leads to cocaine addiction and, eventually, death. True story bro

      March 5, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      xactomundo: i don't know that anyone is claiming it is harmless

      March 5, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeInFC

      The ultimate gateway drug is... wait for it... alcohol. But, since that's legal, society has to deflect that fact onto something else. Why not marijuana, or maybe smoking banana peels. Definitely not tobacco (see legal exclusion above).

      March 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Enigma

    John Belushi was incredibly funny, as was Phil Hartman. Please don't put Farley along side them, he wasn't anywhere near their level of genius.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Flooby

      Farley ABSOLUTELY is one of the greats!! He made me laugh WAY more than your mom giving birth to you...THAT actually goes in the HORROR section.

      March 5, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Mastodonrocks

      Enigma is right, Farley was funny in that fat goof kinda way. Outside of that he really wasnt anything spectacular at all. Hartman and Belushi were comic genius,

      March 5, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  32. JackingYouOff

    Belushi wasn't funny. Sorry, he just wasn't. Now Farley and Hartman were funny.
    And yes too much marijuana will kill. Just like drinking too much water will kill and breathing too much oxygen will kill. Too much of anything will kill.

    March 5, 2012 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      yes, too much marijuana will kill.

      fortunately, researchers have determined the fatal dosage of marijuana.

      it turns out that a fatal dosage is a 50 lb bale

      dropped from a 5th story window

      March 5, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
    • angryersmell

      Sounds like you spend too much time jacking off, and not enough researching the lies other people tell you.

      March 5, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Constance Leigh Craven-Cox

      LOLOLOLOL 'Fatal dose of marijuana' I'm STILL laughing!!! READ A BOOK instead of believing everything you hear numbnuts!!

      March 5, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • anony

      What are you–12?

      March 5, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Ignorance will kill you, but not fast enough for my liking. If it did, you'd be dead already.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Amused

      Wow. You pot smokers are a vicious lot! You want someone to die because they don't agree with you? Pot may not kill, but it apparently makes folks into vicious, hateful and insulting creatures.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Vad

      Well put amused!!! How dare anyone challenge the benefits one gets from smoking pot or even hint it is dangerous. It is a wonder drug where no bad can come. After all, it is natural, just like opium.

      March 5, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Constance: You like it? Steal it, I did.

      March 5, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      vad: dangerous? in what sense?

      March 5, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |

      NAAA Ya got it all wrong. Only Republicans a vicious

      March 5, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Vad

      Rick. I will respond because you asked in a mature respectful way encouraging positive dialogue. Marijuana can cause structural and functional deficits on the brain. Especially a developing brain. (see jimmy joe jim bob) It is also not great for your lungs as it contains more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco. I am not saying it is the most dangerous drug out there or even that it should be illegal, but there is a price to pay for the high.

      March 5, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Slim Straight

      Well why don't you start smoking pounds dude

      March 5, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      vad: thank you for the respectful answer. i do not doubt that there is a price to pay. however, "danger" is a relative term. is it worse than nothing? probably so. is it less "dangerous" than any other external recreational drug out there? seems that way to me. i say external because i am an adrenaline junkie, and i definitely get a high from my activities.

      March 5, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesse from KC

      Too much Marijuana will kill???


      I've never even smoked pot myself (only because it's illegal, no moral thoughts about it), but even I know that's crap. It's not GOOD for you, the carcinagins alone are harmful, but it won't kill you... Get a life and stop trying to spread to others your moral propaganda that's BS.

      March 5, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      jesse: this is not a moral judgement. this is simply a response to the statement that "too much (fill in the blank) will kill you". that seems like an obvious statement on the face of it. the question is what is that amount?

      March 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      This Just In: The Universe does NOT revolve around you, JackingYouOff.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  33. Jeff

    RIP, right along with Hartman, Farley..... These guys were comedic gods and went way to soon....

    March 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      who knows what they would have gone on to? maybe good, maybe crap. i don't know. perhaps early death just deifed them

      March 5, 2012 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  34. Ed

    The world really missed out on the thirty of years of entertainment that this man wasn't able to give us. I wonder how many wonderful movies they would have made together.

    March 3, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  35. Imus

    RIP junkie

    March 3, 2012 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  36. Ann R. Key

    The Blues Brothers is one of my top ten favorite movies-and the characters John Belushi created for SNL like the killer bees and the samurai-brilliant!! My favorite skit with him had him portraying Beethoven trying to compose The Moonlight Sonata with him at the end acting like Ray Charles singing What'd I Say. Such a talented comedian-gone too soon. I still miss him.

    March 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • RZ70

      Samuri Tailor. Funniest skit of all time. Not because it may have had you rolling on the floor the first time you saw, but because everytime you think of it, you'll chuckle. "Well... it is my wedding night"

      March 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      ann: great skit.

      March 5, 2012 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      Thanks for the fond memories...he was a truely brilliant comedian. He has left a legacy that will live on for a very, very long time.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Warren

      For the record, Belushi HATED the Killer Bee skits. And I like to think "Continental Divide" with Blair Brown was closer to the real John than "Animal House" was. Either way, he went too soon.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • jj

      Buck Henry – 'nice suit, but you forgot to put a zipper in...' Samurai Taylor, raising sword, as Buck leans back and turns head to the side – 'AEYAHHH'...
      Blair Brown – who wouldn't want to get close to her!

      March 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  37. .•|•.

    33 is just way too young to die. What a shame, sounds like he missed out on a bright future.

    March 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |

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