Lorne Michaels did not have a lot of sympathy during the late John Belushi’s drug-fueled escapades.
In the upcoming documentary “Belushi,” the “SNL” creator recalls the comedian being in a terrible state prior to the show airing on February 24, 1979.
“He’d been out with [Rolling Stones rocker] Ronnie Wood and he was a mess,” Michaels says in the documentary. “He was coughing, he looked terrible and the doctor says, ‘John can’t go on,’ and I was somewhere between rage and very little sympathy.”
“So I said, ‘What happens if he does it?’ He says, ‘Well he could die?’ And I said, ‘What are the odds of that?’ And he said, ’50/50,’ and I said, ‘I can live with that,’” Michaels continues.
Belushi did appear on the episode, which was hosted by Kate Jackson.
Belushi died just a few years later, in 1982, from a mixture of heroin and cocaine. He was 33 years old.
The documentary also features interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Chevy Chase and John’s wife Judy Belushi. It also charts the “Animal House” star’s painful descent into drug addiction with “Neighbors” producer Richard Zanuck noting that at one point two men had to physically holding up the troubled star so he could deliver his lines.
“Belushi” will air on Showtime on November 22.
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