Jim Belushi Recalls ‘Saturday Night Live’ Firing After Throwing Fire Extinguisher at Producer

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Jim Belushi has spoken candidly about his time on “Saturday Night Live,” including his dismissal and possible return to the show.

The actor of “Joe Somebody” was a longtime actor in the sketch series between 1983 and 1985. By this time, he had been fired from the series after becoming difficult at work before finally being hired for a short time. period before. at Lorne Michaels’ cleaning house on the cast in the mid-1980s.

Speaking to Vulture, the 67-year-old revealed some details about this period in his life, describing some of the alarming behaviors that led to his firing from the NBC show, including throwing a fire extinguisher at an executive producer.

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Jim Belushi spoke about his time in
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Jim Belushi spoke about his stint on “Saturday Night Live”.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

“Very simple: I was out of control,” Belushi explained when asked why he was fired. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was crazy. I was throwing a fire extinguisher at Dick Ebersol, having a nervous breakdown. ‘SNL’ is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and that includes divorce. I I barely survived it. I walked back to him with my cock between my legs. I let go of the ego, I became humble. I quit drinking the rest of this season . ”

Belushi noted that he begged the man he tried to hit with a fire extinguisher and credits him to this day for giving him the parameters he needed to survive his second stint on the series.

“Dick put me in my place, rightly so, and had the courage to do it. I came back, I begged [him] for forgiveness, and he put me on probation, “he explained.” My wife at the time said, ‘You thrive on probation. You were on probation from first to last year of high school. You work best with limits. ‘”

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Sadly, IndieWire reported that Lorne Michaels made a comeback after leaving the show in 1980 and overhauled the cast and writing staff, leaving Belushi out of the way. However, by the time he left he was optimistic about his experience there thanks in large part to something his late brother, John Belushi, had told him years earlier.

  John Belushi during the sketch

John Belushi in the “Weekend Update” sketch on November 4, 1978.
(Alan Singer / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

John was one of the original cast members of “Saturday Night Live” when it premiered in 1975. Four years later, John decided to end his career in the series despite the fact that he and his friends were put on the map.

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“John was four years old and he quit. I said, ‘What the hell, man? Why are you quitting?’ He said, ‘Jim, it’s like in high school: in senior year, you have to move on.’ And I felt like I was in my sophomore year, and the second semester of that year, I finally got it, ”John explained. “So I didn’t come back because Lorne [Michaels] came.”

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John Belushi died in 1982 in what was ultimately considered a drug-related accident after struggling with drug addiction for many years.

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