John Belushi, the son of Adam and Agnes Belushi, was born January 24,1949. John has 3 siblings, Marian, Jim and Billy.
He graduated from Wheaton Central High School, which is in Illinois, in 1967.He was very popular, being voted the Homecoming King and Most Humorous. He was the co-captain of the football team and at 5' 9" tall and170 lbs, an all-conference middle linebacker known to his teammates as"Killer Belushi." While in high school, John did a a variety show in which he played a Nazi camp counselor. His performance caught the eye of Judith Jacklin, who not only became his high school sweetheart, but his wife as well.
John turned down a football scholarship at Western Illinois and decided to attend Illinois Wesleyan. He wasn't accepted there and ended up at the University of Wisconsin at White water. He stayed there for a year and in the Summer of 68 came back to Wheaton. In the fall he enrolled at the College of Dupage, which is a 2 year junior college. On January 5, 1970 he graduated with an associates of the arts degree in general studies.
John's father , Adam, came to America from Albania in 1934. He owned and operated two restaurants which took up most of his time. Adam believed it to be tradition for the father to give his son the family business. He had offered them to John several times but he refused. John had other things in mind.
In February of 1971, John went to Chicago to audition for the Second City Comedy Troupe. Second City gotits start in Hyde Park in 1955, in 1959 they began use the name Second City. They did shows that featured rehearsed skits followed by an improvisation hour. John got the job and at 22 years old was the youngest ever. The other members of the Troupe soon realized that John could easily steal a scene. He played many different characters ranging from the mayor of Chicago to Hamlet. As John would say as Hamlet:
"To be, to be
Sure beats the shit
out of not to be."
In the fall of 1971, John was getting a lot of attention. His impression of Joe Cocker was flawless, filled with jerky body movements and great facial expressions, it alone was paving the road for things to come. John did the Second City show six days a week, and was experimenting with drugs. He tried marijuana, LSD, mushrooms, amphetamines, peyote, and acid. Belushi didn't seem to be using any more drugs then anyone else that was in his generation. Everyone was experimenting. John was now the star of the show.When a former Second City actor asked John how he was so totally relaxed on stage, John replied, "Because that is the only place I know what I am doing." The Spring of 1972 marked 14 months with Second City, it was time to move onto other things.
In October of 1972, Tony Hendra, from National Lampoon Magazine, came to see John at Second City. Tony had heard about Belushi's Cocker performance and was looking for more help for his Lemming's show. Lemming's was a parody show that spoofed popular musicians and about everything else. To say the least, he was impressed. He offered John a job with National Lampoon. John accepted and was off to New York.
Also hired into the Lemming's cast was Chevy Chase, who would later work with John again. On January 25, 1973 the Cocker performance brought the house down! For months Lemmings continued to draw sell out crowds and John had turned into the main attraction. He was also working with the National Lampoon Radio Hour.
John went to Toronto to visit the Second City Comedy Troupe there. He met a very talented man named Dan Aykroyd, who later would become more than just John's best friend. John offered Dan a job at National Lampoon, but Dan had to refuse due to prior commitments. The left with a promise to keep in touch.