Did you know that Jim Belushi has become a mini-meme? So says Christopher Borrelli in today’s Tribune Arts-Entertainment section. It seems that things, people and places are nowadays being compared to Jim Belushi. And not in a flattering way.
In Borrelli’s pop-culture exposition, “Does Jim Belushi deserve our bile?”, he explores this Belushi-as-a trope phenomenon with abundant examples. Tap water is the Jim Belushi of drinks. Chris Berman is the Jim Belushi of sportscasters. Ikea is the Jim Belushi of home office furniture. You get the idea. The blogosphere, Twitter, and a few TV comedians, like Conan O’Brien, have taken turns pillorying John’s younger brother as the whipping boy for mediocrity and tawdry self-promotion.
Why? Borrelli makes the case this way: “Belushi, whose long career has been dogged by accusations that he shamelessly capitalizes on his Chicago lineage, performs occasionally with something called Jim Belushi & the Chicago Board of Improv. The other night I checked out Belushi at Ravinia Festival. He was with Dan Aykroyd. They were billed as the Blues Brothers. The band was the Sacred Hearts, Belushi’s longtime rhythm and blues group. Seats were $70. It had all the authenticity of a Universal Studios amusement park revue.” Sacred Hearts?
I never was a Jim Belushi fan. Whenever I watched—and I rarely did— “According to Jim” on ABC, I thought the laugh track deserved to be indicted for false advertising. But that’s me. A sense of humor, after all, is idiosyncratic. My tastes lean more to Woody Allen, Larry David, George Carlin, W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, and their ilk.
$70 to see Jim Belushi? In our Jim Belushi economy?