Jim Belushi Talks Chicago Cubs, Second City and His Love For Tupac
Jim Belushi has earned his well-deserved status of being a household name. With a career that has spanned longer than some of our lives, his resume include movies, TV, kick ass music, and brilliant sketch comedy.
Jim is more than well rounded--he's a legend. And if there was ever a time or a venue to catch this jack-of-all trades, it's this Friday and Saturday at the Irvine Improv.
Jim and the Chicago Board of Improv are bringing some hilarious off the cuff comedy to the Improv and if you miss it, you'll really be missing out!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Do you have a Twitter? @JimAdamBelushi says it is your official account and they just started tweeting on Feb 19th.
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Jim Belushi: Nope! It would be James Adam Belushi. What are they saying? I'll have to check it out.
Believe me it's nothing too exciting so I am glad it's not you! I know you're a Chicago sports guy so, White Sox or Cubs?
Cubs, Cubs, Cubs! I went to a Chicago event last night where Tom Ricketts, the new owner of the Cubs, was given an award. Man of the Year. I got to talk to him about what's happening this year. I'm really excited about this year. They got this new guy and hopefully they'll bring the World Series to Chicago! I go to a lot of Dodger games too.
You watch the Dodger's play when they play anyone or just when they play your team?
Well when they play the Cubs especially but I do go. My children were born here so they are you know, Dodger fans. I just assumed they'd be Cubs fans but no, they're L.A. kids.
That must be tough.
You know, it's heart breaking. Heart...breaking. I had an influence on them this year though, I took them to a Cubs game. My daughter Jami sang the National Anthem. She's got a beautiful voice. Then I sang the 7th inning stretch with my son Jared. So, I'm really trying to work the Cub thing on them.
Awww! What a proud moment for you! The kids liking the Cubs would make a proud moment prouder. What is your first memory of comedy?
Oh yeah. It was gorgeous. I was brought to tears. The most impressive memory of comedy that I have was the first time I went to Second City at 16. I saw my brother John in this magical theatre of improvisation and spontaneity. It was beautiful and in that moment I said, this is what I want to do.
I went to Chicago once and checked out Second City and it was awesome. We don't have anything like that here.
Right? We will recreate it this weekend. There will be five of us. It will be me, my son Robert, Jon Barinholtz, and Brad Morris who was a neighbor of mine that grew up with Robert as young boys. He ended up at Second City and is a very prolific actor now. Also a beautiful girl named Megan. This is not a stand-up act. This is five of us taking suggestions from the audience and making up stuff on the spot! It's very interactive. We even bring people on the stage. It'll be really fun.
I love that! Also I used to love a show called Pinky and the Brain. I had no idea that you did voices for that! Do you enjoy voiceovers?
I've done a lot of voiceovers. Oh it is so fun!
I can't tell if you are being sarcastic.
No it is a ball! You just walk into a booth and it just exercises a whole different imagination because it's just a voice and you create these things in your mind. You can get really big with your performance because nothing is too big with animation you know. It's a ball!
When I told my dad that I was going to talk to you he immediately said, ask him why "The Defenders" was cancelled. He loved it. He also said and I quote, "I TiVo'd that...or whatever it's called." He has a DVR by the way, not a TiVo.
[Laughs.] You know what? I loved that show too! I don't know why they didn't pick it up because there were a million people watching it at one time. You know, CBS is a very successful network. On any other network, we would have been the number one show on NBC and the number four show on ABC, but on CBS we were pretty low. The low guys get cut. It was a great experience though and I loved working for CBS. They are very creative and very professional and I loved it.
I loved you in Gang Related with Tupac. Did or do you ever listen to his music?
Oh I loved that movie! I love Tupac's music! I was rapping in 1983 on Saturday Night Live.
Would you say that he got some of his style from you then?
Yeah. I think he was inspired by my rap. [Laughs.]
Who isn't? They're all probably inspired by you! Like MC Hammer. I saw you in that 2 Legit to Quit video...
[Laughs.] Oh yeah I did that video. I dug him. He was cool man! He had some hot dances and great lyrics. But Tupac was a poet you know? He was more like Grandmaster Flash who was the real poet.
So you're into rap music then?
Oh I totally am! Grandmaster Flash inspired me to do my white guy's rap on Saturday Night Live! I love it. I love hip-hop, rap, reggae, but I live in the blues.
It seems like everything you do is so fun because it's still you but, you reinvent yourself in every role. Does that even make sense?
Oh thank you! Yeah that's just part of it. Part of the journey. I've done dramas, comedy, sketch comedy, I've done Broadway, I've done bands. I try to do it all.
You do it all and you do it well. You're like an overachiever.
Well thank you! [Laughs.] Yeah I'm an overachiever. You got me! You know me!
So the Improv is next. Give me some hype for the crowd.
This weekend is recreating the birth of my career. Improvisation with my son, my neighbors son, they're all trained professional improvisational people. We just have a ball together. It's like a party! We take suggestions from the audience and we improvise on the spot! They can come with suggestions and we may call them up on stage to help us with a scene. It's exciting and something they'll be able to see and in a year's time, it may be a lot bigger. Then they can say, we were there when they started it!
To see more of Jim and where he'll be next, check out his Facebook fan page. Get your tickets now to see Jim Belushi and Chicago Board of Improv this Friday and Saturday (3/9 - 3/10) by logging on www.improv.com or by calling 949-854-5455. The Improv is located at 71 Fortune Drive Irvine.
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