I just watched The Best Of John Belushi, a dvd I got from Ben for my birthday. I am having to admit to myself that the early SNL wasn't flawless. They had more hits than misses and when they hit they hit hard, but there are definately some skits on here that, well, kinda stink. Samari Night Live being an especially sour example. The Samari Tailor and Semarai Delicatessen skits were riotous, but this confused parody of that year's most popular movie combined with a sad attempt to get more out of a routine that had given all it had to give was especially pointless, though it's always interesting to see the young, pre-wife killing O.J. Simpson on the screen.
The dvd extras include Belushi's screen test, which I've been hearing about for years. There's an interesting point where Belushi does something, apparently not visible on camera, and the rest of the cast half laughs and half gives an "ooo" as in "Oooo, you're gonna get busted." Then you hear a voice that I assume is Lorne Michaels' say "Don't do that again John." Pretty curious. I wonder what he did. It's torture to hear Andy Kaufmann called onto camera after John and not get to see him. To the best of my knowledge this tape is not available in it's entirety, with all the Not Ready For Prime Time Players screen tests plus Andy.
The best extra is a short documentary made up of more SNL footage and interviews with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Lorne Michaels, Al Franken and more. They use footage from skits that are much better than many of those chosen for The Best Of John Belushi. Which skits actually were chosen to represent the best are sometimes confusing. For instance the Killer Bees are only seen doing a blues number? Sure, it's always cool to see Belushi sing, but the skits, The Killer Bee skits, are hillarious.
It's a fun DVD to have in my collection but I don't think I'll be buying any more Best Of SNL dvds waiting instead for the 1st season to be released in it's entirety, which is way overdue.