In “Homage” of David Cross

Life is good my friends. Why? Because as I was walking around town, I stumbled across the latest copy of the Learning Annex, the magazine that will help me fulfill my dreams. Just imagine taking Improv Courses from Wayne “One Funny Chapelle Sketch Does Not Mean I’m Funny” Brady, or “How to Become an Automatic Millionaire from David Bach (I imagine his advice is marry rich). You best believe, I’ll be there for Judge Glenda Hatchett’s course on “How There’s a Dream With My Name On It” (I hope they spell Weiss correctly). But personally, I’m most enthused about a course being offered by the esteemed elder statesman of music, comedy and life, Jim Belushi.

Just reading the booklet gets my pulse racing. According to the Annex, “There’s one thing you need to know about Jim Belushi: he’s a performer and he’s shameless. For one night, he’ll answer all of your questions. And don’t be surprised if he bursts into the blues or starts off with a back flip!” Don’t worry, Learning Annex, I won’t be surprised. I’ll be in the throngs of ecstatic rapture!

The book also claims that “this Chicago-bred Gypsy will take you wherever you want to go and further. Come ready for a night of magic!” Wherever I want to go! Incredible! It’s as though Jim really cares about ME and not the $30 a head, he’ll get for his hilarious brand of zany antics and totally fresh schtick. Count me in. Yet there’s more! Belushi will also outline his fool-proof five-point plan to become rich and famous, just like our idol Jim.

1. Be Related to Someone Famous
According to Jim, the most important thing to being a famous jack-of-all trades musician/comedian is being related to someone famous. And if you aren’t related to someone famous than just make it up. Change you name if you have to. It works!

Did you know that Jim was related to the late John Belushi? I certainly didn’t. But it’s true! Can you see the resemblance? They certainly would seem to be brothers, except for the fact that Jim’s about 12,000 times cooler and more suave. Fuck National Lampoon’s Animal House, I’ll take Jim Belushi in Peggy Sue, K-9 or its even more hilarious sequel K-9 P.I. every single time. And if you’ve got a problem with a movie about a cop and his lovable pooch named Jerry Lee, than frankly, you have no soul.

2. Exploit Your Connection to Someone Famous For All It’s Worth
Learn the science of riding someone’s coattails from the best! Over his storied three-decade long career, Jim Belushi has been in the Second City Improv Troupe, SNL and a Blues Brother. Just like his brother John Belushi. Sure, while snobby critics prefer John, the real fans know the truth, Jim is the one with the talent. In the lecture, except to see Jim tell his adoring public about how best to piggy-back on the careers of a famous sibling and how to exploit it for every last dollar its worth. Who cares about how John’s career would’ve turned out when we have Jim, the better, balder version, standing before us in his magnificent glory. Don’t worry, his recipe for success has already been field-tested, as Jim has helped his son get a break in the entertainment industry. Guess what his first acting role was? According to Jim!

3. It’s Not Stealing If You Call It a Homage Learn from Jim about the delicate balance between outright thievery and paying homage to cinematic greats. Sure, a lot of cynical naysayers might have labeled Belushi’s greatest film, Mr. Destiny, as a complete rip-off of It’s a Wonderful Life spliced with Field of Dreams, but that’s the genius of the film. Or take the aforementioned classic, K-9. Sure there had been films about dogs before, but none with Jim Belushi in them, and none that would go down in history as being awe-inspiring and brilliant (save for perhaps, Air Bud). It’s simple mathematics: Jim Belushi+ a dog= guaranteed success. Why? Because dogs and Jim Belushi are the only two things on earth guaranteed to melt even the hearts of the most stone-hearted cynic.

4. It’s Not Stealing if You Call it An Homage (Part II)
Jim’s clever “Borrowing” isn’t only limited to the world of film. Indeed, he is a master craftsman when it comes to the world of television. Sure, in the past a ton of people watched great family friendly sitcoms like Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens when they wanted their fill of fat man with his attractive wife hijinks. But According to Jim took it to the next level. Why? Jim Fucking Belushi. The man, the myth, the legend. How can one get tired of seeing Jim crack jokes about being regular suburban father, married to a gorgeous woman, and raising three kids in a big house. Oh Jim. You’re so wacky. Will you ever win? Learn how to get your own sitcom and be nominated for an Emmy. It’s really that simple. All you have to do is….

5. Did I Mention Being Related to Someone Famous?
I hope you didn’t forget about rule 1. To create an indelible legacy like Jim, you must be related to someone famous. You better believe that you’ll be reminded of it at the Learning Annex. Watch as Jim sings blues songs, just like his brother John. Or tells stories about all the famous people he met through his brother, John. Or just gaze in awe at his incredible comic prowess. Yes, life is pretty great According to Jim and now, we can see why, in person. I can’t wait.

Download (without Jim Belushi)
MP3: The Blues Brothers-“Soul Man”
MP3: The Blues Brothers-“Theme From Rawhide”

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