John Belushi was found dead of a drug overdose March 5, 1982, in a seedy hotel bungalow off Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Belushi’s death was the beginning of a trail that led Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on an investigation that examines the dark side of American show business. From on-the-record interviews with 217 people, including Belushi’s widow, his former partner Dan Aykroyd, Belushi’s movie directors including Jack Nicholson and Steven Spielberg, actors Chevy Chase, Robin Williams and Carrie Fisher, the movie executives, the agents, Belushi’s drug dealers, and those who live in the show business underground, the author has written a close portrait of a great American comic talent, and of his struggle to succeed and to survive that ended in tragedy.
Using diaries, accountants’ records, phone bills, travel records, medical records and interviews with firsthand witnesses, Woodward had followed Belushi’s life from childhood in a small town outside Chicago to his meteoric career that started at the famous Chicago comedy troupe Second City, proceeded to New York’s National Lampoon organization, then went on to the wildy popular NBC television show “Saturday Night Live,” the greatly successful movie Animal House, a #1 Blues Brothers hit album, more films and then plans for films that this gifted actor did not live to make.
“Wired is the most smashing drug book ever written…A cautionary tale for our time…Astonishing.” -Liz Smith, New York Daily News
“A fact-studded life story…Belushi wanted it all and it all was too much…chilling.” -Washington Post Book World
“Woodward follows Belushi from one circle of hell to the next…Harrowing… Compelling.” -The Village Voice
“Woodward…shows us how much tolerance is accorded the excesses of celebrity simply because is means box-office power…unlike most biographies of show business celebrities, Woodward’s doesn’t spare us many squalid details about how unspeakably Belushi could behave, and what monstrous effects his huge drug intake had on him…”
-Los Angeles Times
“Endless rounds of drug blowouts, frazzled work sessions, and show-biz parties… Belushi had a kind of reckless, rock-’n’-roll comedic sensibility…a volatile combination of Lou Costello and Vlad the Impaler.” -Time
“Fascinating, in a perverse, National Enquirer kind of way.” -The Philadelphia Inquirer