If, like me, you worship at the Holy Church of John Belushi, today is undoubtedly a solemn holy day for you: 30 years ago, the infamous comic actor passed away far too soon. Though I was born after he died, my parents sat me down and showed me Animal House when I was probably too young to see it; it was important for my education, they said. And they were right: I learned all about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor, thanks to Bluto. His spirit lives on in chants of “TOGA!” and cafeteria food fights (see below) in colleges nationwide.
Or, as The New York Times reports today, the legend of Bluto might be further immortalized on stage, with the soundtrack provided Barenaked Ladies. Universal Pictures Stage Productions is developing a musical based on Animal House with Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, James L. Nederlander and Matty Simmons, who worked on the original flick. Directing the show will be Casey Nicholaw, best known for his work on The Book of Mormon.
No word on casting yet, but whoever is pegged to play Bluto has some massive shoes to fill. But nothing’s over until we decide it is, so I’m willing to set aside my skepticism and hope that the production ends up a worthwhile homage to the best college comedy movie of all time.