On Campus

Animal House: 30 years on

John Belushi's Bluto lives in infamy

From The Montreal Gazette:

Thirty years ago this month, the face of American movie comedy was changed forever. The face was full of mashed potatoes at the time. It belonged to John Belushi, playing perhaps his most memorable movie role, a layabout alcoholic university student named Bluto. When he filled his mouth with white goo, punched his cheeks, and announced, “I’m a zit. Get it?” a revolution began.

The scene is one of the classics from National Lampoon’s Animal House, a groundbreaking film that fused a celebration of lazy rebellion, boozy insolence, sexual liberty, post-modern irony and vulgar slapstick into something new and exciting, at least when it wasn’t in an alcoholic coma. The food fight. The toga party. The part where the students bring a horse into the office of Dean Wormer and it drops dead (in the next scene, as the dean fulminates, a workman comes into the office, measures the dead horse, the doorway, then returns with a chainsaw.)

There was little like it before and plenty like it since.

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