Believe it or not, actor and comedian John Belushi has been dead for 20 years.
The anniversary is March 5. To honor him, Saturday Night Live is busy putting together a taped show with all of Belushi's best bits as well as tributes to him from old friends and castmates.
Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey — the current co-hosts of the "Weekend Update" segment of SNL — will host the show. I'm told this will be the episode used on Saturday, March 16.
The SNL production staff has been using the downtime due to the Olympics to put together the Belushi special.
"You can't believe how good his stuff is," one SNL staffer told me recently. "The Samurai, the bees, all unbelievable."
Belushi, sadly, died of a cocaine and heroin overdose at the Chateau Marmont back in 1982. Many years later his companion, Cathy Smith, was found guilty of giving him the drugs that killed him. She spent three years in jail.
What gives with "What More Can I Give"?
I told you recently that Michael Jackson's charity single, "What More Can I Give?" had more or less disappeared. It was recorded last fall to raise money for World Trade Center families, then sort of drifted into oblivion without ever being released.
Now, I am told by what I would term a hopeful source within the Jackson organization, that "What More Can I Give?" lives. Only not in America.
It turns out that Sony Japan is considering releasing the single — which features a number of guest stars — to coincide with a Japanese holiday in March. This would presumably be White Day, a Japanese holiday invented by the marshmallow manufacturers in the 1960s to promote the exchange of candy and flowers — sort of Valentine's Day without all the red.
Luckily, Jackson is still very popular in much of Asia, where news of his trials and tribulations has not been fully translated.
My source says that Sony USA was reluctant to release the record because they didn't want it to interfere with Jackson's now mostly defunct album, Invincible.
"Sony Japan is crazy about the project," my source says. "They would release it first, build the momentum, and then Sony USA would have to release it too."
Where the money would go is still a question since Jackson's own charity, Heal the World Foundation, appears to be moribund right now.
I don't know whether or not he was joking last night, but Wyclef Jean said he received 25 diamond-encrusted wristwatches for playing a private party.
The gig was to celebrate the launch of a new line by Jacob the Jeweler. The Russian immigrant's line of baubles is favored by rappers who dig his platinum and diamond crosses. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is said to have nicknamed the jeweler himself.
Wyclef and his band took some time off from finishing up their latest album to serenade Jake's guests, who included Naomi Campbell, Mick Jones from Foreigner and his wife Ann Dexter Jones, legendary singer Phoebe Snow, Universal Records honcho Steve Stoute, Janice Combs (P. Diddy's mom), and model Carmen Kass, among others.
Jean — whose eclectic stylings leave everyone else in the dust — turned in a couple of hot instrumentals that featured a female electric violinist. He sang "No Woman No Cry" and his own hit, "Somebody Call 911," and then proceeded to rap freestyle and play bits of Chuck Berry riffs. His new album should be out sometime this spring. In the meantime, you are hereby ordered to go pick up his Carnival and The Ecleftic CDs as weekend homework.
By the way, if he got the watches, he deserved them. You can check out Jacob the Jeweler at www.diaquasar.com.
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