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Culture

Jim Belushi’s Dad Had Greek Diner in Chicago: Role for SNL Sketch

Arguably the greatest Saturday Night Live skit, the late John Belushi's deadpan take on a Greek diner serving “cheeborger, cheeborger, cheeborger. No Coke. Pepsi,” was inspired by his father and uncle running Olympia Lunch in Chicago.
They were Albanian but Belushi transferred that to the TV screen in an impression that rings through the decades and his brother Jim, a talented actor, told Chicago magazine of how it came to be and what it meant.
“There’s a place in Chicago - I don’t want to mention the name – where all the journalists used to go and get drunk. The owner put up a sign that said John Belushi, Saturday Night Live.” He said he went to his brother and said, “Hey, man, this son of a b—h is marketing his restaurant as ‘Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!’ Let’s go rough him up.” John looked at me and said, “he wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t need it.” I’m still trying to live by that,” he said.
Sadly, Olympia Lunch was lost to the mob and Belushi said that his family never really got over it.

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