CHICAGO -- How would "Saturday Night Live" have played it?
The scene: an auction house. A sharply dressed shopper is examining a row of items before bidding begins. Her nostrils flare in disdain at an original Rembrandt. Then, over in the corner, she spots the precious items she's lusting for and makes a beeline for them. A rack of stained, shabby black suits.
As the sale begins, a man in a samurai costume appears from nowhere, grunts and plods to the podium. When bidding stalls on a pair of salt-and-pepper shakers shaped like skulls, he whips out a sword to commit hara-kiri. He gets a stay of execution, however, when a buyer in the room accidentally slips off his chair and the auctioneer takes that as a sign that the man wants to up the bid.
"But nooooooo," as John Belushi once might have put it. There won't be any samurai and probably not much slapstick shtick. What will go on the block here June 9, at the respected Leslie Hindmann Auction House, is a collection of the late comedian's most prized belongings, including an authentic Blues Brothers suit and his "personal comfy slippers."
Officially, it's being called "The John Belushi Memorial Auction," a sale of more than 170 personal items that once belonged to Belushi or his widow, Judy. And it's anything but a typical estate sale.
On the block are original artworks and costumes from the comedy star's movies ("Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers") as well as TV's "Saturday Night Live." Belushi died in 1982 of a drug overdose.
Also for sale are a variety of items that Belushi merely touched, drove, wore, swung or listened to. There's his 1965 Volvo, portraits of him portraying Elizabeth Taylor, his Bee costume and others.
There's an autographed photo of B.B. King, a box full of blues albums, stacks of recordings by obscure artists, a drum set, guitars, his T-shirts and six Blues Brothers suits Belushi and partner Dan Aykroyd wore in the movie of the same name.
If it sounds like Judy Belushi is trying to clean out her closets, it's because in a sense she is. Soon to be married to writer-producer Victor Pisano, she admits to cashing in -- albeit for charity -- on her late husband's memory.
"It's an unusual situation where somebody would enjoy having them, so why not trade it for something that could come back in financial form and then be passed along to help someone else?," she said.
Judy Belushi hopes to net more than $50,000 from the sale and turn part of it over to the John Belushi Memorial Foundation, which she formed eight years ago to dispense money she received in condolence cards from friends and fans of her late husband. She also intends to use a portion of the proceeds to underwrite the Second Chance Foundation, a new group she says will support local groups on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where she lives.
In the middle of a nationwide tour to promote a book about her life, "Samurai Widow," Judy Belushi will attend the auction with Pisano. She may even model the dress she wore when Belushi took her to their high school prom.
However, one prized possession won't be on display -- a 1960s-era Dodge Polara. Judy Belushi calls it the Bluesmobile even though it predated the movie.
"It was our first car," she explained. "When we retired it, it became a demolition derby car for a while, and it has a great big skull and crossbones on the side and it's got a fake thing on the back that looks like it's jet-propelled."
"It's awful," said Pisano.
"He thinks it's awful, I don't," laughed Judy Belushi.