Steve Beshekas with John Belushi
Updated: July 18, 2012 6:19AM
Iconic Chicago folk singer Eddie Holstein used to command the late-night ship over rough waters at the Earl of Old Town.
In 1970, after John Belushi would finish his last show across the street at Second City, the actor would regularly visit the Earl.
“Me and John had gone to Wise Fools [on North Lincoln] to watch ‘On the Waterfront’ on a 16mm projector,” Holstein recalled. “No one had video those days. ‘On the Waterfront’ was his favorite movie and mine, too. Belushi and I knew the complete script. We’d clown around at the bar.
“There is a famous cab scene where Rod Steiger goes to Brando, ‘How much do you weigh now, champ? When you were 160, you were beautiful. You could have been another [light heavyweight fighter] Billy Conn.”
So many times when Belushi walked into the Earl, Holstein would take a break from his fourth set of the night and invite him onstage to re-enact that scene.
‘I would be Rod Steiger, and he would be Truman Capote as Brando,” Holstein recalled. “It was f---ing hilarious. People were falling out of their chairs. Everyone at the Earl got to be friends with everyone at Second City. Joe Flaherty once came in. I’d ask him if he could do Gary Cooper, and he would answer, ‘Yep.’ ”