Jim Belushi Reaches Age Where One Begins New Life in TV Drama

James Belushi is 55 this year, a scary number for any longtime comic actor. Aside from whimpering when the Sea-Bond commercials on Game Show Network come on and fearing the shoulder-dislocating capacity of the can-crusher in the garage, a 55-year-old comedian sometimes believes that starring in a television drama sounds like the right thing to do. Variety has it that the comic star of According to Jim is planning to play a defense attorney in a TV drama based on the life of lawyer and commentator Mickey Sherman. But does this comedian have the stalwart center -- nay, colon -- of our classic silly-to-serious TV legends?

On a scale ranging from "total dramatic credibility" (Ed Asner in The Mary Tyler Moore Show's Emmy-winning spin-off drama Lou Grant) to "Nice try, but I can tell you're still hilarious underneath that lab coat" (Dick Van Dyke from Diagnosis Murder), I rank Belushi at about... Carroll O'Connor in In the Heat of the Night. Now, Belushi probably won't win an Emmy for his dramatic turn the way the All in the Family legend did, but he can conjure the same level of gruff confrontation. Come on, you saw Salvador, right?

Belushi, TV Vets Plan Courtroom Drama [Variety]