John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd Get Brian Wilson Out of Bed and Force Him to Go Surfing, 1976

There are cer­tain leg­ends sur­round­ing Bri­an Wil­son, the trou­bled genius behind the Beach Boys. One is that he hates going to the beach. He nev­er went surf­ing, even though he wrote clas­sic songs like “Surfer Girl,” “Surfin’ Safari,” and “Surfin’ USA.” Anoth­er is that he basi­cal­ly stayed in bed for two or three years in the ear­ly 1970s, weight­ed down by drugs and depres­sion.

In this clas­sic com­e­dy sketch from the sum­mer of 1976, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd play a pair of Cal­i­for­nia High­way Patrol offi­cers who burst into the bed­room of Wilson’s Bel Air home and force the reclu­sive musi­cian to get up and go surf­ing. “Bri­an,” says Aykroyd, “we have a cita­tion here for you sir under Sec­tion 936A of the Cal­i­for­nia Catch a Wave Statute. Bri­an, you’re in vio­la­tion of Para­graph 12: fail­ing to surf, neglect­ing to use a state beach for surf­ing pur­pos­es, and oth­er­wise avoid­ing surf­boards, surf­ing and surf.”

The scene is from the NBC tele­vi­sion spe­cial It’s OK, which was pro­duced by Sat­ur­day Night Live cre­ator Lorne Michaels dur­ing the break between SNL’s first and sec­ond sea­sons. It was direct­ed by the show’s res­i­dent flm­mak­er Gary Weis. The one-hour spe­cial was orga­nized to cel­e­brate the Beach Boys’ 15th anniver­sary and to pro­mote their album, 15 Big Ones. Wil­son had just rejoined the group, and the spe­cial was part of the “Bri­an’s Back” pub­lic­i­ty cam­paign. The pro­gram, which is cur­rent­ly avail­able on Euro­pean-for­mat­ted DVD as The Beach Boys: Good Vibra­tions Tour,  includes an inter­view of Wil­son in bed, comedic scenes of band mem­bers doing off­beat things, and live footage from a July 3, 1976 Beach Boys con­cert at Ana­heim Sta­di­um. In the two inter­cut scenes above, Mike Love leads the Beach Boys onstage in a per­for­mance of “Surfin’ USA” as Wil­son is forced into the ocean in his bath robe. “Okay, Mr. Wil­son,” says Aykroyd. “Here’s your wave.”

via Dan­ger­ous Minds

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Mak­ing of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds: A Video Break­down

Leonard Bern­stein Demys­ti­fies the Rock Rev­o­lu­tion for Curi­ous (if Square) Grown-Ups in 1967

John Belushi’s Impro­vised Screen Test for Sat­ur­day Night Live (1975)

The Mak­ing of The Blues Broth­ers: When Belushi and Aykroyd Went on a Mis­sion for Com­e­dy & Music

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