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    JOHN BELUSHI - "The Best Of Samurai Futaba"

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    WSCvideos

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    This is an August 2012 video edit of a collection of various clips of the late great John Belushi as Samurai Futaba, a character he played on Saturday Night Live from 1975 to 1979. Over the four seasons that Belushi was on SNL, he played the character of Samurai Futaba a total of 18 times.

    The character of Samurai Futaba had a dedicated concept of honor, spoke only (mock) Japanese, and wielded a katana. Each sketch had him located in a different place and time that was typically inappropriate for a samurai, yet he performed his tasks perfectly, despite scaring his clients quite a few times. The character was modeled after Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune's character in the classic Akira Kurosawa film "Yojimbo".

    Samurai Futaba would probably not have become a recurring character if not for Buck Henry's insistence that there be a second sketch featuring him when he first hosted on January 17, 1976. It is perhaps due to these origins that it became standard practice on SNL to feature a Samurai sketch every time Henry hosted, up until the time Belushi left the cast. (And except for "Samurai BMOC", each time Henry would play the same character, Mr. Dantley.)

    In issue #74 of Marvel Team-Up (cover dated October, 1978), Belushi (in character as Samurai Futaba) dueled Marvel Comics supervillain Silver Samurai, who believed that Belushi was disgracing the history of the samurai. He also appears briefly in issue #54 of The Sandman.