Rob Belushi comes from a famous family, but the 32-year-old actor is trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood.
The son of Jim Belushi and nephew of the late John Belushi has spent the past decade as an aspiring actor, starring in made-for-television movies and some appearances on his father’s sitcom, According to Jim. Now the actor is hoping for a breakthrough with a starring spot on the Spike TV reality program, The Joe Schmo Show.
Rob Belushi said his famous last name has opened some doors, but has also made it difficult for him to make it on his own as an actor.
“I would say people are very interested in seeing me or checking out what I have to offer,” Belushi told The Associated Press. “I also think that they have their own expectations of what that will be and I am not my uncle or my father. That is pretty clear to see upon meeting me.”
His new venture on Spike TV, Rob Belushi will play along with a contestant who thinks he’s competing on a reality show for a $100,000 prize. In reality, everyone else on the show is an actor and the “contestant” is put through a series of wild and comedic scenarios.
The show has gotten good reviews, including one from Canada.com‘s Alex Strachan:
“The Joe Schmo Show is wildly entertaining. The suspense is tangible. It asks genuine questions about whether reality TV is real, and whether we should believe what we see with our own eyes on TV. Joe Schmo will appeal to fans of reality TV who know all the genre’s tricks and beats, but it will also appeal to those who hold reality TV in contempt.”
In The Joe Schmo Show, Rob Belushi will get a chance to show off the improv skills where his family has made its mark. After growing up in Chicago, Belushi found his way back to the Windy City after graduating from Wesleyan University. There he was in the famous Second City comedy troupe, as well as other improv comedy schools.
He didn’t exactly start on stage, however.
“My first job was as a host at Second City, where I essentially shushed drunk tourists and cleaned up throw-up in the bathroom with kitty litter,” Rob Belushi said. “But I also got to watch the show seven nights a week.”
You can check out Rob Belushi in The Joe Schmo Show on Tuesday nights at 10 pm on Spike TV.