Debunking Blutarsky and McCarthy

By Gus Bode

Daily Egyptian Encyclopedia of Urban Legends

Dear Gus:Could you please put a conclusive end to the plethora of colorful yarns that continue to circulate regarding Jenny McCarthy’s attendance at SIUC? I’ve even heard someone insist she once worked at a bar on the strip. Didn’t she in fact briefly matriculate at the Edwardsville campus?

And while I’ve got your attention, what about a rumor that Animal House was based in part on John Belushi’s fraternity experience at Carbondale? Any truth to this urban legend?’

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Ryan Muskopf, first year law student

Search no more, Ryan, for I will deliver the truth.

Her Blondeness did indeed attend SIUC. In fact, she was a nursing student at the University for two years before funds ran out. It was her waning bank account that caused McCarthy to drop out of school and head west in search of stardom.

McCarthy raised the ire of SIU administrators in the spring of 1996, when she categorized SIU as an, omigosh!, party school during an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Speculation has conjured the notion that McCarthy was a waitress at former student hang-out Frankie’s, once located at 204 W. College St. Students claim to have worked with the one-time Singled Out star at the Carbondale bar, but no documentation of her local career remains, for the owners have skipped town with all information attached.

The Animal House connection is a fuzzy one. Filmmaker Jim Belushi, John’s brother, is an SIUC graduate. However, there is no documentation that John Belushi drew his inspiration for the infamous Blutarsky from SIU.

The best explanation for the inspiration I can give you is this:One of the writers for the Animal House screenplay, Chris Miller, has said the inspiration for the Animal House screenplay was contained in a series of articles written for the National Lampoon magazine, according to the Animal House website at www.animalhouse.olm.net/. Miller, who belonged to a fraternity while attending Dartmouth, drew some of his ideas from his own experiences there.

Says Miller, I was Pinto in my fraternity. All the other guys are guys that are so archetypal that everybody knows them. Everybody had friends like those other guys.

Scary or personal, those Carbondale urban legends are a toughy, and there you have it. Do with it what you will, but remember:don’t ingest soda with your pop rocks.

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