Inside Bill Murray And Chevy Chase’s Behind The Scenes Fight On Saturday Night Live

Through the late ’70s and early ’80s, Saturday Night Live primed up and spit out a number of notable comedians, and some of those notables would go on to become icons of the comedy world. John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Chevy Chase are among those who made their way through SNL‘s golden years, when the show was first carving out its place in late-night television. They, along with show creator Lorne Michaels, turned the sketch comedy program into the perennial NBC behemoth we know and love today, and you’d think to make a feat like that happen, it would take a group of talented individuals who got along and worked well together, but that’s not the case.

Not everyone on the early SNL crew were friends. Belushi and Aykroyd’s camaraderie was nearly as famous as the actors themselves. Bill Murray had a deep friendship with those guys, too. Then, there’s Chevy Chase, a man who many of the cast despised and who, at one time, ended up in a fistfight with Murray behind the scenes.

Bill Murray was never afraid to throw down

Watching Bill Murray movies might not give you a sense of the comedian’s fearlessness or his willingness to fight. He’s goofy, witty, and seems to play the lover-not-fighter type in pretty much every film he graces, but, according to film journalist Nick de Semlyen’s book, Wild and Crazy Guys: How the Comedy Mavericks of the ’80s Changed Hollywood Forever, Murray was quite the opposite during his younger years.

Comedian Dave Thomas (not the Wendy’s guy) is quoted in the book saying, “[Murray is] fearless and physically strong, so if anybody wants to start a fight with him he’ll go, ‘All right.'” And, there’s more than one account of Murray doing exactly that. During one performance of The National Lampoon Show, Murray attacked singer Martin Mull, grabbing him by the neck, for talking loudly during the performance. Luckily, Belushi was backstage to pull Murray away and keep things from getting too out of hand.

Another violent moment mentioned in the book details the time Murray fought a heckler in Toronto. Apparently, the comedian dragged the heckler into the alleyway outside the venue and beat the crap out of him, leaving the heckler with a broken arm. The moral of the story here, kids, is: Don’t mess with Bill Murray.

Chevy Chase rubbed everybody the wrong way

Chevy Chase was only around for the first season of Saturday Night Live before his fame surpassed the show and carried him off to greener pastures in films like Foul Play and Caddyshack, and in that short time, Chase managed to make himself a number of enemies. Chase’s ego was a huge issue for his castmates, according to Grantland. He ordered his co-stars around, he cracked jokes at their expense, and, as former co-star Laraine Newman says (via The Telegraph), he picked on people with the intention of hurting their feelings in the meanest possible way. This led to cast members like John Belushi absolutely hating the guy.

His attitude didn’t get any better over the years either, even when his career was bombing in the ’90s. His TV comeback in the 2000s, which went pretty well from the viewer’s side of the screen, was during his time on Community, but even then, his arrogance had him battling behind the scenes with show creator Dan Harmon. In a video interview with The Washington Post, Chase responded to the tension with claims of Harmon’s jealousy, which Chase believes stems from him being “funnier” than Harmon and “good looking.” Oh, boy.

Back to SNL, Chase’s arrogant attitude didn’t mix well with Bill Murray’s “take no crap” demeanor, and when the two were left around each other too long, things got volatile.

A fistfight behind the scenes at SNL

It was February of 1978 when Chevy Chase returned to Saturday Night Live as a guest host. According to People, the cast was pretty upset with the guy for quitting the show, and his guest return didn’t make that any easier. Neither Bill Murray nor Chase liked each other, and Chase’s recent success had thrown a competitive element into the mix on top of it. Feeling the effects of these two factors, the comedians engaged in a heated argument that quickly turned to blows.

Director John Landis saw the whole thing go down and swears that it was a huge deal. There was screaming, slapping, name-calling, the works. “They were big guys and really going at it,” Landis says. Murray, on the other hand, recalls the event as a much smaller deal than Landis. In Wild and Crazy Guys: How the Comedy Mavericks of the ’80s Changed Hollywood Forever, the comedian claims the event was just a “Hollywood fight; a don’t-touch-my-face kinda thing.”

Even though the fight was broken up by Murray’s brother, the Stripes actor says it was the sentiment behind the fight, not the physical, that was important. “We all felt mad he had left us,” Murray says, “and somehow I was the anointed avenging angel, who had to speak for everyone.”

Leave a Reply

© 2024  /  /  All Rights Reserved
Free Bitcoin Mining Daily Rewards:$1.00
Free Bitcoin mining, own your Miner Earn passive Bitcoin without technical expertise
Earn crypto together A Loyalty Program Built For Everyone
Free Bonus (1.500 TH/s) Free 0.0004 BTC monthly minings