Chevy Chase: Story Behind His Infamous Billy Murray ‘Saturday Night Live’ Feud

by Matthew Wilson
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Bill Murray and Chevy Chase were two of the biggest comedians of the 1980s. But in real life, the two actors absolutely hated each other. At least for a little while.

They even ended up in a fist fight.

The two comedians had a backstage feud while on the set of “Saturday Night Live” during the 1970s. Chase was one of the founding members of the long-running sketch comedy. And during the first season, he quickly set himself apart from the pack. But at the same time, Chase’s co-stars found him difficult to work with. They saw him as mean-spirited and a bit of a glory-hound.

Chase left the show, and Bill Murray came in to replace him. It took a little while but Murray eventually found his groove on the show. He became friends with cast-mates John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. But Chase ended up returning to “Saturday Night Live” to guest-host and his attitude rubbed his former co-stars the wrong way.

They resented Chase for his behavior. The comedian returned to the show and tried to boss around the actors. Having enough of Chase, Murray confronted the actor in an exchange of insults. Murray told Chase that everyone on the set hated him. He also made remarks about Chase’s failing marriage to Jacqueline Carlin, which was in the papers at the time.

In response, Chase compared Murray’s face to the lunar surface and suggested it was a landing place for astronaut Neil Armstrong. Before the episode aired, Chase and Murray had it out in Belushi’s dressing room. The two ended up trading blows before Belushi stepped in and pulled them apart.

Chevy Chase and Bill Murray Make Up

That might have been the end of the story if not for “Caddyshack” in 1980. After more than a year of hating each other’s guts, the comedy forced both Murray and Chase to bury the hatchet. The two reluctantly agreed to film a scene together.

In the process, they settled their differences. Both comedians found they enjoyed working together and pushed each other to perform at their best. As a result, they became friendly toward each other. In the years since then, both have tried to downplay their initial feud.

“It was really a Hollywood fight, a ‘Don’t touch my face!’ kind of thing,” Murray told Empire in 2012. “It was an Oedipal thing, a rupture. Because we all felt mad he had left us, and somehow I was the anointed avenging angel, who had to speak for everyone. But Chevy and I are friends now. It’s all fine.”

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