Back in 1978, just three years after SNL first aired, two of its biggest stars came to blows on the set of the comedy sketch show. Although Chevy Chase had moved on from the show, when he came back to host things boiled over. Bill Murray had words with him and a physical altercation ensued.
While the two comedians have publicly admitted to the feud, they also are long past it these days. However, for cast members Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, having a front-row seat to it was tough at times. On Thursday night, the two SNL alums made an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen where they shared their views on the matter.
“I think Jane and I, and Gilda [Radner] both witnessed it,” Newman said on the show, according to Yahoo. “But, ya know, it was very sad and painful and awful.”
Curtin added that Murray and Chase coming to blows was like “that sad kind of tension that you would get in a family.”
“And everybody goes to their corners because they don’t want to have to deal with the tension, and it was uncomfortable. You could understand, you know, there were these two bull mooses going at each other, so the testosterone was surging and stuff happens,” Curtin shared.
“I think they both knew the one thing that they could say to one another that would hurt the most and that’s what I think incited it,” Newman added.
‘SNL’ Legends Finally Bring Their Public Feud to an End
For quite some time, SNL cast members Chevy Chase and Bill Murray couldn’t stand each other. In fact, for many years the two comedians shared an open disdain for each other.
Following Chase’s departure from SNL to focus on his movie career, he returned to host the show in 1978. That’s when tensions finally boiled over. Supposedly Chase got a bit bossy with the cast when he returned as a bonafide movie star to his former TV show.
Eventually, Murray decided to step in since he couldn’t take it anymore. As he addressed the issue with Chase head on, a heated verbal exchange ensued in legendary SNL cast member John Belushi‘s dressing room. The verbal jabs turned physical not long after and Belushi was forced to separate the two stars.
A year later, director Harold Ramis began working on his 1980 classic comedy Caddyshack. He ended up casting both Chevy Chase and Bill Murray for the golf-based movie, which was the first step to ending their long feud.
Originally the two men had zero scenes together in the entire movie. Yet a late addition to the movie made sure the two comedic icons would at least share one famous scene together. That decision helped the two former SNL members to bury the hatchet. In 2018’s Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story, Murray revealed details about filming the scene together.
“I’d never really done anything with Chevy. We’d always had sort of a …funny relationship,” Murray explained in the book. “But it was like, ‘O.K., I liked that when you did that. Let’s just keep going.’ We kept going and it was funny because Ty Webb’s not far from who Chevy is. So he was pretty comfortable in his space. And I was comfortable as Carl. So he could be free to laugh at me. And if Ty laughed, Carl thought it meant, ‘Hey, he’s my friend!’ It’s a really fun, self-aware example of whatever the heck Harold maintains the movie is about – status.”