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Bill Murray and Chevy Chase fought backstage before ‘SNL’ live show

Bill Murray walks a red carpet during the 14th Rome Film Festival on October 19, 2019 in Rome, Italy. Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for RFF


Bill Murray and Chevy Chase fought backstage before ‘SNL’ live show


Although it appears like Saturday Night Live is all about the laughter, there appears to be more behind-the-scenes conflict than meets the eye. Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, two great comedians, allegedly had a heated disagreement on stage that culminated in a sudden physical brawl before a live show. Former Saturday Night Live performers Laraine Newman and Jane Curtin discussed the feud on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen last night (June 17).

The two were asked for their thoughts on the now-famous engagement. Newman regrettably acknowledged that a brawl occurred only seconds before the broadcast went live.

“I think Jane and I, and Gilda both witnessed it,” Newman remarked. “But, ya know, it was very sad and painful and awful.”

“It was that sad kind of family tension,” Curtin said, “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 (sic) going at each other, so the testosterone was surging and stuff happens.”

Chase returned to host the show following his absence in 1978, and Murray made a remark about Chase’s marriage problems, which sparked the legendary argument. Chase retaliated by criticizing Murray, which resulted in a violent brawl in John Belushi’s dressing room.

“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 said. Chase and Murray went on to make Caddyshack in 1980, which seemed to put a stop to their dispute, according to Cohen. Both Murray and Chase addressed the differences in their 2018 book Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story. “I’d never really done anything with Chevy. We’d always had sort of a… funny relationship,” Murray said in the book. “BBut 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 [director Harold Ramis] maintains the movie is about – status.”


“We got over everything. The tension was short-lived,” Chase explained. “I have nothing but admiration and affection for Bill. He still can be a surly character, to say the least. But ultimately he’s a good guy. Even though I’m the number one star in the movie under the title, I’ll always think of Caddyshack as Billy’s movie.”

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