LORNE MICHAELS: Buck Henry came in to host and taught me a whole other level of things. Buck so totally got it. When he got there he said, "Do you want to do the Samurai again?" And we had never thought of repeating things until that moment.
ALAN ZWEIBEL: I wrote all the Samurais with the exception of one. Belushi auditioned for the show with the Samurai character. On the Richard Pryor show, Tom Schiller wrote a piece called "Samurai Hotel," about a two-minute piece or so, and that was that. That was like the seventh show we ever did. The eleventh show we ever did, Buck Henry was hosting. Lorne came by my desk and said, "You used to work in a deli, didn't you?" I said, "You name it, I sliced it." Lorne said, "You would be perfect to write 'Samurai Delicatessen.'" I said sure. I had no idea what he was talking about. But I wrote "Samurai Deli" and all the other Samurais after that. What started as that one two-minute sketch ended up being a franchise. When I say I wrote all the Samurais, what does that mean? It means I wrote all the stuff for Buck Henry or whoever did it that week and then I go, "John throws up a tomato and slices it," and "John indicates in his gibberish whatever," you know. I wrote no dialogue for John. The only time I wrote anything that looked like dialogue for him was when I had to indicate what the gibberish was meant to convey.
BUCK HENRY: On the Samurai sketches that I did with John, one never knew where it was going because John's dialogue could not be written. You never knew what was going to happen next. In "Samurai Stockbroker," he cut my head open with the sword, but it was really my fault; I leaned in at the wrong time. And I bled all over the set. It was a very amusing moment. You would not believe how much blood from a forehead was on that floor. A commercial came on right after the sketch and someone shouted, "Is there a doctor around?" And John Belushi's doctor was in the audience - which made me a little suspicious. So the guy came and put this clamp on my forehead. We went on with the show. It didn't require stitches, darn it, but it required a clamp for the rest of the show. When "Weekend Update" came on, which was about ten minutes later, Chevy appeared with a bandage on his face. Then Jane had her arm in a sling. They featured the moment when I got hit by the sword on "Update" like it was a hot news item. Only Saturday Night Live could do that. By the end of the show, when the camera pulls back, you see some of the crew are on crutches, others have bandages or their arms in slings. As if the whole show caught a virus. It was pretty funny. And the genius of Saturday Night Live, it seems to me, is encapsulated in that event. John didn't say anything to me right after it happened, but then we didn't see each other for another half hour at least. I was in one place and he was in another. But it wasn't John's forte to apologize anyway.