BUCK HENRY: I thought Chevy shouldn't have left. I thought it was really stupid to leave that early in the run, because he was so great on it. The show made him. He should have gone and done his movies later. Maybe Belushi wouldn't have blossomed so much, though, if Chevy had stayed. Because John was so happy to see him go.
JUDITH BELUSHI: John and Chevy were always antagonistic and friends. It was a love-hate kind of thing. They worked together well when they were trying to. A funny thing they used to do on the side- underwear ad posing. They would just strike a pose together, like Chevy's arm on John's shoulder, one knee up on a chair, like the underwear poses in the Sears catalog.
I'd say John had mixed feelings about Chevy leaving. The whole thing around Saturday Night Live was, if you were in the circle with Lorne, you could get a lot more of what you wanted. Chevy was part of that circle, and Paul Simon and whoever, I forget. And Chevy was getting a lot of airtime and John felt he should get more, and that Chevy was sometimes cast for things that John thought he could do better.
JOHN LANDIS: The part of Otter in Animal House was originally written for Chevy Chase. Ned Tannen at Universal said to me, "Here's this script, Animal House. If you can get me Chevy Chase and John Belushi and a movie star, I'll make it." So Ivan Reitman was desperate to get Chevy. Chevy was the first star out of SNL for a very simple reason, which is that if you look at SNL, he's the only one who said, "I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not," and he became a celebrity. His face was up front. He was also damn funny. But I was adamantly opposed to casting him. I had nothing against Chevy, I just believed that he wouldn't feel honored, and that he was too old. So I had this wonderful, famous lunch that Ivan Reitman will remember differently but where Ivan and Thom Mount desperately blow smoke up Chevy's ass, trying to convince him to take Animal House even though he's been offered Foul Play as well. Chevy was smoking a huge cigar; this was the first time I ever met him. A goodlooking guy in good shape, and I was doing everything I could to sell it to him. And finally I had a masterstroke. I said, "Chevy, if you take Foul Play, you're then like Cary Grant; you're opposite Goldie Hawn, a major sex star, you're like Cary Grant. But if you take Animal House, you're a top banana in an ensemble, like SNL." And under the table Ivan gave me I think the most vicious kick I've ever had. He was furious, but it worked: Chevy took the other movie.
CHEVY CHASE: For me at the time, the question was, could I actually be in a movie with somebody who's talented - Goldie - and actually be in something I'd never done before and actually try to act? You know, what would that be like? It wasn't a question of could I do something that was marginally subversive for movies, when I'd already done five years of underground television on Channel 1 and had written for Mad magazine, the National Lampoon, et cetera. Animal House is an ensemble piece any way you look at it.