DAN AYKROYD: It's fair to say that John's mood, on a read-through day or whatever, was infectious to the point where he could dominate - like if he was in a jovial mood, it became a jovial table reading, or if he was down, it didn't. I think when you have great people that have charisma like that, that's probably a truism. Yeah, for sure, it was him and Chevy, him and Chevy were the ones primarily that could make the room, bring the room up or bring the room down. O'Donoghue to a certain extent too. You know, the giant talents like that.
BERNIE BRILLSTEIN: Bullshit. Chevy was my client, and he said in my office, "The reason I'm leaving is I am a producer and a writer, and Lorne's a producer and a writer, and that's a conflict." The real reason was he got a fucking car and more money. William Morris was blowing smoke in Chevy's ears as well as his wife at the time, that he should leave the show. They weren't getting big commissions from the show, I think eighty bucks a week or something. I thought he should stay on the show for at least two or three years, for no other reason than that the exposure he was getting was great. But William Morris went to NBC, and NBC was so unsure about SNL, they just wanted to make sure they kept Chevy, because he was a good-looking guy and he was like a television star. They gave him two specials. William Morris got a package commission for the specials, and NBC gave Chevy a car. I think it was a Porsche. So NBC attacked its own show. Chevy was very gentlemanly. He came to me and paid all the money he owed me and he said, "Look, I want to do it on my own. I'm competitive with Lorne, I want to produce too." He went and did the movies, you know, and for a while he was fine, but he destroyed himself.
DICK EBERSOL: Lorne just felt totally betrayed when Chevy left, not because he was losing his biggest star, but because this was his biggest partner on the show.
LORNE MICHAELS: I'm sure I was devastated by it, but I knew there would have been a struggle: was the show going to become the Chevy Chase show or was it going to stay an ensemble show? I think he'd become too big a star.
ANNE BEATTS: I don't know exactly when Michael and Chevy's relationship went sour. I know that Chevy said - I'm sure you've heard this - that Michael told him once in a taxi, "One day you'll be a B-movie star." I know that Chevy has really taken that remark to heart. And so I think that perhaps the Michael-Chevy going sour thing was part of Michael calling it as he saw it, which he unstintingly did even when it was detrimental to his best interests.
CHEVY CHASE: You have no idea what my life was like as a kid, you have no sense of that at all. You're probably looking into books and saying, "Hey, he went to a private school," as if that somehow is an explanation for my personality. You have no sense at all - nor would I share with you what my childhood was like.
ANNE BEATTS: Chevy was the Waspy golden boy that neither Michael nor Lorne would ever be.
ALAN ZWEIBEL: It was emotional. We were a colony. I don't mean this in a bad way, but we were Guyana on the seventeenth floor. We didn't go out. We stayed there. It was a stalag of some sort.