BERNIE BRILLSTEIN: Five minutes before the first show, I came through the back door where the food and coffee was and there was Belushi, sitting on a bench with Craig Kellem, who was the associate producer, and Craig was saying, "John, you've just got to sign your contract. NBC won't allow you on the air until you do." And I just happened to walk by at the time, and I didn't really know John well at all. I couldn't believe NBC in its stupidity was pressuring him at such a time. So John said to me, "Should I sign this contract?" and I said, "Of course you should sign this contract." He said, "Why?" I said, "Because I wrote it" - which, by the way, wasn't true. But I knew I had to get him to sign it. He said, "Okay, I'll sign the contract if you manage me." I swear to God, it was five minutes before showtime. Belushi knew I managed Lorne. So why shouldn't he be managed by the same guy who is managing the boss, right? At that time, I didn't know how great Belushi was, so I just said yes to get him to sign the goddamned contract. It worked out great, and he turned out, obviously, to be one of my best friends.
TOM SCHILLER: Before the offices on seventeen were filled up with furniture and stuff, I somehow got the key and went up there one night, and I was still enough of a hippie or a spiritual person that I lit a candle in each office as a sort of general mantra or prayer that the show would be successful and that it wouldn't hurt anybody. So at least that part came true. And then on the first night of the show, still in my hippie phase, I went to every point underneath the bleachers and every point around the studio to try and send out good vibrations to the home viewing audience. Knowing we were sending out a signal across the ether that would be received all across the country, I wanted us to be sending it out with good wishes.
HERB SARGENT, Writer: The very first night of the show, between dress and air, Chevy and I went down and had a cup of coffee at Hurley's bar downstairs. And Chevy said, "What's going to happen to me?" Because it was a big moment, you know, for all those people. He says, "Where am I going to go from here?" I said, "You'll probably end up hosting a talk show." I was kidding. But it's strange, you know. He wasn't frightened - but he was very curious. And it was like an empty vista out there. The interesting part of that for me is that even before the first live show, he was already thinking about what the next step was.