SNL: Billy Joel watched Chevy Chase and Bill Murray fight

Bill Murray on "Saturday Night Live"
Bill Murray on "Saturday Night Live" / Owen Franken - Corbis/GettyImages

In the history of Saturday Night Live, the Chevy Chase vs. Bill Murray fight stands out as an iconic backstage moment. Music legend Billy Joel shared that he witnessed the scuffle first-hand.

It all went down behind the scenes of Saturday Night Live on February 18, 1978. Chevy Chase returned to host, becoming the first former cast member to get the honor. He left the show already carrying a reputation as a difficult talent to deal with.

Things allegedly boiled over just minutes before the show started. Accounts of the story suggest Bill Murray took a jab at Chase's marriage to Jacqueline Carlin. Chase responded by insulting Murray's scarred skin and dubbing him a "medium talent"

Murray took a swing at Chase and the two had to be separated. Bill Joel was the musical guest that night, and he told Howard Stern how things looked from his perspective.

"All of a sudden, Bill Murray gets into a fight with Chevy Chase," said Joel. "Chevy was kind of being overbearing and everyone was pissed off at Chevy."

Joel added that even cast member Jane Curtin seemed annoyed with Chase. "Somebody said something, and Bill Murray goes to punch [Chase]," the musician continued. "We're like 'these guys are crazy. We think we're crazy, these people are nuts."

Chevy Chase previously gave his version of events to Howard Stern

The Chevy Chase vs. Bill Murray fight has captured Howard Stern's attention. The radio host has long demonstrated an interest in late-night TV and Saturday Night Live, especially the atmosphere behind the scenes.

In 2008, Stern interviewed Chase and asked him about the fight with Murray. He cited a jealous John Belushi as the root of the confrontation. As Chase sees it, Belushi envied Chase's rise to fame and how he became the de facto face of Saturday Night Live.

Per Chase, Belushi badmouthed him to Bill Murray. Chase returned to host in 1978, admittedly a little full of himself. He believes Murray intended to "knock [him] down a couple of rungs."

Murray eventually rushed Chase in his dressing room and the two exchanged punches. According to Chase, it was Belushi who got the worst of it as he tried to break up the brawl.

Chase and Murray went on to co-star in Caddyshack just two years later. Chase admitted that the pair of Saturday Night Live legends aren't particularly close, but they had put any animosity behind them.