Chevy Chase Felt ‘2 Terrible Losses’ When He Left ‘Saturday Night Live’ Over a Relationship

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Chevy Chase made quite the impression on the show. He would later have quite the career in comedy through other means, but the actor and comedian still looks back on the late-night sketch show as a missed opportunity. Chase once explained the two “terrible losses” that he felt when leaving Saturday Night Live and how it impacted his relationship with show creator Lorne Michaels.

Chevy Chase had a short run on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Chevy Chase | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Chase was one of the original Saturday Night Live cast members who started on season 1. Therefore, he was a part of The Not Ready for Prime Time Players, who were cast members within the first three seasons of the show. Additionally, Chase was the first anchor of “Weekend Update,” which became a staple for the show. Unlike some of his colleagues, the comedian didn’t stay on the cast for very long.

He only remained on Saturday Night Live for a little over a year after its 1975 premiere. Not only did he set the record for the earliest departure, but he would also become the first cast member to get hit with the ban hammer. Chase returned to host the show on several occasions, but his bad behavior backstage that turned physical ultimately led to his ban.

Chevy Chase felt ‘2 terrible losses’ from leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’ so soon

” src=”” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>

According to Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years, Chase didn’t like how things ended with his time on the show as a cast member. However, he also recognized that he left for reasons that made sense at the time. But, he also felt that he went through severe losses as a result.

“I left too early, and I felt it then, but it was a personal decision and it had to do with marrying a person who lives in California,” Chase said. “Few people know that, besides Lorne. The assumption was I had a huge multimillion-dollar career waiting for me. Well, that just isn’t true–a couple of years later, I made a film.”

Chase continued: “I have always felt two terrible losses. One was not being on the show again, and the other, of course, and the most important, was my friendship with Lorne. I’ve always almost felt I betrayed him, but I was so totally infatuated with a girl out here, and I guess everybody but me knew that this girl was a little nutty and certainly not the one I should marry, but I didn’t know. I was in love.”

Nevertheless, Chase knew deep down that he should have stayed on Saturday Night Live. However, his relationship also called out to him, so he decided to go with that. He also pointed out that television ratings for the show weren’t very good until a few years later.

The show’s platform made him a big star

” src=”” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>

RELATED: ‘Saturday Night Live’: Chevy Chase Said John Belushi Stole His Cocaine-Filled Jar From the Set

Chase became a big star in the years to follow his Saturday Night Live departure with movies such as National Lampoon’s Vacation. However, he explained in The First Twenty Years that there were some specific reasons for his success. Chase believed that they extended beyond just his talent.

“It happened for me because of some very simple things: Because of the fall, and the fact that I said my name every night,” Chase said. “Nobody knew who [John] Belushi was and how the hell you spell [Dan] Aykroyd, so those guys were in trouble. But, I had this odd name and it sticks out, and there you have it.”