Chevy Chase Claims John Belushi Stole His Cocaine off ‘SNL’ Stage: “I’m So Glad I Just Put that Stuff Aside”

7 mins read

Bill Maher spent an hour with “the icon of icons,” Chevy Chase, for the latest installment of his Club Random podcast, and by the sound of it, they seemed to have a rollicking good time.

They spent the majority of the chat session cracking jokes, matching wits and howling with laughter as comedians are wont to do while covering a slew of subjects including showbiz legends Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson, circumcision, masturbation and why Maher opted not to have children.

Early in the podcast, they discussed Chase’s work opposite Burt Reynolds in The Last Movie Star, the latter’s final film before he died Sept. 6, 2018. “He was actually dying during it,” Chase noted of the Adam Rifkin film. “That’s when I learned what a great actor he is.”

Maher then mentioned that Reynolds and Chase share a quality that he sees in actors like Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling and Cary Grant as they are talents who can play against type because they’re “the good-looking guy but you act like the guy who’s not the good-looking guy, that’s like now you’ve got them coming and going. Warren Beatty did it.”

Bill Maher Chevy Chase

Bill Maher poses with Chevy Chase, in a Jesus Farmers T-shirt, during the recording session for Maher’s Club Random podcast.

Credit: Chris Case/Courtesy of Club Maher

The mention of Grant’s name led Chase to recall his appearance on Tom Snyder’s NBC talk show Tomorrow in 1980 when he claimed that Grant was gay. “[Tom] said, ‘People say you’re going to be the next Cary Grant,’ and I said, ‘That’s crazy, there’s nobody like Cary Grant and there will never be another Cary Grant and I understand he was a homo,’” Chase tells Maher of the appearance, during which he also said “what a gal” about Grant. “It was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever said.”

It was also expensive. Grant immediately filed a defamation lawsuit against Chase for $10 million. The case reportedly settled out of court and while neither party commented on the financial details, reports claim that Chase forked over $1 million.

“By the way, I don’t think Cary was gay. Do you think he was?” Chase adds, questioning Maher about his view of the late legend’s sexuality. Maher has a response: “Cary Grant, I think was half of…. I’m going to say this, I think at one time in his life had a dick in his ass. That’s conjecture, but he’s just too good looking not to, that’s my theory.”

Later in the chat, they cover a bit of Chase’s time on Saturday Night Live, name-checking a few of his famous co-stars on the iconic sketch comedy series. Because Chase is starring opposite Dan Aykroyd in the upcoming film Zombie Town, they briefly touch on the latter, someone Chase calls “the resident genius” of SNL.

“I’m remembering Dan with a painting that he was talking about, as if he was a museum guy or something,” Chase recalls. “And he’s discussing the finer points of the painting. There’s a nude woman in it and he never talks about it, but that’s all we’re looking at. It’s just perfect Dan.”

Chase then segues to speaking about the late John Belushi, claiming that he stole a vial of his cocaine from the SNL stage.

“I’m just remembering John and his fucking drug problem but back then, the big drug was cocaine. Obviously John turned out to be coke head but I had a little jar of cocaine with a little spoon that hung from it,” he reveals. “Anyway, I had it on the piano of the stage. So I’m just playing the piano, the crowd isn’t in yet, and it’s just sitting. After I played just a little bit, it’s gone. I had no idea how. Obviously I was looking at my hands at the moment that John swooped in and took it. So I immediately said, ‘Belushi, did you take my coke?’ ‘No, what are you talking about?’”

A month later, he says, “I’m invited to dinner at John and Judy’s apartment and I see my little vial empty and washed, just sitting on a shelf by the books.” He then says he gave up his habit: “I’m so glad I just put that stuff aside.” [In a 2018 profile in The Washington Post, Chase opened up about his past substance use and how he eventually found sobriety.]

Seconds later comes another serious moment of the conversation as Chase explains what happened when Belushi died from an overdose March 5, 1982.

“That morning, Jayni, my wife, and I were in our house and there was knock on the door and I opened the door and there was, it seemed like 12 news people,” he says. “‘How do you feel about the death of John?’ I didn’t know yet, that John Belushi died. It just shocked me. There I was stuck with these people.… What a horrible thing. And when John Candy died. John Candy was not a drug abuser. Those were two of my best friends who died that I really felt awful about.”

The Chase conversation is now streaming for Club Random With Bill Maher subscribers, and will be available wide this Sunday.

Chevy Chase Claims John Belushi Stole His Cocaine off ‘SNL’ Stage: “I’m So Glad I Just Put that Stuff Aside”

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