Chevy Chase can’t change
September 19, 2018 4:35 PM   Subscribe

The 74-year-old comedy star is sober and ready to work. The problem is nobody wants to work with him. [Washington Post]
"Chase can be arrogant, unpredictable and mean. He is a masterful put-down artist. He can be blunt or tone-deaf, depending on what he fesses up to, and he doesn’t always seem to understand the fine line between comic provocation and publicity disaster.

But Chase can also be hilarious, sensitive and surprisingly supportive. Sometimes, he’s all of these things at once."
posted by riruro (118 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wonder if he ever regrets leaving Steely Dan.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:35 PM on September 19, 2018 [37 favorites]


He's famously difficult to work with.
posted by macrael at 4:40 PM on September 19, 2018


Hm, famous asshole famously can't get work? Color me surprised.
posted by Sphinx at 4:41 PM on September 19, 2018 [26 favorites]


Medium talent in winter.
posted by KHAAAN! at 4:45 PM on September 19, 2018 [22 favorites]


"Wait, you mean Gawker called me an asshole?"
posted by JamesBay at 4:49 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Just the other day I heard some describe him as having been cast as Chevy Chase in the show Community
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:52 PM on September 19, 2018 [26 favorites]


I mean, it sounds like he had a horrific childhood which has left deep scars. It's not as simple as an "asshole gonna asshole" situation, and he has probably been struggling with a lot without having learned the proper coping mechanisms.

However, that still doesn't mean that the burden for creating a safe space for him to learn how to process and heal his past should have fallen to his co-workers over the years. Until you learn how to do battle with your demons on your own, you're not going to be someone people want to do much with, and the old challenges will still be there and will drive people away.

There once was time for him to have learned this and sorted himself out. There may still be time. The choice is his.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:54 PM on September 19, 2018 [57 favorites]


It's a sad thing if Chase's personality was shaped by a lousy, abusive childhood, but every time I read a piece about someone like this I think of the line from the judge in Trainspotting: "Heroin addiction may explain your actions, but it does not excuse them." If you've got a decades-long history of assholish behaviour, eventually that's on you.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:56 PM on September 19, 2018 [61 favorites]


There’s always been something vaguely unsettling about his presence. Like the universe went a bit out of focus in ways you can’t directly detect. It’s still odd to me how such an unlikable and unrelatable character ever got repeatedly cast as an alpha lead type, even in comedies.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:01 PM on September 19, 2018 [16 favorites]


at this point I cherish celebrities who are merely assholes

his comedies were some of my favorite movies growing up. I'll go ahead and root for another comeback.
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:03 PM on September 19, 2018 [18 favorites]


Also, try to imagine a similar profile about a woman and/or a POC; it would never exist because they wouldn't be given as many second and third and nineteenth and forty-eighth chances. From the recent Kathleen Turner interview:

The “difficult” thing was pure gender crap. If a man comes on set and says, “Here’s how I see this being done,” people go, “He’s decisive.” If a woman does it, they say, “Oh, fuck. There she goes.”
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:04 PM on September 19, 2018 [157 favorites]


When asked what he thinks of the current show, he doesn’t hold back, delivering a foul-mouthed appraisal that’s as unforgiving as his critics. “First of all, between you and me and a lamppost, jeez, I don’t want to put down Lorne or the cast, but I’ll just say, maybe off the record, I’m amazed that Lorne has gone so low. I had to watch a little of it, and I just couldn’t f------ believe it.”
I wouldn't trade a hundred Chevy Chases for one Kate McKinnon. (The thought of a hundred Chases is pretty horrific, for one thing.) I can empathize with the bad childhood and alcoholism, but the quote that The Card Cheat put up above also applies. The article mentions the Gawker piece, but doesn't link to it; here it is. It makes pretty clear that Community was that "one more chance", and, regardless of whether or not Dan Harmon matches him in dickishness (it's a pretty close race), he didn't just kick Chase to the curb at the first disagreement. And, now, he's got a movie with Richard Dreyfuss coming up. It's hard to feel sorry for an old white dude who's gotten so many breaks.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:08 PM on September 19, 2018 [68 favorites]


Nobody is obligated to work with assholes.
posted by Artw at 5:09 PM on September 19, 2018 [10 favorites]


I am so tired of people repeatedly going to the bat for rich old male arseholes to have the best of the best of the best even when they've spent 74 years spitefully arseholing, show absolutely no sign of remorse or even a hint at a change in behaviour. He's 74. Let's admit that at this point, it's not going to happen and if he never works again it's fine.
posted by everydayanewday at 5:09 PM on September 19, 2018 [32 favorites]


I mean, it sounds like he had a horrific childhood which has left deep scars. It's not as simple as an "asshole gonna asshole" situation, and he has probably been struggling with a lot without having learned the proper coping mechanisms.

He has children that are old enough to be grandparents (they are not but the could be).
posted by srboisvert at 5:11 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]




To be honest, he sounds not unlike Bojack Horseman, less 20-30 years.
posted by fizzix at 5:12 PM on September 19, 2018 [31 favorites]


Was it Colbert who said that no matter how low you get in life, you can take comfort in the fact that he's Chevy Chase and you're not?
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:20 PM on September 19, 2018 [16 favorites]


He's had decades of wildly successful television and movies under his belt, all along the way belittling and abusing greater talents who arrived after him and had the misfortune of working with him, spouting endless sexism and racism at talents with far more ability than him, yet the checks have kept right on coming, and now that he's in his 70s - a time when most rich white men are now retiring - we're to bend a sympathetic ear towards his voice because no one wants to work with him?

Like fuck everything about that. My patience for this guy ran out when the repeatedly racist abuse he hefted upon Donald Glover came to light. Sit down, Chevy, it's over.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:37 PM on September 19, 2018 [99 favorites]


Hm, famous asshole famously can't get work? Color me surprised.

Given the number of assholes who do manage to get work, I'm a little surprised. He must be more than your ordinary asshole.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 5:41 PM on September 19, 2018 [16 favorites]




wonder if he ever regrets leaving Steely Dan.
posted by ZenMasterThis


Well, now that Walter Becker is out of the picture....
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 5:44 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


he was never the same after that catastrophic debut of his talk show - i had to feel sorry for him - he was dying up there and he knew it

nothing could be the same after that
posted by pyramid termite at 5:47 PM on September 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's weird to be old enough to witness both the beginning and end of someone's show business career. I still remember reading my grandmother's copy of New York Magazine with Chevy (and Morris) on the cover right when SNL was starting.
posted by octothorpe at 5:52 PM on September 19, 2018 [13 favorites]


Three Amigos sucked.

There, I said it..
posted by East14thTaco at 5:57 PM on September 19, 2018 [16 favorites]


he was never the same after that catastrophic debut of his talk show

this theory explains Dennis Miller too
posted by thelonius at 5:58 PM on September 19, 2018 [21 favorites]


If this article is meant as a rehabilitation, it... doesn't work.

Even if he was a fabulous human, it seems he thinks he was a peer or a little bit better than Belushi, Murray, and Martin, and he just wasn't.
posted by zompist at 6:00 PM on September 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


Nobody is obligated to work with assholes.

Just guessing here, and not trolling: you do not work in the movie/TV industry. Who you work with is frequently not a choice, if you want work at all.
posted by datawrangler at 6:00 PM on September 19, 2018 [13 favorites]


Terry Sweeney:
Chevy hosted the second show, and we were all so excited because, to us, Chevy was like a god. This was someone returning who'd been one of the original people and was this legendary figure. And we were just excited to work with him. And when he got there, he was a monster. I mean, he insulted everybody. He said to Robert Downey Jr., "Didn't your father used to be a successful director? Whatever happened to him? Boy, he sure died, you know, he sure went to hell." Downey turned ashen. And then Chevy turned to me and he said, "Oh, you're the gay guy, right?" And he goes, "I've got an idea for a sketch for yiou. How about we say you have AIDS and we weigh you every week?" It was out of place. So then he ended up having to apologize and actually coming to my office. He was really furious that he had to apologize to me. He was just beside himself. And it was just awful. He acted horribly to me. He acted horribly to everyone. When he got on the elevator at the end of the night - you know, we all go to the party afterwards - and everybody saw him coming, we hid. We wouldn't be on the elevator with him. We were all hiding. We were plasered against the wall going, "Oh, he's getting on the elevator, he's almost gone. Oh he's gone." No one wanted to be near him. I don't know what he was on or what was happening to him mentally, but he was just crazy.
Jon Lovitz:
When Chevy Chase was hosting, there was a meeting of the writers and staff. So Chevy looks at Terry Sweeney and goes, "You're gay, right?" Terry goes, "Yes, what would you like me to do for you?" Chevy goes, "Well, you can start by licking my balls."
-- from Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live As Told By It's Stars, Writers and Guests by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller

And there's more anecdotes like this from the other times he hosted. Basically, Chase is a big jerk.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:03 PM on September 19, 2018 [51 favorites]


He once nearly ran me over in Greenwich Village while he was running a red light in his Bentley.

He was wearing an ascot and he gave me the finger.

Fuck that guy.
posted by turbowombat at 6:07 PM on September 19, 2018 [96 favorites]


Never mind the TV / movie industry -- there were several times I had to work with assholes if I wanted to keep my job.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:08 PM on September 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


Nobody is obligated to work with assholes.

Sadly, they are, and even get left behind even if they are of superior talent and integrity. I think a lot of communications became corrupted because the scum rose to the top and then defined what was cool and talented, when it was just tricks, stunts, feints, ruses, campaigns, ambushes, and techniques.

My patience for this guy ran out when the repeatedly racist abuse he hefted upon Donald Glover came to light. Sit down, Chevy, it's over.

I unfortunately didn't get the memo about that as I am not always up on all of the global village gossip, but that's enough for me to ignore him. Again, there is some misconception within the jerk community that they are entitled to a career even as they abuse a captive audience of co-workers.

That is how people like this make it in the first place. They throw in enough anxiety, fear, and chaos that they can move ahead as people who go on talent are too busy defending themselves.

Enough. I am a big supporter of the moral, kind-hearted, hard-working, and talented communities and always try to do what I can to support them, and be in that number myself.

Thank you for the link.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:14 PM on September 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


Must never have worked in the colonoscopy industry.

see? that was funnier than chevy chase. it's not hard.
posted by phooky at 6:16 PM on September 19, 2018 [31 favorites]


To be fair, only a small sector of the workforce is largely privileged not to have to work with assholes, and that is the quasi-essential personnel in large corporation services departments that are buffered by process on all sides leaving little room for tolerance of any shred of toxicity. Any public or executive facing role means working with assholes.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:17 PM on September 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


Okay nobody is morally obligated to work with assholes.
posted by Artw at 6:24 PM on September 19, 2018 [23 favorites]


He said to Robert Downey Jr., "Didn't your father used to be a successful director? Whatever happened to him? Boy, he sure died, you know, he sure went to hell." Downey turned ashen.

Just this once I hope that RDJ indulges his inner Tony Stark and uses that Marvel movie money for maximum megarich primadonna pettiness, like for instance buying the entire state of Maryland so its relevant town address is now Chevy Chase, Downeyland.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:43 PM on September 19, 2018 [10 favorites]


Wow, a rich old white dude is getting the Katherine Heigl treatment? Color me shocked. He was good in the 80's but now it's very public knowledge that he behaves like a turd.

Time to create his own projects if nobody wants to hire/work with him because they know they'll get screamed at.

Don't get me started on the having to work with assholes thing.

It really takes a lot for even Hollywood to shun a guy for being an asshole and it's not even MeToo yet for him.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:52 PM on September 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


He once nearly ran me over in Greenwich Village while he was running a red light in his Bentley.

He was wearing an ascot and he gave me the finger.


Sounds like another case of Chevy Chase having been cast as Chevy Chase.
posted by bunbury at 6:56 PM on September 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh no my reboot of Modern Problems will never get off the ground now, on to rewriting Zapped, surely Scott Baio has no issues
posted by benzenedream at 6:58 PM on September 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


He once nearly ran me over in Greenwich Village while he was running a red light in his Bentley.

Don't worry, once he gets that Bentley out of the city he'll likely get pulled over, after which he's in for...
(•_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■)
...nothing but trouble.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:01 PM on September 19, 2018 [10 favorites]


And that movie saw 2Pac’s big debut! Chase really was a reality distortion field.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:06 PM on September 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Chevy Chase has long been able to afford trying to get therapy to not be an asshole. He likes being an asshole. He has, until recently, suffered few consequences for it. I'm sorry he had a horrible childhood, but it doesn't give him the right to be a horrible adult.
posted by jeather at 7:21 PM on September 19, 2018 [15 favorites]


He never did anything that wouldn’t easily have been much better with a different actor.
posted by snofoam at 7:24 PM on September 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


I hope, if he doesn't get things sorted, that he doesn't hurt anybody. I know he owes a lot of apologies.
posted by lauranesson at 7:24 PM on September 19, 2018


$20 says Chevy Chase gets casted in some huge dramatic role that revitalizes his career.
posted by gucci mane at 7:28 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think that was Community, gucci mane
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:29 PM on September 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


he was never the same after that catastrophic debut of his talk show

this theory explains Dennis Miller too


Okay, but then how do you explain Victoria Jackson?
posted by Naberius at 7:30 PM on September 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Boo fucking hoo. Stay retired and use your cred stay nice things about the up-and-comers you favor who haven't poisoned the well. Or produce (which is doing the same thing but with money).

This is the (admittedly) weak version of not rehabilitating abusers out of nostalgia and attachment to their portfolio.

He's a bully and we can manage without Clark Griswold.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:33 PM on September 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


The funniest and saddest Chevy Chase story I know, I heard many years ago.

His half-sister is an important literature professor with a theoretical bent, married to an even more important literature professor with a theoretical bent. They have been the deconstructionist power couple at Cornell for decades.

Back in the 90s, they went out of town and asked one of their graduate students to housesit. She reported that in their beautiful living room, with floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with commentaries on Heidegger and Romantic poetry, there was in a corner a small unit that held the TV and VCR. Under it, almost hidden, was a shelf containing a row of VHS cassettes: all of Chevy's movies, every one still sealed in its untouched wrapper.
posted by neroli at 7:40 PM on September 19, 2018 [106 favorites]


A mediocrity that was endlessly rewarded in a field that would rather a mediocre white man flourish than anybody really talented who is not a white man get a chance.

I’m all for letting them all fade away and let someone else get a place at bat.
posted by maxsparber at 7:41 PM on September 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


I dunno, I think if Chase wanted to work, he could work. Very few comedians get to sit back and wait for pitches to come in. He doesn't even have a podcast.
posted by muddgirl at 7:44 PM on September 19, 2018 [12 favorites]


Three Amigos sucked.


I hate that movie for how it sucks down both Martin Short and Steve Martin. I only laughed once: at the mail plane joke; more because it was horribly bad and everyone knew it from the audience to the actors.

Anyways, I never found Chevy funny. He always seemed like an asshole who was upset that other people were on the stage with him. Too bad he had a rough childhood, but I know other people who had rough childhoods who didn't grow up into assholes, so...
posted by nubs at 7:45 PM on September 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


$20 says Chevy Chase gets casted in some huge dramatic role that revitalizes his career.

I'll take that bet. He might get work again, but he's never going to get anything like that.

He was legitimately great in Caddyshack and Foul Play.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 7:48 PM on September 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Like his one example of rejection is that Lorne Michael didn't want to discuss hosting SNL at Chase's daughter's wedding.
posted by muddgirl at 8:04 PM on September 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Under it, almost hidden, was a shelf containing a row of VHS cassettes: all of Chevy's movies, every one still sealed in its untouched wrapper.

For sale: Chevy Chase VHS collection, never watched.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:06 PM on September 19, 2018 [29 favorites]


I mean, it's worth noting that no one has anything bad to say about Steve Martin and he's only gotten more prolific as the years have passed.

(If anyone has anything bad to say about Steve Martin, please let me live in innocence a little longer.)
posted by nonasuch at 8:10 PM on September 19, 2018 [27 favorites]


I'll take that bet. He might get work again, but he's never going to get anything like that.

I’m not so confident. Community may have been a career-reinvention attempt, but I’m thinking more along the lines of something like The Meyerowitz Stories, which weren’t exactly for Dustin Hoffman, but that genre. Or Manchester by the Sea.
posted by gucci mane at 8:15 PM on September 19, 2018


Isn't he making enough on royalties from previous work? Yeah, he's a second-tier comedian jerk-ass, but he doesn't even *need* to work. He's 74, he should be drawing social security, royalties, and living off his savings from his prior success.

Make way for new blood, you miserable asshole. Old folks don't have to disappear just because they're old, but they're not entitled to the spotlight just because they once had it, either.
posted by explosion at 8:33 PM on September 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


His half-brother makes furniture and art.
posted by 41swans at 8:36 PM on September 19, 2018


This is kind of an interesting article, though the tone is kinda weird, because the article seems to be all "PITY POOR CHEVY CHASE" when it's all marathon of anecdotes about what a dickbag he is, and I can't quite figure out if the writer knew that was what he was writing, or if he was "I WILL FINALLY SHOW THE WORLD THAT CHEVY CHASE IS NOT A JERK"
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:00 PM on September 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


He doesn't even have a podcast.

Hell, even freaking Lance Armstrong has a podcast these days! Marc Maron says you can do it out of your garage!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:07 PM on September 19, 2018


Chevy Chase dubs SNL "the worst fucking humor" watched by "a whole generation of shitheads"

Well, you can’t say he doesn’t have a brand.
posted by Artw at 9:36 PM on September 19, 2018


metafilter: blah blah blah rich old white man.
posted by Bwentman at 9:49 PM on September 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


The stupid thing is the guy has boatloads of comedic talent, physicality and charisma that could have taken him to great heights - like he could have been an all-time great comedic actor, you see brief glimpses of it occasionally - but since he never saw the need to like... work with people well and grow together and improve, whelp. Play shitty games, win shitty prizes, I guess. The effects on everyone who had to deal with him are more important than any what if scenario that didn't happen, and y'know, guy's not going hungry any time soon and had opportunities that many more talented people were denied, so a big whatever to him having to sleep in the bed he made, but it's interesting to see how an ego can stifle and destroy the very thing that feeds it.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:56 PM on September 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


@Bwentman: You certainly don't include "sort of" off the record quotes (and mock the guy for giving them) if you're trying to do a subject any favors. I think the tonal clash is simply the writer did a piece where he felt pity for a guy he also thinks was a complete dickbag.
posted by mark k at 10:23 PM on September 19, 2018


Nobody is obligated to work with assholes.
posted by Artw at 5:09 PM on September 19 [6 favorites +] [!]


In fairness, many people are, I think. I mean, I have had a job. There were coworkers. They have worked with me. I can't really come up any other explanation than coercion.
posted by mwhybark at 10:40 PM on September 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think the tonal clash is simply the writer did a piece where he felt pity for a guy he also thinks was a complete dickbag.

IMHO a good writer just tries to capture complex realities, and Chase seems as complex as any. His musical talent was a surprise to me, and it's an interesting point about how rare it is to have a comedian who is actually good looking. Maria Bamford and John Mulaney are two examples who come to mind.
posted by msalt at 10:57 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


In fairness, many people are, I think. I mean, I have had a job. There were coworkers. They have worked with me. I can't really come up any other explanation than coercion

Maybe they’re not very moral?
posted by Artw at 10:59 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Goddammit, Artw, why did you have to say that? Now I have to mostly agree with Cornelius about something. SNL is largely shit and has never been consistently funny. Its great moments are the exception that proves the rule.

That's not to say I don't respect the hard work many talented people put into it, mind. That I think it's mostly shit isn't particularly meaningful in terms of how others perceive it, after all.
posted by wierdo at 11:10 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


mwhybark, differing understanding of what constitutes coercion and different work experience may result in differing opinions on how obligated a person is to work with assholes.

Some people are lucky enough to be able to tell assholes to take a long walk off a short pier. Others have little to no choice in whom they interact with at work. Some people think that if you have the choice to get another job you aren't being required to deal with assholes/can't be coerced since your presence is ultimately voluntary. (We've all heard that one before, I'm sure)
posted by wierdo at 12:00 AM on September 20, 2018


> Three Amigos sucked.

I hate that movie for how it sucks down both Martin Short and Steve Martin. I only laughed once: at the mail plane joke; more because it was horribly bad and everyone knew it from the audience to the actors.
The singing bush / invisible swordsman bit though is pure comedy gold …
posted by Pinback at 12:30 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


how rare it is to have a comedian who is actually good looking

Rare for male comedians, maybe. Most successful and popular female entertainers of the past 20-30 years, including comedians, are at least pleasantly symmetrical, if not downright conventionally attractive. Especially on film, there's a bare minimum prettiness level a woman needs to achieve lest a potential audience be turned to stone in horror at the sight of her.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:46 AM on September 20, 2018 [22 favorites]


I have a pitch for Chevy.

We'll call it Snowflake Island.
Get a bunch of these mediocre, bigoted white men in the twilight of their career and put them on a remote Island.

Well, that's it basically.
posted by fullerine at 1:01 AM on September 20, 2018 [27 favorites]


So just recently, I watched the Law & Order episode where he was playing a Mel Gibson character.

However, it felt like it was less about Mel and more about Chevy. And that he wasn't acting at all.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:01 AM on September 20, 2018


The bit about Chase being unusually handsome seems odd to me. Are male comedians so bad looking? Many of them kept working well into middle age, which doesn't improve most of us. Plus, being a little goofy-looking onstage is part of the act. As just one example, if you think of Stan Laurel you probably picture him with a strained grin or a face distorted with fear.

Here is he out of character.

Not too shabby, surely?
posted by zompist at 1:38 AM on September 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


Thanks to the thread, I've realized that Steve Martin and Chevy Chase are different people. Now the challenge will be remembering which one's the asshole when making film-viewing decisions.
posted by eotvos at 1:56 AM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


see? that was funnier than chevy chase. it's not hard.

That's what she said

(hey you're right!)
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:19 AM on September 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


Thanks to the thread, I've realized that Steve Martin and Chevy Chase are different people. Now the challenge will be remembering which one's the asshole when making film-viewing decisions.

Steve Martin starred in The Jerk. Chevy Chase IS a jerk.
posted by Pendragon at 2:53 AM on September 20, 2018 [23 favorites]


Nobody is obligated to work with assholes.

We all have to work with at least one.
posted by chavenet at 3:18 AM on September 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


From the New Yorker profile of Donald Glover: "Chevy Chase, one of Glover’s co-stars, often tried to disrupt his scenes and made racial cracks between takes. (“People think you’re funnier because you’re black.”) Harmon said, “Chevy was the first to realize how immensely gifted Donald was, and the way he expressed his jealousy was to try to throw Donald off. I remember apologizing to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy’s non-P.C. verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don’t even worry about it.’ ” Glover told me, “I just saw Chevy as fighting time—a true artist has to be O.K. with his reign being over. I can’t help him if he’s thrashing in the water. But I know there’s a human in there somewhere—he’s almost too human.”"
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:36 AM on September 20, 2018 [48 favorites]


Paul Simon fell out with Chevy Chase because of his steadfast refusal to call him “Al”.
posted by dr_dank at 4:45 AM on September 20, 2018 [10 favorites]


Donald Glover would make an excellent Fletch.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 5:42 AM on September 20, 2018 [10 favorites]


Honestly, we don't need Chevy when we have Joel McHale (he is soooo sooo good in that)
posted by armacy at 5:45 AM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


At this point, I think even Generalissimo Francisco Franco wouldn't be caught dead with him.

Good night, 21st century Uncle Miltie.
posted by zaixfeep at 5:56 AM on September 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


Glover told me, “I just saw Chevy as fighting time—a true artist has to be O.K. with his reign being over. I can’t help him if he’s thrashing in the water. But I know there’s a human in there somewhere—he’s almost too human.”

That was one of my favorite bits I have read in an article in quite some time, and is a model of saying something critical with kindness.

I'm definitely ok with having a person's level of assholeness being a disqualifier for further success, and just wish that it was applied more broadly.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:18 AM on September 20, 2018 [12 favorites]


His half-sister is an important literature professor with a theoretical bent, married to an even more important literature professor with a theoretical bent. They have been the deconstructionist power couple at Cornell for decades.

*blinks* I would not have immediately made this family connection to that particular professor. Huh.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:38 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


> Three Amigos sucked.

"A plethora of pinatas." El Guapo. El Guapo are you just feeling down because it's your 40th birthday? "Sew like the wind!" "Tequilla? It's like beer."

Three Amigos was funny. I don't think any of those lines involve Chevy Chase.

Also Steve Martin is currently the singer in a bluegrass band called The Stone Canyon Rangers. He has amazing talents.

And I love the Fletch movies, but if Chevy never works again, it's fine with me.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:21 AM on September 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


I thought Chase was actually used well in Three Amigos because his character was clueless, selfish, and presumed to be an alpha dog even after repeated humiliation. And it had tons of great lines and setup.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:29 AM on September 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


What’s funny about Chevy Chase is usually these reputation rehab efforts have at least something positive about them or they find someone to say what a great person he really is. Heck they found a bunch of women to sign a letter saying Brett Kavanaugh was a great guy in high school. So it’s funny to me that basically everyone agrees Chevy chase is a dick.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:13 AM on September 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


Here we are again with this framing that men are owed careers and umpteenth chances but the people they harmed or made spaces unfriendly to are not. How many other Donald-Glover-level talents are we missing out on because they were run off by Chase's behavior (or got pushed out by execs wanting to keep Chase happy or worth the investment).

If Chase is indigent at 74, that sucks and I hope someone helps him out. Maybe he can get a job at Home Depot or playing piano on a cruise ship or something. It doesn't need to be a job on television or in movies, he ran out the clock on those options already.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:01 AM on September 20, 2018 [12 favorites]


As a naive production assistant in the early 90s, I was thrilled when he was cast in a feature I was working on. I remember saying to someone else, "OMG, Chevy Chase!!" and the look I got back -- the kind of "Ooh, just wait and see" that was thoroughly, thoroughly backed up by what an utter dick he was, day in and day out, for the few weeks I worked with him. Shitty on set, shitty off set, just awful all the time, on a movie where he was surrounded by Academy Award winners and seasoned character actors, and small-role no-name actors, every single one of whom was professional to deal with. What a asshole.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:22 AM on September 20, 2018 [22 favorites]


he was never the same after that catastrophic debut of his talk show

The only thing I remember about his talk show was that before it debuted, advertisements for it were EVERYWHERE. You couldn't drive down a street without seeing a billboard for it. Commercials constantly on TV and in the newspaper, it drove me crazy. I guess they were really, really hoping for it, or something.

Alas, Chevy is neither the first nor last dickhead in show business (see: Milton Berle, etc.).

(If anyone has anything bad to say about Steve Martin, please let me live in innocence a little longer.)

My father met him once, and said that he seemed shy in person, common for entertainers who always have to be "on." But the SNL writers twice nailed him for phoning it in: once in the Five-Timers Club, and again in the classic "Not Gonna Phone It In Tonight," one of my all-time favorite SNL bits.
posted by Melismata at 9:23 AM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


There's a bare minimum prettiness level a woman needs to achieve lest a potential audience be turned to stone in horror at the sight of her.

To take an example from the world of SNL, Rachel Dratch was originally cast as Jenna Muroney in 30 Rock and was replaced by Jane Krakowski for allegedly being too ugly.
posted by zeusianfog at 9:30 AM on September 20, 2018


The info below is from Wikipedia. Based on this, Chase comes from a family of money and talent. He grew up in a world of privilege. While he may not have inherited money, he apparently inherited an over developed sense of personal entitlement.

(The Crane Company mentioned below has a wide portfolio and owes hundreds of millions in asbestos claims.)

"Cornelius Crane Chase was born on October 8, 1943 in Lower Manhattan, New York, and grew up in Woodstock, New York. His father, Edward Tinsley "Ned" Chase, was a prominent Manhattan book editor and magazine writer. His mother, Cathalene Parker (née Browning), was a concert pianist and librettist whose own father Admiral Miles Browning served as Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance's Chief of Staff on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) at the Battle of Midway in World War II. Cathalene was adopted as a child by her stepfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane, heir to The Crane Company, and took the name Cathalene Crane. Chase's paternal grandfather was artist and illustrator Edward Leigh Chase, and his great-uncle was painter and teacher Frank Swift Chase. His maternal grandmother, Cathalene, was an opera singer who performed several times at Carnegie Hall.

Chase was named for his adoptive grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane, while the nickname "Chevy" was bestowed by his grandmother, derived from the medieval English Ballad of Chevy Chase. As a descendant of the Scottish Clan Douglas, the name seemed appropriate to her. He is a 14th-generation New Yorker, and was listed in the Social Register at an early age.

As a child, Chase vacationed at Castle Hill, the Cranes' summer estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Chase's parents divorced when he was four; his father remarried into the Folgers coffee family, and his mother remarried twice. He has stated that he grew up in an upper middle class environment and that his adoptive maternal grandfather did not bequeath any assets to Chase's mother when he died."
posted by narancia at 9:41 AM on September 20, 2018


I'll take that bet. He might get work again, but he's never going to get anything like that.

Now I'm not so sure. Looking at his filmography, he's actually worked fairly steadily and one of his most recent roles was in a dramatic movie with Burt Reynolds. The movie didn't appear to be very good and I have no idea how big his part was, but I suppose such a thing is possible.

I'm skeptical that he has the dramatic chops to pull something like that off, however.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:43 AM on September 20, 2018


(also my favorite Chevy story is how when they wanted to do a comedy central roast of him, they couldn't get any of his famous friends to be on... because he had none. So they had to get a bunch of young comedians who didn't actually know him.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:08 AM on September 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


I mean, aside from the fact that he's a legendary jerk, maybe people just don't want to watch early-80s-style screwball comedy any more. That stuff was bad (and very often casually sexist, racist, or just plain dumb).
posted by escape from the potato planet at 11:55 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Chevy had a bit part in that Burt Reynolds movie. He was mainly used as a framing device to set up the narrative. (Burt received an invitation to a film festival retrospective of his work and talks to his buddy Chevy about it. Chevy convinces him to attend the event.)
posted by sardonyx at 11:58 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


One addendum to my previous comment, that I'm posting for purely selfish reasons, as a journalist:
Sometimes, Chase will check himself. You’re not going to print that? he’ll say, but then he’ll deliver a distinctively Chasian laugh, a slightly throatier version of Clark Griswold’s cackle, and wave his hand in the air. Oh, it doesn’t matter. You’re just going to write what you want.
Holy crap do I loathe it when interview subjects do this. I'm sitting here talking to you with the dictaphone recording and a pad and pen in my hands. You know this is all on the record, and these are your words. And you're going to make some snide remark about "oh you're going to print what you want"? Hey here's an idea: if you don't want an article about you to include shitty things you say, don't say shitty things!

It's not like he's sharing state secrets that could endanger lives or something. He's talking garbage about people who've been unlucky enough to work with him. And he's not some Soundcloud indie artist who's never sat for an interview before; he's been doing this long enough to know better. Yet he still turns the blame for his own words being recorded, with his full knowledge and consent, on the reporter. What an unrepentant shitbishop.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:01 PM on September 20, 2018 [29 favorites]


He never did anything that wouldn’t easily have been much better with a different actor.

After re-watching DS9 and Buffy recently, I found myself wishing that Community had cast Armin Shimerman as Pierce. He’s capable of playing a nasty, sexist bully with occasional flashes of humanity, and he doesn’t have decades-old history of being a toxic asshole to his coworkers.

Also, thank you metafilter for these comments. I read the article yesterday and was baffled at the assumption that Chase deserves to have his career continue, despite decades of shitty behavior on the job. Glad I’m not alone in the WTF reaction.
posted by creepygirl at 12:16 PM on September 20, 2018 [18 favorites]


I just remembered reading almost exactly this same story about him a decade ago or thereabouts. It seems like every so often they trot out the "Chevy is reformed" story to try and get him some new roles and then he submarines them by acting like a penis the moment he gets cast.
posted by maxsparber at 1:26 PM on September 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


"As a child, Chase vacationed at Castle Hill, the Cranes' summer estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts."

Holy crap. That place is at Crane Beach. It's one step short of a Newport mansion. Maybe.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:01 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Hey, since we're in agreement that Chase is a dillhole and also since Rachel Dratch got mentioned above please allow me to suggest her Late Night Snack TV show. I've only caught the first season so far but enjoyed it.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:11 PM on September 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


After re-watching DS9 and Buffy recently, I found myself wishing that Community had cast Armin Shimerman as Pierce

Ha. Kiddo has been watching Buffy lately and I only just made that connection.
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


What an unrepentant shitbishop.
"Shitbishop?" I'm stealing that.
Chevy had a bit part in that Burt Reynolds movie.
I'm very curious about that film (The Last Movie Star, dir. Adam Rifkin), but also cautious, because I just saw Brett Haley's 2017 film The Hero, with Sam Elliot, and holy cow the setup for the Reynolds film seems SUPER similar. I don't think one copied the other -- WP makes it look like they were probably in production around the same time -- but it's weird they're so close.

Haley's film is really all about character. Elliot's character ("Lee Hayden") is a typecast western character actor making a living mostly with voiceovers who is frustrated that his best work is year and years behind him. The setup is his nomination for some lifetime achievement award by a western-film aficionado group.

Because it is MeFi, I'll digress further and note that:
  • In The Hero, Haley cast Elliot's actual wife of 34 years, Katherine Ross, as Hayden's ex-wife.
  • Haley's followup film, Hearts Beat Loud starring Nick Offerman (who had a small role in The Hero and newcomer Kiersey Clemons, is also delightful.
posted by uberchet at 4:06 PM on September 20, 2018


Nobody is obligated to work with assholes.

Unfortunately there are assholes all over the damn place
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:44 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


See clarification above.
posted by Artw at 4:49 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Having seen the Burt Reynolds film, here's what I can say about it that isn't full of spoilers:

In his film Burt, who is pretty much a retired recluse. gets conned into attending what he believes is a prestigious film festival, when, in fact, it's a small, start-up fringe festival with no money and minimal organization. He is initially insulted by the whole situation, so he blows off the festival and takes the opportunity to go back and revisit his past (as the festival is in his hometown area). Burt is given a babysitter/driver in the form of Ariel Winters (from Modern Family) who accompanies him on his journey. Winters isn't interested in film, has no real idea of who Burt is, and has lots and lots of her own issues, as does Burt.

One interesting aspect is that they use actual clips of Burt Reynolds movies to stand in for the films that Burt's character supposedly made throughout his career.

I can't say it's a genius film, or even a good one, but it was interesting to watch. I managed to see it before Burt's death, but I can imagine watching it now, it would have a very different effect.
posted by sardonyx at 6:33 PM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


What an unrepentant shitbishop.

Shitbishop!? Randy, that man is a shitcardinal. Riding on an ass to Rome so he can be the shitpope. But that's not going to happen. He will never be shitpope as long as I run this trailer park.

* RIP John Dunsworth who by all accounts was only an asshole onscreen

I may have had too much to drink but I am not drunk. You shitbishop.
posted by iamnotangry at 9:35 PM on September 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


Watch Shopgirl and you'll be done with Steve Martin.
posted by yonega at 9:44 PM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


Shitty on set, shitty off set, just awful all the time, on a movie where he was surrounded by Academy Award winners and seasoned character actors, and small-role no-name actors, every single one of whom was professional to deal with. What a asshole.

For some reason I got obsessed with what movie this could be and I deduced (thanks to IMDB) that it must be Hero. Got to be!
posted by zardoz at 1:05 AM on September 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


benzenedream: "Oh no my reboot of Modern Problems will never get off the ground now, on to rewriting Zapped, surely Scott Baio has no issues"

I just read the plot summary of Modern Problems, and that's the most fucked up movie I've ever heard of.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:32 PM on September 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


Modern Problems is very well known to people of a certain age who saw it a billion times because HBO mercilessly replayed it when they were eight years old and it seared into their brains. Ahem.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:52 PM on September 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


Between that and Under the Rainbow, I'm starting to get the vibe that Chase may not always have made good choices in roles.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:11 PM on September 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


His half-sister is an important literature professor with a theoretical bent, married to an even more important literature professor with a theoretical bent. They have been the deconstructionist power couple at Cornell for decades.

She was Princeton’s first female valedictorian. So at least someone in the family has made something of themselves.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:12 PM on September 21, 2018


Cynthia Chase and her son both have the same chin dimple as Chevy, which is about the one thing that you might want to have in common with him, I guess.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:59 PM on September 22, 2018


Female actors stop getting work when they age beyond ingenue; there are roles for only a few talented women. I'm not feeling much of his pain.
posted by theora55 at 8:01 PM on September 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


The pull quote sounds similar to the "I've been sober for three weeks! Why doesn't my wife accept that I am a completely new and different person?" stuff that one sometimes hears.
posted by thelonius at 5:18 AM on September 24, 2018 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: see? that was funnier than chevy chase.
posted by hanov3r at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


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