Cornelius Crane “Chevy” Chase is a comedian, writer, and actor from the United States. He was born into a prominent family and worked in various jobs before settling into comedy and beginning his career with National Lampoon. In the first season of Saturday Night Live, he was one of the key cast members. But did you know Chevy Chase was able to escape enlisting in the military?
Chevy Chase avoided being drafted by falsely claiming, among other things, that he had homosexual tendencies. Apparently being gay during war times was a concern in joining the military.
How Did Chevy Chase Rise to Fame?
Chevy Chase was expelled from an independent day school in Riverdale before graduating from Stockbridge School. He had already developed a talent for slapstick comedy by arriving at Haverford College. Unfortunately, he was kicked out for keeping a cow in his room.
He began his career as a writer while performing with an underground comedy troupe known as Channel One. He appeared on television as a comedian several times before making comedy his full-time career in 1973.
He didn’t get his big break until 1975 when he was cast as one of the original members of Saturday Night Live. Initially, he was the anchor for the series’ segment Weekend Update.
He was the first member of the original cast to leave SNL in 1976, and Bill Murray replaced him. He did, however, return for a few brief appearances on Saturday Night Live during the second season.
Chase returned in 1997 to host the show on eight occasions, as well as in 1999 for the show’s 25th anniversary and again in 2015 for the show’s 40th-anniversary special. (Source: Money Inc)
What Gives Chevy Chase such a Bad Rap in the Industry?
Chevy Chase used to be able to earn $7 million per film. He was a box office success on the big screen, a comic superstar. Off-screen, he was tearing down bridges and rubbing people the wrong way, alienating co-stars, directors, and producers.
From the outside, the sight of his career nosediving in the 1990s is surprising. However, stories from the TV and film sets where he worked suggest why Hollywood grew tired of Chevy Chase.
Chevy Chase’s roles in films have stood out because of his deadpan wit, ability to disarm with a dry sense of humor, and off-the-cuff sarcasm. He has a unique ability to maintain perfect control over the comic’s set-up.
However, his on-screen popularity in the 1980s came at the expense of his off-screen relationships. He was constantly squandering relationships with his peers and those who could make or destroy his career.
Chevy Chase freely admits to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. For example, when making Three Amigos, he made an ill-conceived, ill-timed attempt at humor by making a bad taste joke about the deaths in director John Landis’ previous film, The Twilight Zone.
Certainly, Chase has a keen understanding of his abilities. Still, it’s an arrogance that, while critical to his breaking into Saturday Night Live and launching his career, got him into trouble. (Source: Top 10 Films)