Chevy Chase Talks Comedy, Sitcom Woes & Regrets Not Doing ‘Ghostbusters’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 10:41 am,

Chevy Chase has had a lot of disparaging words to say lately. Following his feud with Dan Harmon, the creator of Community, Chase hasn’t been able to say many praiseworthy things about the show. In fact, it seems like it’s very difficult to impress him anymore – at least in the comedy realm.

Sadly, the Saturday Night Live veteran and star of National Lampoon’s Vacation and Fletch continues the trend with some choice conversation topics including a negative opinion of sitcoms (in general), his lack of interest in Community, and even touches on a few projects he regrets passing on in his career.

Huffington Post UK (via THR) spoke with Chase, and the most prominent topic is, as expected, Community. After all, it’s the only project he’s currently working on, and more often than not, despite the show’s passionate fanbase, the actor continues to have disparaging things to say about the show. This time was no different as Chase didn’t just complain about the time commitment, he outright insulted the TV sitcom medium:

“The hours are hideous, and it’s still a sitcom on television, which is probably the lowest form of television. That’s my feeling about it. I think the reason I have stuck around is because I love these kids, the cast — they are very good. It’s not like I am working with the great innovators of all time.”

Those are some harsh words for an actor who (arguably) didn’t have much going on before the comedy series came along. It’s one thing to not be a fan of where the series you’re starring in is headed, but it’s another to completely call-out sitcoms as a whole. At least he has respect for the people that he appears on screen with in each episode.

All right, so sitcoms aren’t necessarily Chase’s cup of tea. That’s fine. But what about the realm of stand-up comedy? That arena is something that Chase might be more open to talking about with kinder words. In the interview, Chase was asked about one of the most popular and respected comedians working today: Louis C.K. His response was lukewarm:

“Yes, I’ve seen Louis C.K. I wouldn’t in any way make a degrading remark about Louis C.K., but the question is do I think anyone is funny? And the answer is not too many people. He might fit right in there.”

As many readers know, Chase was a staple on Saturday Night Live decades ago, and is responsible for a number of fan-favorite skits. So the actor has to think some things are funny, right? If he’s not impressed by someone like Louis C.K., then who would Mr. Chase like to work with in the future? That honor goes to comedy veteran Albert Brooks, and Chase would love to do a movie with the Drive star (who will next be seen in This is 40 from Judd Apatow). Chase says:

“I don’t know how or what type of movie or how that would go, but I always enjoy him because I think he’s got a wide perspective on human behavior that a lot of other comedians don’t have, and quite frankly, there aren’t too many comedians who make me laugh.”

chevy chase christmas vacation in tree Chevy Chase Talks Comedy, Sitcom Woes & Regrets Not Doing Ghostbusters

At least Chase has an idea of his future after the seemingly inevitable cancellation of Community, but what about his past? Chase has plenty of projects that he regrets turning down. Though, most of those regrets seem to stem from missing out on big paychecks – not the enjoyment of making a great film:

“I turned down Forrest Gump, I turned down American Gigolo, there are many films — like Ghostbusters — that I turned down … the first one I did was Foul Play with Goldie Hawn, but I turned down Animal House — I turned that down. So all those I regret only because they made huge amounts of money and I would be very wealthy, but I don’t regret working with Goldie, I don’t regret the projects that I did do.”

Given all of the frustrations that he seems to have, a strong case could probably be made for Chase regretting his choice to do Community. Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine the Ghostbusters 3 writers would have been able to please Chase’s high bar for comedy. Then again, if his concern is a paycheck (as he seems to indicate), maybe he’d do the sequel in a heartbeat.

Frankly, hearing some of Chase’s comments is hard. Audiences have a lot of respect for the man who started with such a lucrative comedy career, but he doesn’t seem to really enjoy his place in the business anymore. Hopefully his next project is more akin to his comedic tastes so the actor and his fans can both be happy.

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Source: Huffington Post UK (via THR)

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  1. he sounds bitter..

  2. He sounds crazier then the character he plays on Community at this point….

  3. This guy has never done anything half as funny or as observant on ‘human behavior’ as anything Louis CK has done lately, and Community is the only reason he’s even still remotely relevant so it’s pretty pathetic for him to continually keep kicking a show while it’s down in spite of everyone else who has kept working so hard at keeping it going. If he were half as funny as he thinks he is he’d be writing some of his own material.

    • I have to agree. I grew up lovig Chevy Chase’s movies. Fletch and the Vacation movies. But for him to act as though Louis isn’t funny is just bizarre. I think it has to be an old dog looking at someone currently talented, and in a place he wishes he was still able to be.

      • I agree, how can you not respect the genius of Louis C.K.? I grew up with the old SNL and Chevy Chase movies, and Chase has no room to talk about anyone else.

        It’s not like he’s George Carlin or somebody who was great, I mean he’s just freakin’ Chevy Chase!

    • I’m only gonna comment in what he’s said as of late about Community; although yes, Chevy is sounding like a dick, I do think Piece Hawthorne as a character is degrading fast. In the first season, yes he was racist and awful (in a funny way, though, obviously) but he would always redeem himself with line at the end about the importance of life or family or friends. And in the last few seasons he’s stopped having lines that make us like him again. He starts on a poor note and ends on a worse one. I blame him for being an ass and calling his coworkers the n word, but I don’t blame him for not liking community any more; we shouldn’t focus on him being a dick for not liking the show he’s on, we should focus on him generally being a dick the past few years.

    • I suppose “each to his own” is appropriate, because I rarely find louis ck funny, aside from his very first show.

      • I am a huge fan of Chevy Chase and am saddened that he still isn’t the huge star in others eyes that he is in mine. As for Louis C.k., I watch his show because I like comedians in general and most comedies, however most of his show isn’t really that funny and his stand-up mostly revolves around masterbation which gets old after a while. I don’t see why others think he is a genius. He is just okay with some funny material. He has been given the opportunity to do a show with his own complete vision which turns out to be more of an introspective take on a middle aged comics life but I really don’t see where it is all that ground breaking or even funny.

  4. Boy has Chevy become a miserable old man or what. Sorry 2 hear such bitterness come out of him, but hey a lot of it is his own fault. It would have been interesting if he had been cast in ghostbusters.I guess he would had bill Murray’s part, but I can’t imagine the ghostbusters without Murry.I certainly hope Chevy comes out of his shell soon. I still regard him as one of the most funniest individuals 2 ever appear before the camera.

  5. Everyone gets old, but I agree. Louis C.K is NOT funny. I saw the show and it was horrible. It is hard to find a good comedy today. My Name is Earl was good, I did enjoy The Office for the time being, but I have to say if any good comedy, I do enjoy New Girl. I like the old Bill Cosby stand ups, most affectionately the reruns of Monty’s Python Flying Circus. *sighs* I do miss Rodney Dangerfield.

    • Wow really? I mean bag of d1cks isn’t funny? I think Louis CK is probably one of the funniest stand up comedians of my lifetime (36) and his show is just amazing to me. Other than Arrested Development there is nothing on tv in the last 10 years that is as funny as his show.

      • I agree Akai… and I hate to say it but Chevy Chase is a douche. Actually, no, I don’t hate saying it.

        No, I’m fine with it.

        What a douche.

      • *shakes head*

    • Yeah, Louis CK is not funny but that New Girl is a hoot…. Note the sarcasm.

      • To each their own.

  6. i wonder what would make chevy chase laugh

    • Form his interview it would seem that if he were given alot of money for something he would then laugh all the way to the bank. Otherwise the man seems dead inside. There is no passion left or the drugs burned out his reward center.

  7. i agree he sounds bitter and dead inside…pretty sad actually. i thought community would be a starting point for his late in life comeback, playing funny bit parts as the funny grandfather/ father figure etc… guess not

  8. Wow, I actually like him in Community, but after reading this interview, my opinion of the guy has changed completely.

    Never knew he was a sad and bitter jerk.

    • Chevy chase is an jerk, everyone knows this. That being said I like his character on community.

  9. Can I still pretend that he has Clark W. Griswold’s personality? Because after reading this, the guy who is in my top 5 comedy movies…twice…seems really bitter and nasty.

    *the 2 movies are Fletch and National Lampoons Vacation

  10. He does sound bitter and nasty but everyone goes through burnout stages in some point of their life with what they do. Chevy just sounds like he needs to get away and just reflect on the good things in life and not focus on the neagtives and what if’s which is obviously what he is doing.

  11. I honestly can’t think of a guy as miserable as Chase.
    The crazy thing is he’s been this way for 30yrs now. I recently read the book about SNL and the one constant thing about it throughout is that Chevy’s a jerk and a monster to anyone who he doesn’t think is funny. You’d think he’d be grateful torwards Community because it’s a job and a paycheck but nope he’s still a jerk. And while he’s says he loves the cast I’m sure the feeling isn’t the same. Imagine coming to work every day to hear someone complain non stop and is prone to throw hissy fits? Sounds like fun. ;)

  12. What a miserable old twat.

    • That may be an inaccurate metaphor, or perhaps you are confused as to Chevys sex?

    • perfect description!

  13. I hope he doesn’t mean the title role for Forrest Gump. I think he would have had a bit part and as soon as his screen test happened probably would have been turned down. He says it a bit too cocky for me to believe he could have actually played a main role in that movie.

  14. this guy has always come off to me as a bitter mean hateful person. He hasnt been funny since god was a boy and yet somehow he still works. I think he could play a great bad guy though. someone should hire him to play the heavy.

  15. Chevy Chase is no Bill Murray.
    Honestly, I can’t remember the last time Mr. Chase was relevant.
    Screw him

  16. This article is very biased and selective with comments ppl! If you read and listen to stuff he says in full he is onto something. His kind of like Simon Cowell with comedy. Most people don’t like the truth and hate people that talk themselves down like this at the same time. His honesty makes me still like him. He ain’t a suckup that sticks his head up other comedians arses for work.

  17. Chevy sounds miserable and ungrateful. I know people find Fletch and the National Lampoon stuff funny but I seriously think it was all the supportng characters that made those shows funny. In fact Community is the only thing I have ever seen him in where I actually think he is funny. I think he is full of himself and if I was in teh business I would never want to work with someone who sounds like such a tool.

  18. I completely agree with Chase’s general opinion of TV sitcoms. TV is by far the the worst form of media in the entertainment industry, and sitcoms are the bottom-of-the-barrel of TV. 29 of every 30 sitcoms are nothing but cheap, mindless drivel, constantly spewed forth and written by talentless hacks. The only reason some of them are successful is because they are watched by an equally mindless audience of losers. These people will do anything to escape their empty lives, as long as they don’t have to get off the sofa or engage their brains. Community is an exception. It’s obvious that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the writing and stories. It exhibits quality. No wonder the network executives ultimately canned Dan Harmon. He was too committed to delivering a good quality show with original ideas. Harmon’s work had integrity. In the eyes of network execs. integrity does not hold much potential for profit. And money is all that matters, so let’s fire Harmon, cancel the show and move on to the next crappy sitcom.

  19. What a bitter pathetic sot.The guy was never funny to begin with and never reinvented himself always staying with that same old schtick (worked slightly in Fletch and less than a handful of other movies). As the first to jump ship from SNL he was like the freshman college basketball star that went to the NBA but should have stayed until senior year. As far as his missteps in turning down th mentioned films well that was his ego kicking his own ass. The rumphole deserves exactly what he’s getting which is a trip to nowhere and loss of fame and fortune with life winding down for an overrated women’s hygene bag that was a legend in his own mind.

  20. I’ve been a Chevy Chase observer for pretty much all my life (I’m 44) and have paid attention to his humor, interviews, etc., and these comments don’t really surprise me at all. He’s always said exactly what was on his mind, whether people were going to like it or not. He’s always been kind of a dick, but I’m guessing he’s probably fairly fun to be around if he trusts you. Is he bitter? Sure. He’s made some mistakes with his career and had them pointed out by the media at every turn. That would harden even the best of us and probably give us the inclination to say whatever we felt, but I don’t think these are as bad as some folks have pointed out if you listen to them in Chevy’s voice. If you were having this conversation with him, and he said these things out loud in a conversational tone, they might not come off nearly as bad as this seems when you read it. My two cents…I am not trying to get my nose brown with Chevy at all, even though as I read this back it seems that way. I’d just like to point out that we’ve all said disparaging things about the gift horse from time to time. Probably less than Chevy Chase, but so be it.

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