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What the Hell Happened to Chevy Chase?

Chevy Chase 2013

Chevy Chase

In the late seventies and early eighties, Chevy Chase was the height of cool.  He was the original break-out star of Saturday Night Live which was the hip show to watch and not an institution like it is today.  When he went into movies, Chase was hailed as the next Cary Grant.  But despite appearing in a few durable comedies, Chase has failed to live up to the promise he showed early in his career.  These days, he is known for his tirades more than his comedy.

What the hell happened?

Chase got his start as a writer.  He was part of a comedy ensemble called, Channel One and wrote for the Smothers Brothers TV show in the early 70s. In 1973, he became a cast member on The National Lampoon Radio Hour which also featured John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray.  Chase also worked with Belushi in the Off Broadway revue, Lemmings, which was a send-up of musical counter-culture.

In 1974, Chase appeared in the sketch comedy film, The Groove TubeThe Groove Tube was written and directed by Ken Shapiro who was co-founder of Channel One.

The Groove Tube was made on a meager $200,000 budget which made it highly profitable.

chase - snl

Chevy Chase – Saturday Night Live – 1975-1976

Chase was discovered by Lorne Michaels one day while standing in line to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Chase was cutting up.  Michaels took notice and ended up hiring Chase as a writer – not a performer – for his new show, Saturday Night.

Chase convinced Michaels to allow him to appear on the show.  He did the opening segment in which he would take a prat fall before announcing “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night”.

Chase was also the first host of Weekend Update, a role which allowed him to say his name on television every week.  Chase started the segment by saying, “I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not.”  It became a popular catch phrase while subtly pointing out that Chase was probably cooler than you.

Chevy Chase - Saturday Night Live - 1975-1976

Chevy Chase – Saturday Night Live – 1975-1976

The original cast of Saturday Night Live included comedy legends like Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner.  But Chase quickly ascended as the break-out star.  Many in the cast (especially Belushi who was not used to being upstaged) resented Chase’s sudden stardom.  It didn’t help that Chase was a coked-up jerk with a gigantic ego.  He was known for being a “put-down artist”, ordering everyone around  and bragging about his rising fame.

“He likes to focus attention on himself,” said Dan Aykroyd, one of the few SNL cast members who remained friends with Chase over the years.

It was a friendship that was able to survive all the focus on him that first year as a huge star.  I’m pretty easy to get along with.  I’m from Canada.  We know how to bend backwards and forwards towards Americans.

Laraine Newman described meeting Chase:

My first impression of Chevy was that he was really good-looking, but kind of mean.  He teased in the way that a big brother would, [aiming for] exactly what would hurt your feelings the most. I say this as someone who loves him. And loves him a lot.

In 1975, Chase was so popular that there was talk of renaming Saturday Night Live the Chevy Chase ShowNew York magazine ran a cover story hailing Chase as “the funniest man in America”.  And an NBC exec referred to him as “the first real potential successor to Johnny Carson.”  There were rumors Chase would guest host for Carson on the Tonight Show.

Chase dismissed talk of taking over the Tonight Show saying “I’d never be tied down for five years interviewing TV personalities.”  Ironic considering Chase would eventually host a late night talk show of his own.  Carson responded to Chase’s claims by saying he “couldn’t ad-lib a fart after a baked-bean dinner.”

chase - snl 2

Chevy Chase – Saturday Night Live – 1975-1976

Chase’s contract as a writer for SNL was only for one year.  After the first season, Chase decided not to return to Saturday Night Live.  He fired his manager, Bernie Brillstein, who also represented Lorne Michaels and signed with the powerful William Morris agency.  Michaels, who had been close with Chase, felt betrayed by the way Chase left the show without notice.

According to Chase, the show never recovered from his departure:

I felt that once I left it wasn’t as good. We had done what we had come to do that first year, which was to parody television and to satirize political events. And once you ran out of that either A) because you did all the jokes, or the novelty had ceased to exist, or B) because others were now doing what you had started off doing and were winning Emmys for, or C) because everybody won Emmys and they were all full of themselves and they were starting to write “in” jokes, then the show was not going to be as good and therefore was just going to go downhill. And it seemed to me that after I left that happened.

These days, Chase claims that he left Saturday Night Live for love.  He was dating model Jacqueline Carlin at the time.  According to Chase, she demanded that he move out to Hollywood if he wanted to continue seeing her.  But staff writer Tom Davis claims that at the time, Chase told him he was leaving the show for “money – lots of money”.

Chase moved out west and immediately married Carlin.  The couple divorced after 17 turbulent months.  Carlin filed for divorce citing threats of violence.  Meanwhile, Chase was appearing in his own prime time specials on NBC.

During Saturday Night Live’s second season, Chase returned as a host.  When he did, he insisted on taking the Weekend Update segment back from Jane Curtin who had been hosting the bit since he left the show.  Chase claimed this upset Curtin, but she insisted that “Chevy was expecting a reaction he wasn’t getting from me.”

Chase’s return did get a reaction from Bill Murray who had replaced Chase on the cast in the show’s second season.  Belushi, served as an instigator telling Murray that Chase was looking to get his old job back.  Murray confronted Chase and a fight ensued moments before the show was about to start.  Laraine Newman recalled:

“I don’t know if Chevy provoked it or not.  But it culminated with Billy saying to Chevy, ‘Why don’t you fuck your wife once in a while? She needs it.’ And I don’t even remember who threw the first punch, Billy or Chevy. But it was ugly.”

According to Chase, John Belushi instigated the brawl:

It was Belushi that started it, I found out later, by bad-mouthing me to Murray. But he got his, because while we were swinging at each other, he was in the middle and was the only one who got hit! I would have won the fight. Absolutely. I’m taller. I have a longer reach. And I had to fight a lot when I was a kid.

Next: Foul Play and Caddyshack

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Posted on April 16, 2013, in Movies, Saturday Night Live, TV, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 302 Comments.

  1. After literally months of anticipation, all I can say is WOW and THANK YOU! This was really well done Lebeau. I’m among the Chevy Chase enduring fan base and will always be grateful for all the laughs over the years. With Chase’s reputation my fear was that you would make him sound like an even bigger jerk. But as always you were both fair to the subject, and entertaining at the same time. He’s always kind of had a reputation for difficulty, hasn’t he? I seem to remember his attempt at being Johnny Carson was pretty much expected to fail. On the other hand, my memory was faulty because I thought Funny Farm was a much bigger hit than it actually was, box office. He did have quite a few decent comedies he starred in, all of which seem to live on forever in the DVD world, although he doesn’t seem to have any box office future now unless he adapts a little better to the inevitability of aging and maybe stop burning bridges. Then he could get funny old man/Griswold type of roles.

    You do owe it to yourself to see Vegas Vacation! I’ve easily watched it 50 times.

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. The fact that you’re a fan makes it that much better. I half expect Chase to show up in the comments section to tell me off.

      In my youth, I was a die hard fan. I used to run home from school because in the afternoon, a local channel played the Best of Saturday Night Live. All of the original cast members became comic heroes of mine. As the break-out star, Chase stood out. I thought everything he did was funny.

      Later, I started reading about SNL behind-the-scenes history. I was shocked to read about the Chase/Murray fight. I started to realize that Chase wasn’t always a great guy to hang out with. But I didn’t care. I still thought he was funny.

      That changed with The Chevy Chase Show. I remember tuning in expecting to be entertained. I was excited for it. I could not believe my eyes when Chase lamely chatted up Goldie Hawn and demanded that his studio audience got up and danced. What a train wreck! I tuned in for weeks hoping it would get better. But it so did not! Instead, Chase stopped trying. If anything, it got worse towards the end.

      Still, I hoped for a comeback. Then I remember reading an article about what a jerk Chase was and how many in Hollywood were actively rooting against him. He was a childhood hero. I was still rooting for him. And I was glad to see him get another shot at TV. I watched him on Chuck. I checked out Community, but couldn’t really get into it.

      I will be interested to see what the future holds for Chase. Presumably, he will be in the next Vacation movie. But I don’t expect his part will be large. After that, I would wager he’ll go back to TV guest spots and movie cameos.

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      • Breaking News: Chevy Chase is still a d**k:
        http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=11462113#page:showThread,11462113

        By all accounts Chevy Chase is a major ass, however I never understood why Harmon had him on the show at all. His character is pretty one dimensional and Chevy was under utilized. Chevy can be really funny despite making a string of shi**y films, but he wasn’t given anything funny to do on Community. I also don’t understand why he’s stuck it out this long if he hates the role. Jeff Winger is based on the kind of character Chevy used to play and that’s all he’s good at playing. Making him the grumpy old man of the group is just casting Chevy as himself. And no one likes Chevy so why bother.

        by: Anonymous reply 19 04/01/2012 @ 08:58AM

        The ultimate irony about Chevy Chase and his irrelevance is that commercial several months ago where a couple tell all their friends about going on vacation and meeting Chevy Chase and then go on and on about something totally unrelated to him.

        The joke is supposed to be that they met Chase but are all excited about the credit card (or whatever product it is) they used.

        But I always thought it perfect, because who would give a sh** about meeting some has-been blowhard privileged cunt like him.

        by: Anonymous reply 20 04/01/2012 @ 09:05AM

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    • The decline of Chevy Chase’s film career is probably the most obvious of anybody who has been profiled in the “What the Hell Happened to…” series thus far. When you act like an a-hole/female dog towards your associates for most of your career, it’s ultimately going to come back and haunt you when you’re career starts to tail off. It’s just like why hardly anybody wants to put Val Kilmer, Mike Myers, or Debra Winger in headlining roles in mainstream movies anymore.

      He’s Not Chevy, He’s an A**hole: A History of Chevy Chase’s Horrific Behavior:
      http://gawker.com/5899097/

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      • He’s not Chevy, he’s an a**hole: a history of Chevy Chase’s horrific behavior:
        http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=11475001#page:showThread,11475001

        Didn’t Chase write an autobiography about 10 or 15 years ago acknowledging that he was a prick during and immediately after his time at SNL? The reasons he gave were drug abuse, which he claimed to have given up and growing up with a cold, remote and abusive father (can’t remember if it was emotional only or if he was physically abused, too.) He also went on to say he’d gone to therapy and had gotten all better…

        by: Anonymous reply 9 04/05/2012 @ 04:51PM

        Chevy Chase is his generation’s Milton Berle. They were both men who had a surprisingly long comedy career considering nobody could stand either one of them.

        by: Anonymous reply 17 04/05/2012 @ 06:18PM

        I don’t understand why the early cast and crew of SNL was flabbergasted that Chase left the show. From the first airing he was being hailed as a “young Johnny Carson.” The only reason for this was because he resembled Johnny Carson in his youth. You have to admit, he was the most attractive male cast member and had screen charisma. So when he was offered large amounts of money to do other things, of course he was going to take the money and run. If any of the other cast or writers had been offered anything similar, they would have done the same thing. So I don’t consider that to be a**holish behavior. He didn’t go looking for all those contracts and all that money — they came to him.

        Over the years he’s exhibited bad behavior just about everywhere. I agree with the poster who said that there have been stories of Chase’s bad behavior for 40 years. If you hire him, you don’t get to complain about him. Nobody is deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to Chevy Chase. You know what you’re going to get when you sign him up. Why anyone signs him up s a mystery. There doesn’t seem to be a huge audience demanding Chevy Chase in their TV shows.

        The “roasts” are just a bunch of Comedy Central losers who write insults for a living and sporadically work on these shows which don’t have a large viewership. Chase’s roast was no more or less awful than anyone else’s.

        Let me just put in a good word here for Dan Aykroyd. He’s a genuinely nice guy who did a solid for an in-law of mine, out of the blue, when he had absolutely no reason to do it except that he’s a nice guy. Yay, Dan. Boo, Chevy.

        by: Anonymous reply 41 08/22/2013 @ 12:40PM

        He pissed everyone off during his brief guest stint at The Sally Field Programme a few years back.

        They were testing waters to maybe have him recur here and there. By day 3, both Rachel Griffiths and Calista were enraged. They ended up filming all his stuff (for two episodes) that week and got him the hell out of there.

        He’s the dictionary definition of entitled a**hole.

        by: Anonymous reply 42 08/22/2013 @ 01:04PM

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  2. Maybe your best yet, Lebeau!
    I have to admit that I loved Benji when I was a kid.
    Considering that I got my driver’s licensce in 1986 it might not come as a surprise that I saw quite a lot of Chase’s movies on the big screen. But I don’t ever remember being a big fan. Some movies just happen to you. One specific friend actually dragged me to Fletch Lives, European Vacation and Spies Like Us now that I think of it. Maybe he was the fan. I have to cop to the others.
    I’m surprised there was no mention of his dust-up with Stephen Bochco on Politically Incorrect.

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    • Thanks. Chase gave me lots of material to work with.

      Benji was my first live-action movie. Bambi was my first movie. I cried at both. My parents seemed to like taking me to movies that made me cry.

      I am actually in the opposite position. I saw just about every one of Chase’s early movies on video. I do remember seeing (and loving) Spies Like Us in the theater. I also went to see Christmas Vacation, Funny Farm and Memoirs of an Invisible Man. That’s how big of a fan I was. I went to see Memoirs of an Invisible Man on opening night. And not because of John Carpenter. I went to see Chevy Chase!

      By the time Cops and Robbersons came along, I was required to watch it for work. No one had to twist my arm. I was a Chevy Chase fan. I liked Jack Palance and Diane Weist. I was happy to watch it. But my happiness ended early. By the time Cops and Robbersons ended, I was mad.

      That was probably the last time I saw a Chevy Chase movie on the big screen. I remember ducking out of the requirement to watch Man of the House.

      When I researched the article, I made a list of Chase’s feuds. The Politically Incorrect incident was on the list, but I ultimately didn’t include it in the article. I wasn’t able to find a clip and I really wanted a clip. Perhaps I’ll go back and add it in later.

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      • I’ve never heard anything about this Chase/Bocho dust-up on Politically Incorrect before. Would anybody care to elaborate if they know any details?

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  3. Something else you reminded me of. The original Vacation movie was not really intended as a family flick. At the time, all of us who went to see it, had the expectation of “Animal House” raunchier type of humor, popular among highschoolers and college kids then. To a lesser extent, same thing with “European Vacation.” Evidently what caught the producers/studio/whoever by surprise, was that the series resonated with audiences on a different level entirely, as family comedies. So they toned down the raunch into PG13 material for XMas and Vegas. The first 2 became popular on TV with some judicious editing. I like many of Chase’s movies but I absolutely LOVE the Vacation series. “Vegas” is my favorite of the 4 and I re-watch it often. Opinions differ…. the reviewers certainly disdained it, but for anyone who is a fan of the first 3, this one ties everything together nicely (even with new actors playing the kids) and delivers fresh humor at the same time. What REALLY struck me as funny, after reading your humorous comment about the director who used psychology to get Chase NOT to appear in an ensemble movie, is that “Vegas Vacation” is very much an ensemble production with great supporting players and cameos. LOL! Chevy as the patriarch Clark Griswold is still the anchor, but many funny scenes do not feature Clark, and focus on the other castmembers, which adds to the likeability of the movie overall.
    Oh, and it helps if you like Vegas, too 🙂

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    • I will have to check it out.

      You are exactly right about the Vacation franchise. It went from a raunchy R to a family-friendly PG for Vegas Vacation. I’ll be interested to see if the new movie goes back to the series’ raunchy roots. I doubt it will.

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    • 27 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Christmas Vacation’

      http://mentalfloss.com/article/60330/27-things-you-might-not-know-about-christmas-vacation

      1. JOHN HUGHES WASN’T A FAN OF SEQUELS.

      Though many of Hughes’ films have spawned sequels, the man himself was not a fan of retreads. “The only sequels I was involved in were under duress,” Hughes once stated in an interview. Though he’s credited as a writer on European Vacation, he said that was only because he had created the characters. “But the studio came to me and begged for another [Vacation movie], and I only agreed because I had a good story to base it on. But those movies have become little more than Chevy Chase vehicles at this stage. I didn’t even know about Vegas Vacation until I read about it in the trades! Ever since it came out, people have been coming up to me with disappointed looks on their faces, asking ‘What were you thinking?’ ‘I had nothing to do with it! I swear!’”

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  4. The Lost Roles of Chevy Chase:
    http://splitsider.com/2011/09/the-lost-roles-of-chevy-chase/

    Say what you will about the quality of Chevy Chase’s movies, but you have to admit his influence on modern American comedy is vast. As Saturday Night Live’s first breakout star, he was largely responsible for the show becoming a surprise hit, paving the way for every comedic actor and actress that followed in his footsteps by transitioning from castmember to movie star. On SNL, Chevy Chase co-created (with writer Herb Sargent) and hosted the segment Weekend Update, which has gone on to become the longest-running sketch on what has become arguably the most influential comedy show in this country’s history. Although fake TV news had existed prior to this on the BBC’s That Was the Week that Was and Laugh-In’s “News” segment, Weekend Update was the earliest fully-formed incarnation of modern American faux-journalism and it came to shape The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and even The Onion in the decades that followed.

    As a movie star, Chase’s misses outnumbered his hits by a wide margin, but he did manage to star in his fair share of comedy classics, including Fletch, Caddyshack, and National Lampoon’s Vacation (the first one). In Vacation, he played a deadbeat dad to a dysfunctional family during a decade in which cheery, idealistic series like The Cosby Show and Family Ties were the predominant depictions of families in American pop culture. Married with Children and The Simpsons often get credit for turning this on its head and popularizing the dysfunctional family formula, but National Lampoon’s Vacation did it first. Everything that has followed owes a little bit to the movie and Chevy Chase’s bumbling father Clark Griswold.

    While the late 90’s saw Chevy Chase retreating from the spotlight to raise his daughters after a few bombs too many at the box office, he’s had a late period career resurrection recently, courtesy of Dan Harmon. On Harmon’s NBC sitcom Community, Chase plays senile moist-towlette mogul Pierce Hawthorne and is a crucial part of one of the most inventive comedies currently on the air. Community will be back for its third season tonight, and in honor of the show’s return, let’s take a look at the various movie and TV roles Chevy Chase turned down, wanted but didn’t get, and the projects that were called off altogether. Read on to learn how one key decision by Chevy Chase could have prevented Tim Allen’s movie career, the two pivotal roles for Tom Hanks that Chase passed up, and multiple botched attempts to revive the Vacation and Fletch franchises.

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  5. An overview of the career of comic leading man Chevy Chase:
    http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/motion-captured/posts/saturday-night-at-the-movies-he-s-chevy-chase-and-you-re-not

    Yes, I know that headline’s probably been used a thousand times, and I expect that when Chevy Chase finally shuffles off this mortal coil, that headline or some variation on it will be used another thousand times. That line summed up an attitude that personified what made “Saturday Night Live” such an amazing immediate cultural sensation, and it is entirely appropriate that it has followed Chevy Chase as a sort of signature since then.

    Chevy Chase was the first “Saturday Night Live” movie star.

    Even though the entire cast made an impression that first year, “Weekend Update” gave Chase a forum to be showcased as himself, not as a character,and for whatever reason, that translated into an immediate sort of stardom. He left the show after a single season, the first person to defect, and I think that set a reputation of sort in motion, one that Chase may or may not deserve based on who you talk to.

    One director I’m friends with only uses the filthiest words possible when describing Chase and his experience working with him, and he’s only one of many people I’ve spoken with who have relayed truly awful personal and professional stories about the guy. It used to disturb me, because I consider myself an original-generation Chevy Chase fan. I still remember seeing “Foul Play” first-run in the theater and walking away from that film convinced that Chase was the funniest person of all time.

    Keep in mind I was eight when “Foul Play” came out, and I was primed. I already knew Chase from “SNL,” and I knew Goldie Hawn from “The Sugarland Express,” which I’d seen at a drive-in as part of a double-feature with “Duchess And The Dirtwater Fox,” and I was excited to be taken to see what my parents obviously thought of as a “grown-up” comedy. What made Chase different from most of the comics I was familiar with is that he obviously placed just as much emphasis on being cool as he did on being funny, and those two things don’t often work well together. In Chase’s case, though, what made him truly hilarious was the way he tore down his own carefully constructed facade of cool, and in doing so, seemed to be even cooler. It was an impressive juggling act of tone, and right away, I think it’s what made people so crazy about his work.

    And back in those days, he was huge. He was rock star huge. He had three movies out in 1980, and you could argue that he managed to aim for three totally different audiences with the films. “Oh Heavenly Dog” was aimed squarely at kids, at the audience that had been carefully cultivated by the Benji brand. “Caddyshack” was aimed at adolescents of all ages. And “Seems Like Old Times” was a mainstream Neil Simon comedy that reunited him with Goldie Hawn, aimed squarely at the general adult audience. And all three of them worked for those audiences. You don’t see comic leads doing that today, making choices that diverse, one on top of another like that. Today, comic actors tend to aim at a certain audience as much as possible. Working non-stop, though, was dangerous because not every script worked, and it seemed like Chase’s agents were more concerned with exposure than with any sort of quality control.

    1981 saw the release of both “Modern Problems” and “Under The Rainbow,” and they are rancid films. “Modern Problems” reunited Chase with Ken Shapiro, who directed him pre-“Saturday Night Live” in an underground sketch comedy film called “The Groove Tube.” It was a comedy about a air traffic controller who gained psychic powers from a nuclear waste spill while he’s driving. Only later in the film, it seems like he’s possessed. By magic cocaine. Because it is a terrible, terrible movie. I’m not sure if Chase did this film as a favor to Shapiro, or if there was ever a script that made sense, but it’s an incoherent film, and at times, it’s so ugly it’s hard to believe it was intended as a professional release of any sort. Indeed, it was the last thing Shapiro directed, and it was an embarrassing failure that year. And “Under The Rainbow” has a potentially interesting bit of Hollywood lore at its core, but doesn’t work at all. It tells the story of the filming of “The Wizard Of Oz,” and specifically deals with the hotel where the Munchkin cast was put together. The legends about their bad behavior are amazing, and there is probably a way to make a great raunchy comedy out of those stories. “Under The Rainbow” is not that film. I’m not offended by “Under The Rainbow,” except as a missed opportunity. The film tries hard to be rude and crude and equally offensive to anyone watching, but it’s just labored and noisy instead of funny. Chevy co-stars with Carrie Fisher, and the two of them seem interested in cutting sarcasm at the expense of anything else in their performance. It’s a strange mismatch, and based on those two films, Chevy was starting to look like a momentary star, a flash in the pan.

    And then in 1983, he made “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” one of the very best things he’s ever done. In that first movie, I think Clark Griswold is arguably the best character Chevy’s ever been given to play. I empathize with Clark, deeply, and I love that in the first film, the Griswolds are the center of the comic storm, victims of fate and circumstance, and Chevy in particular is playing a comic Job variation that I find enormously appealing. It’s a great blistering R-rated comedy, with a sharp script by John Hughes and a perfect sense of how families implode when stuck together on road trips. Set piece after set piece, character after character, “Vacation” works because it was a great piece of material on the page, and then it was executed well. As obvious as that sounds, so few of the films in Chase’s filmography started from a really solid piece of writing, and that’s probably the biggest mistake he or any of the “SNL” actors ever made… that willingness to start shooting something that didn’t have a script that was ready yet. Compare the first “Vacation” which came out of real experience and sincere observation with “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” two years later, which was a mean-spirited, ugly, garish piece of crap. It makes the fundamental mistake of recasting the Griswolds as victimizers instead of victims. Europe doesn’t happen to the Griswolds; the Griswolds happen to Europe. Like the plague. Even the better-but-not-as-good-as-the-first-one “Christmas Vacation” suffers because they decided to tone it down to a PG-13 while basically just aping the best parts of the first film.

    Chevy never had particularly good luck with sequels. I love the 1985 film “Fletch,” as do many people, and I was stunned at how far off-track the sequel “Fletch Lives” was in 1989, especially considering how great the books are that the films were based on. That should have been an easy franchise, but somehow they lost sight of the source material, made a wretched second film, and killed the series dead in the process. And “Caddyshack II” is one of those sequels that most fans like to pretend don’t even exist. Chase looks miserable in his brief screen time at Ty Webb, fully aware that the film he’s making is a shoddy, disgraceful follow-up to something special. Once the “Vacation” series eventually limped its way around to “Vegas Vacation,” there was nothing left in the film to remind audiences why they enjoyed the Griswolds in the first place.

    1985 was one of Chase’s busiest years. In addition to “European Vacation” and “Fletch,” he also made “Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird” and “Spies Like Us” that year. “Spies” is one of those films that people like and enjoy and that definitely has fans, but I would consider it a lesser effort for Chase. It’s a formula picture, made at a moment where the studios really didn’t know how to encourage good comedy voices in film, focusing on the onscreen stars and playing little attention to cultivating real writers or directors to develop projects. Things were built from a high-concept first, packaged, slapped together. There are laughs in some of these films, but they don’t do much for me as movies. They don’t feel like much more than sketches.

    In 1986, Chase appeared in a movie that stands as a very special landmark in the history of “SNL” films, the only movie on which Lorne Michaels has a co-screenplay credit. He co-wrote it with Randy Newman and Steve Martin, which is a very strange trio of names to see sharing credit on anything. Onscreen, Steve Martin, Chevy, and Martin Short appeared together in a very silly riff on “The Seven Samurai,” in which three silent-movie cowboys are recruited by the people of a small Mexican town to stand against El Guapo, a real bad guy who has no idea who The Three Amigos are. It is a wonderful little movie, full of some of the most quotable dialogue on the ’80s, and it benefits from some of the supporting performances by Alfonso Arau, Tony Plana, and many more. Ultimately, though, it’s one of the few movies with Chase where he feels like he’s really part of a group, and not just Chevy Chase scoring solo points. He plays the deeply befuddled Dusty Bottoms, and there’s a sweetness to the way he plays it that is not present in much of his work.

    Indeed, from that point on, it was a parade of Chase playing very similar variations on “the smug jerk” in films like “Funny Farm,” “Memoirs Of An Invisible Man,” and the truly unbearable “Nothing But Trouble,” which I’ll deal with in a column dedicated to that one film. It deserves a column all its own. It is that bewildering a mistake. His supporting role in “Hero” was a smart one, and it suggested a direction that Chase might have been smart to pursue. There are actors who have found a wonderful career late in life playing completely bastards. It’s worked well for Alan Alda, for example, and Chase seemed like he would benefit from moving into more serious films in supporting roles, playing to the strange caustic unlikeable nature that was starting to assert itself in everything he did.

    Just as Chevy paved the way for other stars like Eddie Murphy to leave “Saturday Night Live” at the height of their heat, he also paved the way for them to move into terrible family films once it started to seem like their adult careers were over. “Cops and Robbersons,” “Man Of The House,” and “Snow Day” all feature depressing work by Chase, mugging and slow, nothing like the guy who clawed his way off the screen in the late ’70s. Bloat and boredom took its toll onscreen, and the work slowed down. He would make occasionally appearances in things like “Zoom” or “Orange County,” but he couldn’t open a movie anymore, and the things he starred in went direct to video, unnoticed, unwatched. He was invisible.

    Right now, Chevy does genuinely funny work every week on “Community,” a show that has gotten better and better over the first year it’s been on the air. The writers have created a deranged, perverted, racist idiot for him to play, and it’s the most likeable he’s been in years. I’d like to think that the Chevy Chase who burned down the goodwill of audiences and his co-stars and his creative collaborators finally had to change, and that the Chevy who stars on “Community” is a newly reformed Chevy, a Chevy who loves what he does again and who is open to more filmmakers trying different or risky things with him. Like I said, I’ve been a fan for so long that I hate hearing terrible things about him. I want to believe the best of Chevy Chase. I want to see more from him that reminds me of what made me laugh in the first place. I will always have a soft spot for him.

    After all, he’s Chevy Chase. And I’m not.

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    • That last article especially was interesting Terence. I’d be hard pressed to find a critic that liked Vegas Vacation. But it’s not very often I agree with most critics anyway. As a group they always seem preoccupied with what they think they should like or what sounds cool and forget how to just plain appreciate movies. For example, instead of basically saying “it’s the last installment I’m bored with it ho-hum” they could focus on something more unique such as that in Vegas, unlike the other 3 movies, each Griswold kind of had their own storyline so evidently Chase didn’t stand in the way and the result is an enjoyable ensemble, further enhanced by (mostly) good editing. Anyway it was cool that the writer acknowledged his body of work.
      Now as far as him being an asshole.. I would be more surprised to hear a superstar is NOT an asshole. Think about all the ordinary people you meet who get that way if they gain only a little bit of power and control. I can’t imagine what happens to celebrities who are surrounded by who they are surrounded by, and various substances, etc. Not to mention the creative, brilliant personalities, all that money in the balance… yeah, he might not be a nice person to hang with. But it doesn’t matter because I will never be in his social circles and I’d rather just see the movies anyway.

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    • Top 10 Chevy Chase Films:
      http://www.top10films.co.uk/archives/7329

      For years after first seeing National Lampoon’s Vacation I was hooked on Chevy Chase films. Stepping back in time I sought out his earlier work such as Foul Play, Caddyshack and Seems Like Old Times while enjoying his eighties and early nineties output like Fletch, Three Amigos and Memoirs of an Invisible Man.

      His career nosedived in the mid-nineties thanks to a misguided attempt to established a more dramatic career and he never recovered. The actor, who was one of the founding members of Saturday Night Live, recently popped up in eighties throwback Hot Tub Time Machine alongside John Cusack. That served as a handy reminder to revisit and re-enjoy Chase’s finest adventures in film.

      10. Spies Like Us (Landis, 1985)

      Spies Like Us still gets a mixed reception from audiences but this comedy about two inept secret agents is great because of the pairing of 80s greats Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.

      9. Funny Farm (Hill, 1988)

      This fish-out-of-water tale see Chevy Chase playing sports writer Andy Farmer who decides to quit his job and move to a small town to write a novel. It doesn’t go to plan as Andy falls foul to small town living.

      8. Memoirs of an Invisible Man (Carpenter, 1992)

      Almost universally panned on its release, Memoirs of an Invisible Man does indeed suffer from an identity crisis as one critic put it. Incorporating comedy, drama, science-fiction and mystery the film is at odds with its director and star. Apparently, Ivan Reitman was originally set to direct the film. He would have been a better bet had the film concentrated on comedy. But creative differences between Reitman and Chase led to a change at the helm and John Carpenter took over. It was an odd choice, certainly from a commercial perspective, as Carpenter’s fleeting use of science-fiction and comedy (They Live [ link to top ten carpenter]) previously didn’t set the box office alight.

      And the film does suffer from this disjointed set of creative specialities. Chase handles the comedy with the finesse of an old pro, while Carpenter concocts some genuine thrills and makes use of excellent special-effects. But the film never knows if it’s a funny, adventure movie or a thriller with the odd funny scene. Chase saw this project as a route into more serious roles. Unfortunately, the film was not only ripped to shreds by the critics, but made less than half its budget at the box office. Instead of being a career progression for Chase, it proved to be a low point of which the actor has never recovered.

      Nevertheless, it is different from anything else the actor has done before or since, and remains an enjoyable if messy version of the invisible man story.

      7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Chechik, 1989)

      A Christmas favourite for so many, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation saw Chavy Chase reprise his most famous role for a third time. Christmas Vacation is a much better film than the first sequel to Harold Ramis’ hit original about the exploits of the accident prone Griswold family.

      6. Foul Play (Higgins, 1978)

      A homage to Alfred Hitchcock, Colin Higgins’ film finds Chevy Chase and a delightful Goldie Hawn caught up in the murder-mystery plot.

      5. Three Amigos (Landis, 1986)

      Superb casting sees Chevy Chase lined up alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short. The trio play silent film stars The Three Amigos who, in their films, perform acts of justice against evil villains. Believing them to be real, a small Mexican village hires their services when the townspeople are threatened by a gang wanting protection money. Wires are crossed as the Amigos believe they have been hired to put on a live, theatrical show. Soon enough the real threat becomes evident and the actors have to decide to fight or take flight.

      4. Seems Like Old Times (Sandrich, 1980)

      Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn are back together in this delightful comedy about a down-on-his-luck writer who becomes a fugitive after being forced to rob a bank. He seeks help from the only person he can trust – ex-wife Glenda (Hawn) – who allows him to stay at her house. The only trouble is her district attorney husband who would love to get his hands on the fugitive. The film is one of Chase’s best thanks to some great performances (Chase is ably supported by Goldie Hawn and Charles Grodin as Hanw’s husband) and Neil Simon’s witty script.

      3. Caddyshack (Ramis, 1980)

      More of an ensemble film than a Chevy Chase vehicle, Caddyshack remains a favourite amongst fans thanks to its risqué humour and brilliant cast of characters including Bill Murray as a nice-but-dim greenskeeper and Rodney Dangerfield, a rich, loud-mouthed gold enthusiast. Chevy Chase is a member of the upscale Bushwood Country Club where he plays gold of a regular basis. He spend much of his time teaching caddie Danny Noonan about life while showing off his array of trick shots.

      2. Fletch (Ritchie, 1985)

      Now firmly a favourite amongst Chevy Chase fans, Fletch was a success for the actor at the box office and within the eyes of critics. Since it was released it has gone from strength to strength, gaining a strong following and inspiring sequel Fletch Lives. Based on the popular novels by Gregory McDonald, Fletch tells the story of quick-witted, smooth-talking newspaper reporter Irwin M. Fletcher (Chase). While investigating the drug trade for his latest story, he disguises himself as a homeless junkie who wanders the beach in search of his next hit. One day he is approached by Alan Stanwyk who asks Fletch to murder him. Apparently, Stanwyk has an inoperable disease and wants his family to receive his life insurance. Fletch agrees after being offer a large amount of money but is suspicious of Stanwyk’s motives. Stanwyk has no clue Fletch is an undercover reporter, believing him to be a street bum of no consequence. When Fletch digs deeper he finds that Stanwyk does indeed have a few skeletons in the closet and the whole murder plot maybe a set-up.

      Fletch is Chase’s favourite movie. It is easy to see why – he obviously has a lot of fun with the character. Fletch uses many disguises allowing Chase to take on various personas, highlighting his talent at depicting character-based comedy. Director Michael Ritchie also allowed the actor to ad-lib throughout the film, giving Chase another dimension to explore the character with.

      1. National Lampoon’s Vacation (Ramis, 1982)

      Chevy Chase’s most memorable character has to be Clark W. Griswold. He is the disaster-prone father and husband of the Griswolds, a family who set out on a journey from Chicago to Los Angeles to spend a day at theme park Walley World. Along the way things don’t go to plan. However, that doesn’t stop Clark making sure his family have the time of their lives. And, when they eventually get to the theme park and find it’s closed for maintenance, Clark decides he is not going to take no for an answer. So he kidnaps the security guard (John Candy) and forces him to take the family on all the rides. Chevy Chase is great as Clark in Harold Ramis’ funny and endearing road trip comedy.

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  6. Chevy sounds like he was Mike Myers before Mike Myers, but, when all’s said & done, he was, for the most part, an actor doing his job. So, he can’t be blamed for crap like “Nothing But Trouble” and “Memoirs of an Invisible Man” the way Myers can be for “The Love Guru” & “Austin Powers”
    What he can be blamed for is being an a$shole like Myers.

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    • I am going to agree with you up to a point. But I do blame Chase 50% for Memoirs. The film was intended to be a comedy. But Chase still had enough star power to shoot down the comedic elements. He ended up chasing off Ivan Reitman who had no interest in making the film as a thriller. Carpenter specifically wanted to get away from thrillers and genre pictures as much as Chase wanted away from comedies. The director and star were working at opposite goals so the movie ended up neither very thrilling nor very funny.

      Early on in his career, Chase was shaping his movies quite a bit. He didn’t write the scripts, but he insisted on improvising as much as possible. He wasn’t quite the control freak Myers is, but he did exercise a lot of control.

      Something I wanted to address more in the article was how many movies were written for Chase. He walked away from a lot of movies early in his career. If you read some of the other WTTH articles, his name comes up a lot because projects were developed for him and then he changed his mind.

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      • Movies That Killed Comedy Careers:
        http://www.ugo.com/movies/movies-that-killed-comedy-careers-memoirs-of-an-invisible-man

        Memoirs of an Invisible Man

        While no one is debating Chevy Chase’s place in the pantheon of comedic actors, especially with his current resurgence as Pierce Hawthorne on NBC’s Community, he nearly deep-sixed his career with the 1992 John Carpenter directed (huh?!) Memoirs of an Invisible Man. This flick currently holds a 24% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and what Washington Post reviewer Desson Howe labeled as “[not] a movie, but an identity crisis” with regards to the mix-mash of seemingly incompatible actors, director and genres.

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    • The flops of Chevy Chase:
      http://collectedcinema.blogspot.com/search/label/Chevy%20Chase

      The flops of Chevy Chase part 3: Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)
      So here we are with the last look at where Chevy Chase’s career went off the rails and actually it’s probably the most interesting of the three films I’ve looked at. As well as being a rare semi-serious role for Chase it’s also directed John Carpenter, who had taken a long break from filmmaking after the commercial disappointments of Prince of Darkness and They Live. The film was very much a passion project for Chase, who had secured the rights to the book by H.F. Saint after it was published in 1987 and he clearly had a strong vision for the film.

      Memoirs of an Invisible Man sees Chase play Nick Halloway, a stock analyst who gets caught in an explosion at a scientific researchbuilding that renders him completely invisible. CIA Agent David Jenkins (Sam Neill) is tasked with tracking him down with a view to turning him into the ultimate assassin. However Nick wants nothing to be left alone so he enlists the help of Alice Monroe (Daryl Hannah), a woman he was beginning a relationship with just prior to the accident, to help him escape to safety.

      As I said this was very much Chase’s vanity project. The script was originally written much more as a comedy, with Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) set to direct but Chase insisted on it being a more serious film so he brought in John Carpenter, who had little enthusiasm but was happy to do it as a “work-for-hire”. After the film was released he explained he hadn’t titled it “John Carpenter’s” as he did his other movies because he knew Warner Brothers was more “in the business of making audience-friendly, non-challenging movies.”

      It’s a shame that Carpenter dismisses the film so much because there’s actually a lot to enjoy about it. Firstly, the special effects, though not spectacular, show a lot of creative thinking. The approach of having Chase mostly be seen by the audience but invisible to everyone else on screen is a very clever idea and adds to the comedy of situations. Seeing assault teams break into his apartment while he just walks past them is very entertaining.

      The film has some very clever ideas about the realities of being invisible. For instance Chase can’t see him own hands so he finds it hard to eat food. He also can’t eat otherwise people will just see the floating contents of his stomach. And there’s a fantastic bit where he needs to travel so he punches a drunk guy and gets him to flag down a taxi. Also, Sam Neill is highly entertaining as the bad guy. He brings some of the same menace he showed in Dead Calm to the role of Jenkins. It’s a shame he and Chase don’t get more scenes together because they make great adversaries. There’s a particularly tense scene where he traps Chase in his own office that shows the potential of what a more serious take on the subject matter could have achieved.

      Despite it’s good points the film does have couple of faults. One of them is that the majority of it all is told in flashback with Chase narrating his adventures. I’ve got to say rarely like films that do this, it kind of kills the excitement and suspense. Also, as much as I enjoy the film I do recognise that it’s quite low-key. What the film really needed was someone like Steven Spielberg to bring out the sense of wonder and boost the film’s set pieces. But then again maybe what I like about the film is that it doesn’t go down the traditional route. Chase doesn’t go on an exciting globe trotting adventure. He just hides out in a friend’s holiday home and eats junk food.

      Carpenter’s direction is solid but it’s a shame his heart isn’t in it. There’s some nice homages to James Whales’ original The Invisible Man film from 1933. And he’s clearly enjoying aping Hitchcock’s thrillers such as North By Northwest and The 39 Steps. If I’m honest though I love both him and Chase they shouldn’t have been involved in the same project. Their sensibilities are too different. Doing this film was a mistake for Carpenter, he was already disillusioned by working for major studios after Big Trouble in Little China and he should have come back to Hollywood with a more personal project.

      And so to Chase, the star. He perhaps wasn’t the right choice for the role but I still enjoy what he did with it. As you watch the film you can’t help but wonder if the film would have been better if it committed to either be a straight thriller or straight comedy. The mix of the two is uneven at times. I think audience’s expectations of Chase put them off the film when it was originally released. He’d spent the entire previous decade playing nothing but comedies and he’d pigeon-holed himself. No one wanted to see him in something that wasn’t a straight forward comedy.

      He was trying to broaden his acting range but he’d left it too late. Chase should have stretched his wings and tried something like this earlier in his career rather than relying on comedies for the whole previous decade. Several other 80s comedy actors had a similar dilemma in the early 90s. Martin Short, John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin. Of all of them only Bill Murray managed to break free and start a successful second career as a serio-comic actor (for which he mostly owes Wes Anderson).

      Memoirs of an Invisible Man is a pretty fun flick that didn’t deserve to be such a flop. It earned only half it’s budget back and was really the last major film to be released by Chase. The following year he tried to start a chat show that was a huge ratings flop. And in 1994 he acted in Cops and Robbersons, a particularly poor comedy film by Michael Ritchie.

      For the next decade and a half he had a very dry run. It was only when he was cast in the TV show Community in 2009 that he started to make something of a comeback. It remains to be seen where his career will go from here. Rumours are that he’ll likely come back for a reboot of the Vacation series which would be a nice way to cap his career I think.

      The flops of Chevy Chase part 2: Nothing But Trouble (1991)

      Okay, strap yourself in and prepare for the worst because this is going to get messy. Ordinarily on this site I only review films that I love or at the very least like but this one was a true patience tester and without doubt one of the least funny comedies I’ve ever seen. I can only guess that Chevy Chase took the lead role as a favour to Dan Aykroyd, he can’t possibly have read the script and agreed to it (unless he was desperate for cash). Nothing But Trouble was the brain child of Dan Aykroyd (who directs and plays two roles) and his brother Peter. Now we all know Aykroyd is a little bit of an oddball character. He’s a devout spiritualist and seems to genuinely believe in a lot of supernatural phenomena. This served him very well when writing the Ghostbusters movies but here he unleashes a torrent of such bizarre, ugly characters and storylines that at times I felt physical ill.

      The film sees Chase play Chris Thorne, a financial advisor who takes a road trip with two of his wealthy clients and his neighbor Diane (Demi Moore). Aiming to get to Atlantic City as fast as possible they take a short cut through an eerie ghost town called Valkenvania. However, they accidentally go over the speed limit and the local sheriff tries to flag them down but stupidly they attempt to out run him. This only makes matters worse and eventually they are all arrested and taken to the town’s Judge (Dan Aykroyd under a ton of old man make-up) where they discover that they won’t be able to just “pay a fine and leave”. The judge and his in-bred family of weirdos have a far stricter sense of justice, sending most lawbreakers straight to a meat grinder called Mr Bonestripper! So the group split up and try to escape the town by any means but it’s far harder than it looks.

      I think the problem with this film is that any comedy elements seemed to have been added in at a very late stage in the film development. Bar a few ad libs from Chase and some of the grotesque make-up work there’s very little humour in the story. According to Aykroyd the idea for the film came from a personal experience from 1978 where he was pulled over for speeding in a hick town and forced to plead in front of an elderly judge. Here he’s adapted the story writ large. The town is literally like the stuff of nightmares decorated with broken machinery and human bones. In actual fact Valkenvania is based on a real life ghost town called Centralia, Pennsylvania, where an underground coal fire has warped the landscape and ousted its townfolk since the fire first sparked in the 1960s. I guess you could argue that this adds up to a rich back story but unfortunately Aykroyd seems content to just show us this stuff, not actual use any of it to tell an interesting story. The whole plot basically boils down to Chase and Moore get pulled over, see the judge, they escape and come back later with the state police. That’s it. There’s no revelations or twists or character arcs or anything.

      None of the actors apart from Aykroyd seem to really be very invested in their characters. John Candy plays the role of police sheriff as a nice ordinary guy which jars with the rest of the townsfolk. He also gets to play another role in drag as Eldona, the judge’s mute daughter which doesn’t work either. Chase just looks kind of confused throughout the entire running time. He tries a couple of his usual wiseass comebacks now and then (some which seem to have been messily added in post) but the scenario is so odd he can’t make any laughs happen. There’s also meant to be a burgeoning romance between him and Moore but the two have very little chemistry and their kiss at the end seems very weird given their age gap. Another couple of actors who I haven’t gone into much detail yet is Taylor Negron and Bertila Damas who play Chase’s wealthy Brazilian clients. I honestly can’t see any point of these characters, they escape early on and manage to convince Candy to come with them and that’s the extent of their subplot. It’s baffling to include two characters so prominently and then give them absolutely nothing to do. Also Negron overplays his role was a screeching effeminate voice that will make you reach straight for the mute button.

      And so to Aykroyd. What can I say? He clearly loves acting under lathers of make-up. It’s obviously freeing for an actor but as Eddie Murphy will tell you, it doesn’t make your film any funnier. The Judge is a truly oddball creation and clearly Aykroyd thought the more grotesque he made him the funnier it would be. So he ends up giving him not only a prosthetic leg but also a prosthetic nose – which is shaped like a penis if you look close (on second thought, don’t bother). Aykroyd other role is Bobo, an enormously fat man child in a diaper who along with his twin brother L’il Debbull tries to help Moore escape. Once again I cannot begin to fathom what Aykroyd was thinking by included these mentally retarded caricatures. Were we supposed to laugh at them?

      The film basically veers all over the place and one of the most bizarre subplots (which basically acts as a time filler) is when a group of black rappers are also pulled over and brought before the judge. I guess you’re meant to think that this old white judge will no doubt convict them straight away but they decide to launch into a four minute rap which culminates with the Judge joining in on his organ. Now I know Aykroyd likes his music by why the hell was there a musical interlude in this of all films? Also, one of rappers faces will be very familiar because… it’s the late Tupac Shakur!

      Okay, I think I’ve talked enough about this film. It’s one long, painful trainwreck and Chase got ‘nothing but trouble’ for taking it on. His comedic persona is based around being a cocky wiseass outsider who infuriates any person in authority (see Caddyshack). But here all the control is put in the Judge’s hands. Aykroyd essentially got all his actors friends, Chase and Candy but failed to give them the roles they excel at. Candy is great at playing a lovable slobs so why put him in drag? This isn’t the first time Aykroyd has done this. He also made Neighbors in the early 80s, a similarly dark and humorless movie that wasted John Belushi. Anyway, I guess in some ways, you’ve got to applaud Chase for trying something new. It’s just shame that he picked this movie.

      The flops of Chevy Chase part 1: Fletch Lives (1989)

      I guess a lot of people would question the wisdom of reviewing any of Chevy Chase’s movies not least some of his flops but I’ve always liked him as an actor ever since I was a kid. Throughout most of the 80s he was almost bullet proof, scoring several commercial hit films from Caddyshack to Vacation to Spies Like Us. Though it probably wasn’t his highest grossing film, 1985’s Fletch was definitely the one role that perfectly chimed with his default laconic comedy persona. Even Chase admits it was his favourite role of his entire career in his biography ‘I’m Chevy Chase and You’re Not’. I was always quite baffled as a kid as to why he stopped acting in big movies so I’m going to examining three films that marked the end of his professional career.

      The sequel sees I.M. Fletcher still writing hisnewspaper column, getting harassed by his boss but before he can take on another undercover assignment he learns that his aunt has died and he’s inherited her mansion in Louisiana. Thinking the house must be worth loads he quits his job and flies over to check it out. However rather than being some stately mansion it’s a rundown, woodworm infested wreck. After some quick flirting with his aunt’s lawyer, Fletch winds up bedding her but waking up the next morning he discovers she’s dead. Someone is clearly trying to frame him but who? Is it his aunt’s black caretaker, the local television evangelist or any one of the oddball inhabitants of the nearby town? And just what is it that makes his mansion so valuable to them all?

      Fletch is a fantastic character opportunity. He’s an investigator but he doesn’t carry a gun so he’s forced to talk his way in and out of situations and Chase makes a natural fit for this character. He excels at witty one liners and comebacks. Sadly, this film doesn’t have as great a script as the first entry. The first film (based on Gregory McDonald’s 1974 book) also had a fantastic mystery hook – an undercover journalist gets hired by a businessman to murder himself! The idea of someone inheriting a house from a forgotten relative just sounds like some bad mystery cliche. I’m still a little baffled that they didn’t try adapting any of McDonald’s ten superior Fletch novels. I can only guess they wanted to structure it for more around comedy moments for Chase – figuring that he, not McDonald, made the first film a hit.

      That’s not to say that the comedy bits aren’t good. There’s a fantastic bit where he uses a disguise to get onto the evangelist’s tv show and begins faith healing people by slapping them with a bible. And there’s also an inspired dream sequence where Fletch imagines living in his Southern mansion and everyone bursts into ‘Zipper-dee-doo-dah’ from Disney’s Song of the South – complete with animated birds. What’s missing is a decent mystery story running underneath. The writer Leon Capetanos (who also wrote Down and Out in Beverly Hills) doesn’t seem to understand that a mystery is more than just setting up red herring after red herring and then revealing everything at the end. Too much emphasis seems to have been played on sticking in needless disguises which are clearly designed to be hilarious but mostly fall flat.

      Another thing that probably didn’t help the film is that the plot is somewhat similar to Funny Farm – a film where Chase played a writer who moves out to a country and makes enemies with the local townsfolk that came out one year earlier in 1988. I think one of Chase’s weaknesses is that he didn’t want to branch out with his roles. Clearly by the late 80s Chase had a choice to make, he’d had a good run for nearly a decade. He could either stick with the same wiseass antics or evolve into new roles. It’s telling that in 1989 he made the decision to make not one but two sequels, this and Christmas Vacation. And the previous year he’d also did the laughter-free Caddyshack 2. Obviously Chase didn’t want to evolve or if you want to be generous, maybe his management didn’t want him to evolve. It’s shame because I think he could have had a decent second career along the lines of his arch rival Bill Murray.

      Fletch Lives isn’t a great film but it’s a decent watch and the jokes are pretty good. It’s just nowhere near as classic as the original. Chase still gives the role a good shot but he’s hampered by the weak script. Michael Ritchie’s direction is decent. He also directed the original film and was the one who let Chase ad-lib a lot of his lines. I think if anyone can take anything away from this movie it’s that you can’t make a film just on ad-libs, comebacks and funny disguises. You need some meat on the bones. There’s probably some metaphor about the movie trying to disguise it’s lack of substance but I can’t quite piece it together.

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    • LeBeau’s blog is given a shout-out at the very start of this article comparing the careers of Chevy Chase and Mike Myers:
      http://www.manic-expression.com/apps/blog/show/25726570-is-mike-myers-the-chevy-chase-of-his-generation-

      Now two celebrities that have been featured on this article are Chevy Chase and Mike Myers. And, while I didn’t think about it before, reading these articles has made me realize that what happened to Mike Myers is very similar to what happened to Chevy Chase. Both were guys that broke out on SNL and became very popular there. Due to their popularity, they ended up getting movie deals and people thought they were going to become big movie stars. And, as first, they succeeded as Chevy Chase started off with hits like Foul Play, Caddyshack, and National Lampoon’s Vacation while Mike Myers started off with hits like Wayne’s World, the Austin Powers series, and possibly Shrek (I say possibly because animated movies don’t usually affect one’s career). They also had some movies that didn’t do very well between those. Just look at Chevy’s resume in 1981 (especially Modern Problems which is the definition of a movie that’s just there) and Mike had So I married an axe murderer and 54. However they also had 2 movies that pretty much killed their careers. Chevy had Nothing But Trouble and Memoirs of an Invisible Man while Mike Myers had The Cat in the Hat and The Love Guru.

      OK, One could argue that this has happened to many celebrities-even ones who started off on SNL! But it’s not just those things that make them similar-it’s also the fact that it wasn’t just a few movies that killed their career. What also killed their career is that both were infamous for their ego’s. Hardly anyone who worked with Chevy on SNL liked him and we all know what happened to him on Community and Penelope Spheeris has complained about his behavior on the set of Wayne’s World.

      So when you consider that both had all that happen to them and both have been accused of being “divas”, can you see where I’m coming from when I say that I can’t help but think that Mike Myers is sort of the Chevy Chase of his time? What do you think?

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  7. One thing that was overlooked in this WTHHT on Chevy Chase was the infamous Friars Club Roast that aired on Comedy Central in 2002. Apparently, the roast was so mean-spirited and cruel (too the point in which you could actually genuinely feel embarrassed for Chevy), that Comedy Central didn’t rebroadcast it.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2002/12/the_meanest_roast.html

    http://observer.com/2002/10/the-decline-of-romans-empire/

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,624890,00.html

    http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2011/03/the-15-funniest-roasts-of-all-time/stephen-colbert-roasts-chevy-chase

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0347626/combined

    If you ask me, that roast is to Chevy Chase what Meg Ryan’s interview w/ Michael Parkinson is to her, Sean Young dressing up as Catwoman on Joan Rivers’ show is to her, Alicia Silverstone bird feeding her son is to her, or Mel Gibson’s voice-mail rantings, in regards to how extremely awkward and off-putting it is.

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    • I left out the roast for a few reasons. One, I have never seen it. Two, I find them distasteful and rarely ever funny. Three, it was more of an embarassing incident than a real career move. I’ll have to see if I can track down some clips though. Maybe I’ll add it in if I can find a good clip.

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  8. Dirty Laundry: Chasing Chevy:
    http://dirtylaundryblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/chasing-chevy.html

    FINALLY, we did a blog that was non Husker related and got some response. We had to delete some comments (because I’m sure they had to be written by either Michael Richards, Mel Gibson or Andy Dick). But generally people have a genuine interest in at the very least, seeing the current version of SNL fixed.

    OK, so about poor Chevy Chase. Here’s what I think of Chevy: He’s absolutely the major star of that first season currently out on that impressive DVD package (and explains why he immediately bolted for what he thought would be bigger and better things that would await him). It’s obvious that the remainder of the cast resented Chevy for this, or were jealous that Chevy became the first breakout star. It’s also obvious that Chevy became pissed off at how big a star his replacement, Bill Murray became, and this would be a sticking point with Chase for the rest of his life as Murray would go on to have the brilliant movie career that Chevy would only get a small taste of. But Chevy will forever be in the Comedy Hall of Fame for his brilliant comedic turns in Caddyshack and Vacation (the FIRST Vacation flick, none of the embarrassing sequels). There’s also a big cult following surrounding Chevy for Fletch. In my mind, he gets the get out of jail free card for playing Ty Webb and Clark Griswold (again, in the FIRST of each of those movies). HBO has been showing Chase’s first career move after SNL, Foul Play, which is a cheesy, dated romantic comedy with the over the top Barry Manilow song “Ready to Take a Chance.” But somehow, Chevy and especially the gorgeous Goldie Hawn make that one still watchable. Oh sure, it also has Dudley Moore and Billy Barty (OK, I admit it, I watched it just to see little old Bill Barty). It’s a cute little movie that Chase is at least remotely funny in, but it certainly wasn’t the big first movie that Chevy was looking for. That same year, John Belushi came out with Animal House. I’m sure all of this got under Chevy’s skin.

    So after the first Vacation, something very odd happened to Chevy. It’s no coincidence that Chevy did Vacation around the time that Belushi died, and for whatever reason, Belushi’s death seemed to also kill Chevy’s ability to be funny. Chevy Chase literally lost it. He made some incredibly God awful movies (take a look at Chevy’s IMDB page if you don’t believe me). Even after Caddyshack, Vacation, even Fletch and that first season of SNL, Chevy Chase has become a big joke. Legend has it he’s turned into a major duchebag. Will Ferrell goes out of his way to tell stories about what a dick Chevy was when he came back to host the show once. In James A. Miller and Tom Shales great book, Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told By Its Stars, Writers and Guests, there’s a great story about how Chevy came back to host the show and couldn’t been more of a dick to anyone and everyone, including a skit where he wanted one of the gay cast members to die of AIDS. Then there was maybe the biggest embarassment’s in television history known as “The Chevy Chase Show” . This was FOX’s way of throwing their hat in the late night ring, airing the same year that Letterman was making the jump to CBS. The show started a half hour before Letterman and Leno went on, and within the first five minutes of any of Chevy’s shows, you just sat there squirming at how embarrassing it was. People would literally tune in for those first five minutes just to see what a train wreck the whole thing was. I have no idea how many weeks Fox gave Chevy to make something click, but if my memory’s correct, I don’t think he made it past Halloween. I’m thinking that all available footage of these shows has been burned by Chase himself.

    And this literally KILLED Chevy Chase. There was absolutely no coming back from this. Chevy’s reputation as being, how should we say this, “difficult”, coupled with the idea that he wasn’t even remotely funny anymore, left him for dead. He hasn’t done even one decent movie since, not even a small cameo role in anything. The only good thing he did was a self-mocking appearance on the brilliant “The Larry Sanders Show” (now again is my time to plug or at least ask for the remainder of that series to come out on DVD immediately). It was Chevy’s way of trying to admit that he made a horrible decision with that talk show. There was a scene where Larry and Chevy were waiting outside of a psychiatrists office, where Chevy was seeing a professional to still talk about what went wrong with his talk show.

    But nothing worked for Chevy. There was that Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Chevy Chase where Chevy literally sat there the entire time, unamused at the shots that friends were taking at him. It was a ROAST Chevy! Didn’t you know that some of your friends, some of whom obviously didn’t even want to be there, were going to say some relatively mean spirited things at you? As with all roasts, the show ended with the star getting a chance to say a few things about the evening. Chevy literally just stood up, looked into the camera and said, in all seriousness, “That hurt.” You’d think that he went backstage and cried for hours and hours because Beverly D’Angelo made some cracks about him.

    And that was literally the end of Chevy Chase. In interviews, he STILL goes on about Bill Murray’s career, saying that it’s a crying shame that he doesn’t have a similar film career. Frankly, I don’t think Chevy ever has, or ever will, get over Bill Murray. I don’t even think he could get Quentin Tarantino to resurrect his career. Or get a Paul Thomas Anderson to do a Burt Reynolds for him. It’s just over. And in a way, it’s sad. But we’ll always have Ty Webb. We’ll always have that sketch with Chevy and Richard Pryor from that first SNL season. Maybe for Chevy, that’s going to have to be enough to hang his hat on.

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    • My opinion of that dirty laundry blog, and others of its ilk, is that it goes overboard with the hatred of its subject and thus loses credibility. The writer is entitled to his views, of course. He may not think much of “Christmas Vacation” for example, but the box office numbers prove how many people felt otherwise, not to mention its afterlife on DVD.

      It is intriguing that CC walked away from as many movie roles as he did. My first reaction was that he screwed himself but upon reflection, maybe he knew exactly what he was doing. Fletch and Clark were sure fire box office and he was comfortable with comedy. Maybe, just maybe, CC was honest enough with himself that he turned down roles he didn’t think he was quite right for. If so, then I give him major props. No one questions that Tom Hanks was the total perfect fit for Forrest Gump.

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      • I have also seen a big deal made of actors turning down roles they were barely associated with. If the actor read the script at some point, there’s an internet rumor out there about how such-and-such boneheaded actor turned down this great role that would have saved their career. Chase says that when he read the FG script it wasn’t very good and that Hanks requested improvements. I find this easy to believe. Also, had Chase starred in FG, it wouldn’t have been the same movie. I doubt it would have been anywhere near as popular.

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  9. Like everyone else I’ve heard all the horror stories about Chase over the years. I guess my reaction to it all is I don’t really care. He’s in a special category as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t have to hang out with him. He starred in some of the most iconic comedies of my generation: Vacation, Caddy Shack, Spies and Fletch being among the best. Fletch is maybe one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. I still quote it to this day….”Can I borrow your towel? My car hit a water buffalo.” Classic. I even tuned in to Community because of him. Stuck with it for three seasons and then dumped it. Wasn’t because of him though. Their stories just got goofier and goofier to the point they were trying (and failing) too hard. I have no doubt all the stories are true and he is a giant ass. I just don’t care; he gave me a lot of laughs over the years.

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  10. Regarding Chevy Chase’s talk show, I read (in the YouTube comments section for his interview w/ Robert DeNiro) that while getting the show up and running, Chevy fired so many unionized people for such petty reasons that ultimately, the unions just stopped sending stage hands and grips. This was because every one that Chevy fired on a whim cost them money. This has also further tainted Chevy’s career ever since movies of course, use union workers and therefore, unions wouldn’t send people to movies that Chevy is a part of. It was simply another case of Chevy thinking that since he had paid his dues, it gave him the golden ticket to treat others like utter crap.

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    • Talk Show Bomb #1: Chevy Chase, “The Chevy Chase Show”:
      http://www.businessinsider.com/chevy-chase

      The higher the expectations, the harder the flop. Like Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, comedian Chevy Chase began hosting a late night talk show in the fall 1993, hoping to claim Johnny Carson’s mantle. Unlike Jay, Dave and Conan, Chevy’s show lasted only six weeks on Fox. Of its debut show, Time wrote:

      [Chase’s] Tuesday-night debut was the sort of disaster TV fans will recall for their grandchildren. Nervous and totally at sea, Chase tried everything, succeeded at nothing. He shot basketballs from the stage, fawned embarrassingly over guests (Goldie Hawn and Whoopi Goldberg), took pratfalls that fell flat and, in one desperate moment, boogalooed in the middle of the stage, pleading with the apathetic crowd, “Everybody, shake it!” He recycled old material shamelessly, not just from Saturday Night Live (caught in the midst of a phone call at the start of his nightly News Update) but even from The Groove Tube, the ’60s comedy revue that gave him his first break (the camera lingering mercilessly on the anchorman when the newscast is over).

      The problem with the show was that, from the beginning, it was obvious Chevy didn’t really want to do it. From the New York Times report on Fox’s press conference to announce the show:

      Some in the television industry have raised doubts about whether Mr. Chase would be willing to make the huge time commitment a job like this requires.

      Mr. Chase did say he planned to be home in time to put his three young daughters to bed, but he expressed confidence that he would be able to attract some fans of his comedy movies to the show. Like the other late-night talk shows, Mr. Chase’s show will be taped in the early evening. ‘I Really Love Making Movies’

      “The fact that I’m not a stand-up comedian and I don’t have material I’m ready to go out with is a real challenge to me, and you just have to see what happens,” Mr. Chase said.

      But he is committed to the show, he said. The movie career, he said, is “on the back burner” now.

      “I really love making movies,” Mr. Chase said. “I just have this yearning in my stomach to go back and somehow subversively screw up television a little bit again.”
      The show’s failure cost then network upstart Fox dearly. The post-mortem, from the Los Angeles Times:

      Fox’s abrupt decision to cancel the troubled “The Chevy Chase Show” came out of a desire to save Chase and the network further embarrassment from critical blasts, celebrities who didn’t want to go on the low-rated program and declining viewer interest, Fox officials said Monday.

      The failure of “The Chevy Chase Show” marks a severe setback for Fox, which had aggressively promoted the show before its premiere as a hip alternative to the traditional late-night fare. The network will pay heavily-reports of Chase’s salary ranged from $3 million to $4.5 million a year on a two-year contract-and advertisers will have to be given free “make-good” spots on other programs. Fox’s lease on the old Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood, which underwent a multimillion-dollar transformation and was renamed the Chevy Chase Theatre-runs through the end of the year.

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      • LMAO Terrence! Well… at least Fox can’t say Chevy didn’t warn them!

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      • A Look Back At Hollywood’s Spectacular History Of Failed Celebrity Talk Show Hosts:
        http://uproxx.com/tv/2014/10/17talkshowhostsbombs/

        The Chevy Chase Show

        Years Aired: 1993

        Number of Seasons: 1

        Why Was It So Awful? TV Guide once ranked it one of the worst shows of all-time, for starters, and saying it lasted one season is misleading. It made it six episodes. If people aren’t dumping all over Sajak’s lack of charisma, then they’re reminding us how hilariously awful Chase’s brief run as a talk show host went. Remember how Fox gave us the Married… with Children laugh track that sounded like people were choking to death on nitrous oxide? In 1993, they decided that the laugh track should be added to the standard talk show format. If that wasn’t bad enough, Chase was already in the downward spiral of his career, which was sparked by Memoirs of an Invisible Man one year earlier. Maybe he could do revive the show today and have all his guests be people who have hated him over the years.

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  11. Did you guys know that Chevy Chase has perfect pitch? I’ve never done this before but I decided to check out his Wiki page. This alone could contribute to him having a difficult personality. Apparently perfect pitch can be both a blessing and a curse for the person who has it. I’m also more and more turned off by the idea of this whole whatever roast occaison and I’m glad Lebeau skipped over it. The guy is almost 70, and I’d rather focus on what he contributed to the comedy landscape rather than his faults.

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    • I did see Chase has perfect pitch. He apparently has some musical abilities which kind of excuses the vanity album.

      Roasts in general are more mean-spirited than funny. Sounds like this one was bad even by roast standards.

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  12. chevy chase is an idiot but he was a good actor in the 70s and 80s. 90s he lost it but vegas vacation and man of the house were pretty good. the man has problems and he is a political idiot and an egotistical son of a bitch. he’s let ego and politics get to his head. that is why he is a hasbeen.

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  13. if vacation will be good as the rest then i will go see it. if not i won’t watch it.

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  14. lebeau summed it nicely in the last paragraph, CC wasn’t really an actor so much as a comedian, and his star rose so fast it had to fall, plus he burned some bridges. my take is that he was smart enough to know what projects used his talents the best so maybe he knew what he was doing.

    If he’s an idiot we should all be idiots like him… even though he was from a pedigreed background, he worked odd jobs to support himself in NYC while trying to break into comedy, and eventually made it big. He doesn’t have to work and has not had to for a long time. I’m anxiously awaiting the next Vacation and hope that he and Beverly D’Angleo keep the momentum going. There was a glimmer of that in Hotel Hell vacation, although it was vaguely dark and depressing.

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    • I haven’t seen Hotel Hell Vacation. You have piqued my interest. I’ll have to check it out.

      One other thing about Chase’s talent – and I do believe he’s talented. His loose, goofy comedy style works best under a very specific set of circumstances. He was really custome-made for SNL. Chase does not believe in preparation. He says he works best on the fly. That is terrific for live TV. But movies entail a lot of preparation. And that’s why I think a lot of what made Chase a star got lost in translation on the big screen. The movies that did the best were movies like Caddyshack and Fletch where Chase was encouraged to improvise.

      But even then, Chase’s skill set didn’t translate to his next live TV show. Interviews require a lot of preparation. And also for the interviewer to be genuinely interested in the interviewee. Chase is a natural cut-up great at quips, physical comedy and mugging. None of those things are helpful for hosting a late-night talk show.

      Chase himself has admitted he made a huge mistake leaving SNL. It was the best possible job for him.

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  15. Howard Stern: Goofing on Chevy Chase (1/2):

    Part 1 of 2. Features Howard and Richard Belzer’s phone call to Chevy’s house as well as a Stuttering John interview.

    Like

  16. Last night I decided to re-watch European Vacation, my least favorite of the 4 (Rank: 1-VV, 2-CV-, 3-V and 4-EV) although it still provided plenty of laughs (cheeses.. Eric Idle).. only this time, with the Commentary DVD feature. Wish I had done this sooner. It was very enlightening to listen to Chevy Chase give his own personal spin on the movie. I gained new appreciation for HIS appreciation of physical comedy, how effective it is when done well, and the price actors pay for that, as in, back pain later in life. I noticed he had genuine respect for his costars. He appeared to be quite the perfectionist, too, in that he had visions for how the Griswolds should be onscreen. I’m sure that he contributed to the increased “family” aspect and less R rating, as the series continued. More than ever, I am impressed with how he captured family comedy together with family comedy satire, all wrapped up in a story. Films do for the most part have to tell a story. The Vacation movies are unique and reflective of the many acting and directing talents that shaped the series.

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    • Chase really knew physical comedy. I remember seeing him demontrate a prat fall. That was how I learned how to do them. Fortunately, I haven’t done them often enough to need back pain medicine. 😉

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      • Of course the idea is to make it look like you’re hurting yourself without ACTUALLY hurting yourself. As a lanky young actor I was called upon to do a lot of physical comedy and I generally succeeded in delivering the moment without getting injured.
        Unfortunately, no matter how good you are at it you will eventually have an accident. It’s just the law of averages. Most of my dings were small bruises and scrapes, but one time I got a little too aggressive in trying to make a bit look real and I creamed my own head into the stage’s proscenium. I saw stars for several minutes afterwards. Thankfully, it was right before intermission, so I got some time to recover before going back on to finish the show.
        Every time I hurt myself I felt like a real idiot. There is another camp which wears its scars with pride. I guess once you’ve got a scar there’s no other recourse, but I’m of a mind that if I hurt myself I might not be able to do the rest of the show or run at top performance, which is irresponsible.
        Both Chase and Jerry Lewis sustained back injuries which led to dependencies on pain pills.

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        • I suspect Chase was “feeling no pain” during the SNL pratfalls. If you go back and watch, some of them were fairly uncontrolled. Doing that over and over again, of course he sustained injuries. But I have to give him credit. I can’t think of another comic in my lifetime who has been as funny falling down as he was.

          Like

    • 10 Film Franchises You Really Should Stop Watching After The First Movie:
      http://whatculture.com/film/10-film-franchises-really-stop-watching-first-movie.php/3

      National Lampoon’s Vacation

      The original National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) brought together two 80s comedy heavyweights in John Hughes (writer) and Harold Ramis (director), as well as made Chevy Chase (who, after playing Clark Griswold, went on to star in a number of highly-regarded 80s comedies) a bonafide movie star. The super-quotable script also featured inspired performances by Beverly D’Angelo, as the Griswold family matriarch Ellen, a young Anthony Michael Hall as Clark and Ellen’s son Rusty, and Randy Quaid as the white-trash cousin Eddie. And of course, one can’t forget Vacation launched the career of supermodel Christie Brinkley.

      For the sequel, European Vacation (1985), Hughes wrote the screenplay, but direction was provided by Amy Heckerling. Chase and D’Angelo reprised their roles, but in a decision that went on to become a bit of an ongoing gag in the franchise, the two Griswold children were recast. When it didn’t recycle jokes from its predecessor, European Vacation built its comedic foundation exclusively on cheap ethnic stereotype gags.

      Christmas movie aficionados will probably hold 1989’s Christmas Vacation in somewhat high regard, but I believe the movie hasn’t aged well, plus it put too much focus on Quaid’s Eddie – a character that was used sparingly for shock value in the original movie. A lot of the movie’s jokes are mean-spirited and crude, such as a dog that oozes mucous all over the place (named Snots) and an absent-minded aunt who accidentally wraps her cat up as a present (that cat is later electrocuted).

      1997’s Vegas Vacation was so terrible, I can’t believe it wasn’t a direct-to-video movie. Then, there’s 2003’s ill-conceived Christmas Vacation 2, which was a made-for-television movie that aired on NBC, and starred Quaid as Cousin Eddie. The National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise got so atrocious towards the end, you wondered why these people still continued to spend time with each other.

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      • There are a lot of film franchises you should stop watching after the first. But Vacation, to my mind, isn’t one of them. Skip European Vacation, by all means. But Christmas Vacation is worth a look.

        Like

        • jeffthewildman

          Here are 10 that should have stopped after the first movie:

          1: Halloween
          2: Jaws
          3: The Crow
          4: Highlander
          5: Friday
          6: Scream
          7: Nightmare On Elm Street
          8: Madagascar
          9: The Exorcist
          10: Scary Movie

          10 that should have ended at 2

          1: Alien
          2: The Godfather
          3: The Terminator
          4: Manhunter/Silence Of The Lambs
          5: Spider-man
          6: Superman
          7: Shrek
          8: Rocky (although technically it’s the original and Rocky Balboa)
          9: The Karate Kid
          10: Die Hard (although technically it’s the original and With A Vengeance)

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        • You left off my #1 pick: The Matrix.

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  17. Chevy Chase nailed physical comedy in so many more ways than just pratfalls. The person who he reminds me of with his physical presence, oddly enough is legendary clown Lucille Ball. Yeah, I don’t expect anyone to agree with this comparision.
    It’s something to do with the way they nailed it, in terms of facial expressions, speech patterns, gestures, reactions to other actors, and whatever the whole mysterious package is that makes a great physical comedy player. It’s that indefinable something that makes them comedy gold. Maybe it’s partly a talent for improv. I will never know!

    Like

    • In Chase’s case, I think a big part of his appeal was his “I am too cool” attitude. He very clearly didn’t give a shit. He didn’t prepare at all. He was just winging it. And if you cared, that made you less cool them him. Unfortunately, that attitude is a lot less appealing from a middle-aged man.

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      • Unearthing the Complete and Total Disaster That Was ‘The Chevy Chase Show’:
        http://splitsider.com/2013/04/unearthing-the-complete-and-total-disaster-that-was-the-chevy-chase-show/

        That fateful minute of time also showed just how not hip Chevy Chase had become by 1993. At that moment, everybody collectively realized that somebody messed up and let Ty Webb become a month away from turning 50 years old. Unlike David Letterman, who we were used to seeing age one day at a time, and Jay Leno, who had appeared on Letterman’s Late Night show and guest hosted Carson enough throughout the 80s and early 90s to where he also aged in front of the country, the lovable, scurrilous, charismatic bastard that made Ted Knight ca-razy was now just some nervous and overwhelmed middle-aged man.

        It didn’t help that both guests and the host reminded everybody of Chase’s past. Four times in the first eight episodes there was a Caddy Shack reference (the best and most subtle one — “Pond would be good for you.” — came from, you guessed it: Andrew Shue). The worst was when Jennie Garth — who came off as ridiculously sweet throughout — seemed to be a genuinely big fan of Chase’s, singing to him the “I Was Born to Love You” song from the aforementioned classic and later giving him a Chevy Chase doll(!). That was all fine, but I cringed when Chase attempted to play the song, barely remembering the chords and messing up the ending.

        It is a far cry from Ty Webb. There is of course, nothing wrong with being older; people do that all the time. My argument is that it was very jarring to the audience. And that was not the only issue with the doomed show. For whatever reason, Chevy Chase never seemed to get rid of the jitters, or improve in his interviewing skills with people he wasn’t best friends with, which in turn made all of the interviews he conducted bad. As far as the former is concerned, take a look at a News Update segment, with a cameo from former SNL buddy Garrett Morris (the only former castmember of Chase’s that would appear over the six weeks. But Martin Short and his half-mullet did charm the pants off of everybody in the third episode).

        In each and every installment of News Update, Chase would stumble on his tongue and mess up at least two of the already weak punchlines. His decision to read off of papers instead of using a teleprompter or cue cards didn’t help his cause, and it was another example of Chase almost seemingly trying to remind everybody of their own mortality. It’s Weekend Update, just like the old days! Right down to reading off papers! I hate trees!

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  18. You should narrate your WTHH articles in video format on youtube. I’d see them (if I hadn’t already read them).

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    • Lol – that would be something.

      For the Chevy Chase column, I’d have to do a pratfall. Or “I’m Lebeau and you’re not.”

      Dang it, now you’ve got me thinking…

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  19. I’m real serious when I say this. Turning WTHH into a youtube series and/or a podcast will increase its visibility a great deal. Maybe work with somebody if you don’t have time to make it happen yourself. There’s a lot of stuff like this on youtube already and most of it isn’t written anywhere near as good as your stuff.

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    • That is exceptionally kind of you. You’ve got me thinking. I’ll have to look into it.

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      • It’s been well over a year since the idea was brought up by Stoich, but I think it’s worth bringing up again, Lebeau you should consider doing WTTH as a Youtube program.

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        • Ideas are percolating. This year, I launched the podcast. I’m thinking about diving into YouTube in 2015.

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        • That is exciting news. If it happens I wish you the best of luck and success with it, Lebeau. I know I’ll be watching from the start.

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        • Well, I don’t know if it’s news or not. I mean, I’m not making an announcement. It’s just an idea I have been kicking around for quite a long time. For now, I have been concentrating on the website and the podcast. I don’t want to spread myself too thin. But yeah, I do intend to make some attempt at a You Tube show some time in the future. And I figure that will likely happen some time next year. I just need to figure out what I want it to be and how to accomplish that.

          Good to know when it launches, I’ll have at least one viewer! 😉

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        • I understand you’re still kicking around the ideas for this before moving forward. As just an outsider and fan of your blog, I think it’s a natural progression of WTTH. In my minds’ eye I can see it really clicking. All I can say is, keep your voice that you have of lighthearted snark, and you’ll do fine.

          Just out of curiosity, when thinking about a possible Youtube channel do you have any thoughts yet on who your first topic would be? I think the most obvious subject would be, of course, Val Kilmer. He is in your profile pic, after all. If you threw up the idea as an eventual vote topic (and as you come closer to doing it, I think you should), I would definately vote the unoffical King of WTTH as the first topic.

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        • Thanks for the support, man.

          I haven’t decided what a YouTube show should be yet. I don’t want to just read an article into a camera. So I’m not sure if the subject of each video will be an actor, a movie or something else. My next step is to research the technical how-to end of it and see what I am capable of throwing together. If it does end up being a show based around one actor, Val Kilmer will be my first subject. He has to be. He has given the site so much. Even if that isn’t the format, Kilmer will be mentioned in some capacity in the first video. He will likely come up a lot in any show I do.

          The voice is the one constant. It’s my voice. It’s how I talk. Couldn’t change it much if I wanted to. I am looking to thin out a little before I step in front of a camera. Try not to think me vain, but I’m on Atkins and looking to shed a few pounds before I make my YouTube debut. Either that or hide behind clips. We’ll see.

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  20. I agree totally you’d have the talent and ability to take this on to a YT channel. YT is great for so many things. The comments sections don’t flow as well as they do for a written blog though.

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  21. What’s Gizmo?

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    • Inside joke. If you read the comments section of WTHH to Nicole Kidman I went a few rounds with a commenter who goes by the name Gizmo. I wouldn’t mind having a face to face chat with the irritable Mogwai.

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  22. Today I watched a 2 hour documentary on Bio about the making of the original Vacation movie. (It’s Mother’s Day so I got some control of the TV). It’s quite interesting and featured interview clips from most of the cast in addition to the directors and so forth. What I found particularly fascinating was the collaborative aspect and how it all contributed to the finished product. Talented writer John Hughes (so sad this brilliant man didn’t live longer) wrote the original story and then the script. After the TV show I read the story text of “Vacation ’58.” This is very John Hughes, who contributed the vision of, what a family vacation movie is like from the back seat, with bored teens who think their parents’ vacation ideas are lame. Chevy Chase wanted to bring out the comedic possibilities of Clark Griswold, the Everyman channeling his inner suburban dad nerd who works too much and wants to make it up to his family with a vacation. Harold Ramis helped push the humor envelope. There is so much more, (I’m not as familiar with the producer Matty Simmons but he is clearly innovative) another major aspect of the success enjoyed by Chevy and the others was the perfect casting decision for Ellen, with Beverly D’Angelo being able to play sweet, smart, sexy and comedy all in the same role. It’s also nice to learn that she and Chevy are enduring friends in real life. After seeing the documentary I have even higher hopes for the latest installment now in production.

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  23. After Chevy Chase, Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy got their own WTHHT articles, I would suggest that the next “SNL” alumni to get one would be Adam Sandler. Somebody in Kim Basinger’s WTHHT comment section suggested Dan Aykroyd, which LeBeau said would be problematic because Aykroyd during his prime always had to rely on the comedic talents of his co-stars (i.e. John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, John Candy, etc.).

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StarDerailingRole

    Andy Samberg in Thats My Boy. In the mid to late ’00s, he was an up-and-coming comedy star with roles in media such as Saturday Night Live, American Dad, and I Love You Man generating enough acclaim to give Samberg hope for a successful career. Then this film, released days after he left SNL, did rather poorly both at the box-office and with critics. Since then, Samberg’s popularity dwindled, and has since been reduced to independent films, bit parts and television, though time will tell if the recent success Celeste and Jesse Forever will prove a Career Resurrection for him.
    Of course, one will probably say that Hot Rod was more of a star derailing role than That’s My Boy was as that film was developed as the film that would launch him and The Lonely Island to stardom. Of course, the film made little money and the reviews derided as being nothing more than a feature-length sketch of theirs. That film also made Samberg box office poison.
    That’s My Boy co-star and fellow SNL alum Adam Sandler, who also served as producer of the film, didn’t fare much better. After leaving SNL, he had a Star Making Role with Billy Madison, and continued with hits like Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, and Big Daddy. Critics never liked his films, but that hardly seemed to matter; he was one of the biggest comedy stars of the ’90s in spite of it. He began to slip up with with Little Nicky and Eight Crazy Nights in the early ’00s, but his career was saved by the critical success of Punch Drunk Love, which proved to many critics that he really could act; despite disappointing performance at the box office it’s gone on to be regarded as one of his best films.

    As the ’00s went on, however, audiences’ opinion of Sandler began to fall more in line with that of critics. While most of his films were still making big money, complaints about his low-brow, vulgar style began to mount, especially after Judd Apatow’s style of comedy started earning the favor of critics and audiences. That’s My Boy was his first out-and-out flop in years, and (along with Jack And Jill, which earned a record ten Razzies but at least made money) arguably marked the turning point in the public’s opinion of him. He still does have the upcoming sequel to Grown Ups, however, so time will tell if he will be successful again.

    http://guyism.com/celebrities/comedians-who-used-to-be-funny.html

    2 Adam Sandler
    Adam Sandler still ekes out the occasional good movie (Funny People). However, his hit-to-miss ratio has fallen dramatically thanks to such recent stinkers as Grown Ups and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. Although, I guess it depends on whom you ask whether or not such comedy classics as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore are actually hilarious. Regardless, it’s pretty safe to say that Sandler has gotten soft in his old age.

    10 Ways Adam Sandler Can Get His Swag Back:
    http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/06/10-ways-adam-sandler-can-get-his-swag-back/

    Adam Sandler’s early comedies Billy Madison (1995) and Happy Gilmore (1996) replay incessantly on cable television, and with good reason. Endlessly quotable and always funny, they represent the kind of innocently moronic Hollywood comedies that aren’t made often these days. Sadly, when you watch those movies now, the viewing process is frequently disrupted by thoughts of, “Damn, I miss this guy.”

    We feel your pain. Nowadays, in the wake of Sandler’s worst movie thus far in his 23-year-career, the 2011 embarrassment Jack and Jill, the proposition of a new Adam Sandler comedy sounds more like a threat than a promise. And he only has himself to blame, since all of the multimillionaire’s projects come from his Happy Madison Productions, and bear his dirty fingerprints.

    The latest example is That’s My Boy, an R-rated flick co-starring fellow Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg as the well-to-do son of a deadbeat, partying father (Sandler) who conceived the kid when he was in grade school, with his teacher, no less. Admittedly, That’s My Boy, directed by Sean Anders (who co-wrote Hot Tub Time Machine and She’s Out of My League), does look like it could potentially be the funniest Sandler film since Funny People (2009), but that doesn’t dismiss its undeniable air of predictability.

    10 Good Actors Who Make Mostly Bad Movies:
    http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/12/10-good-actors-who-make-mostly-bad-movies/adam-sandler

    Adam Sandler
    Worst movies: Little Nicky (2000), Mr. Deeds (2002), Grown Ups (2010), Just Go With It (2011), Jack and Jill (2011), That’s My Boy (2012)
    Proof that he deserves better: Billy Madison (1995), Happy Gilmore (1996), The Wedding Singer (1997), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Spanglish (2004), Reign Over Me (2007), Funny People (2009)

    It’s hard not to tear up a bit whenever Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore airs on cable television. With each viewing of Adam Sandler’s earliest, most endearing dumbass-comedy flicks, the realization that the Saturday Night Live veteran only cares about making easy profits through unimaginative and insufferable comedies for shamelessly lowbrow audiences stings more and more. And don’t even get us started on the feelings that arise whenever Jack and Jill terrorizes the cable airwaves.

    It’s sad, really, because whenever Sandler decides to stop speaking in goofy voices and making dick jokes, he’s actually a fine actor. Thoughtful films from talented writer-directors like Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch-Drunk Love) and Judd Apatow (Funny People) show the Sandman’s emotional range and disarming charisma—sadly, though, neither of those passion projects make nearly as much as junk like Just Go with It, so he’s less apt to star in more of the former. Meaning, the world will soon to be punished with Grown Ups 2.

    Blame it on those Billy Madison re-airings, but we still have hope that our once-favorite comedic actor can make us become dedicated fans again. Here are a few suggestions to help his, as well as our, cause: 10 Ways Adam Sandler Can Get His Swag Back.

    http://whatculture.com/topic/adam-sandler

    How ‘Funny People’ Ruined Adam Sandler’s Career:
    http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/opinions/how-funny-people-ruined-adam-sandlers-career.php

    C’MON HOLLYWOOD: WHAT HAPPENED TO ADAM SANDLER:
    http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/cmon-hollywood-what-happened-to-adam-sandler

    5 suggestions to save Adam Sandler’s career:
    http://www.hitfix.com/news/5-suggestions-to-save-adam-sandlers-career

    Adam Sandler in a tough spot. His latest picture, “That’s My Boy,” just endured one of the worst opening weekends of his career. Moreover, audiences only gave the picture a B Cinemascore which is a bad sign for its long term prospects. The only silver lining is that reviews for “Boy” were a bit better than “Jack and Jill” last November (which isn’t saying much).

    While audiences have kept Sandler at the top of the box office consistently since “Billy Madison” 17 years ago, critics have rarely been on board with Sandler’s brand of broad comedy. Unfortunately, the overall quality of his films may finally be catching up with him. Many in the industry are blaming the Razzie-winning “Jack and Jill” on the poor debut of “Boy,” but it’s clearly more of a cumulative effect of forgettable flicks such as “Grown Ups” and “Just Go With It.” And, unfortunately, when Sandler has taken chances with a drama such as “Reign Over Me” or a dramedy such as “Funny People” (both films where Sandler received great individual reviews) the disappointing financial results seem to have scared him off from going in a different direction.*

    *The one exception being “Punch-Drunk Love.” An indie experiment Sandler has shown no intention of exploring again.

    At this point, Sandler is currently in production on “Grown Ups 2” which could either temporarily put him back in moviegoers good graces or be another “surprising” disappointment. The 45-year-old is also expected to reunite with Kevin James for the comedy “Valet Guys,” but whether the film will be green lit at this point remains to be seen.

    Ever since his years on “SNL,” Sandler has displayed an every-man charisma and willingness to put himself in embarrassing situations or characters for the benefit of his audience. Not every comedic actor of his generation would be willing to go where he’s gone over the years and, even he would likely admit, it hasn’t always worked out. Will the shock of “Boy’s” performance convince Sandler he needs to make some changes on the creative side? We’d certainly like to think so. Taking all this into account, here are five suggestions we hope Sandler will take to extend his career.
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    1. Sometimes being too loyal doesn’t work in a creative medium
    Sandler and his producing partner Jack Giarraputo have a tremendous amount of creative control with the films they make and have consistently pulled from the same pool of directors, actors, screenwriters, costumers, you name it. Sandler tried to go in a different direction on “Boy” with Sean Anders (“Hot Tub Time Machine”), but he’s usually in the hands of Dennis Dugan (six and about to be seven times), Peter Segal (three times) and Frank Coraci (three times). It’s arguably worse in front of the camera. It’s one thing to reunite with Chris Rock or Steve Buscemi, but the consistent use of Kevin James (four times), David Spade, Colin Quinn, Nick Swardson (seven times) and Rob Schneider (11 times) puts a second-rate and increasingly out-of-touch spin on his films. There is something incredibly admirable about providing work for your friends in Hollywood. Especially when you set up and produce smaller commercial films to, um “help” their careers (“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” “Grandma’s Boy”). To say such loyalty is rare in the movie industry is an understatement, but it’s becoming a burden to Sandler’s reputation with moviegoers.

    2. Don’t be afraid to make smaller films again
    Outside of “Punch-Drunk Love,” Sandler really hasn’t delved into independent cinema. “Reign Over Me” was framed as an indie, but had a studio price tag of $20 million and was marketed like a major release. He’s spoken previously about how nervous it makes him to star in more dramatic roles (he famously dropped out of Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds”) , but at this point even making an unconventional comedy — even in a supporting role or ensemble piece — could really help fuel his creativity. It might even be an eye-opener to filmmakers who may not have considered Sandler open to jumping outside his comfort zone in the past.

    3. Better Team-Ups
    As noted, Sandler clearly loves working with friends such as James and Rock, but why did we never see him in a movie with Jim Carrey at Carrey’s career height? Why hasn’t he teamed up with Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, Steve Carell or even “SNL” vets such as Will Ferrell or Eddie Murphy? (We’re not sure “Boy’s” Samberg counts as a star yet.) Sandler was fantastic with Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and up and comers such as Aubrey Plaza and Aziz Ansari in “People,” why didn’t he reunite with any of them in his next few films? Or actors of that ilk? One of his biggest hits pitted him against Jack Nicholson (“Anger Management”). Why wouldn’t he try an unexpected pairing like that again?

    4. Make another Sports flick
    One thing that Sandler has been known for is his association to professional sports and films such as “Happy Gilmore” (“Caddyshack” for a younger generation), “The Waterboy” and “The Longest Yard.” The latter two wouldn’t be considered classics, but from a commercial standpoint they appeal dirtily to his longtime male fan base. A huge NBA fan, Sandler still hasn’t made a real basketball comedy yet. Why not now?

    5. Don’t be afraid to make another R-rated movie
    In many ways, teaming up with Samberg in “Boy” and going in an R-rated direction was a “change” from Sandler’s recent filmography. Before “Boy,” the only other R-rated comedy Sandler had starred in was “Funny People.” Studio executives will try to sell Sandler’s camp that his audience is so family-friendly he needs to stick to PG-13 films, but ask Eddie Murphy how long that strategy can last creatively. There have been numerous box office blockbusters that were R-rated over the past decade. Sandler’s on screen persona should be a perfect fit for the right R-rated edgier material. Perhaps the third time’s the charm?

    Adam Sandler’s Fall From Grace:
    http://movies.mmgn.com/Articles/Adam-Sandler-39-s-Fall-From-Grace

    What the hell has happened to Adam Sandler? I still remember laughing my head off at the bitter golfing antics of Happy in Happy Gilmore and the childish banter of Billy in Billy Madison. His work on Saturday Night Live was equally as brilliant; Sandler has truly proven that he is capable of working in both small and silver screen environments. In addition, Sandler’s shift of pace in PT Anderson’s dramedy/romance Punch-Drunk Love, is, arguably, the greatest film of his career and one of Anderson’s most memorable projects. It signaled his potential as an actor with both strong dramatic and comedic timing. Nowadays, however, Sandler has returned to the idiotic humour that nearly ended his career before it started in the late 1980s and very early 1990s. Why has this happened?

    The reason for Sandler’s return could only be put down to complacency and a willingness to ride upon the fame and notoriety he has developed since his successful work on television and in film in the mid-1990s. Of late, his work has shared absolutely no resemblance with his work of yesteryear. Tell me, what do the following Sandler films have in common: Jack & Jill; Zookeeper; Just Go with It; Grown Ups<; Bedtime Stories; You Don't Mess with the Zohan; I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo? The answer: they all suck really bad. Sandler's credits over the last half a decade have been mediocre leaning towards terrible, to put it lightly. Sure, he was great as Charlie in Reign on Me, a dramatic return to the brilliance he showed in his collaboration with Anderson years before in Punch-Drunk Love, and he was amusing as Henry in 50 First Dates. Here, however, is where we see the problem: we can count the credible projects he has aligned himself with over the last 5-10 years on one hand. The glory days of Gilmore and Madison are gone and the horrible gags he bored audiences to death with in the early phase of his career are back.

    Jack & Jill is a return to the awkward, ridiculous humor that characterized Going Overboard in the late 1980s. Little Nicky was one of the earliest signs of Sandler's decline but he then redeemed himself with Anger Management, Spanglish and The Longest Yard shortly after. These half-hearted attempts at redemption, however, have characterised Sandler's career. On one hand, he has proven to audiences that he is capable of wooing them with his lovable onscreen persona, as can be seen in his portrayal of Robbie Hart in retro romantic comedy The Wedding Singer, but he has also disappointed viewers with follow-up performances in such films as The Animal and Eight Crazy Nights. Sandler has wavered between funny, amusing, misanthropic comedy to tortured, anti-heroic, dramatic performances. In between, however, we have seen some stinkers. Of late, however, there have been far too many.

    So, the question remains: what's happened to Sandler? His work on Saturday Night Live and his class roles of the 1990s seem like distant memories. His naturally strong dramatic and comedic timing seems absent, almost lost in films he has been involved with over the last 5-10 years. Is this a return to the painfully bad comedy of the late 1980s and early 1990s that nearly ruined his career?

    Zabadooo! The Comedy of Adam Sandler:
    http://splitsider.com/2013/04/zabadooo-the-comedy-of-adam-sandler/

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    • I’m not sure Sandler has derailed yet. He’s taken a few hits. But Grown Ups 2 will probably be a return to form for the guy.

      Personally, I have never understood Sandler’s appeal. But I can’t argue with his batting average. He is remarkably consistent even with a couple of recent flubs.

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        • 10 Adam Sandler Films That Actually Didn’t Suck:
          http://whatculture.com/film/10-adam-sandler-films-that-actually-didnt-suck.php

          With the release of yet another terrible Adam Sandler movie in Grown Ups 2 (you can read my review here) it would be easy to stick the knife in and trot out every awful movie the much-criticized comic actor has ever made. But I figured I should head in a different direction and present 10 Sandler movies that actually don’t suck.

          It’s important to remember that it wasn’t always this grim for Sandler. At one point he was a star of Saturday Night Live, which opened doors up to bigger and better opportunities. And throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s Sandler was a bankable name guaranteeing that your hard earned dollars would be well spent on something funny. But then sometime during the mid- 2000’s Sandler unfortunately stopped caring about producing quality content and nowadays is a guarantee that the movie is a steaming pile of dung.

          It really is unfortunate how far down Sandler has spiraled and fizzled out. There was a time when I actually got excited to see the next Sandler flick, and that didn’t always mean a slapstick comedy either as this list will prove.

          Maybe one day Sandler will crawl out of the gutter and start trying again but for now let’s remember the good times. The times when Sandler’s movies weren’t soulless and devoid of creativity.

          Like

      • I think part of Adam Sandler’s problem in recent years is a bit similar to Eddie Murphy’s. First and foremost, Sandler’s audience/fan-base don’t seem to want him to age if that makes sense. They still want Sandler to act like he acted when he was on “SNL” and was making “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore”. It’s just like how Eddie Murphy’s audience seem to want him to still be like he was during his ’80s heyday (when he was on “SNL” and was making “Beverly Hills Cop”). Sandler will occasionally do things outside of his “comfort-zone” (e.g. “Punch Drunk Love”, “Spanglish”, “Reign Over Me”, and “Funny People”, in which Sandler seemed to lampshade his reputation of continuously making high concept but otherwise lowbrow and obnoxious comedies), but will immediately go back to what was familiar and what would easily make him a huge profit.

        Sandler like Murphy seems to be somebody who would instead of working more w/ quality filmmakers, seems content on always hiring his friends (how else can hacks like Dennis Dugan kept getting work). Sandler as he has gotten older (much like Murphy during the late ’80s-early ’90s) seems to have worn his ego on his sleeve. He seemingly has to portray himself as the supreme alpha male, who is able to land/attract beautiful women at any end (of course he had to get Selma Hayek to play his wife in “Grown Ups”).

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        • Thing is Sandler seems perfectly happy to keep making the same crappy movie over and over again. Murphy was miserable and just couldn’t do it any more.

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        • I another thing that I should mention about Adam Sandler is that you can actually make the argument that he really isn’t that bad of an actor. Adam Sandler’s basic problem is that he more than often doesn’t seem to want to try very hard (to get straight to the point, Sandler just comes across as being incredibly lazy). This perfectly explains why much of his movies are comedies that aim to lowest common denominator. More to the point, much of his movies tend to come across as “Mary Sue” type vanity projects that are always about the same, interchangeable character. He’s seemingly more or less, in it mainly for the money and to give his friends steady work.

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  24. “Jack and Jill” falls into the category of so bad it’s good… There’s no denying it’s bad, TMC, but here’s the thing… Sandler knows what he is doing cause that film made lots of money.

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    • Jack and Jill made a lot of money. But it actually failed to recoup its budget in the US. That makes it a box office disappointment. Especially given Sandler’s track record. It’s extremely rare for him to fail like that.

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  25. Mid-European view (MEV): Chevy Chase is the anti-Nick Cage. Never ever had any success here, I had to google him. Usually all SNL-alumni fare quite well here (Eddy Murphy, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, even Adam Sandler), with two notable exceptions: Chevy Chase who is really unknown and Will Ferrell, who is known but definitely not famous.

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  26. In fact it’s perhaps a cultural barrier, but I really can’t understand what is funny in a sentence like “I am Chevy Chase and you are not”. I definitely have to see some of his stuff on SNL to judge.

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    • What you are Lebeau are saying makes perfect sense; humor often does not translate. As far as what makes him funny to us in the States, that we could talk about for a long time. The whole SNL thing in the beginning is that it was fresh, outrageous and hilarious. A lot of us grew old along with Chevy and the others so it is difficult to explain why “I’m Chevy Chase… and you’re not” was so funny back then. It was his own brand of comic genius, nailing the satire perfectly with his delivery. SNL Weekend update was basically satirizing news shows. You still might not find it humorous after seeing it though.

      Chevy had me at “Vacation.”

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      • Vacation was a real turning point for Chase. It’s when he stopped being the coolest guy in the room and started playing the bumbling dad. He was still funny. In fact, he was funnier than he had been in a lot of his “cool guy” movies. But Vacation is when his big screen image changed irrevocably.

        Although it had to be hard to be the cool guy after O Heavenly Dog and Under the Rainbow.

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    • I am going to do something ill-advised and attempt to explain a joke.

      First “I am Chevy Chase and you are not” was a play on what most news anchors said in their broadcasts and still do. I’m and . Chase substituted something a little edgy for the usual platitude which initially took viewers by surprise. After that, it morphed into a catchphrase and the repetition is what made it funny. Or at least why it got a cheer from the audience who knew it was coming every week.

      But more important was Chase’s attitude. First, he was cooler than anybody else in the world. Unless you were the Bee Gees or John Travolta, odds are Chase was cooler than you. He gave off this attitude like he wasn’t trying and he didn’t give a damn if you laughed or not. He made it all look exceptionally easy which is a key to comedy. Comedy is hard, but it has to look like the most natural thing in the world.

      The phrase “I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not” just sums up that whole “I’m cooler than you” attitude that made him a star. At the time, it seemed like an outrageous and audacious thing for someone on a nationally broadcast show to say. Especially someone behind a news desk. But Chase said it with a shit-eating grin. And he said it very matter-of-factly. He’s cool. You’re not. But he’ll still let you hang out. Aren’t you lucky?

      Of course, that’s extremely arrogant. But Chase delivers that arrogance with a wink that made audiences eat it up. Plus, he had already won them over when he opened the show by falling on his face. And he was a good looking guy – but not too good looking. Men weren’t threatened by him. They wanted to hang out with him. Women thought he was cute and funny.

      Honestly, the SNL stuff probably won’t play very well today. It was all very off its time. What made the show such a smash success was how edgy it seemed at the time. But these days, it doesn’t seem so radical.

      So good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

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      • Thank you for the explanation, now I see better where Chevy Chase is coming from. And of course, if someone is “cool” because of a TV show in the US, it is difficult to understand what makes him tick in movies when you have never seen that show.
        I remember when I saw “Stranger than fiction”: I was completely unaware of Will Ferrell then and I wondered why they cast this normal straight guy for a rom-com lead. Obviously it was made on purpose: a counter intuitive casting of a leading comedian as a boring dude is interesting, above all in a high concept movie. But if you don’t know it you really can’t understand why Maggie Gyllenhall would fall for such a guy.

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        • Chase rose to fame on being cool and then slowly lost it. Which happens with age. Early on, he was young rebellious and handsome. As he got older, he morphed into a bumbling boob. He could still be funny. But it was different.

          His style of comedy is very unprepared. Some say lazy. That effortless comedy worked when everyone thought he was cool. But once he stopped being cool (The Chevy Chase Show robbed him of any coolness he had left) a lot of that winking “I’m not really trying” comedy stopped working.

          Look at Chase’s impression of Gerald Ford from the early days of SNL. He didn’t look like Ford. He didn’t try to sound like Ford. He didn’t even mimick his mannerism or speech patterns. All Chase did was put on a suit and a dumb expression and fall down a lot. And audiences ate it up. Who many comedians could get away with that?

          Like I said before, comedy doesn’t always translate well. Pure physical comedy does, but mostly comedy is tied to a culture and a time. So it doesn’t age well or carry across borders. The early Chase was the very definition of comedy in the Disco 70s. In the 80s, he softened his image and lost some of that edge. In the 90s, he basically stopped being funny. Although I understand he got some of that mojo back on Community.

          Ferrell is a divisive figure over here. People who think he’s funny (like me) think he’s hysterical. But lots of people in the US just don’t think he’s funny at all. I can see how Stranger Than Fiction would seem like an odd casting choice if you’re not familiar with Ferrell’s popular comedies. Even having followed Ferrell’s career, I didn’t think that movie quite worked.

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        • Stranger than fiction showed, surprisingly, a good chemistry between Ferrell and Gyllenhall, but it did not live up to his premise. Directed by the only Swiss guy who made it in Hollywood.

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        • Gyllenhall could have great chemistry with a rock. 😉

          Ferrell proved to be an okay straight man.

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    • Context- US viewers were used to talking heads like Walter Cronkite acting like God gave them the news personally.

      Those news shows are struggling- so the joke is partially lost.

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  27. For me the SNL stuff didn’t stand up forever but many of Chevy Chase’s movies have remained enjoyable over the years. I can babble on for a long time about the appeal of the Vacation movies… it’s not like a “ROAD TRIP” movie is necessarily unique…it’s impossible to count all the road trip movies that have been made… the concept is definitely a comedy goldmine. There’s just so much material that can be written about, with all the stuff that can go wrong when you plan a lengthy trip. Beyond the humor/satire, “Vacation” spoke to people about something fundamental, that in a country this large connected by the freeway system, the open road always beckons. So I’ve always experienced the movie series as both a satire of family vacations, and for the vacation aspect itself. You really do want to see all the places the Griswolds visit…. well, most of the places. Unlike many critics, I enjoyed the followup movies just as much and Vegas Vacation is my personal favorite. I’m so hoping this latest installment makes it through production, the project is evidently on hold. They would be making a mistake to limit Chase to a cameo, they can still be Clark and Ellen Griswold, even if the son takes the lead. There could be a “grandparent spoiling” subplot that any decent writer could work with. The possibilities are endless!

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  28. ” Although I understand he got some of that mojo back on Community.”

    Yes and no- some of the writers for Community didn’t seem to know what to do with him. I think he was at his best when they either made meta references to Chase being a jerk (this probably didn’t sit well with Chase). They also have given him good episodes where he is shown as a lonely misguided guy.

    It was uneven- and maybe the problems on the set weren’t all Chase’s fault. Harmon released a phone message from an angry Chase that Harmon thought was funny. If you listen to it- you can side with Chase if he is being honest.

    Anyway- these problems might have prevented Community from being a big hit- although its quirkiness has always made that a difficult task.

    But- that might be it for Chase- the Community feud probably put off any other TV show runners- and the movie studios certainly aren’t burning his agents phone.

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    • I do not doubt his ability to burn any and all bridges. I’m sure he will get some work. But I doubt any more network TV shows are going to drop in his lap.

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  29. This summer, with actual time on my hands during a period of unemployment, I finally channeled my inner Chevy Chase, as sort of the Clark Griswold of single moms.. except less cool… and took the kids on a Vacation type road trip. The destination was not Wally World but rather Daytona Beach. We had a blast and I could easily contribute a few script ideas, starting with the appearance of little tiny ants in the car. It had seemed like a good idea when we were leaving, to load some boxes of unsold Girl Scout cookies that had been in the garage, thinking the kids might snack on them en route. Let’s just say there is a gas station near Cincinnati with a garbage can stuffed full of Thin Mints plus we were considerably delayed getting to our first stop by having to go over the car interior with paper towels and hand sanitizer until all the escaped ants were removed. Then there was the freeway situation around Atlanta which could almost spawn a Vacation sequel on its own. Now, it’s time to celebrate my last night of unemployment, by watching Vegas Vegation while doing laundry. Clark Griswold you rock!!

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    • Congrats on the new job and good luck. Glad to hear you took advantage of the time off.

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    • Well- basically the Vacation films made Chase a funny comedy everyman (middle aged version).

      This was different from his too cool Seventies/Eighties persona. Fletch was the last gasp of that- sadly.

      I think I said before that Vacation killed his cool guy image- but now I think he had killed that off- Vacation was the correct way to go- and I guess kept him on the beach in Malibu for another decade or so.

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      • I certainly don’t think Vacation was a mistake. It was probably the second best move of his career (the best being SNL). Chase had slowly eroded his coolness factor ever since leaving SNL. Were it not for transitioning into goofy dad roles, he probably would have burned out long ago. The Vacation films have endeared him to generations like nothing else he has ever done.

        Like

    • Vegas Vacation (1997) – A Review:
      http://haphazard-stuff.blogspot.com/2015/06/vegas-vacation-1997-review.html

      The Griswold’s are due for another vacation! This time hapless husband and father Clark (Chevy Chase) convinces wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and kids Rusty and Audrey (Ethan Embry and Marisol Nichols) to pack their bags for a fun time in Las Vegas!

      Taking in some shows, hitting the casinos and going on a tour of the Hoover Dam is just the start of some of the zany adventures that are awaiting the Griswold’s in Sin City.

      Soon Clark is losing all the family’s money at the tables, Rusty is winning it all back, Audrey starts a career as a Vegas dancer and Ellen is making time with Wayne Newton. And to top it all off Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) shows up to offer his unique low-brow humor to the proceedings.

      I have no idea why I watched this movie. Ok, actually I do. Occasionally I’ll record some movie I don’t really have any interest in and have it ready to be background on my tv while I do something else. I just think of them as filler movies. They’re just something to fill the room with some sound and it will be something I’ll occasionally look up at and not have to worry about getting invested in with whatever is going on. So while I’m doing some exercise, cleaning or sorting my socks the movie is playing, I’ll glance up at it and let out a ‘ooof’ and go back to whatever I was doing.

      Unexpectedly Vegas Vacation managed to get my undivided attention as it was a sleepless night and I figured let’s just get this movie over with since I’m just laying here. What the heck, everyone is talking about that new Vacation movie coming soon, so let’s see the Griswold’s last vacation adventure. I went through eighteen years of never watching this movie and now I realize I didn’t miss a thing and I was better off. I should have just put it on while I was vacuuming.

      This was one sequel too many and they should have just stopped at Christmas Vacation. This movie is simply not funny, which is about the worst thing a comedy can be.

      I hate attempting to explain why I find something funny or not. It’s a very personal thing. What I might laugh at others might stare at stonefaced. There’s really no science to it and it’s all subjective from one person to another. But I didn’t laugh much at this Vacation movie.

      Chevy Chase Randy Quaid Vegas Vacation Clark Griswold Cousin Eddie
      Exaggeration is important in comedy. Clark Griswold has always been a clumsy buffoon, but there was also something believable and realistic about him for you to identify with. Originally he was a guy who tried to maintain an optimistic attitude with taking his family on a vacation, even when everything started to go wrong and it began to pile up to be one disaster after another.

      He was clutzy and dimwitted and he knew things were going south, but he continued trying to put on his best face and feebly create the greatest family vacation ever. The family truckster crashes in the middle of the desert – no problem honey I’ll just take a quick jog to the nearest gas station!

      In Vegas Vacation Clark Griswold just becomes a complete ridiculous idiot in certain scenes. He’s more cartoonish than ever, it’s impossible to relate to him and any kind of grounded reality that we might remember from the first film is completely gone.

      You especially see this in the Hoover Dam scene which is just so forced and awkward. Clark gets separated from the tour and finds himself swinging and climbing all around the dam to get back to his family. Inspector Clouseau isn’t as incompetent as Clark Griswold here. It’s really stupid and there’s not a laugh to be found. The funniest part of the whole Hoover Dam scene is the tour guide using the word ‘dam’ all the time. That’s a little cute gag.

      The family becomes separated and each goes about on their own “hilarious adventures” in Vegas. Audrey dancing and Ellen getting romanced by Wayne Newton – both feel like filler. It’s like they didn’t know what to do with the characters so they gave them these half-ass storylines and they just sit there with no laughs coming at us. It’s like they think we’ll be laughing just because they got Wayne Newton to show up in this. No. You have to do something funny with the guy. Rusty becoming a high-roller works a bit better, but Embry is not a very good Rusty and I found him annoying and very awkward.

      Quaid shows up and is his usual gross/lowbrow/white trash character. I always thought Cousin Eddie works so much better in tiny spurts. I suppose he’s fine here. He does what fans of the character want. I thought the only funny stuff with him was when he takes Clark to this oddball casino where you can gamble on games like rock/paper/scissors and guessing heads or tails on a coin toss. Another cute little gag. The only other high point throughout this Vegas trip is Wallace Shawn as an arrogant blackjack dealer who continually beats Chase.

      Some people like how that new Vacation trailer was going for some ‘meta humor’. Ed Helms telling his kids “This vacation will stand on it’s own” when they tell him they never saw the original vacation. Yeah, what a knee slapper.

      Here, I was surprised that the movie had its own self-referential jokes. And I have to say I thought the two ‘meta jokes’ here were funnier than that Helms one.

      We have Chase dropping the line to the kids, “I don’t even recognize you two anymore” a clear poke at how the Griswold kids get recast in every movie. By the way that’s another positive thing – this Audrey is the cutest out of all the ‘Audrey Griswolds’ in the movies.

      But the funnier joke – actually it might be the best joke in the entire movie – is the Christie Brinkley cameo and her showing up as the girl in the red Ferrari once again. First it’s a nice throwback to the original and the final visual punchline to it is much more clever and funnier than the gag the new Vacation trailer contains with the girls car getting hit by a truck. But I guess comedies nowadays have to be bigger, louder and more destructive. Or maybe those are the only kind of jokes filmmakers today can come up with.

      It looks like the budget for this was much less than the previous entries. If someone had told me this was a made-for-TV movie I would have believed it. It has that flat TV-movie look and is very inoffensive. Some of the jokes and sight gags are poorly directed and setup. It’s like when the payoff shot finally comes around you were already bored waiting for it to happen.

      One of the strangest scenes is one that revolves around the Griswold’s attending a Siegfried and Roy show. I shave no idea what was supposed to be funny about it. I just ends and nothing really happens. Or maybe we were just supposed to laugh because Siegfried and Roy show up in this movie.

      Vegas was not a great Griswold vacation.

      Like

  30. He killed off the cool guy image for sure, and it may have cost him some fans from the cool guy era. Then again maybe that was the better career direction…whether intentional or not? When so many comedians fail trying to reinvent themselves? Some fans, like me are part of the base that only arrived with the middle aged dad phase. I watched SNL in the early days but wasn’t a CC “Fan” other than how he played with the ensemble.

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    • The cool guy thing was never going to last through middle age anyway. There’s only room for one middle aged cool guy and that was Bill Murray. 😉

      Like

      • I wonder why Bill Murray among 1970s era “SNL” alumni has had a much more respectable film career than Chevy Chase? I mean Murray like Chase, has developed a reputation for being a pain in the ass to deal w/ too.

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        • Murray was incredibly savvy about reinventing himself as a dramatic actor while still keeping a tow in comedy. He can do roles that blend the two. He shifted into smaller independent films and supporting roles. And while he’s cashed his fair share of paychecks (Garfield) he didn’t “sell out” like Chase did.

          Murray appealed to critics and became a darling even if he has yet to win any major awards. Odds are he will eventually. Murray may be a pain, but generally speaking he is worth putting up with if you can get him. Chase is just a pain who will eventually bite the hand that feeds him.

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        • I could never see Chase teaming up with Wes Anderson- which no doubt lead to Lost in Translation with Coppola for Murray.

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        • “Charlie’s Angels” (and to a lesser extent, “Osmosis Jones”) is another movie from the latter part of Bill Murray’s career, where you can argue that he was simply “cashing in” for a paycheck (and even then, things ended on a sour note as Murray didn’t get along w/ Lucy Liu or the director, McG). Although, I always assumed that he did that movie in order to appease Drew Barrymore, who kept pestering him to play Bosley (leading up to the incident at the 25th anniversary special for “SNL”, where Murray, reprising his lounge lizard character, approached Barrymore in the audience and said “Don’t go chasing waterfalls!”).

          This could also explain why Murray has been so reluctant to make a third “Ghostbusters” movie (although he did reprise his role via voice-acting in the 2009 “Ghostbusters” video game). I saw him on the David Letterman show and he said that if the script is on par w/ the first “Ghostbusters” movie, then he would be open to make a third one.

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        • Charlie’s Angels had a lot of buzz- he might have thought it would be a good mainstream hit after Rushmore and Hamlet.

          Like

        • Before TV remakes became common, Dan Aykroyd revived Dragnet:
          http://thedissolve.com/features/forgotbusters/263-before-tv-remakes-became-common-dan-aykroyd-revive/

          J. Thunder • 8 months ago
          I think Murray’s longevity as a beloved comedy icon can be chalked up to the fact by the time Rushmore came out, he realized it was futile to try headlining mainstream comedies and had to adapt to the times. After being a star for close to 20 years, he didn’t have to try to compete with the Sandlers or Carreys. Murray embraced being a utility player in respected projects by top tier filmmakers (Anderson, Coppola, Jarsmuch). Some of Murray’s contemporaries (Aykroyd, Chase) in comparison still pretended it was the late 70’s-early 80’s and embarrassed themselves with minuscule box office returns before studios stopped green lighting starring vehicles for them. Of course, Latter Day Murray would stumble occasionally (Charlie’s Angels, Garfield) but overall, he probably feels there’s nothing to prove being a movie star these days; which probably explains his reluctance to make Ghostbusters 3 (or maybe he still hates Harold Ramis).

          When the bad movie podcast We Hate Movies was reviewing Casper, one of the hosts mentioned seeing a flier for Dan Aykroyd appearing at at a liquor store in New Jersey to promote his Crystal Skull Vodka. Very unfortunate. I’d rather see him make a sequel to Loose Cannons than endure that.

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  31. What Chevy Chase does best are the following character “types” and areas of comedy: 1.) Being an eccentric, surly grump (but a lovable one), 2.) Being a geeky, goofy dad or “nice” character (National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, Foul Play, Three Amigos, Funny Farm to an extent), 3.) Being a klutz, 4.) Being a wiseass (what he does best), but in order for this to work, he needs to have fairly constant laughable/buffoonish characters and situations that he can play off of/easily improvise-the situational thing is the key. (Fletch movies, Caddyshack to a lesser extent), or 5.) The guy who is a little “slower” than the others (Three Amigos)-(Its the “What? Me? I’m innocent!” kind of look.) And… that is just about it. But he is VERY good at these kinds of character types/areas of humor. So he is definitely not very versatile, and definitely not able to generate humor on his OWN very well-which is why being a stand up comic was NEVER his thing. But pair him with a weirdo (Uncle Eddie (Randy Quaid) for instance), and there you go, he’s a funny dude. Chase as a person? Hey, yeah, he’s got some issues. That temper, geez… But there are plenty of people who are much worse than he is. If he could just be a little more considerate to the “little people”, I think more people would like him, but I don’t really think that was ever very high on his “priority list” to begin with… So yeah, there is definitely a “me-centered” thing going on there with Chevy-hey, some folks really have a hard time getting outside of themselves…

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  32. I’ve read the Tom Shales book, and it’s full of some mis-quotes according to some of the writers, but if several subsequent cast members go on to continually document how much of an asshole somebody was, then chances are they really are an asshole.

    Chevy’s incredibly full of himself, which would be fine if he was delivering comedic genius year after year. But it was hubris on his part to think that he could pull off a talk-show. People talk about how he’s much better suited to “off-the-cuff” humour, but then why didn’t that show work? Its because they could see the flop sweat beading on his ever-balding head as it was forming. A real comic would never let the audience see how nervous they were.

    But Johnny Carson was even more of an asshole, and he had the requisite skills to make a talk-show work for decades. So it’s a combination of poor decision making, an inability to do any more than he was able to, and a complete lack of public interest due to diminishing returns. People can forgive a bomb or two if you bookend them with hits, or at least marginally interesting films. But by the early 90s, nobody cared about Chevy anymore.

    The last sort of funny thing I saw him in was as a doctor who constantly gets body parts broken by loan sharks–in “Dirty Work” and that was in about ’97 or so. It was a bit part and the movie tanked, which didn’t do him any favours.

    As for the roast, we’ll agree to disagree–I think they can be funny as hell, but there’s not a roast or roaster today that will ever top what the Dean Martin roasts ended up being.

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    • Great post. I think you have summed it up very well. It’s not just that Chase was a pompous ass. When he was successful, everyone was willing to put up with him acting like he invented the pratfall. But Chase’s success was based less on his comic genius and more on his “too cool for school” image which quickly evaporated as he transformed from young Cary Grant in the lat 70s to doofus middle aged dad in the 80s.

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  33. National Lampoon’s “Vacation” reunion: ABC plans comedy with Chevy Chase & Beverly D’Angelo:
    http://www.tvguide.com/News/Vacation-Reunion-ABC-1075529.aspx

    ABC has just signed up both actors to star in a comedy for the 2015-16 season, but the proposed project is still in the very early stages.

    Like

  34. Saw “Three Amigos” on TV recently for the first time in years. Have to say, it was not a bad time. It is cheesy, campy fun. In particular the scene where they sing “My Little Buttercup” in a grungy Mexican bar, is a classic. Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short were all uniformly excellent.

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  35. I just assume every actor and sports player is prickish and entitled because of the great compensation and fawning fans. Gold and glory seldom go with caring and sharing.

    I don’t care if he arranges puppy cage fighting, makes lousy films now, or his only tip to the waitress is on the end of his penis.

    The old Fletch and Family movies were great entertainment and he fit in those roles exceptionally well. The old family film cheese is far better than the crap they make now. The whole point of film is to entertain you and he used to do that. As for his real life decisions they in no way effect the film/character so I dunno whatever. Punch a fleet of babies or be locked away for 50 years for stealing a hotel towel. Don’t care. Just as long as you play your role in the film to satisfaction as that is the only time people cross with you and its better that way without the reality. Entertainment is fantasy. Why do people need to ruin it?

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    • Your comment cracked me up. I share your point of view for the most part. I don’t really care that Chevy Chase is an asshole. I’m never going to have to have the unpleasant experience of listening to him brag about his own awesomeness over lunch. Like you said, that doesn’t impact my enjoyment of his old movies.

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  36. What Chase needs, while he’s still alive, is for somebody to kill his over-compensating ego. Once the ego’s dealt with, then perhaps he can start mending fences with everyone around him. That’s what I think, at least. A therapist would be helpful for doing this.

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    • I was reading an interview with Chase from the early 90s just before Christmas Vacation opened and it was really sad. He talks about how misunderstood he is and how the book on the history of SNL made him cry. But then, his inflated ego gets in the way. When he isn’t talking about how he’s such a victim, he’s making himself out to be the inventor of comedy.

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      • Other people’s egos also, can have the effect of rewriting someone’s history book. If you step on the wrong toes. It’s an unfortunate “real world” problem that some people are skilled in dealing with, and some are not. And sometimes people should just plain know better, other times you don’t see it coming. In the entertainment world, this effect would probably be magnified a thousandfold.

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  37. Reviewing of “Funny Farm” and “Snow Day.” FF is a very good Chase comedy vehicle, except it plays a bit more serious and slow paced, but I think for CC fans it is a movie worth owning. The man’s brilliance at simultaneously playing satire and storyline keeps me enthralled. As I watch him on film it strikes me that he has always been very good at taking a joke as well as making one. In other words he has no problem poking fun at himself for the good of a movie or a skit. Which is something people often overlook.
    Snow Day is a forgettable bit of drivel where CC isn’t even a major role. I watched 3/4 of it while folding laundry and trashed it next morning. My son said as tactfully as he could, “Mom this movie is really bad.” Yep. that sums it up. Chevy Chase owns the screen in his few scenes, the viewer is left wishing this movie was more about his character than the high school kids. This from a high school aged viewer.

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    • Chase didn’t care for Funny Farm. He felt like they wouldn’t let him cut loose. But I remember Ebert and Siskle liked that it was a more reigned in performance. What they liked about it was that it was a movie that just happened to have Chevy Chase in it rather than a “Chevy Chase movie”. I am on the fence. I think I would have rather seen Chase go all out mugging because as you point out the movie is kind of slow and not especially funny.

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  38. Uh…..Chevy WHO?!! From the looks of it he started eating and never stopped. Maybe that’s how he died…..

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    • daffystardust

      not sure if you’re joking or not.
      If you don’t know who he is, then maybe it makes sense that you don’t know he’s still alive.

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      • lol – I hadn’t read your response when I posted.

        If you don’t know who he is, I don’t know, maybe you could read the article explaining who he is and what happened to him. Or just look at the unflattering picture at the top and go right to the comments section. Whatever works.

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    • Do you seriously not know who Chevy Chase is or are you messing with your old pal Lebeau? I can’t tell.

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  39. jeffthewildman

    Re-read this after picking up Vacation and Caddyshack on DVD for $5.00

    It always seemed to me that Chase used up his comedic energy in those two movies and Fletch and after that sentenced himself to a series of lesser roles. Of course, his ego was no help.

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    • Vacation and Caddyshack for $5? Nice.

      I think part of what happens is that a comedian like Chase becomes known for ad-libbing. So the attitude is that you can hand him an unfunny script and he’ll just wing it. Give him a good script and he can embellish it with his off the cuff contributions. But he can’t make a movie out of nothing. Talented comedians are often expected to do this and it rarely works.

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  40. I’m still kind of surprised by the revelation that Chevy Chase didn’t like Funny Farm. Even if he didn’t get to exercise his trademark talent for ad libbing, he was still excellent in his role. It is a different kind of movie, a bit slower paced. And it turns out to be kind of a different movie halfway through. That can easily ruin a movie but Farm was saved by its cohesive structure and elegant balancing of satire and storytelling.
    There’s the whole giving up the city life/job for the country bit, the whole grass is greener bit, the strain on the marriage bit, the stereotypical country types and the city slicker adjusting to those types bit, and so on. It’s all about the performances that determine whether this material is fun to watch or not. I found it fun to watch.
    THEN the movie changes gears when Andy (Chase) and his wife Elizabeth (Madolyn Smith) decide they’ve had it, they’re going to sell the house and get a divorce, and get the townsfolk to help create a Norman Rockwell-like image to prospective buyers (in exchange for cash of course). It’s not laugh out loud hilarious, it’s a certain type of enjoyable satire for fans of that genre, and for the first time the movie builds a little intrigue. For this I give credit to the writers. THEN, when Elizabeth smiles out of her window at the Christmas carolers.. knowing it isn’t real but enjoying it anyway.. heck, what is real? What do you enjoy in life? How does a movie tie up all these strings? They do!
    I know this wasn’t a box office or critical success (although I remember Siskel and Ebert liked it) it was fun seeing it at the theatre and i’ve enjoyed revisiting it over the years.

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    • When you read interviews with Chase, his opinion seems to be based largely on his experiences making the movie. And he has very strong opinions about how that should go. Basically, he wants to be allowed to adlib everything. If the director stays out of his way and doesn’t expect him to prepare, Chase is more likely to be happy. Of course if the movie doesn’t pan out, he’ll still trash it. But if a director tries to reign him in as was the case on Funny Farm, he won’t like it no matter how it turns out.

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  41. i think chase needs his own lost in translation a indie type dramady that showcases his serious side it did wonders for bill murrays career although he might not have the talent or at this point cares. He turned down american beauty who knows what that could have done

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  42. Who Is the Greatest ‘Saturday Night Live’ Cast Member Ever?

    http://grantland.com/features/saturday-night-live-greatest-cast-member-ever-nbc-40-years/

    So what constitutes a great SNL cast member? Our criteria in assembling the 64 names you’ll find was fairly simple. 1. Impact. How did he or she change the culture of the show? Chevy Chase appeared in only one full season, but his smarmy fingerprints are still smeared across the halls of Studio 8H. 2. Quality of Tenure. Forget about every non-SNL-related aspect of his or her career. You loved Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock. That is immaterial here. Likewise Bill Murray, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, the host of The Tonight Show, and the dozens of other alumni who went on to greater things after their run on the show. 3. Versatility. Once upon a time, Dennis Miller was considered very funny. But even then, he was mostly just a (fine) “Weekend Update” anchor. This matters. 4. Funny. No explanation needed. 5. Haircut.

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  43. do u guys think chevy can find his own lost in transaltion

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  44. do u guys think chevy can find his own lost in translation

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  45. Every business, corporation, and government takes on the personality of the people in charge. If they are happy and honest, it will show up at the lowest levels of that enterprise. If the leadership is corrupt then it will show up in every aspect of the business. It sounds like Chevy Chase is exactly what he shows himself to be. I never really realized just how screwed up this guy is until I read this article and some of the links. Rarely a good word from his contemporaries, and plenty of bad. Throw in a little drug abuse and this is what you get.

    I used to watch him on SNL and laughed. Later on the golfing movie, Caddy Shack, I heard that the lead actors would not speak to each other. Not a good sign. It appears that this guy didn’t need a job. Here in the real world, regular guys, or even very talented guys must show respect to their workmates and especially to their employers. Even in a industry as screwed up as the movies there must be some modicum of respect for the people with which you work. In my world if someone made the same derogatory remarks about my father as he did about Robert Downy’s Dad, then it would be a very short lived fight. My hitting him with something heavy, and his head bouncing on the floor. Many of the men I work with would finish with a few kicks. The point being that once confronted with the inescapable repercussions of your actions then you learn to be very circumspect in your comments. It appears that he never learned respect for his peers. Maybe because of his lineage, or family money he didn’t need a job so he could afford to be mean, but I have seen his contemporaries from SNL go on to have long lived careers with some very solid work where he is just treading water.

    It’s not that he is not funny anymore, it’s that his personal antics have poisoned the well. When confronted with a choice between Bill Murray or Chevy Chase, it’s foregone conclusion that the probability of being entertained falls to Mr. Murray. It’s not necessarily because of Murray’s expertise, it’s because I get enough of assholes like Chase in regular life.

    I kinda wish I never read this article, Lebeau. I kinda knew this stuff, but it never reached this level of perception. Now I am informed, and disappointed. And everything falls into place.

    Oh well, what the hell, Ignorance is Bliss!!

    Brad Deal

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    • Interesting comment, Brad, and doubtless there’s a lot of people that agree with you. But I have not heard anything yet that would make me not appreciate his work. He still made movies that made me laugh, I still think his genius outweighs his not so nice moments, and I still hope that another Vacation movie will be happening with him in it. That’s just my opinion. It doesn’t look like it will happen… but he’s in his 70s and doesn’t need to work anyway. Chevy Chase, you rock, always.

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    • I had the same reaction. I had heard that Chase was an asshole. But I chose to just kind of believe he was the funny kind of asshole he plays in the movies. The kind you laugh with instead of punch in the face. But for a variety of reasons, Chase has been allowed to continue being an asshole with few immediate repercussions. Supposedly he was bullied as a child, etc. Maybe that makes you more prone to bullying others when you’re the one with the power. For much of his life, Chase had unchecked power. He’s always had money. But at a young age he had the kind of fame that can mess someone up. Seems like it did a number on him.

      But even though I know Chase is a jerk, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m never going to have to suffer through listening to him brag about himself all through dinner. I’ll just watch Caddyshack and remember when he was the coolest, funniest guy in movies.

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  46. lebeau u dont think he could pull a bill murray murray was an asshole his career was dead then he came back with lost in tranlsation u dont see it with chase

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    • Chevy Chase just doesn’t have the same kind of acting range that Bill Murray does. I can’t imagine Chase has a Lost In Translation in him, to be honest.

      Like

    • Bill Murray Just Needs To Start Making Good Movies Again

      http://uproxx.com/movies/2015/10/rock-the-kasbah-bill-murray/

      By: Mike Ryan 10.21.15

      On Monday night, Bill Murray showed up on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night talk show dressed like… well, this. What followed was the now-predictable chorus of people hyperbolically championing everything Murray does. “Oh, that Bill Murray. He just doesn’t care! Look how freewheeling he is!” To me, the appearance came off as the opposite: It seemed desperate and almost like Murray cared too much. This is the week I officially grew tired of the “Bill Murray can do no wrong and is just such a crazy guy” narrative. I just want Bill Murray to star in a good movie again – because he’s quietly starred in a lot of bad movies recently.

      Hey, did you hear Bill Murray doesn’t have an agent? Hey, did you hear Bill Murray has a special phone number and, if you leave a message, he may or may not call you back? Hey, have you heard Bill Murray likes to crash strangers’ parties? Who gives a beep I just want him to make good movies again.

      Murray’s new movie, Rock the Kasbah, is getting pummeled by critics. And deservedly so: It’s a mess that Murray seems to think he can save by singing and hamming his way through. There’s a scene in Rock the Kasbah in which Murray sings Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” to an Afghani tribe. This is the kind of scene Murray has skated by on for years now – “Oh, can you believe that crazy Bill Murray sang a song!” — but with Rock the Kasbah, he’s completely exposed and it’s just not “cute” anymore. It’s sad. This movie made me sad. Pretty much all of Murray’s recent non-Wes Anderson films make me sad. (And he’s never really the star of those recent Wes Anderson films anyway; I’m referring to movies in which he’s legitimately the lead.)

      Okay, deep breath: I am a fan of Bill Murray’s acting. I really am. My annoyance comes from a place of love and disappointment. Lost in Translation is one of my favorite films and it captures Murray at his absolute best. There, he’s heartfelt, dignified, sad, kind – a real human being. Yes, he sings, but when his Bob Harris sings Roxy Music’s “More Than This,” Murray’s not hamming it up. He’s not trying to save a movie in one scene. He’s understated and the result is haunting, even magical. When Harris makes eye contact with Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte, there are sooooo many ways for this scene to be played the wrong way. But a deft Murray has the ability to play that moment in a way that conveys he’s looking at a dear new friend who’s helped him rediscover a side of himself that’s been missing. Charlotte means the world to Bob, but not in a romantic way. And he relays all of this with one look as he quietly sings the words “more than this, you know there’s nothing… more than this.”

      The Bill Murray of today reminds me of Groundhog Day. Remember when Phil Connors (Murray) has the almost-perfect day? Not the one that gets him out of the day, but the one where he finally wins over Andie MacDowell’s Rita? Remember how that day ended with an impromptu snowball fight with some local children, with the end result being Phil and Rita falling down together in a snowbank? The next day, Phil tries to recreate this day again, but it’s not the same. It feels forced. He even overdoes it with the snowball fight, then forces Rita to the ground, trying to recreate the impromptu fall. This is how I think of Bill Murray now; he’s trying hard to recreate the magic he found with Lost in Translation, but it feels forced and “off.”

      Murray legitimately deserved the Oscar for Lost in Translation. And he wanted it so bad. Now, with more than a decade of hindsight, it’s even easier to see that he got a raw deal. Lost in Translation is now a modern classic. Honestly, when’s the last time you said to yourself, “You know, I’m going to watch Mystic River tonight? Sean Penn is just so good.” Baloney, Murray deserved the Oscar.

      Since Lost in Translation, here are the movies that Murray has starred in (meaning he was legitimately one of the lead characters): Life Aquatic (a good movie), Broken Flowers (a good movie), Garfield (A Tail of Two Kitties), City of Ember, Get Low, Hyde Park on Hudson, The Monuments Men, St. Vincent (in which he does a terrible accent the whole film), and Rock the Kasbah. (He’s a borderline main character in Moonrise Kingdom, a good movie, and Aloha, a movie a lot of people do not like.)

      Bill Murray has quietly made a lot of bad movies since Lost in Translation, and no one has noticed because everyone is so damned enamored of Bill Murray “being Bill Murray.” You are not helping him. You are enabling him. Deep down, Murray still wants that Oscar. He’s never going to get it as long as we think it’s just so great that he shows up on Jimmy Kimmel wearing a costume. This is our fault. The world will be a better place with Bill Murray making good movies again. I want to see him challenge himself again. I want to see another moment like Murray poignantly singing “More Than This.” For the life of me, I cannot watch him sing “Smoke on the Water” again.

      Like

  47. murrY is better then chase

    Like

  48. we dont know chase turned down American beauty unlike murray he never wanted to go to indie route he never wanted to take chances stretch like murray

    Like

  49. I’ve always been a fan of Chevy Chase. However, looking over his whole career here it’s a bit surprising to me how few actual good movies he’s had to his career. During his peak years, which I would argue to be from 1975 (his debut on SNL) to 1986 (Three Amigos), he only had a handful of films that I actually like. Foul Play was fairly entertaining for its time, though I haven’t seen it since I was a kid so my memory is a bit foggy on that one; regardless I’ll toss it in the win column for him since I liked it back then. Spies Like Us was ok. Nothing special, but decent enough for a couple of light chuckles. Now we get to the great ones. Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Three Amigos are all among my all-time favorite comedies, I actually love those three comedies, definately big wins for him but to be fair only Vacation has Chase in the lead role, the other two are ensemble comedies. He seemed to largely do best in his career when being assisted by other strong talent; Goldie Hawn and Dudley Moore in Foul Play, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight in Caddyshack, Dan Aykroyd in Spies Like Us, Steve Martin and Martin Short in Three Amigos. Among the films of his I like, Vacation is the only time where he’s front and center carrying the film. Not knocking him, simply pointing that out. Even in Vegas Vacation, the final Vacation film he did in ’97, was a bit more of an ensemble film with the family members each going their seperate ways and having their own adventures and not focusing on Chase as much as the other films. Just a thought.

    After 1986, there’s very little worth watching for me after that. I’d say Vegas Vacation from 1997 was fun to watch, and he had a nice little cameo in Hot Tub Time Machine from 2010 which I enjoyed, but that’s about it for me. I think 1986 was the end of Chase’s peak era if you ask me. But that’s just my opinion.

    Like

    • I will agree with you Craig, that Chevy Chase is at his best as part of an ensemble. But that just endears him to me all the more. He’s so good in a comedic ensemble I think it’s easy to underestimate what he does. And has been mentioned before, a natural physical comic. I don’t quite agree about his having less range than Bill Murray. There may not be evidence available to back me up here, but I believe CC is perfectly capable of a wider range. You saw a glimpse of that in Funny Farm, although his comic presence was clearly the top note. He did turn down American Beauty, and I respect him for that choice. He was never trying to be a Kevin Spacey range actor. CC established a niche that played well with audiences and he stuck to it. So in that sense, you are absolutely right, I prefer to believe he could have done things differently if he chose.

      Like

      • I was afraid to say that he does his best work when working with other strong talent, worried that it may be taken the wrong way. Chase did prove himself to be a strong comedic talent, especially during his peak years. The fact is, even with other comedy legends like John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtain, Garrett Morris, etc. in that first season of Saturday Night Live, Chevy Chase did stand out among that legendary group. Chase was no slouch, to reference Caddyshack. But, looking back on his career, yes most of his good films had other strong comedic talents backing him up. His own ego may have kept him from joining the cast of Animal House, seemingly unwilling to join an ensemble cast probably wanting the main spotlight for himself in theatrical films, but with films like Caddyshack and Three Amigos he wound up joining ensemble films anyway. All the better for us.

        Like

      • I’m going to respectfully disagree with you on Chase’s range. I have great respect for Chase’s talents as a physical comedian. But his range as an actor is somewhere around the level of Jean Claude Van Damme. In fact, I may even give the edge to JCVD. Even when Chase was doing his Gerald Ford impression, he couldn’t be bothered to try to look or sound like Gerald Ford. He just did his schtick and said “I’m Gerald Ford.” Chase is one of the best muggers in the business. If I want someone to mug for the camera, Chase in his prime tops my list. If I want someone to take a fall or be aloof, I’m calling 70’s Chevy Chase. That’s his wheelhouse. In Funny Farm, the director told Chase to stop mugging. That’s not so much showing range as it is having the director tell you to cut it out. And Chase was pissed about it. He still complains about the director ruining Funny Farm by not letting him do his thing.

        Chase attempted to show his range in Memoirs of an Invisible Man. If you want to see Chase’s range as an actor, check it out. He’s stiff as a board. There are reasons he didn’t make a Bill Murray-like transition into dramas and indies. He doesn’t have the right stuff for it. That’s nothing against him. It’s just a real limitation. Later in his career, he stretched a bit by playing arrogant, angry villains. Those he excels at. I think we all know why.

        No once has Chevy Chase ever turned in a performance as an actor that moved me in any way. He’s incapable. He’s too detached. He’s Mr. Aloof. He’s not really an actor. But he is a very talented comedian and there is nothing wrong with that.

        Like

        • You’re absolutely right, Lebeau. Chase is very talented within his wheelhouse, but he doesn’t have any range. I would argue, just for a comparison, that even Arnold Schwarzenegger has more range than Chevy Chase. Arnold made his name initially with straightforward action flicks, but then Arnold surprisingly proved himself quite capable in comedic roles too in films like Twins and Kindergarden Cop. True Lies even is a fascinating mixture of action and comedy that works tremendously well under Cameron’s deft direction. Chase is great in his wheelhouse, but Chase doesn’t have any range or nuance. Perhaps that is what Bill Murray meant when he insulted Chase during a fight by calling him out in front of others as “a medium talent”.

          But I’m not knocking Chase, there’s many actors that have a limited range but I enjoy their movies because they are very good within that small range. Steven Seagal has an incredibly small range as an actor, but I used to enjoy his earlier films because he was quite good as an action star in that very small range of his. The same is true of Chase.

          Like

        • Wait, did I compare Chevy Chase to Steven Seagal? Ouch! That came out the wrong way, sorry Chevy.

          Like

        • I think Schwarzenegger has as much range as Chase or more. He can do action and comedy. Heck, Arnold has even done a few dramatic roles. Chase falls apart outside of comedy and the very small niche of angry, egomaniacal villains. I considered comparing him to Seagal but ultimately decided Van Damme was a better comparison.

          It may sound like I am being harsh on Chase. I’m not. Range has little to do with being a movie star. Range is important for an actor. But it may be an impediment for a movie star. Chase was a movie star, not an actor.

          Like

  50. i wish he didnt turn down american beauty it would have been good to see him dramatic roles he never did them he could went the bill murray route quality indie oscar flicks

    Like

  51. I got bored and wrote an outline for Caddyshack 3:
    http://officialfan.proboards.com/thread/507682/got-bored-wrote-outline-caddyshack

    Twenty years ago, Al Czervik bought Bushwood Country Club, after he passed, it was left in the hands of his son, Phil Czervik (Darrell Hammond).

    The club is far less exclusionary than in the past, but the poor economy has hit the Czervik family hard and Phil may be forced to sell the club to an interested buyer, airline magnate Peter Forrester (Alec Baldwin) who wants to turn Bushwood into an elite property for the super rich.

    Meanwhile, fun loving cattle baron Bob Porter (Ron White) is playing 36 holes like he does every weekend when he hears of the club’s impending sale, he tells Czervik that his golf pro friend informed him that the PGA Tour is looking for an emergency venue for the PGA Championship after a sewer main busted and ruined the course they had planned to use, and the money they would get paid to host the event would be enough to keep Phil from having to sell Bushwood.

    Phil has two weeks to turn the golf course into a real challenge for the pros, so he turns to head greens keeper Dave Spackler (Chris Pratt), who eagerly accepts the challenge, happily sharing the news with his pet gopher.

    Forrester discovers that Czervik is in more financial trouble than he lets on and leans on Phil to sell the club to him immediately, knowing the tournament will make the club even more enticing to his wealthy friends, Czervik refuses and Forrester decides to sabotage the club’s chances with the PGA.

    Spackler enlists the help of the club’s golf pro, retired tour champion Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler), who left the tour after winning several majors and settled down so he could spend more time with his wife (Julie Bowen) and kids.

    Together they manage to turn the course into a sufficient challenge and the PGA agrees to move the tournament to Bushwood, despite Forrester’s scheming.

    Forrester and Porter get into a disagreement on the course as Forrester gets angry at Porter and his friends for taking forever, they argue, Porter wins the war of words and Forrester vows revenge.

    Just before the tournament begins, Phil’s financial issues are getting out of hand and he has no choice to sell the club, Forrester is pleased until Porter makes a better offer, Forrester matches the offer and Czervik decides to let the two men settle things during the Pro-Am before the tournament, winner gets to buy Bushwood.

    Forrester smugly makes a side wager with Porter before the match, which Bob agrees to before Forrester reveals that he’s a zero handicap and his partner is the hottest rookie on the tour.

    Then Porter’s golf pro friend arrives, ready to partner with him in the Pro Am, and Forrester’s smug expression vanishes when he sees Tiger Woods.

    Porter and Woods beat Forrester, who cries foul until Happy decks him, Porter agrees to buy 49% of Bushwood so Czervik can keep control, and Dave’s father Carl (Bill Murray) who is now bald and dressed in Tibetan monk robes, congratulates his son on his fine work, but gets upset at the sight of Dave’s pet gopher.

    Good guys win, bad guys lose, everyone’s gonna get laid, etc.

    I’m sure it could be better if I gave more than 20 minutes thought to it, but like I said, I was bored.

    Like

  52. hes not a good actor but still it makes me wonder if chase didnt turn it down it would lead to great things memories of invisible man was not drama it was comedy it didnt realy have dramatic elements i think chase has an ego wants to be a big star all the time he would think an indie would be a step down for him hes to lazy to devolpe acting skill. Murray was like chase earlier his career then as he aged he realized his roles would get old so actualy devolved real acting skill by taking challenging roles chase was to lazy to do that it might to late now

    Like

  53. i also heard he turned down gump too him and travolta

    Like

    • Chase was a big, big star. The list of scripts he turned down is a long one. But you also have to keep in mind that when an actor passes on a film, it changes the outcome of the movie. If Chase had made Forest Gump or American Beauty, they would have become Chevy Chase projects. It would have completely changed everything about those movies.

      Like

  54. we dont know if it would iam sure had he not turned down American beauty it would still be a dark comedy maybe it would be sold as a comeback vehicle for chase it did have some sarcastic witty humour i guess i can kind of picture chase saying spaceys line spacey was a big name then before american beauty but he was not seen as a leading man since he didnt have alot of successful leading roles at that so it was kind of risky casting him in a lead role if chase didnt turn it down it could have been still the same he played depressed man before

    Like

    • 10 Actors Who Stupidly Turned Down Iconic Roles

      http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-who-stupidly-turned-down-iconic-roles.php/4

      Chevy Chase – American Beauty

      The Role: Lester Burnham

      Chevy has a habit of missing out on pretty incredible roles, either by choice or because he didn’t quite make the cut, from Forrest Gump, through Animal House and Ghostbusters to American Gigolo, but arguably the biggest missed opportunity for the comedy “legend” was the chance to play Lester Burnham in Sam Mendes’ American Beauty. Provided he could have matched Kevin Spacey’s exceptional performance, American Beauty could have been Chevy’s crowning glory in an otherwise not so great career, and could well have picked him up an unlikely Oscar nomination.

      But then who is to say that Chevy would have been as masterful in that role as Spacey?

      Chances are Chevy won’t be getting these kind of offers any time soon, thanks to his notoriously difficult attitude, but American Beauty would have been a major deal for the paycheck-hungry Hot Tub Time Machine and Community star.

      Like

  55. if u think about lester could have been a dark take on clark griswald

    Like

  56. It occurred to me that Chevy Chase has something in common with David Caruso and Farrah Faucett: all three left highly successful tv series after only one season. Chase beat the odds by actually having a successful movie career unlike most who leave for greener pastures so soon after gaining fame.

    Like

    • It’s true. Leaving SNL was actually a good career move for Chase. At least for a decade or so.

      Like

      • Here’s the difference between Chevy Chase and the idiots you guys are discussing that don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as CC. Even when I was unemployed for the better part of a year, you could not have paid me any amount of money to watch anything with Seagal, VanDamm, or Ahnuld in it.

        Like

        • I do think you’re being unfair to Arnold. The other two, not so much. But your preference is just that, personal preference. Someone else who prefers action to comedy would likely feel the exact opposite way you do. Personally, I share your preference. But I don’t think Chase is superior to those guys in any way. He’s just a comedic talent where Seagal and Van Damme have talents that don’t appeal to you (or me) as much.

          Like

    • Had David Caruso not “rebounded” many years later w/ “CSI Miami” then he quite frankly would’ve been perfect for a WTHHT entry. Steven Bochco, the executive producer of “NYPD Blue” was quite adamant about how difficult Cauro was to deal with:
      http://tvline.com/2016/08/18/david-caruso-nypd-blue-exit-controversy-steven-bochco-memoir/

      by Michael Ausiello
      August 18, 2016

      Hey, Steven Bochco, tell us how you really feel about David Caruso!

      In the überproducer’s new memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense, the “NYPD Blue” co-creator chronicles the events that led up to the controversial departure of Caruso in Season 2. And it ain’t pretty.

      By the end of the cop drama’s breakout first season, “David Caruso had become impossible,” Bocho writes in the book.

      “Caruso’s behavior was, simply put, cancerous. He was emotionally unavailable to everyone, and he was volatile, moody or sullen, depending on the day. Most people don’t function well in a dysfunctional environment, but Caruso loved it because he was the source of all the discontent, and it empowered him.

      He never said it to me directly, but the simple truth was, Caruso felt he was too good for television. He wanted to be a movie star. And his plan was to alienate the writers, producers and his fellow cast-mates in hopes that we would dump him from the show.”

      When that didn’t happen, Caruso asked to be let out of his contract unless certain demands were met, Bochco alleges.

      Among them: A raise from $40K to $100K an episode, as well as “Fridays off… a 38-foot trailer…. an office suite on the lot, replete with his own development executive, for whom we had to foot the bill to the tune of $1,000 a week… two hotel suites in New York when the company went there on location, plus a dozen first-class plane tickets… and additional security to shield him from his adoring public.”

      In the end, Caruso was written out of “NYPD Blue” four episodes into Season 2. Jimmy Smits, meanwhile, was brought in to replace him and, as Bocho states, ended up making “the series even greater.”

      Like

    • It wasn’t just Chevy Chase’s poor attitude that ruined his career, it was also arguably drugs. Chevy’s drug abuse just flat out took a toll on physically him (if you saw him on say, the 40th anniversary “SNL” special for instance, it was quite apparent that Chevy didn’t look healthy at all). It seems like Chevy switched from cocaine to painkillers and then alcohol.

      Like

      • That makes sense; I never tried coke. I’ve been awake for the last month +, just because. I may have have gotten, what, 16 hours of sleep since August (good thing I’m hot)?
        Anyway, I noticed that “Seems Like Old Times” was on the Laff channel. Love that film.
        It made me think: do I like “Foul Play” more than “Seems Like Old Times”?
        Personally, I switched from vodka to Gatorade Frost; I realized vodka wasn’t satisfying my deep down body thirst.

        Like

  57. chevy chase had a good run of movies but never reached bill murray stardom

    Like

  58. but never had murray like range i saw ghostbusters last night murray was great i know chase was one of the original choice he could not have pulled it off chase can still try drama maybe grandpa roles in drama he turned american beauty cause he wanted to family oriented films this proves hes ok with his career being in the can u cant blame him for turning dwn the movie aas good as it was in the 90s there alot of these subrian type films like ice storm not all of them were hits plus sam mendes was a first time director so it wasnt a sure thing it would be a hit

    Like

    • Why does Bill Murray suddenly think he is a “serious” actor?

      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000195/board/flat/235747699?d=235957600#235957600

      If you look at the careers of many comedians you’ll see there comes a point where they either branch out and grow as actors or stagnate and become typecast.

      Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Steve Carrel and Charlie Chaplin are a few examples.

      There is nothing “sudden” about Bill Murray taking more serious roles. Back in 1984 Bill Murray made a deal with Columbia Pictures that he would appear in Ghostbusters only if they financed The Razors Edge. That film bombed and Murray went back to making comedies. But if you look at comedies he made after Razor’s Edge you can see many of them had darker or dramatic layers.

      In 1988 he made Scrooged which has a very dark 3rd act and a passionate speech. Sure What about Bob and Quick Change were silly films but a few years after those films he made Groundhog Day which walked the line between comedy and drama. Groundhog Day was his last headlining blockbuster and you could see audiences were getting tired of his movies.

      In the years that followed Murray had some funny cameos but most of his headlining films after Groundhog were bombing. But in 1998 he made Rushmore and entered his post-comedy reinvention with the help of Wes Anderson. It got him a Golden Globe nomination. A few years later he was nominated for an Oscar for Lost in Translation. He was being rewarded for his dramatic work.

      Meanwhile, Jim Carrey never got the recognition he deserved as a dramatic actor so he’s gone back to the well with Dumb and Dumber. Robin Williams won an Oscar but he’d still make comedies. Chevy Chase tried to make a few dramas, they bombed and his career never recovered.

      Reprising roles 30 years later really hasn’t worked for a lot of actors and I think Murray wants to do something new and different than the same thing over and over again. He’s proved he can and audiences accept him so let him do whatever he wants.

      Like

  59. lebeau i dot care for chases acting dont think hes funny but to say hes worse then arnold is an insult arnold never has dont drama he suck at it. arnold not a good actor he sucks at comedy too no timing the only thing he has going for him is build which fits his action roles all he does is action scene and one liners but no real acting chops chase is a little better then arnold chase had a better chance getting a oscar nom chases acting has been praised in a few of his moives arnolds never was

    Like

    • Agreed.. hence the SNL skit. Ahnuld’s talent can be summed up as “We’re here to PAMP YOU up”

      Like

      • I strongly disagree. You’re both selling Schwarzenegger short. He has a very strong screen presence and quite an impressive range. No, he’s never going to be an actor. But as a movie star working within his wheelhouse, he can do comedy and action as well as anyone. And he can do limited dramatic roles. I was quite series when I said I believe he has more range than Chase. Both are talented guys. But Chase is limited to basically doing his schtick. Schwarzenegger has shown he can do more. No insult to Chase. That’s just an honest assessment.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree with Lebeau on this one. I love Chevy Chase, but at the same time his range is limited. His acting on SNL, Caddyshack, Vacation and Three Amigos (my favorite works of Chevy’s) all fall into a very narrow range. Don’t get me wrong Chase is terrific and talented at what he does, but there’s not much range or nuance there.

          Arnold Schwarzenegger displayed soild acting chops in the action film genre with Terminator, Commando and Predator, but then expanded his range (and his audience) by doing Twins. He surprised many by displaying keen comedic sensibilites and Twins became his biggest hit to date. Kindergarden Cop showed Twins wasn’t a fluke with another comedy hit. True Lies served as a strong action comedy for him as well. I would say because Arnold has successfully done both action films and comedy films, he has a somewhat wider range than Chase, who has only done comedy successfully.

          I think some just knock Arnold because they view “action films” as a lower grade of film or something, but it does take certain acting skills to successfully pull off an entertaining action film. Look at Steven Seagal. He was quite successful in action films in the late 80’s to mid 90’s, yet he never stretched out into comedy films or dramas, and I don’t think he could have even if he tried. Actually, he did try once, when he hosted Saturday Night Live, and he bombed so badly that Lorne Michaels calls him one of the worst hosts in SNL history. Just goes to show that comedy isn’t as easy as it looks. So the fact that Arnold expanded beyond action films into comedy successfully proves that he does have range.

          Like

        • Exactly.

          Also, don’t overlook Arnold’s range as a dramatic actor. I know, his range is limited. But he has done dramatic roles like Stay Hungry and The Jane Mansfield Story. Look at True Lies in which Schwarzenegger deftly balances comedy and action with a little dramatic acting. Heck, look at his most iconic role. The Terminator. He has played The Terminator as both a hero and a villain. A humorless killing machine and a catch-phrase spouting protector who even elicits a tear or two when he makes his final sacrifice. When’s the last time anyone cried because Chevy Chase died on screen?

          Yes, Arnold’s range is limited. But not as limited as you might think if you assume he is just a musclebound idiot. He’s definitely not.

          Like

  60. arnold even said himself countless of times he is a bad actor he knows it people dont watch his movies for great acting granted hes gotten slightly better then when he first started still sucks one of the things i hate is when people put stallone and arnold same category stallone started off as a dramatic actor he was called the next brando he just choose to star in some crappy action films he turned himself to action star. he can handle more dialogue then arnold his acting has been praised

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  61. when has arnold ever done drama he no comic timing chase has personality in his roles he just has 1 liners arnold is one of the worst actors ever chase has a better shot at oscar people say keanu reeves is bad arnld is worst

    Like

  62. Here’s Why ‘Fletch Lives’ Isn’t A Terrible Movie:
    http://uproxx.com/movies/2014/10/heres-why-fletch-lives-isnt-a-terrible-movie/

    ‘Fletch Lives’ stands out as one of Chevy Chase’s most under-loved films, but maybe people are being too harsh.

    Like

  63. “I don’t like Chevy”: Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase’s tense post-”Saturday Night Live” battle:
    http://www.salon.com/2014/11/28/i_dont_like_chevy_richard_pryor_and_chevy_chases_tense_post_saturday_night_live_battle/

    Rivalry between Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase extended past that famous “SNL” sketch — and included Johnny Carson

    David Henry and Joe Henry

    Richard had sworn off appearing on talk shows six years earlier because, as he said, there would always come a point in the conversation when the host would turn to him and say, “Isn’t America wonderful, Richard?” And he would have to say, Yes, Merv/Mike/Joey/whoever, it sure is. Then the host would say, “See, guys? He said it. What’s the matter with the rest of you?”

    On May 4, 1977, Richard and Chevy Chase both went on the Tonight Show to plug their respective TV specials, airing back-to-back on NBC the following night. Chase had left Saturday Night’s midway through its second season to pursue a solo career. Carson and Chevy only met for the first time the previous day. Although he was noticeably cool toward Chase, Carson could barely conceal his glee over Chase’s painfully inept performance, as the comic actor, visibly flustered, stumbled over even the simplest questions groping for witty replies but coming up with none.

    Carson asked Chevy to demonstrate, for the benefit of folks at home who may not have seen it, the pratfall that made him famous on Saturday Night. Using a chair and a glass of water for props, Chase gives an overlong introduction, explaining what it is he’s about to do, what makes it funny, then instructs the audience (growing noisy and restless) on the proper way to land when taking a fall. Finally he does it. Applause. As he steps up onto the riser, returning to his chair, he trips and falls again.

    Chevy became less tongue-tied once Richard came out and took the guest chair next to Johnny. Being pushed out of the spotlight seemed to energize Chevy. His comic style being better suited to the role of a sideline taunter than ball carrier, he kept leaning over from the couch into Richard’s frame and repeatedly interrupted with ineffective wisecracks. After suffering a number of verbal smack-downs from Richard—with the audience clearly on Richard’s side—Chevy attempted to make amends by saying that he had seen Richard’s special and that it was “hilarious. Not quite as funny as mine, but, really, it’s quite good.” Richard remained unmoved. When Johnny asked Richard if he’d seen Chevy’s special, he answered, “I don’t like Chevy.”

    Like

  64. Chevy Chase says he’s returning to “Community,” Sony says it’s not true:
    http://tvline.com/2014/12/09/chevy-chase-community-season-6-guest-star/

    A rep for Sony Pictures Television says Chase, who asserted in a Reddit AMA that he’ll make a “small cameo,” “is not confirmed to appear in Season 6 at this time.”

    Like

    • The reason why Community got canceled

      http://www.looper.com/16016/reason-community-got-canceled/

      On paper, a funny, critically acclaimed show like Community looks like a sure bet for a long-lived television series. Unfortunately, that was only on paper; in reality, it left the airwaves far too soon. Here’s why.

      Chevy Chase’s shenanigans
      As good as it was, Community had problems early on due, in no small part, to Chevy Chase’s feud with series creator Dan Harmon. In March 2012, Chase told Huffington Post that, among other things, he’d always had “creative issues with the show” and that he felt the show went “south” in season three. Though the show had an ensemble cast, Chase was arguably the biggest name in the group, and a show’s star talking down about his job doesn’t bode well.

      The mid-season removal of season three
      On top of Chase talking smack about Community, NBC didn’t seem to have much faith in it either, despite its critical acclaim. During the 2011 to 2012 mid-season, execs pulled it from the schedule to make room for the returning 30 Rock. They also stated that the show wasn’t canceled and would return later in the season, which it did. However, savvy TV audiences know that a channel playing with a show’s scheduling is the kiss of death for a struggling series. So even if NBC’s higher-ups said they wanted the show to succeed, their actions contradicted their words, which is basically the stereotype for network execs.

      The firing of Dan Harmon
      As season three wound down, Community received another fatal injury. On May 18, 2011, NBC fired creator and showrunner Dan Harmon. Rumors spread that Harmon was difficult to work with, but what ultimately got him fired was the fact that Community wasn’t the hit NBC hoped it would be. The network kept the show going without him, but without the brains behind the show, it was essentially on life support.

      Season four problems
      Another sure sign NBC had Community in its crosshairs was the delayed start of season four. Originally scheduled to begin on October 19th, 2012, it didn’t premiere until the following February. In addition, NBC moved it to Friday nights, which is essentially the death zone for any show, popular or not. And to top it all off, while all previous seasons had more than 20 episodes each, season four only had 13. To save face, NBC released a statement saying they wanted to keep the show in their “back pocket,” which is where people usually forget they stick things.

      The Russos leave
      In addition to Dan Harmon getting canned, NBC lost more behind-the-camera talent. In particular, it lost Joe and Anthony Russo, who left to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Between them, the Russos directed over two dozen episodes. While Community had other directors, the Russos were responsible for some of the more popular episodes, such as fan favorites “A Fistfull of Paintballs” and “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.” Community was in quite the pickle, and that wasn’t even the end of it.

      Chevy Chase leaves
      By this point, everyone had had their fill of Chevy Chase’s behavior. In November 2012, Chase and NBC reached the mutual agreement that he’d leave the show. It wasn’t really surprising, considering how vocal he’d been about his problems with Community, and by this point, the rest of the cast had begun to stand out, so losing him wasn’t that big of a blow. If anything, the people he’d clashed with probably breathed a little easier with him gone. However, he left during the filming of season four, which meant some last-minute tinkering had to be done with a few episodes.

      Everyone else leaves
      In addition to Harmon, the Russo brothers, and Chase, a number of other talented contributors left the show. Among them were producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, writer Chris McKenna, and writer Dino “Star-Burns” Stamatopoulos. While some might argue these departures came from solidarity for Dan Harmon, or opportunities to explore other employment, it’s a safe bet they all sensed Community was circling NBC’s drain.

      Dan Harmon returns for season five
      Even with all this doom and gloom, hope persisted that Community still had life left. For starters, it was renewed for a fifth season, surprising pretty much everyone. Even more surprising, Dan Harmon came back. In addition, everyone who’d left returned—even Chevy Chase (albeit as a hologram in one episode). The show weathered the storm and carried on smoothly, right? Wrong. More troubles lay down the line.

      Donald Glover leaves
      One half of Community’s popular Troy and Abed duo, Donald Glover surprised fans by opting not to stick around for the end of season five. He only appeared in a few episodes before leaving to pursue other acting opportunities, as well as his burgeoning music career as Childish Gambino. His exit impacted the show more deeply than Chase’s departure—and it meant having to hire, integrate, and win over fans with a replacement character of some kind, which isn’t an easy task. Just ask Cousin Oliver.

      Season five wasn’t that good
      Though Dan Harmon and company returned to Community, they didn’t bring a whole lot of the original magic with them. True, it’s difficult to catch lightning in a bottle once, let alone a second time. However, it’s not like they even tried to do that with the fifth season. Between the deluge of concept episodes, lack of character development, and other problems with the season, it seems like Harmon and company phoned in season five. While NBC’s commitment to the show was iffy before, their pulling the plug after season five felt to some like a mercy killing.

      Six seasons and a movie
      After Community’s banishment from network television, fans rejoiced to learn Yahoo!, of all places, had picked it up for a sixth season. They would get their longed-for six seasons and a movie—maybe even seven or eight seasons. Unfortunately, Yahoo! lost a lot of money making Community, about $42 million in all, so six seasons will probably be it for this cult classic. But hope remains: with or without Yahoo!, Harmon has said there might be a movie.

      Like

  65. I think what really kills Chase is he really does not know what is funny. Or if he did, it passed him by around 1985 or so. Community is exactly the type of comedy he “says” he wanted to do when his movies were flopping. Harmon practically wrote his character to Chase’s strengths. The show was a critic darling and was edgy and experimental, and he still hated it. He always bemoaned after the cancellation of his talk show that his comedy is “edgy” and “experimental” and he was not allowed to do that, but when he finally got it he still hated it because he had to share it with other actors. His script choices besides Fletch and the Griswolds have been poor when he wasn’t part of an assemble.

    From the many comments of others I read who worked with him, he also never seems to have gotten over getting old. He supposedly made demands of Community that he be given romantic storylines despite the actresses being 30 years younger than him. i guess Modern Family proves there can be a place for a February/December romance being funny, but the comments lead me to believe he wasn’t pitching it as funny, but as like he is a star and should get some good looking woman action. Annie from the show is supposed to be like 20 and Britta is like mid twenties, so its just icky.

    The reason why Bill Murray passed him is Murray accepted getting older and embraced it in taking supporting roles, age appropriate roles and roles examining regret and aging while Chase never progressed from wanting to be seen as the leading man who could star against Goldie Hawn.

    He also seems to have a very bad relationship with other comics. If he was nice and offered some advice and help to them, when they got successful they probably would have returned the favor and threw him a bone, but he seems to always wanted worship and praise and automatic respect in a business where it has to be constantly earned. I saw an article where Chase stated the infamous comedy roast he did was the lowest point in his life as he knew no one who busted on him and it was cruel. However, the comics who busted on him said they did so because of his arrogant and condescending attitude towards them when the roast was nothing more than a gig to them. All of the Community actors implied when the show started they were all eager to work with him and called him a comedy legend, but soured on his arrogance and poor attitude.

    He is actually lucky he had such a long career. He seems mean, arrogant, jerky and most importantly very vain.

    Like

    • Vanity being an unknown quantity in Hollywood. Dimes to dollars anyone in the biz calling him vain has an ego to match.
      I don’t know Bob, he might be vain about the talent he had, when he was good (as being Clark for example) he made it look so effortless maybe he feels that people didn’t recognize his talent fully. Again, no idea, and Lord knows people seem to love to rip on him. But I don’t agree either that he has tried to be the leading man past his prime. He was more than happy to play the suburban goofball Dad as Clark Griswold, hardly a leading man role. It’s evidently all too easy to overlook when someone is willing to poke fun at themselves in order to enrich the comedy, and that’s exactly what he did, for all four of the Vacation movies. Speaking of which, all 4 are also excellent ensembles drawing on a lot of talent from the
      cast onward. So I also don’t buy the criticism heaped on him that he has to be the star. The roast that you mentioned, the comics that piled on at the roast and those who taped other segments seeking to exploit his name for their own ends, (He was mean to my Mom, boo hoo hoo….) come off as sounding like complete and total dickwads.
      Criticize him all you want but his career wasn’t built on luck. He’s become a scapegoat for people who like to, as another poster here said in a different context, about a different star, treat celebrities like zoo animals instead of human beings.

      Like

    • You have made a lot of good points. The one that interests me the most is the first one. I think most comedians have an expiration date. It seems like even most successful comedians can only tap into the funny for a relatively short time. After a while, they need to find a way to keep their comedic style fresh which is extremely hard to do. Chase comic style was largely based on the attitude of a cocky, handsome young man who could get away with anything. Aging just sucks the life out of what used to work for him. But also, I think success does a number on your head to the point where you really don’t know what’s funny anymore. You get used to people laughing and praising you no matter what you do. When that stops, it must be confusing. Chase’s schtick hasn’t changed. He has to wonder why and when it stopped being funny. Was it ever all that funny to begin with? What the hell happened? I ask myself these questions about guys like Chase and Mike Myers all the time.

      Like

      • I agree with you in that you can do a what the hell happened with 90% of comedians. I think comedians have it the hardest because of what you said, their schtick is the same and worked before, than all of a sudden it just..disappears. You mention Mike Myers, look at The Love Guru, on paper it had to look like gold which is why so many stars did cameos. Its the exact same style as he did with Wayne’s World and Austin Powers and it was just not funny. I also think the bombs are worse for this same reason, studios really do not know what is funny and rely on the comedian’s sense of humor more than in other movies.

        You can tell a WWII drama will be good or moving based on the script and the actors, but a studio almost needs to be Nostradamus to see Adam Sandler’s Billy Madison being a hit or Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura being huge. “On Paper”, I bet the Son of the Mask “read” as funny as Carrey’s original “The Mask”.

        As to RB’s points, he may be right and all the cast of Community, the Old SNL alums and other comedians may just be haters and he is misunderstood and is actually than VERY unfairly maligned. I wasn’t there and only wrote stories from other articles. But it hard for me to understand why so many would seek to slander a star that when it could only hurt them and probably ruin their careers if it is unfounded.

        Like

        • There are very few comedic actors who managed to stay relevant over a long period of time without getting into more dramatic roles. That’s a difficult transition to make even for a talented actor like Carrey. I think Carrey had what it took to be a dramatic actor. But his audience didn’t want to see him in those roles and those who disliked his shtick just didn’t want to see him at all. Chase, on the other hand, has never been an actor. His talent is for a very specific brand of comedy. He can’t branch out beyond that. So that leaves him with very limited options.

          You’re not going to convince RB about Chase’s character. We’ve had that conversation for a while now. If one looks objectively at the numerous accounts of Chase treating people poorly or letting his ego get the better of him, one can draw a fair conclusion. 99.9% of us already have. But one thing I have learned writing this series is that there are some fans that will cling to their beliefs about their favorite actor or actress no matter what evidence is out there to the contrary. And that’s fine by me. If someone wants to go on believing that Chevy Chase is a misunderstood sweetheart, they aren’t hurting anything. Hopefully they will never meet Chase in person to discover otherwise.

          I like your comment about the WWII drama vs a comedy. Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.

          Like

      • http://www.avclub.com/article/more-tired-wired-case-file-60-blues-brothers-2000-235024#comment-2659310605

        I remember Howard Stern making a line about Chevy Chase that I’ve heard echoed by other folks (Alec Baldwin) about a lot of former SNL people: “These guys were cool, they were hip, they were great. What happens? They make a few hit movies, they become famous and next thing you know, they’ve turned into the very thing they used to make fun of.”

        Aykroyd’s comic talents were good, could play the maniac or the straight man but yeah, his work as a solo star is so-so, he’s much better in an ensemble or bouncing off of others (see Eddie Murphy in Trading Places) but carrying a movie majorly was never really his strong suit.

        Like

    • S40.E00: The 40th Anniversary Special:
      http://forums.previously.tv/topic/22241-s40e00-the-40th-anniversary-special/page-5#entry831600

      Chevy said he wanted a host a few years ago but Lorne told him he was too old. I’m sure there’s more to it than that (like Chevy’s an a**hole to the cast) but Lorne was right. The kind of bumbling physical stuff worked back in the ’70s because it was a vital (and handsome, the number of tweets from young people remarked on this) young guy doing it. Now it would be just a doddering old man. It’s like in the 15th anniversary they said that Chevy was too old to do a fall in the opening, but it was meant to be a joke because they said he was in his late 50s when really he was still relatively young, in his early 40s and could actually do it again.

      Like

    • It also seemed like Chevy never really held himself accountable for the failure of his talk show. From what I’ve gathered, Chevy claimed that he didn’t want to do a traditional late night talk show a la Johnny Carson. He wanted to do something that nobody else was doing on late night at the time (if that makes sense) and thus, it was all on the network.

      Like

  66. I watched the Chevy Chase Roast on Youtube over the weekend, indeed it is quite brutal. It is ironic though for a guy who easliy dishes it out to others over the years and yet he’s not able to handle getting it back. You would think that a guy who frequently insults others would have thicker skin himself.

    Like

    • Has he particpated in a televised roast of someone he doesn’t know that was quite brutal? I respect Chevy Chase despite whatever human failings he may have demonstrated, including his forays into political incorrectness. I just don’t sense that he has a bad heart, maybe that he doesn’t always know if a joke will misfire. Which goes with the territory for most comedians. Because he’s had more mainstream box office success than the vast majority of comedians on this earth, he’s simply a bigger target. The roast participants must have seen a chance to pile on and maybe make a name for themselves. Chevy Chase has never done anything like that and he doesn’t need to. I find the guy is so skilled especially at adlibbing, that for the most part, even his clumsier jokes have worked. He’s one of those performers who just thinks funny and is able to translate his view of what’s funny on screen to great effect. Even a craptastic movie like “Snow Day” (God did that suck… bought it, watched it and threw the DVD into the trash on the same day)… the scenes with Chase in them had glimpses of something magic that the movie lacked when he wasn’t there.
      And if he has a thin skin, for some reason that endears him to me all the more.

      Like

      • Chase has participated in roasts. Few have ever participated in a televised roast like the one that aired on Comedy Central. Comedy Central has aired a lot of roasts. All of them feature this kind of brutal humor. But this one took a bad turn because the comedians weren’t friends of the subject and Chase didn’t play along. I don’t really blame anyone for that. The comedians were doing a job. And for the most part, the participants were rising stars. Some of them weren’t household names at the time, but many of them are now. If you’re Stephen Colbert or Marc Maron, of course you are going to take a televised gig on Comedy Central. So I don’t blame them. Chase made some assumptions based on his previous roast experience. If the attendees were important to him, he probably should have asked to see a line-up before participating. But I don’t think that’s how roasts tend to work. So I don’t really blame him. The idea is you show up and all your friends surprise you. When his celeb friends didn’t show, he had his feelings hurt. It’s sad, but not exactly his fault. I can’t blame his friends for not showing. Most of them had strained relationships with Chase by this point and they were too big and too busy to participate in a Comedy Central roast. Laraine Newman has nothing better to do. But don’t expect Bill Murray to show up. You have to jump through a thousand hoops to pitch him a movie much less a TV special for a guy he got in a fistfight with. I must admit I was a bit surprised Aykroyd didn’t show, but it’s possible he had other commitments. I can’t really blame Comedy Central. They landed a big star for their roast. They paid him a decent amount of money (which he gave to his wife’s charity). I’m sure they expected to be able to pull in bigger stars based on Chase. When that didn’t happen, I’m sure they were as upset about it as anybody. But hey, they paid for a roast of Chevy Chase. The show most go on. When Murray and Aykroyd don’t show, you call in the talent from your own stable.

        I don’t think anyone was being mean on the Comedy Central roast. The comedians behaved the way comedians at a roast are supposed to behave. The tone was changed based on a number of factors that were beyond any one person’s control. Comedy Central realizes this and to their credit they don’t run the show any more.

        Like

        • Perfect encapsulation of what went down with that Roast of Chevy, Lebeau. Well said, spot on. The truth is the jabs and jokes – and the language – are no different in Chevy’s Roast than it has been in Charlie Sheen’s roast, or James Franco’s roast, or the William Shatner roast, or any of the other Comedy Central roasts i’ve seen over the years. The difference that you correctly point out is in other roasts they are stocked with some close, personal friends to make fun of them. James Franco’s roast had well known stars like Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Andy Samberg and Bill Hader poking good-natured (though foul-mouthed) fun at their good friend. The roastees will wince and groan at the zingers but laugh along with the jokes. Chevy Chase had a bunch of strangers poking foul-mouthed fun at him. That’s a big difference.

          To be fair there were a few old friends there: Lorraine Newman, Al Franken and Paul Shaffer from his old SNL days, and his Vacation co-star Beverly D’Angelo. One of the comedians looked around the stage and joked that the biggest star on hand is Al Franken. Chevy probably expected some big stars to show up, and instead got Al Franken and some guys he never heard of before. Chevy was obviously not having a good time, matter of fact he looked outright miserable sitting there being made fun of, which after awhile made it awkward to watch. Those comedians that Chevy didn’t know had nothing against the guy personally, they gave the same foul-mouthed zingers you hear on every roast: “you’re a terrible actor”, etc. But that distinction you bring up made all the difference.

          Like

        • One of the best zingers on the Chevy Chase Roast wasn’t even directed at him, a comedian made a joke about his Vacation co-star Beverly D’Angelo: “So now you’re married to Al Pacino? Boy, there must be a ton of overacting in that bedroom!”

          Like

        • A lot of the best jokes weren’t directed at Chase at all. The attendees took shots at each other too. Everyone played along except the guest of honor.

          Like

    • Chase has always been thin-skinned. I remember in the early 90’s he was boo-hooing about the first SNL expose book that showed him in an unflattering light. He said it made him cry. Fine. Then change your ways! Do a little self-examination. But instead, he always plays the victim. Everyone pointing a finger at Chase is being unfair despite the fact that even a lot of his friends will admit he has a mean streak. Chase also complains about critics being unfair to his movies even though he admits most of them aren’t very good.He is the very first one to dish it out. And he absolutely can’t take it.

      Like

    • These Celebrities Just Couldn’t Handle Being Roasted

      http://uproxx.com/tv/celebrity-roast-offended/

      The night Chevy Chase realized no one liked him

      Chevy Chase’s first roast, in 1990, was a star-studded affair, boasting some of the biggest A-listers in show business. His second time, though… well, it’s widely considered to be the worst roast of all-time. As the story goes, Chase was miserable at his 2002 roast because none of his famous friends showed up to take him down. Instead, he was mocked by Lisa Lampanelli and Greg Giraldo, and a number of other comics he’d never even met. Of the event, he famously said: “That hurt.” And he definitely meant it, because the story of what happened after the roast makes this the most depressing roast of all-time, too.

      Like

  67. Oh RB my secret love.

    I afraid your irrational defense of the Mr. Chase is causing me to re evaluate our long range relationship. I always looked forward to your wise and thoughtful comments on almost every WTHH actor/actress/director and found myself agreeing with almost every word. But alas, my hopes have been crushed as it has become clear that I have been replaced my Mr. Chase and cast aside as an empty husk. It is just one more example of the beautiful and talented woman choosing the asshole over the nice guy. I tried so hard, I bought you jewelry, babysat your children while you went out with your friends, even paid off your credit cards and this is how I am treated. I feel so used……😥

    I hope you find happiness with what’s-his-name. As for me…I am going to sulk and go back to my wife, if she will take me.

    Merry Christmas Everybody😀

    Bad Brad

    Like

    • BRAD………RB!!!!!!! WHY, WHY…….. I HAD NO IDEA!!! Now RB, I understand the fixation on Mr. Chevy Chase….. after all, as he has made quite clear over the years, he is Chevy Chase and everyone else is clearly quite not, but I think you’re making a huge mistake choosing Chevy over Brad. If I may be so bold…… In my humble estimation, despite Chevy being the appealing bad boy, Brad is clearly the better DEAL out of the two! (do you see what I did there? clever, right?) Chevy may take you back to his Caddyshack for fun times, Chevy may take you on an all-expenses-paid Vacation (or four), he may try some Foul Play on you which you may or may not like, he may even sweep you off your feet and offer you the Deal Of The Century, but ultimately bad boys like Chevy Chase are Nothing But Trouble. Wait, Fletch! Is there any way to work Fletch into this? Oh, I guess not. Wait, Three Amigos. Yes, wait, I can work with that. As a cad, Chevy will even tell his Three Amigos about everything he does with you. What a cad!

      On the other hand, even after the lovin’, Brad will be there for you. And obviously, your out-of-control credit card debt. RB…… Don’t be tempted by the bad boy! Not when reliable ol’ Brad is around.

      On that note, Merry Christmas everybody!

      Like

      • I love that you worked in Deal of the Century. That’s a deep cut. Now I’ve got to go shovel the walk. We’re having a Snow Day. And then I’m going to help the neighbor look for her missing parakeet. It flew away this morning but with a little luck we can Follow That Bird. After that, I’m going to kick back and relax in my Hot Tub Time Machine. If there’s a nice mist, we may be Under the Rainbow. That Seems Like Old Times, doesn’t it?

        Like

    • Brad, you crack me up. Merry Christmas!

      Like

    • Brad, it isn’t you at all. It’s me. You’re a great guy who deserves way better. It may seem painful now, but in the long run, it’s better to get the heartbreak out of the way early and pick up the pieces before things get worse. Brad, you say I used you… I can’t apologize for that. You enjoyed it… and we’ll always have the sweet memories.

      P.S. Oh, guys, one correction. You can criticize my taste in men, probably with some justification, but RB is very responsible and doesn’t carry credit card debt.

      Like

      • Ahhh, who’s credit card did I pay off then??? Let me check….Lets see…

        No, no way, it can’t be…

        C. Chase #*****

        I gotta get out of the country before my wife finds out..

        Like

        • Funny because Chase charges everything to Mr. Underhill. C. Chase is actually the name on my credit card. Thanks for paying for next year’s Disney cruise!

          Like

        • I just sent your credit card info to the North Korean mafia.

          Merry Christmas a**hole😃

          Like

        • Ouch! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. You saw what they did to The Interview.

          I think adding “Merry Christmas a**hole” was a nice touch though, Brad! Bravo! Sorry, Lebeau…….. 😉

          Like

        • Craig,

          Steal my girlfriend, steal my money, make me look like a fool…What do you expect…payback is a bitch! LeBeau better start learning to blog in Korean

          도대체 무슨 일이 있었는지 Thats What the Hell Happened in Korean, I think

          메리 크리스마스

          Bad Brad

          Like

        • Bad Brad…. it looks like somebody is hoping to steal away the “bad boy” title from Mr. Chevy Chase!

          Repeat after me, Brad…….. I’m Brad Deal, and you’re not! Watch out, RB, Bad Brad is officially trying to win you back, out-of-control credit debt or not! 😉

          Like

        • No one can out-“Bad Boy” Daffy. You might think he’s out of town for the holidays but you’d be wrong. I hear he’s serving time in a maximum security prison.

          Like

        • You got me curious about how many readers I have in Korea. I looked at the international stats for the last 7 days. 178 hits from the Republic of Korea which I believe is South Korea. Nothing from North Korea although I hear their internet was experiencing some outages this week. Thanks to on-line translators, my lame jokes are read around the world! The 21st century really is something else.

          Like

        • I gotta give Brad credit for that one. Simple, elegant. Props.

          Like

        • why, Brad, this is a side of you we have not yet seen on Leblog… I admit, it’s kind of thrilling in a way. However, back to reality, it has to be modern holiday stress. Everything will be OK, unless Daffy decides to help you out and kidnap your boss.

          Like

        • We were the inspiration for the Horrible Bosses movies. I was the Jason Bateman character of course.

          Like

        • Again?!? The reason I haven’t posted the latest podcast yet is that I have been in hiding ever since What the Hell Happened to Kim Jong-un.

          Like

  68. For anyone who plays MyVegas free slots on Facebook (highly recommended if you’re ever planning a visit there), there’s an interesting nod to “Christmas Vacation” in their graphic design. The MyVegas MyStrip features a vehicle with a Christmas tree on the roof, tied on with straps all the way around the car…. the car is at first blush, a limo but it also looks oddly like the Griswold family Truckster. Also the tree is a succulent rather than an evergreen… someone in their design dept. has a sense of humor!

    Like

  69. What Chevy Chase Regrets About His Time On Saturday Night Live:
    http://www.cinemablend.com/television/What-Chevy-Chase-Regrets-About-His-Time-Saturday-Night-Live-69512.html

    Early in the second season of Saturday Night Live, Chevy Chase decided to leave the show. He moved to Hollywood and almost immediately became one of the biggest movie stars in the world. He made a lot of money and became incredibly famous, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have regrets. In fact, he was hit with a wave of them when he walked back into Studio 8H for a photography session with other legends to celebrate the show’s 40th Anniversary.

    It brought back a lot of pleasant memories, but one thing that struck Chase was how few pictures he was in on the wall. Because he left so soon, he missed out on so many memories and so many moments the other castmembers like Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi got to have.

    It was just great being back up there in 8H, wishing my picture were up on the wall more. I couldn’t find it… There were pictures of people I’d never seen before!”

    On the face of it, the above quote is at least partially a joke, but beneath the smile, there actually does seem to be some regrets. Chevy Chase made a ton of great movies. Vacation, The Three Amigos and Caddyshack are among the most beloved comedies ever, but whenever, God forbid, he passes away, the obituaries will still likely cite him as Saturday Night Live cast member first. That’s how important the show is to the cultural landscape, and that’s how much people loved Chevy Chase, especially during his “Weekend Update” segments, which continue to this day.

    Like

    • How Bill Murray Saved ‘Saturday Night Live’:
      http://variety.com/2015/tv/spotlight/bill-murray-saturday-night-live-40th-anniversary-1201429285/

      It’s hard to imagine now, but in 1977, Bill Murray was struggling to fill Chevy Chase’s shoes, so much so that he delivered an on-air plea for support from the “Saturday Night Live” audience. His rebound not only marked the beginning of a ready-for-primetime career, but also helped set a template that turned the NBC franchise into one of TV’s most renewable resources.

      Murray, then in his mid-20s, joined “SNL” after Chase — thanks to his prat falls and “Weekend Update” segment, the program’s first breakout star — had left to pursue a movie career.

      In the early going, Murray was generally deemed a failure, which is why his pitch — tongue in cheek as it was — had a slightly uncomfortable ring of truth about it.

      “I don’t think I’m making it on the show,” Murray said, telling viewers it would be a big help — not just to him, naturally, but the widowed mother he supports — “If you could see it in your heart to laugh whenever I say something.”

      Murray, of course, rallied spectacularly from his early misfires, and his “SNL” characters remain some of the most indelible the program has produced. Even now, it’s hard not to smile thinking about his Todd & Lisa sketches with Gilda Radner, or Murray’s obnoxious lounge entertainer putting lyrics to the “Star Wars” theme.

      More significantly, however, in terms of “SNL’s” longevity, was the message Chase’s exit and Murray’s ascent delivered — namely, that the show could weather the loss of talent. People could come and go, usually to pursue movie careers, and their replacements would fill the void.

      Moreover, many of those new “Not Ready for Primetime Players” would blossom into stars themselves, establishing Lorne Michaels’ creation not only as a launching pad for movie headliners (and thus a magnet for performers) but also a commodity that was bigger than any single or even combination of cast members. Eventually, even characters introduced within the program became fodder for movies, such as “Wayne’s World.”

      Obviously, there have been arid patches in terms of “SNL’s” makeup over the years, and not all those who have sought to make the leap from the show have enjoyed equal success. For every Eddie Murphy, there’s been a Joe Piscopo — whose movies ultimately led to taking refuge in talkradio — or two.

      The basic blueprint, however, has endured. And while “The Daily Show” has come to rival “SNL” both as a vehicle for minting viable comedy talent and a source of satire with an inordinately large cultural footprint, the fact the NBC series remains this formidable as the college students who first watched it age into their 60s is a feat rivaled by few TV franchises — even fewer if you omit news, such as “Today” or “60 Minutes,” from the mix.

      Indeed, realizing that “SNL” has remained on the cutting edge of the youth-obsessed comedy game makes its longevity all the more surprising. And while “The Tonight Show” has a longer history, the epic tenures of its hosts — with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno holding down the fort for a half-century between them — has required less adaptability than “Saturday Night” has exhibited in needing to reload every few years.

      Murray was just the first addition to keep the show humming along, and singling him out isn’t intended to diminish Michaels and company’s role in consistently finding budding stars across two generations. Still, who’s to say all that would have played out quite so serendipitously had Murray not recovered from his foundering start to become a standout player.

      So as Lisa might have told Todd, way to go, Pizza Face.

      Like

  70. 10 Worst Oscar Hosts Ever:
    http://www.twcc.com/entertainment/galleries/2015/02/worstoscarhosts#/3

    Chevy Chase – 1988

    In 1975, Chevy Chase earned millions of fans with his sarcastic take on current events as the first host of Saturday Night Live’s much loved Weekend Update segment. In 1988, an oddly mean-spirited Chevy kicked off the show by declaring, “Good evening Hollywood phonies.” The show only went downhill from there.

    Like

    • The Best and the Worst Oscar Hosts (Slideshow):
      http://www.backstage.com/galleries/the-best-and-the-worst-Oscar-hosts-slideshow/4

      Chevy Chase (1988)

      The SNL alum had help hosting the 1987 Oscars with Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan, but the next year Chase returned solo for what would be his last time hosting. Chase opened the show on the wrong foot by acknowledging the audience saying, “Good evening, Hollywood phonies.” Chase continued to piss people off throughout the evening with his immature insults aimed at critics and the year’s nominees. The badly-written material for the show may have been due to the writer’s strike that occured a month the show, but regardless of the script, never insult your audience.

      Like

      • Oscar Hosts: From Worst To Best, Rating 60 Years Of Academy Awards Emcees:
        http://news.moviefone.com/2012/02/16/oscar-hosts-best-worst/

        Chevy Chase (1988) Back at the Shrine Auditorium for the first time in 40 years, the show suffered from a lack of well-written material, thanks to a writer’s strike that had begun a month earlier. Not that that kept the show from dragging out to three and a half hours. Chase began with an object lesson in how not to play to the room by saying, “Good evening, Hollywood phonies.” He was never invited back.

        Like

        • Despite What You’ve Heard, David Letterman’s Oscars Were Actually Really Great

          http://uproxx.com/movies/david-letterman-oscars/

          Maybe that’s what people weren’t used to at the time: Letterman was the first comic who used his brand of irreverent humor to host the Oscars. In the ten years prior to Letterman, here are the people who hosted or co-hosted:

          Whoopi Goldberg
          Billy Crystal (four times)
          Chevy Chase (twice)
          Goldie Hawn
          Paul Hogan (!)
          Robin Williams
          Jane Fonda
          Alan Alda
          Jack Lemmon

          I suppose Chase comes the closest – his humor can certainly be irreverent – but it’s a different brand. It’s more pratfalls and quick one-liners. (I’m going from memory, but I do remember Chase falling through some sort of trap door while hosting.) Regardless, that’s quite an elegant crowd. In 1995, Letterman stood no chance against that group. In 2017, it would be a different story. I promise if Letterman hosted the exact same show today, we’d all think it was great. So don’t let anyone fool you (especially Letterman himself): David Letterman hosted a fantastic Oscars and the tragedy of it all is that we only got one from him. (I realize it’s still technically possible, but that will never happen. Also, yes, I would certainly buy a monkey from Paul Newman.)

          Like

      • The thing w/ Chevy Chase is that he can often be so extremely deadpan and self-servingly smug that it can be really hard if he’s legitimately trying to insult you or just being sarcastic just for the hell of it.

        Like

  71. Is Chevy Chase Okay?

    http://defamer.gawker.com/is-chevy-chase-okay-1686010346

    Either something’s going on or Chevy Chase is really nailing his impersonation of a man not living his best life.

    Chase was part of NBC’s red carpet special for the SNL 40th anniversary special Sunday night and he did a brief interview with Carson Daly where Carson asked questions and Chevy sighed deeply and then sort of rambled on.

    “I left after the first year because I thought this isn’t going anywhere… I liked [hosting]. I liked it. But I missed it more for not being a part of the cast because I left after one year, I had reasons to leave. I’m sorry if I’m perspiring, but I just had to run through a gauntlet. But I liked it a lot, and I still like it. I love Lorne. We’re like brothers now.”

    Chase—who has a long, checkered history with the show—eventually came back to host eight times, even returning for dozens of cameos after he was reportedly banned from hosting in 1997.

    He seemed to recall his SNL days with genuine affection, adding that it was a “lot of fun” with “good people—Lorne and John and Gilda and Danny and uh, the rest.”

    Like

    • R.I.P. Chevy Chase, You Will Be Missed:
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072562/board/thread/241482574?d=241482574#241482574

      After seeing him on SNL 40, he’s done. He had one more shot to be funny and pissed it away with his actions on “Community” I was hoping he could do something funny, one last time in this life, but it won’t happen.

      Wow, what a waste of 20+ years of life. Ever since the 1990s he’s really pissed himself away. He was my favorite comedian next to Bill Murray until the 1990s when I realized HE wasn’t funny, the WRITER had to be funny. He can’t ad-lib.

      I will never forget Detective Fletch, Clark W. Griswold, and SNL Chevy Chase.

      Like

  72. One answer: he got old.

    Like

  73. but when a typecast actor ages he becomes to old for certain roles thats why its good for actor to expand his range. it looks pathetic for chevy to play same roles at his age bill murray devolved skill so hes able to play different roles he doing great. same thing happen with meg ryan . he become to old to play sweet bubbly girl next door as she got old she couldnt do it anymore. same thing will happen to cmaeron diaz . when she gets old and lose her looks her career might be done play a blonde ditzt at 50 will be sad. she never devolved skill

    Like

  74. Chevy Chase: After ‘Saturday Night Live,’ too mean to succeed:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/17/chevy-chase-after-saturday-night-live-too-mean-to-succeed/

    From almost the moment “Saturday Night Live” first aired, the media swooned at the sight of Chevy Chase. New York magazine slapped him on the cover, declaring he was the next Johnny Carson. He did an opinion piece for the New York Times, in which he introduced himself as: “Chevy Chase is Chevy Chase and you’re not.” All throughout 1975, the cleft chin was everywhere.

    Then, in an interview with Vogue, a moment of introspection struck. “In this business you can come and go in a second,” he confessed, according to “Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live.” “I could be flushed out tomorrow with a big smile and a handshake.”

    On Sunday night, Chase, 71, appeared flushed out. The night was the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live,” and things got awkward. There was Carson Daly, a barrage of cameras and Chevy Chase, who seemed confused about where he was and what this was all about.

    “Is Chevy Chase Okay?” Gawker asked. It was an appropriate question.

    Daly informed Chase that he was once a part of “Saturday Night Live,” which seemed to surprise Chase, who mulled the matter for a long moment. “I was!” he said, looking shaky. “I don’t think we really knew; it was late night and we knew we could do things you usually couldn’t do in earlier night.”

    Daly asked whether Chase was surprised the show has been on for 40 years. “I left after the first year because I thought this isn’t going anywhere,” Chase said. “… I liked [hosting]. I liked it. But I missed it more for not being a part of the cast because I left after one year. I had reasons to leave. I’m sorry if I’m perspiring, but I just had to run through a gauntlet. But I liked it a lot, and I still like it.”

    The short interview hinted at Chase’s tortured history with “Saturday Night Live.” The show made Chase — it turned an all-but-unknown writer into an intrinsic part of the American zeitgeist — but also made him unlikable. “The ugly truth is that a lot of people don’t love Chevy Chase,” Entertainment Weekly once said. “They don’t even like him. … This isn’t really surprising, because apparently the man possesses a truly spectacular talent for pissing people off.”

    While other “SNL” cast members of Chase’s era — comedians like Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd — went on to become institutions, Chase never quite cashed in on his early promise. He was supposed to be the next coming of Carson. But instead, Chase turned in some popular early movies, then fizzled. There was lots of potential but not enough payout.

    If there’s a reason for that, reports suggest, it’s Chase himself. He was a victim of too much success too fast during his year on “Saturday Night Live,” which gave rise to such ego that today he’s as remembered for bridges burned as for punchlines delivered.

    “When you become famous, you’ve got like a year or two where you act like a real a–hole,” Gawker quoted Murray saying of Chase. “You can’t help yourself. It happens to everybody. You’ve got like two years to pull it together — or it’s permanent.”

    And Chase particularly had trouble pulling it together. “Nobody prepares you for what happens when you get famous, and I didn’t handle it well,” he told Entertainment Weekly in 2012. “I was young, new, hot star and I had this unbelievable arrogance. As time went on, the strident narcissism and arrogance slowly diminished. But I was definitely there. I’m older now. And a big crybaby.”

    Chase was never supposed to be a star. He was supposed be a writer. But after the first show, according to Grantland, a decision was made. “Sign him up,” one NBC executive said, and soon people began to forget that it wasn’t called “The Chevy Chase Show” — as his talk show, which failed in 1993 after five weeks, would be — but “Saturday Night Live.” “At one point, NBC put a poster of the cast members up in the lobby outside 8H,” writers Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad said. “Chevy’s picture loomed larger than the rest, and the caption read: ‘Chevy Chase and the Not Ready For Prime Time Players.’ ”

    It went to Chase’s head. “My first impression of Chevy was that he was really good-looking, but kind of mean,” fellow “SNL” cast member Laraine Newman told Entertainment Weekly. “He teased in the way that a big brother would, [aiming for] exactly what would hurt your feelings the most. I say this as someone who loves him. And loves him a lot.” (Two decades later, he so disparaged a female writer in an “SNL” meeting that Will Ferrell wondered if he “took too many back pills that day or something.”)

    “He was also a viciously effective put-down artist, the sort who could find the one thing somebody was sensitive about — a pimple on the nose, perhaps — and then kid about it, mercilessly,” according to Hill and Weingrad. One person who got the treatment was Murray, with whom he famously feuded, telling the future Oscar nominee his face looked like something Neil Armstrong had landed on.

    Chase’s tenure on “Saturday Night Live,” despite his dazed smile on Sunday night, was not a happy one. He reportedly played one agent off another, had a falling out with producer Lorne Michaels and came to believe that he was bigger than the show.

    So when a sketch writer approached Chase to ask why he was leaving, Chase reportedly had one answer. “Money,” he said. “Lots of money.”

    Chase, of course, went on to a successful run in film. He hit the links in “Caddyshack” (1980). He went on “Vacation” (1983). He was “Fletch” (1985). He was one of “The Three Amigos” (1986).

    But while these movies are comedy classics of the late 20th century — quoted by junior-high boys, played ad nauseam on cable — they didn’t take Chase to the next level. Murray, his former rival, is now an American icon, working regularly with big names such as Sofia Coppola, Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson. Chase works on the small screen — when he can. In 2012, he walked off the set of his last high-profile gig, “Community.”

    When Chase mentioned a return to the show a few months ago, executives shrugged.

    “At this time, Chevy is not confirmed to appear in Season 6,” a Sony spokesman told Us Weekly.

    Today, Chase is as much the object of jokes as he is the one making them. “You made us laugh so much,” Paul Shaffer said at a notoriously venomous roast of Chase in 2002. “And then inexplicably stopped in about 1978.”

    Like

  75. ABC’s Chevy-Chase-Beverly D’Angelo comedy will simply be called Chevy:
    http://tvline.com/2015/03/17/chev-bev-abc-title-change-chevy-comedy-series-pilot/

    The Vacation stars’ pilot had been previously known as Chev & Bev.

    Like

  76. Here’s Your First Look At The Griswold Family From The ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ Reboot:
    http://uproxx.com/movies/2015/04/vacation-griswolds-first-look/

    Like

    • Vacation: trailer for National Lampoon’s Vacation sequel:

      Like

      • Oh. That is not promising.

        Like

      • I CAN’T WAIT!

        Like

        • Did you like it? Because I thought it was pretty horrible. Yeah, the clips from the original movie hold up. But what I saw of the reboot looked really unfunny.

          Like

        • Mixed emotions. I will obviously watch it out of sentimental value, but also have hopes it will be at least OK. Ed Helms and Christina Applegate will be excellent as the parents, but I agree that some of the new clips lack that original magic.
          I hope the writers don’t go overboard, trying too hard as they did in Horrible Bosses 2.

          Like

        • I get suspicious whenever a new movie plays too much on nostalgia for an existing property. This was all nostalgia and a few crude jokes most of which fell really flat. And while I like Helms, he doesn’t have that same manic twinge that Chase brought to the original. Hopefully this is just a bad trailer for a good movie. But the fact they brought in a Christie Brinkley stand-in doesn’t bode well.

          Like

        • jeffthewildman

          This looks to me like they took the original Vacation and raunched it up. I was re-watching the original Vacation a couple weeks ago and noted that while parts of it haven’t aged that well. it’s still funny on the whole.

          Like

      • VACATION Movie Review: A Nasty Flick In All The Worst Ways, Says The Kidd:
        http://thisisinfamous.com/vacation-movie-review-billy-donnelly-the-kidd/

        Billy Donnelly July 27, 2015 Movie Reviews, Reviews

        After sitting through VACATION, Warner Bros.’ latest reboot to the National Lampoon’s series that has only managed to get worse with each new chapter in the history of the Griswold family (Okay, CHRISTMAS VACATION is better than EUROPEAN VACATION), I wondered if writing-directing duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein had ever seen any of the previous VACATION flicks. For that matter, I began to question if anyone currently in a decision-making position over at the studio who gave the green light to this new start had seen any of them either. It sure doesn’t feel like it, as VACATION ignores everything that made any of those prior films work (yes, even the lesser ones) in favor of a laughless family road trip film that packs more mean gags than any luggage rack is designed to handle.

        VACATION is a painful sentence to spend time around a family that you wouldn’t want to share any measure of time with. Making matters worse, it’s a family that is so obnoxiously over the top that you wish you could just abandon them in the middle of the desert where no one would ever hear from them again, marking their quest for some family fun that you get to experience as well incredibly worthless. There is nothing about their actions nor their motivations that prompts you to say, “Oh, I hope they really do get to come together as a family and overcome any odds that are thrown in their way in order to hit their goal.” If anything, this new generation of Griswolds exhibits such mean spirits throughout that I found it to be contagious and wished the conclusion of the film would be their goofy Tartan Prancer (“the Honda of Albania”) to explode into flames, killing Rusty (Ed Helms), his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and his two sons James and Kevin (Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins) all in one shot – and that was only 15 minutes into the movie, including the opening credits. VACATION is s movie that thinks flashing its fangs and ripping into poor, unsuspecting people is what will provoke you into uncontrollable laughter… but with no empathy for humanity and one’s quest for happiness part of the equation, it’s the misfortune of others on display for your entertainment, much in the same way that reality television is more than happy to embrace the trainwrecks.

        Helms is meant to play a similar version of Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold from the previous films, showing that the apple hasn’t exactly fallen far from the tree. However, while Chase’s patriarch represented the goofy everydad – the one capable of doing something cool for his family one minute before he embarrassed himself and everyone else – Helms’ Rusty is a caricature that you’d never recognize in real life. The original Griswolds felt like a true family, from their moments of bonding to the ones of bickering, but there was an authenticity to them that is sorely lacking in this new VACATION. What the new film is built upon is cartoon characters that are written with attempts to be funny in mind rather than with any sort of organic brand of humor just pouring out of who they are. Clark Griswold’s comedy resting in his lack of self-awareness. He never quite got the fact that he wasn’t as smooth as he thought he was or as cool as he wished he was. However, at the end of the day, he was still a family man who was willing to do whatever he could to show his family how much he loved and appreciated them.

        Helms is missing all of that, with his laughs centered around naivety and cluelessness. This is a guy who thinks setting the mood for sex is firing up a Yankee Candle or that a rimjob is kissing someone with your mouth closed, hence using the rim of your mouth. It doesn’t matter that this character lived in a world where Rusty was begging to buy porn for himself or seeing a stranger’s breasts in Europe or snagging himself a fake ID. No, Rusty has been completely revamped to be painfully plain in such an unrealistic way that I spent much of my VACATION wondering who could still think a character like this would register as funny with anyone in 2015. He’s wholesome to the point of ridiculous, and, with such a poor choice at the very heart of the movie, it’s really hard for the VACATION to find the right tone, to find the right pitch, to hit the right note, to nail any musical cliche one could possibly insert here.

        It doesn’t help that Rusty is the lamest dad ever who no one in his family seems to respect or give a shit about. For someone who claims to love his family as much as he does, Rusty has zero relationship with either of his kids. You get the feeling that he never took them to the ballgame or watched a movie with any of them. But really… why would he? These are two of the worst kid characters I’ve ever seen committed to cinema, and that includes the various roles ever given to Jaden Smith. Skyler Gisondo as the older Kevin is just sad. VACATION tries to play his sensitivity for laughs, by giving him 14 diaries to pack on the family’s trip, in order to jot down everything from his dreams to his wishes to his running stream of consciousness, but taking it one step further, they have him bullied by his younger sibling. He’s a weak kid who gets picked on by a loudmouth who is smaller than him and his answer to all of this mistreatment is to just sit on the side, whining and crying about it. Oh yeah… You know what isn’t funny with our current sensibilities and lack of tolerance for bullying? Any of that.

        As for the younger kid, calling Steele Sebbins’ Kevin a rude asshole doesn’t even begin to cut it. This character is someone who you’d probably find on the news having killed eight people across his state when he finally becomes an adult, if he even waits that long. Kevin is a sociopath without question who also thinks it’s hilarious to say the rudest thing at the most inopportune time… only that seems to be every single time he opens his mouth, so the novelty wears off incredibly quickly. Calling your brother a “piece of shit” during a nice family moment or trying to suffocate him with a plastic bag while in the car are typical examples of what Daley and Goldstein believe to be comedy gold in the package of this young kid, and their choices couldn’t be more wrong. This kid doesn’t belong in a vacation comedy. He belongs in a juvenile detention center.

        Christina Applegate goes to waste, as she has absolutely no chemistry with Helms, making you wonder how this marriage has lasted six weeks, let alone several years. At least Beverly D’Angelo gave off the feeling that, no matter how much trouble Chase’s Clark may have caused, she dearly loved her husband and understood what he was trying to do. Applegate, on the other hand, looks like she barely tolerates being in the same room as Helms, so imagine how being in the same car would play, and, outside getting a shot at puking everywhere for laughs (raunchy done the wrong way), she really doesn’t do much else in the film, other than supply disapproving looks and… well, because the film dictates the movie needs a mom, so she’ll do.

        VACATION really has no goal in mind either. I know the Griswolds will say this is about making it to Walley World once again to share a family vacation with one another, but that’s really not the case. Sure, a new visit to the theme park from the first film is the destination, but, with no importance placed on it being the end-game for what is supposed to be the trip from hell, it makes every instance of nastiness that pollutes the film just that. This isn’t a group of people being beaten down in order to make their triumph later that much greater. These are people who are being tortured for no reason other than Daley and Goldstein think it’ll make us laugh. Seeing a family rub excrement all over themselves in a pool of raw sewage doesn’t make the sacrifice worth it once they get to Walley World. It’s merely included because, “Hahaha… Christina Applegate has shit on her face. That’s hilarious. Am I right?” A white water guide taking them on a suicide trip down the Colorado River is meant to be funny, because… Hmmm… I’m sorry. Since when is someone trying to take others down in their blaze of glory humorous? Oh, I forgot… Never. And that’s just the tip of the nasty iceberg. VACATION also leaves that suicidal guide for dead in a horrifyingly unnecessary way – once again, that someone must have thought would have been brought about uncontrollable laughter – and, in a moment that’s supposed to be homage to Chase’s interaction with a Ferrari-driving Christie Brinkley in the first film, Helms flirts with a good-looking woman on the highway driving her own sportscar, only this time it is plowed into by an oncoming semi. It’s the type of sequence that ends up with you saying, “I can’t believe they just did that,” and not in the good way.

        Remember how I said VACATION was laughless earlier…? I was wrong. There is one short sequence involving Chris Hemsworth and a prosthetic penis that I couldn’t help but crack a smile at, but that’s it. The rest of VACATION is so far from hitting its target that it’s really unfortunate. It’s mean and nasty from start to finish, as if it knows no other way to approach the material, and, while I’m all for embracing the darker parts of myself, letting the horrible person within come out for some laughs every once in awhile, VACATION takes it way too far that even that side of me was embarrassed at this brand of comedy.

        Like

        • Yeah, the reviews have been absolutely wretched for this movie. I’ll be interested to hear the thoughts of our resident Vacation fan since she will likely see it regardless of what the critics think. Let us know your thought, RB!

          Like

        • Movie Review: Vacation:
          http://www.geekwithmak.com/2015/07/movie-review-vacation.html

          Review by Stephen M.

          Vacation, which as the film itself points out is a sequel and not a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation released in 1983. In this film, Ed Helm plays the now grown up Rusty Griswold with his own family which he decides to take on a trip to Wally World. Something his dad Clark (Chevy Chase) did so many years ago in the original film. This in an attempt to beat back the funk in his stalling marriage and bring together a family that includes an easy going touchy feely older son James (Skyler Gisondo) and a younger son Kevin (Steele Stebbins) hell bent on torturing his old brother.

          The film has a lot of laugh out loud moments though its frequency and quality is lacking. As far as enjoyable moments in the movie, I particularly like the one sided brother rivalry in which James is often at the receiving end. The dialogue is sometimes witty, while at other times so absurd that even the characters in the film seem confused to each other’s dialogue. While I am not a fan of Chris Hemsworth’s character overall as the brother-in-law to Rusty, he does have one shining moment as Rusty and Debbie prepares for bed.

          The film pays homage to the original film in a number of ways such as the beautiful lady in the red sports car. But despite the various homage, it fails to properly utilize Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, making their cameo mostly forgettable. The biggest problem with the film is the pointlessness and what seems like on the fly improvisation with no real plot to keep you laughing. I enjoy Ed Helms as an actor and the majority of his movies like Hangover, Horrible Bosses and We’re the Millers. And while his performance is decent here, there really is nothing to really write home about in his or Christina Applegate’s performance. The constant breaking into song seems like the filmmakers were trying to fill in time instead of actually being funny and entertaining like Will Poulter’s rap in We’re the Millers.

          Despite the absurdity of the film, with dialogue and acting that will sometimes have you cringing, I actually had some good laughs from this film. Granted I wouldn’t want to pay money for this film. But if you have a chance to catch it on Netflix in the future, do so. This movie for many reasons is not suitable for children. For a better road trip film, catch We’re the Millers which also stars Ed Helms or the original National Lampoon’s Vacation.

          Like

        • Lebeau, I’m not reading any reviews (because it isn’t going to matter to me what the critics say) but I have not gotten the impression that this new Vacationmovie is really a Chevy Chase movie. He and Beverly D’Angelo reportedly weren’t going to be in more than a couple scenes. Nevertheless – I’m off to do my part to help their box office!

          Like

        • Oh it’s definitely not a Chevy Chase movie. I hear he has a cameo and that’s it. Reviews I have read range from “not horrible” to “John Hughes and Harold Ramis are spinning in their graves”. Based on the horrible trailer and reviews, I don’t expect to like it. But I will be curious to hear your reaction. Will your love of the original carry this movie? Or will you see this as an insult to the movies you love? Let us know!

          Like

        • We had a great time! The movie works on its own rights and as the second generation. It brought tears to my eyes when Clark and Ellen appeared, because they are so much older and I’ve missed them, but the movie has plenty of laughs. The negative reviewer above sounds like a bitter jerk. There are a couple of oddly dark moments – but, lest it be forgot, there were in the first movie too.
          Ed Helms does a great job as the Rusty who grew up to be his dad, and Christina Applegate proves herself a worthy successor as well, as the second generation Mrs. Griswold. She’s got all the satirical elements down pat.
          As for John Hughes and Harold Ramis, they are looking down from above with a fond gleam in their eyes, both for the homage that is being paid to their work from decades ago, and also for the recognition that this movie won’t pack quite the same impact, simply for being less novel and less innovative. But it was a fun movie to attend and,
          I am definitely looking forward to this family’s next vacation!!

          Like

        • I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I was pretty sure you would. You seem the type that once you have formed an emotional bond you tend to be pretty forgiving. I am the opposite. If I love something, I am highly critical of anything that might tarnish the original.

          I really doubt John Hughes is looking down with a gleam in his eye. Many would argue he would be looking from a much lower point of view. He wasn’t one to enjoy the success of others. But I get your point. 😉

          Based on the trailer (which I thought was wretched) and the reviews (which say the movie is as bad as it looks) I won’t be seeing this one in theaters. But someday I’m sure it will make its way to cable or Netflix and I’ll check it out then. I can definitely see Applegate shining in this role. She has a gift for comedy and has shown repeatedly that she is game for anything. I don’t understand why she doesn’t get more comedic roles.

          Like

      • VACATION (2015)

        http://cinefilestv.blogspot.com/2016/09/vacation-2015.html

        Hoping to bring his family closer together and to recreate his childhood vacation for his own kids, an adult Rusty Griswold takes his wife and two sons on a cross-country road trip to Walley World. Needless to say, things don’t go quite as planned.

        This film feels so downright mean and cynical which one can deal with but here it is done so cruelly. Not only in it’s humor but also the characters. The film also has so many cameos and recognizable actors playing bit or supporting roles as the main characters race and travel around it feels like one of the road movies of this type. Think THE CANNONBALL RUN series of films and IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD

        I would like to say that the Griswalds are innocent and have old school values, but that’s not it the family seems to be normal or at least with it. The other films used to seem.

        Like it was them versus the cruel modern world. Here they are all pretty modern Except for Rusty who seems just as dim as Clark was, not necessarily a throwback just weak and trusting. Where as the character in the films before seemed to be one of the few actual level headed characters. Here he is just a retread. As even his sister Audrey seems somewhat on track with the world. The only other character who seems just as out of it as Clark is his son Steele Stebbins as his youngest son Kevin just seems mean. I don’t know if this is a trait that skips generations In This film.

        All the supposedly polite and good willed characters. Here seem to be punished, abused and mercilessly pushed back their breaking points. As when Rusty finally breaks down it is understandable. Though why it takes so long after continuous embarrassments is a bigger mystery.

        Ed Helms still seems to not quite be as interesting a lead actor as the film wants him to be. Nor is he a humorous leading man. I’m can see why they cast him as he always seems to play this type of nice and innocent. Though his performances have a sense of hope. But come off as weak and his characters beyond stupid and not in a funny way.

        Supposedly Before Ed Helms was cast, a few people were suggested, among them were Jason Sudeikis, Adam Sandler and Michael Rosenbaum. Anthony Michael Hall, Ethan Embry and Johnny Galecki were offered to reprise their role as Rusty Griswold, before Ed Helms was eventually cast. Though the later choices seem to promise less Box Office. Though strangely Jason Lively Who played Rusty in NATIONAL LAMPOON’S EUROPEAN VACATION is left off the list.

        The strongest performance and funniest performance actually comes from Christina Applegate as his wife. I only wish the film and material could match her performance. Especially in the scenes where she visits her old sorority and tries to prove she can still live up to her reputation.

        The other factor that makes this film so unpleasant is that the youngest son is so unlikable. Not only is he annoying, but so mean. We are constantly surprised no one disciplines him at all. As there movie villains o have found more like able and decent. Is Watching this film is one of the few times I have truly wanted someone to beat the crap out of a child or really wanted to and he is supposed to be part of the protagonists.

        He could would normally seen to be a demon spawn in a horror film. As he is even worse then the kid in PROBLEM CHILD. Though here is his behavior supposed to be funny or cute. Because it seems over the top sadistic.

        His comeuppance is too mild and still doesn’t get the right amount of justice for the family or the kids main victim. His older brother. Even if the basic character develops and as a child he is just acting out as he needs boundaries.

        As bad as the film. There are a few chuckles one about every 30 minutes. That seem more like throwaway gags. And some of the cameos are the only times the film is funny.

        The film seems to have a cynical outlook with it’s humor. For no real reason as the hopes seem lazy and telegraphed. More here if anything to shock rather then actually be funny.

        It maybe that missing the character of Cousin Eddie or a character like that is missing from the film to add to the fun and confusion usually started by that character. Though obviously Randy Quaid can’t Reprise the role. So it seems like half the characters they run into try to be like that character or add in elements of him.

        It feels like this film is peppered with so many other comedic actors and stars to serve as distractions as the films main character aren’t that funny or strong. Then again the storyline allows for plenty of room for cameos and small supporting roles.

        The film feels more like a sequel then a reboot. Especially in diminishing quality. As the humor never rises to the level Of the original or the performers. Where at least you can see them as victims of being outside their community a raking with the real world around them. In this film they seem like outcasts and victims no matter where they go, hell even in their own neighborhood.

        Even if there is a happy ending with a final sequence that still seems cruel. That is supposed to make all the hardships worth it. Just to show them development to stand up for themselves. Though while playing the part of the angry activities.

        The only people to appear in every Vacation movie are Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, except for Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure

        Do yourself a favor and though not the greatest pay watch WE’RE THE MILLERS instead which feels like it could at least be in the vein of the series and is a lot more enjoyable

        GRADE: F

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  77. Derailed Film Stars: The Chevy Chase Appeal:
    http://www.twcc.com/articles/2015/04/19/d/derailed-film-stars-the-chevy-chase-appeal

    “I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not.” If you can remember that catchphrase, then you probably also remember that Chase, the first breakout star of Saturday Night Live, left that show after a single season to find fame and fortune as a movie star. For a period of time in the ’80s, Chase had succeeded in establishing himself as a comedic leading man. Then came a dry spell of epic proportions that took up most of the ’90s and ’00s, before Community returned the actor to the public consciousness. With Chase filming an eponymous pilot with frequent co-star Beverly D’Angelo, we take a look back at what once made him one of the hottest comic actors in the business.

    Vacation

    For multiple generations, Chase and D’Angelo will always be Clark and Ellen Griswold, the Midwestern couple who turn any family trip (not to mention the holidays) into an adventure. Going back to the original Vacation, a film written by teen movie maven John Hughes, Chase’s Clark is the archetype suburban male, just trying way too hard to live out the American dream. The fact that he spends part of his family road trip enamored with a mysterious traveler played by supermodel Christie Brinkley, didn’t make him a bad guy — just an average guy.

    Foul Play

    Chase’s big movie after SNL was 1978’s Foul Play. The idea was to use the actor’s comedic timing and quirky good looks to develop a romantic rapport with co-star Goldie Hawn, herself a gifted comedian. Chase had made a name for himself in sketch comedy with his willingness to sacrifice his body in pratfalls, and that was on display again on film. Play is actually a cute little movie in retrospect, with a very funny cameo by Dudley Moore, but it wasn’t the blockbuster that people were expecting from Chase. Hawn and Chase would try again to establish chemistry in 1981’s Neil Simon-scripted Seems Like Old Times, but the results were largely the same.

    Caddyshack Rap circa 1980

    His single season on SNL assured Chase of his spot in comedy history, but if there were doubts then they were erased when he starred in Harold Ramis’ classic golf comedy Caddyshack. Playing millionaire ne’er-do-well Ty Webb, Chase finally lived up to the promise he had displayed on TV. Famously, Bill Murray had a grudge against Chase from their days as up-and-coming performers in the early ’70s, and that tension has helped add to the legend of the movie. Chase also apparently irritated co-star Ted Knight. Rodney Dangerfield, who appears in this interview clip with the other three, was reportedly so nervous about his big screen debut that cast and crew alike had to continuously reassure him that he was doing fine. Younger golfers may be able to quote Happy Gilmore more readily these days, but their fathers can still recite Caddyshack line for line.

    Memoirs of an Invisible Man

    Chase has never been known for his ability to pick parts. There’s always been a randomness to his career. His slide into oblivion was hastened when he played the lead in 1992’s Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Perhaps having horror director John Carpenter do a fresh take on the classic tale of a man who becomes transparent sounded like a good idea at the time. Chase is barely there and it’s not because he’s playing someone who’s invisible. Co-star Daryl Hannah fares even worse. She just looks as though she would like to disappear. The film recouped only about $14-million of its reported $40-million budget, giving the actor back-to-back major flops after the previous year’s Nothing But Trouble.

    Spies Like Us

    Dan Aykroyd, himself no stranger to poor career decisions, was one of the writers for his pairing with Chase in Spies Like Us. The two former SNL co-stars portrayed a pair of government stooges in an homage to the old Bing Crosby-Bob Hope Road pictures (Hope even makes a cameo). The issue is that unlike with his other SNL co-stars, John Belushi and Murray, Aykroyd has no chemistry with Chase. Even the theme song by Paul McCartney is bland. It is fun for movie fans, however, thanks to the number of fellow directors that John Landis manages to find cameos for. In the clip above, the impatient test monitor is played by Muppet maestro Frank Oz. Terry Gilliam, Ray Harryhausen, Joel Coen and Sam Raimi also make appearances.

    You Can Call Me Al

    Chase became friends with Paul Simon during the early days of SNL, and would pal around with the singer and producer Lorne Michaels long after he left the show. That relationship led to one of Chase’s most memorable performances of the ’80s — one that had nothing to do with movies or television. The comedian mugged and lip-synched his way through the video for Simon’s hit, “You Can Call Me Al,” with the singer sitting next to him, hangdog expression firmly in place. Like a number of songs of its era, the video was played so often on MTV that it’s next to impossible to separate the two.

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  78. vacation made 90 mill off 31 mill budget . How did it vanish . it did pretty good sounds like hit

    Like

    • Yep, all movies should vanish with a #2 opening weekend, and 5 weeks in theatre, not sure of the significance there, but according to the Wiki page, 56 mil domestic which is almost double the budget as you stated, and now up to 90.7 million worldwide.
      #suckitrottentomatoes#youtoometacritic

      Like

      • Okay, reality check.

        The Vacation reboot is currently estimated to have grossed $56 million in the US on a budget of $31 million. That’s not a victory. $100 million in the US would have been a victory. It’s going to be lucky to gross $100 million worldwide. You can’t rely on the worldwide figure because international grosses are extremely complicated. For example, negotiations in China – really the #1 international market – require the studio to give up the lion’s share of the grosses.

        You want to know how you can tell whether or not a movie was a hit? Has there been a sequel announced. Vacation was definitely intended to restart the franchise. If everything had gone according to plan, a sequel would have been announced within days of the movie’s opening. If weeks pass without a sequel being greenlit (on a movie that was clearly intended to have sequels), the studio is disappointed.

        At the end of the day, I expect Vacation will break even and maybe even turn a profit. It won’t be a disaster becauses costs were kept reasonably low. But it also isn’t a hit.

        As for critical reaction, take a look at RT.com. Yes, it has a low approval score from critics. But it also has a rotten score from audiences who are far more inclined to approve of a movie they paid money to see. So this really isn’t a case of the critics being wildly out of step with popular opinion.

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  79. Its dissapointed in the sense it was expected to make alot more money then it did. Like jack ryan there was suppose to be more movies in the franchise .It wasnt the hit studios expected. I have a feeling this will stall ed helms career as leadimg man for a bit. He was suppose to star in remake of naked gun but project put on hold. I could be wrong but i think it has something to do with the box office reception. of vacation.

    Like

    • I can’t wrap my head around a $25 million domestic profit being a failure…. how much money does anyone need??

      Like

      • Here’s the thing, Vacation didn’t turn a profit in the US.

        I know, I know. The gross is larger than the production costs. That suggests a profit. But it’s nowhere near that simple. For one thing, the production costs are only a small part of the overall cost of a movie. There are distribution and marketing costs which can equal or exceed the cost of actually making the movie. Also, the studio doesn’t get to keep the grosses. The exhibitor gets a small percentage. Some of the stars or the director may have a percentage written into their contract. They are also going to have to pay taxes obviously.

        Hollywood accounting is notoriously complicated. A good rule of thumb is that a movie needs to gross at least double its production costs in the US to break even. That’s a rule of thumb and not a hard and fast rule. A movie that was highly marketed (arguably Vacation may fit into this category) will need to gross triple its production costs to turn a profit.

        In order to be considered a hit, Vacation needed a domestic gross of $100 million dollars. A domestic gross in the $60 million dollar range isn’t a catastrophe. The studio will probably make its money back at some point with ancillary income. But it certainly wasn’t the desired outcome. As a reboot attempt, Vacation most likely failed.

        Like

  80. Its not failure . It was expected to make more money then it did. Similar to jakc ryan it was suppose to reboot a franchise. It didnt make enough to war rent another movie. Studios expected a bigger return in box office. It did better world wide though but still not huge hit. When a movie dosent live up to studios expectations they call is a disappointment not a flop.

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  81. You cant exactly call a flop it still did decent in usa plus iam sure studios see some return worldwide

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  82. some people label the new termnator movie as flop but it made 435 off 155 budget . However maybe it didnt cover the marketing cost. Or it could have bombed in usa.

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    • Terminator: Genesis is the lowest grossing film in the series (excluding the first one which was a low-budget B movie released in 1984) by a hefty margin despite the rising cost of tickets. Is it a flop? That’s a really hard call to make. In the US, yes. It was a flop. No bones about it. Overseas, it performed very well. The foreign grosses are more than 4 times as high as the domestic gross. But remember, an awful lot of that money went to the Chinese government. The studio gets a much smaller percentage of the foreign grosses than the domestic. That’s why all other things being equal, domestic grosses are preferable to international.

      Since another Terminator movie hasn’t been announced, the odds of another sequel are looking pretty slim at this point. This iteration of The Terminator is what you would call “on the bubble”. Someone could get optimistic based on foreign grosses, especially if the movie does well on home video, and another sequel could be announced. I seriously doubt that the franchise will be abandoned. But I suspect a few years will pass while someone figures out how to relaunch the series from scratch.

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  83. Worldwide gross can stop a movie from being total flop. I think it didnt perform to studio expectations. Its like this means war . That movie surpassed itss budget worldwide however iam guessing it wasnt made to be hit becuase it didnt cover marketing costs which is separate budget and it bombed usa.

    Like

    • Worldwide grosses can make a movie that flopped in the US a hit. That’s why Pacific Rim is getting a sequel. The thing is, it’s almost impossible to tell how much is needed for that to happen because every country negotiates different terms with the studio. I can tell you with certainty whether a not a movie was a hit in the US. But no matter how big the grosses overseas, I can’t say for certain if the movie turned a profit. And even if it did, did it turn enough of a profit to meet studio expectations.

      And this is something else a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their head around. Expectations are everything. If a studio expects a movie to open at a certain number, it will be perceived as a failure if it falls below that number even if that number was unrealistic. A movie can turn a profit and still be a disappointment. If the studio could have made a bigger return on investment on another movie, then the movie they made is a failure even if it made money.

      When it comes to greenlighting a sequel and continuing a franchise, the studio needs to do some risk assessment. If the current movie made a tidy profit, what are the odds that the next movie will flop? Pretty good. Being profitable isn’t enough to warrant a sequel. That’s where being “on the bubble” comes into play. The studio guys need to read the tea leaves and determine whether they think a sequel can outperform the previous film or if it will bring in diminishing returns.

      My guess is for both Terminator and Vacation, there will eventually be another installment. But they probably won’t be continuations of the movies that came out this summer.

      Like

      • I definitely don’t understand the first thing about movie studio accounting. The only thing better than a #2 opening weekend, would have been the top spot and that went to Tom Cruise. Part of what is confusing, I’ve no idea what is included under the definitions. A stated budget, in this case 31 mil, i’d assume includes all the costs: salaries, production, insurance, distribution, equipment, whatever else goes into the cost of making a movie. Of course, that being an assumption of mind, might be entirely incorrect. That would change my understanding. As far as the gross ticket sales, even understanding that grossing 56 million domestically doesn’t mean the studio gets that much money, I would have thought it’s still a tidy sum since the movie theatres have to push concession sales to make money.
        It’s a rough world out there…

        Like

        • It is complicated. And no one ever knows what’s on the studio books aside from the studio unless there is a lawsuit or a leak that makes the accounting public knowledge. A classic example of Hollywood accounting is that Paramount claimed that Coming to America never turned a profit – which is convenient for them since they lost a lawsuit to Art Buchwald over the script. But that’s an extreme example.

          Generally speaking, the production cost is what it takes to get the movie made. Distribution costs are what it cost to get the movie shown. This could range from making prints (which are quite expensive) to shipping those prints to any other costs involved in getting the movie into theaters. Then there’s the big expense, marketing. Marketing is often as expensive as making the movie. For a big summer tentpole movie, it can be twice as expensive. Vacation got a pretty big promotional push so it wouldn’t be unrealistic to think the studio spent more to market the movie than it did to make it. Then there’s the “back end”. A star, director or writer may own a piece of the back end which obviously can’t be included in the production costs because it fluctuates with the grosses. I have no idea whether or not back end deals apply to Vacation. Just pointing out that there are many, many expenses beyond production costs.

          Based purely on domestic grosses, Vacation probably has yet to break even. I feel pretty certain that when all is said and done, it won’t report a loss and may even turn a profit. But if they don’t announce a sequel after the movie comes out on video, you can bet the studio wasn’t happy with whatever profit they made.

          Anyone calling Vacation 2015 a bomb is over-stating things. But it’s a long way from being a box office hit.

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  84. clash of tiatins bombed usa but did amazing in world wide. Same thing with jack reacher i read because of the worldwide success stuios greenlighting a sequel. So basically if they are greenlight a sequel based on the world wide success they must have seen a profit. I know cruise other action flick obvlion had same results did amazing world wide too.

    Like

  85. Category: This Sucks So Bad … Created on Thursday, 19 September 2013 17:29 Written by George Rother

    http://www.movieguy247.com/iMovies/index.php/blog/this-sucks-so-bad/1570-deal-of-the-century

    It’s difficult to say what exactly went wrong with Deal of the Century, a heavy-handed and unfunny satire about an arms dealer trying to sell weapons to a South American dictator. It’s not for lack of talent. It’s directed by William Friedkin, best known for the seminal 70s classics The French Connection and The Exorcist. It stars Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Vacation), Gregory Hines (History of the World, Part I) and Sigourney Weaver (Aliens). Paul Brickman (Risky Business) wrote the screenplay. It could be that expectations were too high because of the talent involved. Bear in mind that Friedkin was in the midst of a career slump with his last three pictures (Sorcerer, The Brink’s Job and Cruising) bombing at the box office. I think it comes down to one thing; Deal of the Century is simply not funny. I didn’t think so when I caught it on cable TV in September ’84. I can’t recall why I didn’t see it at the movies, but I’m glad that I didn’t plunk down my hard-earned money for something as dreadful as this. I recently rewatched it in its entirety and it’s no better now than it was 30 years ago. However, something is different. Times have changed as has technology and what seemed impossible 30 years ago has actually come to pass. There are such things as pilotless planes now; they’re called “drones”. Also known as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), they are primarily used for missions too dangerous for soldiers. It’s mildly interesting to note that Friedkin prefigured this with Deal of the Century. It’s too bad the rest of the movie lands with a thud.

    Small-time arms dealer Eddie Muntz (Chase) accidentally stumbles across a multi-million dollar deal involving a sophisticated, computerized, unmanned aircraft called “the Peacemaker”. He’s used to peddling small arms like assault rifles, mines and pistols disguised as Sony Walkmans. He typically sells his wares to foreigners (dictators and rebels alike). Eddie gets injured in a firefight during one of his sales pitches and manages to hobble back to his hotel where he encounters a suicidal sales rep (Shawn, My Dinner with Andre) for a big defense contractor. He’s been waiting for several weeks to find out whether or not he has a deal with the military-controlled government of San Miguel. He can’t take it anymore and takes his own life just minutes before the phone rings. Eddie successfully takes over the deal and that when his troubles really begin. For one thing, his longtime partner Ray (Hines) has just informed him that he found the Lord and will be leaving this dirty business. Catherine (Weaver), the widow of the sales rep, shows up at Eddie’s house and demands that he hand over the ill-gotten contract. The first public demonstration of the Peacemaker is a total disaster and the South American dictator (Marquez, The Mask of Zorro) reneges on the deal he made with Eddie. He decides to help out the company (Luckup) by re-signing the San Miguel dictator at a defense industry exposition. Ray and Catherine agree to help him. It won’t be a simple task given Ray’s growing crisis of conscience, the tensions with the disreputable company heads and the long list of technical problems with the aircraft. If only any of this was the least bit funny.

    Deal of the Century might have worked better if Friedkin had taken a lighter approach to the material. Dark satire can work, look at Sidney Lumet’s Network (1976). A dark satire about the defense industry could potentially work in the right hands. Sadly, those hands do not belong to Friedkin who takes a sledge hammer to material for which a smaller hammer would be far more effective. A perfect example of what I’m talking about is the graphic violence in two scenes. A guy gets huge holes blown through him during a firefight in San Miguel and Eddie sustains a bullet wound to the foot. Later on, Catherine’s gun accidentally goes off and shoots Eddie in the same foot. Blood shoots up through the hole in the cast. It’s a bloody mess, like something out of a Monty Python farce. Do audiences really want to see such a thing in a supposed comedy? It was a good idea to cast Chase in the lead. Here’s an actor with two distinct screen personas- the bumbling idiot (Vacation, Modern Problems) and the smooth operator (Caddyshack, Fletch). He’s the latter in Deal of the Century and it really should work a lot better than it does. He just doesn’t appear to be feeling it. It would unfair to criticize the performances of the three leads because this mess isn’t really their fault. It all comes back to faulty direction and a script that lacks any real structure. Friedkin has his actors running around trying to act funny, but this doesn’t work without a sufficient framework to contain it. Lacking that, the performances just come off as labored and forced through no fault of the actors. The point is that Deal of the Century isn’t at all funny. Friedkin wants to combine dark satire and madcap comedy; it’s a mixture that doesn’t take. The South American characters, especially the dictator, are a collection of offensive ethnic stereotypes. I think Friedkin was going for something along the lines of Network, but he ended up with a dismal mess instead. It’s a brutal disappointment considering all the great talent involved. It’s a complete misfire.

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  86. Vaction made over 100 mill off 31 mill budget, I guess it still underpeformed.

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    • It fell short of $60 million on a $31 million dollar budget. Domestic grosses, please.

      $100 million worldwide is a very different thing from a $100 million dollar gross. If the Vacation reboot had grossed $100 million in the US, I expect a sequel would have been announced by now.

      Like

  87. It wasnt a flop just disappointment. DIdnt care for movie anyways. I heard ed helms was going to star in naked gun remake. But I heard its put on hold now. I think its due to box office performance of vacation. Not sure if I see ed helms ever becoming a leading man.

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  88. Chris Columbus directed #HomeAlone instead of #ChristmasVacation because he met Chevy Chase: https://t.co/72W50U5XOm

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  89. Who are you to judge him? If he wasn’t famous you wouldn’t care at all. You wouldn’t write an article if your next door neighbor gained some weight in the last 40 years. You are terrible. The man is still hilarious and still has the same heart and soul! Quit writing about men, they just get sexier!

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    • That was your take away? That Chase put on weight? I was more concerned with his horrible behavior while he was young than his declining sex appeal in his senior years. I could write some pretty good articles about my neighbor but no one knows who he is so I doubt there would be much interest. Lighten up, Nicole. Chevy Chase can dish it out. He should be able to handle a blog post detailing his highs and lows.

      Like

    • Nicole, I am with you about Chevy Chase, and only wish I could tell him how much he has enriched my own life with laughter. I do feel that mountains have been made out of molehills.
      You just aren’t going to get anywhere arguing with Lebeau, he is a bit stubborn on this topic. You know how men are! But we love him anyway 🙂

      Like

  90. Joel McHale is going to play Chevy Chase in a #Netflix movie: http://vult.re/1qsUBTz

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  91. The Cinema Snob: Oh! Heavenly Dog (1980)

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  92. John Landis (I) : What Chevy Chase said about him…

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000484/board/flat/173553689?d=173553689#173553689

    “He’s a bit of a bully, to say the least, with the wrong people, the easy shots. He’s got a crassness about him. Anybody who can pick on a set decorator or an extra in front of everybody else in a very mean way is lacking something. I would think that an experience like Twilight Zone: The Movie would put some humility into your life. But it didn’t.” –Chevy Chase

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  93. Film-sets that were a notorious NIGHTMARE to work on….

    https://www.datalounge.com/thread/16916169-film-sets-that-were-a-notorious-nightmare-to-work-on….

    National Lampoon’s European Vacation. Amy Heckerling hated a**hole Chevy Chase, the script was constantly being re-written on the set, it was hard for them to get any work out of the foreign crews

    —Anonymous

    reply 44 8 hours ago

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  94. Where Are They Now? The Cast Of National Lampoon’s Vacation

    http://screenrant.com/then-and-now-national-lampoons-vacation-where-are-they-now/

    CHEVY CHASE – CLARK GRISWOLD

    Vacation was not Chevy Chase’s first hit movie — Foul Play and Caddyshack came before — but it was definitely the one where he solidified himself as a comedy legend. Chase brings his physical comedic skills to the role of Clark W. Griswold, playing the hapless all-American dad to perfection. He provides the movie with its single most important joke: Clark is so desperate to give his family a “perfect” vacation that it drives him insane when things don’t work out as planned.

    But Chase was not just the star. It’s a little-known fact that he was also a co-writer of Vacation. The screenplay is credited to John Hughes, who based it on a short story he penned for National Lampoon magazine. The script as Hughes wrote it was told from the viewpoint of the Griswold children. When Harold Ramis came on board to direct, he shifted the focus so that things were told from Clark’s POV. Ramis and Chase then worked together on a rewrite that followed though on that idea and played to the comedian’s strengths. What you see onscreen is, in fact, a combination of the contributions from all three men.

    After Vacation‘s success, Chase continued his reign as one of the top comic actors of the 1980s, with movies like Fletch, Spies Like Us, Three Amigos, and the vastly underrated Funny Farm. (Seriously, see that movie as soon as possible if you never have.) A career downslide followed in the ’90s (Nothing But Trouble, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Cops and Robbersons, etc.), and eventually Chase went from leading man to supporting player. He had a career revival playing Pierce Hawthorne on NBC’s cult hit Community, but left after four seasons because he didn’t like the increasingly racist direction his character was taking. A subsequent sitcom pilot with Beverly D’Angelo didn’t get picked up, but they did step into the shoes of Clark and Ellen Griswold again for a short film called Hotel Hell Vacation that was essentially one long commercial for the vacation rental website HomeAway, and the pair’s appearance in the 2015 Vacation reboot soon followed. Chase continues to be active with political and environmental causes and, like Clark, he’s a family man: he and his wife Jayni have three grown daughters. You can keep up-to-date with him on his official Facebook page.

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  95. Keaotn Birdman like comeback proved its not to late for any actor to fix their derailed career. maybe a director will call chevy find out his potential and offer him big dramatic role.He has a supporting role in interesting dramatic film starring burt reyondls about a washed up actor called dog years. I could see it having potetantel despite starring two washed up actors it could be oscar bait

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  96. Chevy Chase enters rehab for ‘tuneup’ on alcohol problem http://nbcnews.to/2c1RQ4K

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  97. Chevy Chase Will Break Out of a Nursing Home in ‘Federal Offense’

    http://splitsider.com/2016/10/chevy-chase-will-break-out-of-a-nursing-home-in-federal-offense/

    Chevy Chase just signed on to star in a movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chase will star in an upcoming movie written by newcomer Connor Martin called Federal Offense, which follows “three best friends who lose a drug kingpin’s stash before finding themselves on the lam from gangsters, bounty hunters and the law after breaking their foul-mouthed grandfather out of his nursing home.” Chase will play the grandfather in the movie, which will be produced by Boundless Pictures. The other cast members of the film have not yet been announced.

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  98. Episode 200 – Nothing but Trouble

    http://www.flophousepodcast.com/2016/03/episode-200-nothing-but-trouble/

    It’s the moment we promised would never happen: we watched Elliott and Dan’s stated least-favorite movie of all time, Nothing but Trouble. And to help us out with this special MAX FUN DRIVE episode (donate!), we welcome self-proclaimed minor television celebrity, Mr. John …

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  99. ‘We’ve gone through so many things together:’ Beverly D’Angelo on her close bond with National Lampoon co-star Chevy Chase

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4265878/Beverly-D-Angelo-dishes-friendship-Chevy-Chase.html

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  100. Re: Jay Pharoah Puts SNL on Blast Over Firing

    http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/1168565-Jay-Pharoah-Puts-SNL-on-Blast-Over-Firing-%E2%80%98I%E2%80%99m-Not-a-Yes-N*gga%E2%80%99?p=30501699&viewfull=1#post30501699

    There were multiple drug related deaths.
    John Belushi: cocaine/heroin overdose
    Chris Farley: cocaine/morphine overdose
    Phil Hartman: murdered by wife while she was on drugs (who was rumored to have become addicted because of Andy Dick)

    The seasons in 1980-1985 did not have Lorne Michaels, and they were marked by high turnover of writers, comedians, show runners, formats, etc.

    Janeane Garafalo was only on for a few months; calling it a boys’ club and the most miserable experience of her life. Sarah Silverman didn’t have anything particularly negative to say, but she did say that SNL in the early 1990s wasn’t a place where a woman could be head writer (a la Tina Fey later on).

    Larry David quit out of disgust of how the show was run, but then he returned the next week like nothing had happened lol.

    Bill Murray was hired to replace Chevy Chase, and when Chevy returned to host, they actually got in a fistfight. They still had Chevy back to host a few more times. He’d recommend skits like having the gay cast-mate have AIDS and tracking his weight loss. Chevy slapped Cheri Oteri in the head. He was verbally abusive to everyone, and asked a female writer to give him a handjob. Chevy is banned.

    Adrien Brody was hosting and he wore fake dreadlocks and did a Jamaican accent to introduce Sean Paul. He’s banned too.

    Martin Lawrence’s hosting gig is edited in future re-airings because he crassly talked about women’s genitalia. He’s banned.

    Victoria Jackson (who is a wacky Evangelical conservative) was always telling her castmates they were going to hell (in a serious preachy manner).

    Jimmy Fallon is a rumored cocaine addict; this shouldn’t be surprising considering where he came from. It’s also one reason why I think Justin Timberlake is too (aside from looking/acting coked out).

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  101. The real reason you don’t hear from Chevy Chase anymore

    http://www.looper.com/62727/real-reason-dont-hear-chevy-chase-anymore/

    After making a big splash as part of the original Saturday Night Live cast, Chevy Chase became one of the biggest movie stars of the ’80s, headlining comedy classics like National Lampoon’s Vacation, Fletch, Three Amigos, and Caddyshack. More recently, he was part of the NBC cult classic Community, and he also turned up in Hot Tub Time Machine and the Vacation reboot. But other than that, he’s not dominating movie screens with his dry wit and amusing smirk anymore. So what exactly happened to the legendary funnyman? Well, here’s why Chevy Chase isn’t around much these days.

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    • I am not exaggerating when I say this but Chevy Chase is absolutely a sociopath. He’s the type of person who goes out of his way to antagonize and bully those around him w/o any foresight of the long lasting consequences to his behavior. The sad thing is that I simply don’t think that Chevy is aware or even cares about what people think of him.

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    • 15 ‘Nice’ Celebrities Who Are Secretly Jerks

      http://screenrant.com/nice-celebrities-secretly-jerks/

      CHEVY CHASE

      Before the hit NBC sitcom Community revitalized his career, former Saturday Night Live funnyman Chevy Chase’s career was beginning to fade into obscurity, which may have been a result of the actor being notoriously difficult to work with. While Chase was best known for playing lovable dimwits in some of the biggest comedies of the ’80s and ’90s, the actor has been reportedly everything but funny to many of his former co-workers.

      Back on the 1990s, Chase became banned from hosting SNL after he supposedly slapped female cast member Cheri Oteri in the back of the head. Will Ferrell ended up reporting the incident to Lorne Michaels, which resulted in Chase’s permanent separation from the show. He’s also said to have reeked havoc on the set of Community by using racial slurs and repeatedly fighting with Dan Harmon, the series creator.

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  102. Chevy Chase, Richard Dreyfuss, Lewis Black, Kate Micucci, and Andie MacDowel to Star in Netflix’s Comedy ‘Last Laugh’

    http://variety.com/2017/film/news/chevy-chase-lewis-black-netflix-last-laugh-1202570366/

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