Chevy Chase has been a controversial figure in the entertainment industry for decades. The veteran comedian and actor rose to fame as an original cast member of Saturday Night Live in the 1970s and starred in hit comedies like Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation film franchise, and Three Amigos in the 1980s.
However, Chase has faced backlash over the years for reported difficult behavior and problematic remarks.
Allegations of Difficult Behavior on Set
Throughout his career, Chase has developed a reputation for having an abrasive personality and clashing with collaborators. There have been multiple allegations that he was difficult to work with:
On Saturday Night Live
While a star on SNL in the late 1970s,Bill Murray had an infamous physical altercation with Chase when Chase returned to guest host:
|Murray confronts Chase about backstage remarks and they trade insults until it turns physical
Other SNL cast members like John Belushi also had tense behind-the-scenes conflicts with Chase before he left after season 4.
Decades later while Chase was acting on the sitcom Community from 2009-2014, there were various reports about him having friction with creator Dan Harmon and behaving in a difficult way towards costars:
|Reported Incident on Set
|Used racial slur against Donald Glover while protesting lines
|Left angry voicemail for Harmon criticizing writing
These incidents contributed to his reputation as being challenging to work with over his long career.
In addition to his behavior, Chase has made numerous questionable or offensive remarks in interviews and on talk shows over the decades:
####Insensitive Remarks About Women & Minorities
- In 1980, he suggested female SNL cast members weren’t “funny” during an interview
- In 2012, used the N-word criticizing his Community lines
- In 2018, made jokes about President Trump sexually assaulting female world leaders
####Crude Humor Targeting Individuals
- Made fun of his Three Amigos co-star Martin Short’s wife’s tragic passing
- Mocked late actor Chris Penn to his face at a tribute event
These crude attempts at humor along with racially insensitive and misogynistic comments have drawn public criticism and damaged his reputation.
Did Chevy Chase struggle with substance abuse issues?
By his own admission Chase struggled with alcohol and prescription pain medication addiction spanning decades.
He began drinking heavily while on SNL to deal with stress which impaired his performance and relationships. After leaving the show in 1977 to focus on film, his drinking escalated further into the 1980s.
Around 2010, Chase developed an addiction to hydrocodone while coping with chronic back pain issues. He went to rehab treatment several times but relapsed on pain medication while acting on Community which caused more erratic behavior.
In 2016, he checked himself into the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota and has said he’s been sober since then. Chase’s substance abuse battles have been a factor behind both his conduct issues and insensitive remarks over the years.
How His Reputation Has Affected His Career
Chase’s difficult reputation has taken a toll on his acting career in recent decades. After his conduct on Community, the show’s creator Harmon vowed to never work with him again. Chase hasn’t appeared in films or TV shows since leaving Community in 2014.
Some key effects on his career include:
Limited Job Opportunities
- No roles in major films or shows since 2014
- Blacklisted by Hollywood studios and creators
- Upcoming cameo in Superhero film Deadpool 3 cut after insensitive comments
Decline in Popularity
- Recent comedy tour canceled due to weak ticket sales
- Struggled financially despite past career success
- Forced to sell homes and downsize due to fewer jobs
While regarded as comedy legend, Chase’s divisive reputation has reduced his booking opportunities significantly in recent years.
Why was Chevy Chase initially so successful in comedy?
In the 1970s and 1980s, Chase was considered one of the top comedic actors in Hollywood. He reached stardom relatively fast due to a combination of factors:
- Breakout SNL star: Became show’s first breakout personality with acclaimed Weekend Update segment
- Unique persona: Developed a likeable, smug comedic on-screen persona that stood out
- Improv skills: Had natural improv instincts from past experience with Groundlings comedy group
- Writing talent: Co-wrote jokes for his segments and some early films he starred in
- Hit movies: Starred in massive box office comedy hits like Caddyshack and National Lampoon’s Vacation after leaving SNL
With this quick rise to fame, Chase initially seemed to have the versatility and talent to become a long-lasting movie comedy legend. However, his difficult reputation hampered his career trajectory in subsequent decades.
How Does Chevy Chase’s Comedy and Acting Hold Up Today?
While iconic in his prime, the quality of Chase’s comedy and acting has been reassessed over time:
Style of Humor Aged Poorly
- Relied heavily on smug, abrasive persona which isn’t as popular now
- Politically incorrect jokes have not aged well and come across as offensive
- Mostly starred in slapstick films which peaked in popularity in the 1980s
Limited Range as an Actor
- Typically played similar vain, sarcastic characters that matched his public persona
- Struggled with more dramatic roles – seen as just a comedic actor
- Didn’t display much versatility outside arrogant white guy characters
While some of his movies like Caddyshack and National Lampoon’s Vacation remain popular comedies, Chase’s smug style of humor and narrow acting abilities likely limit his appeal to modern audiences.
In summary, veteran comedian Chevy Chase is a polarizing figure in the entertainment world. He initially achieved massive success as an original Saturday Night Live cast member and star of hit 80s comedies.
However, Chase developed a reputation for having an abrasive personality and being difficult to work with over his career based on various on-set conflicts and controversial remarks. His unprofessional behavior, crude humor, and insensitive comments have resulted in backlash and limited job opportunities in recent decades.
While iconic movies like Caddyshack and his National Lampoon’s Vacation role as Clark Griswold have endured in popularity, Chase’s style of smug and politically incorrect comedy has aged poorly for modern audiences. His acting range beyond egotistical characters is also rather limited.
Following his conduct issues on Community and blacklisting from studios, Chase hasn’t appeared in any films or shows since 2014 as studios are wary to work with him.
While regarded as comedy legend, Chevy Chase is disliked by many in the entertainment industry and public now due to his severe reputation and behavior problems overshadowing his influence pioneering SNL and 80’s comedy films.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was Chevy Chase fired from Saturday Night Live?
Chase technically was not fired from SNL. However, he voluntarily left the show at the peak of its popularity after the fourth season in 1976 due to frequent clashes with producer Lorne Michaels over creative control.
Reportedly, Chase did not get along well with the rest of the cast and felt restricted by the show’s format, contributing to his decision to leave to pursue a film career.
Did Chevy Chase play golf?
Yes, Chase is an avid golfer. When his film career declined in recent decades, he spent more time on the golf course to compete in celebrity tournaments and amateur events.
Chase had a single-digit golf handicap in his prime and was regarded as one of the better celebrity golfers. He incorporated his passion for golf into some of his most popular movies as well including Caddyshack and the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise.
What was Chevy Chase’s most successful movie?
While starring as Clark Griswold in the National Lampoon’s Vacation series, Chase’s most commercially successful film was 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
The third movie in the franchise grossed over $71 million domestically, becoming both his biggest box office hit and a holiday comedy classic still aired frequently on TV.