Chevy Chase – He Could Have Done More!
Saturday Night Live - Season 1 -- Pictured: Chevy Chase during 'Weekend Update' -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
When Saturday Night Live (SNL) first aired in 1975, Chevy Chase was expected to be one of the show’s 'superstars'. Magazines and other media forums had pegged Chase to be the next best thing since sliced bread! During this time he was slated to be the next, up and coming Johnny Carson.
Chase had an all-American look; even a “pretty boy” façade. He wooed the ladies with his clean-cut and seemingly respectable persona. The ladies fell hard for that prominent dimple in his chin.
Chevy Chase was always billed as being a funny guy. He wasn’t afraid to “take one for the team” by doing his own stunts. He was included in the regular cast of the first season of SNL. Unfortunately, Chase fell victim to the “stardom bug” and as they say, he had become too big for his britches! His famous tagline was, “I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not”.
Chase soon found himself out of a job with the popular late-night show. Chevy Chase is reportedly the only cast member to have ever been kicked-off of SNL. Lorne Michaels, SNL’s producer, had a show to do and didn’t have time to cater to Chase.
Unfortunately, Chevy Chase’s ego had gotten the better of him and all but derailed his career. Other SNL cast members, including Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris, Jane Curtain, Bill Murray, Lorraine Newman and John Belushi went on to be significant and noteworthy icons.
Fellow cast members also recalled how Chevy Chase had the ability to "get under their skin" by hitting them where it hurt! When Chase left SNL, there was no love lost between him and his fellow cast members.
Chase was still considered a funny guy but had really shot himself in the foot with his grandiose personality, early on. At one point, he considered himself to be the star of the SNL show. He couldn’t imagine how Lorne Michaels could get along without him. He later acknowledged his mistake of being overcome with stardom and celebrity status.
Chevy Chase had relented and admitted that he was, in fact, expendable. He somewhat regretted his departure from SNL (for the way it happened) but recounted that he thought it was the right thing to do at the time. Chase never imagined that the show would be successful without him.
Fortunately for Chase, he had enough talent to get the attention of film producers. He made a sort of 'comeback' when he was cast in films including "Caddyshack", "Vacation" (as well as "Vacation" sequels) and "Fletch".
Chevy Chase originally set out to be a writer but got caught up in the glory of being in the public eye. SNL brought his comedic talent to light although he didn’t fare quite as well as he had hoped. Chase had, regrettably, gotten caught up in the fast-paced reality of stardom.
Although Chevy Chase may not have hit the career mark that he had hoped for, I for one, am thankful for the work he did do. He was and is a guy with a quirky, yet awesome sense of humor and for some reason..,. I get it!
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