Sympathy for the Asshole: or, an article that actually moderates my opinion of Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase is a wealthy, inexplicably once popular comedian with financial resources and access to the best private mental health services available to help him deal with his problems stemming from childhood trauma. That he has not done so, and consequently been incapable of maintaining relationships and get work on screen has long been his own responsibility and not worthy of great supympathy beyond that you would offer to the large number of people who have suffered the same or worse.

Also, he took the Gregory McDonald’s Fletch and used it to make idiotic Chevy Chase vehicles that had virtually nothing to do with the source material or the anti-hero journalist character thereby ruining any attempt to make a movie or television series based on the original novels, so fuck that guy with the the head of Alfredo Garcia.


I always felt the guy they should have cast as Fletch was Tommy Lee Jones.

ISTM that the writers on Community purposely set out to make his character as unlikable as possible, especially in the episode where he bequeaths “gifts” to the other members of the group. Season 2, IIRC, was especially bad in this regard.

Halfway through I was wondering “why am I reading about this has-been asshole?”

A comment on Eddie Murphy:

I’ll give him the benefit out the doubt that he’s not a massive racist, and can’t possibly believe that skin color is all it takes to do an impression - instead, we have someone whose comedic instincts are so poor as to think that a “meta” joke about such a thing coming from him in 2018 can possibly work.

Fletch looks like a beach bum, was a former Marine witha Silver Star he never accepted, and has a callous disregard of social convention. Back in the day it should have been someone like Andrew McCarthy or Timothy Hutton. Not only was Chase too old, he was just a complete clown. Jones would also have been too old and frankly too serious.


I thought he funny on SNL and am grateful for his writing and performing of Weekend Update. I believe he is one of the comedy greats who somehow lost his way, not being able to sustain his comic highs.

Maybe that’s because he’s an asshole: I just learned of reports of that this month. I don’t follow celebrity news much.

At any rate, inventing Weekend Update deserves a nod. Quite a bit followed from Chase’s initial contributions to SNL.
BTW, Chase married his third wife in 1982. They are still together, FWIW.

I never found him funny in the slightest, either (“inexplicably once popular” pretty much sums it up for me), but I thought those movies were OK–but despite Chevy’s appearance.

I often think of him when I go to the bathroom in certain places. Cornelius Crane ‘Chevy’ Chase is descended from the the Crane family who founded Crane Plumbing

Agree completely. The first novel was basically a film script and it could have been made into a great film. Chase in that role was just plain wrong.

Liked him in both, liked him on SNL, liked him in Vacation/Christmas Vacation, Spies Like Us and Caddyshack (though I agree he wasn’t near the best part of Caddyshack). Never got around to watching Community.

I don’t really care if he’s a dick in real life, nor do I feel any sympathy if being a dick in real life came back to bite him.

¡Three Amigos! is your counterreference? Not only is it a painfully unfunny film, and Chevy Chase barely does anything in the film at all, but his two costars ended filming refusing to talk to Chase for years afterward because of what a monumental ass he was.

Fletch is awful for all the reasons stated above, plus having a plot adapted from the novel in an entirely nonsensical fashion; it holds up even more poorly than many other contemporary ‘Eighties films like Beverly Hills Cop or the original Ghostbusters. The sequel was an “original story”, such as it had any narrative at all, that was so exceedingly painful to endure that despite the current trend of remaking anything from the ‘Eighties in a desperate attempt at nostalgia, various Fletch projects have been in development hell for the last twenty years.


I thought he was the worst Weekend Update hose, and that’s quite the feat.

Painfully unfunny even in SNL season 1. But then, it seemed you had to be stoned to enjoy it then, and I wasn’t.

Jeopardy 1999: “Comedian who’s career fizzled after leaving NBC’s Sat-Night”.

Who was Chevy Chase. Chevy Chase?

The only Chevy Chase movie I can ever remember seeing is **“Fletch” **, which I thought was pretty entertaining.

The one thing I do give him props for is that he was in favor of keeping the Kingdom of Gorch skits on SNL.

Those were horrible, and they drug the show to a grinding halt.

I’ve never liked people whose whole shtick is, “I am so much cooler than you could ever even think of being.” Chase is a prime example, as is David Letterman.

Especially when they are not, such as Chase. Repeatedly telling everyone you are cool does not make it true.

Sounds like BoJack Horseman to be honest (and the 5th season of BoJack goes into why even though one has had all these challenges while growing up, they may not deserve our sympathy if they haven’t really tried to move past it - which is kind of where I am with Chevy)

Three words: Hot Muppet sex.

I’m telling the Mighty Favog you said that!

Eh. I consume entertainment for the end product. Unless someone is raping or killing or something, I’m not really worried about anybody’s behind-the-scenes behavior.

I enjoy Chase’s body of work to varying degrees. He essentially played one character his entire career, and sometimes that character works better in a project than others. That said, Vacation and Christmas Vacation remain two of my all-time favorite film comedies.