You know how people complain when comedians try serious roles? All kinds of bitchin’ and moanin’ that demands comics to “just be funny.” Well, there one guy who never waivered from the comedy path. Chevy Chase. Sorta proof you can’t win with audiences, huh? Granted, calling most of Chevy’s movies from ‘85 on comedies is being charitable to the order of Mother Teresa.
Entertainment Weekly profiles Chase, alternatively claiming that he’s loved and hated every paragraph or so. The article concludes that the man is just one good hit from a comeback. (Hmmm, maybe he should try, I don’t know, a drama?) Scanning his imdb entry, I was surprised to see he recently did a film directed by former Onion Editor-in-Chief Scott Dikkers called Bad Meat. I don’t think that’ll be his comeback hit, but I enjoyed Dikkers’ Spaceman and like the idea of Chase doing a black comedy featuring people who live out their days in dangerous, finger-severing meat-packing plants. Check the trailer.
Though the EW article focuses on Chase’s movie career, the two moments that appear to be most embarrassing to Chase were on TV. The first being his quickly-cancelled talk show, which was apparently meant to be a sketch show in the tradition of Ernie Kovacs with “spitting nastiness.” Never seen the actual program, but Chase was completely lost inside the talk-show format. Venomous former SNL Head Writer Michael O’Donoghue, in wicked glee, kept a tape of it by his bedsite. Trio, you have your first program if you want to do another failures month. (BTW could someone start a Classic Comedy Channel, where we’d see Kovacs, Sid Caesar, You Bet Your Life, Flip Wilson, old Carson eps… well, that’d just be swell.)
The second was Comedy Central’s 2002 Roast where none of Chase’s friends showed up and he had to hear cruel slams from relative unknowns who had grown up laughing at the holy trinity of Caddyshack, Vacation and Fletch. Apparently, Chevy turned to the camera and stated “That hurt.” Too bad that roast wasn’t broadcast live, huh?
Considering we got few original SNLers left, I’d love to see Chevy do a role that wasn’t Chuck Griswold or Fletch that reclaimed his comedy legacy.
And then, it might be fun to see if he could fuck it up again, like Travolta did.