Friday, October 08, 2010

Happy Birthday Chevy Chase

That Chevy Chase should have the reputation of being a colossal douchebag might come as a surprise to many, but it's no surprise to me whatsoever; having reviewed a considerable amount of reading materiel on his career, and extensively perused the First Season episodes of Saturday Night Live besides, can I just say that I'd have been more surprised to learn he wasn't a douchebag than I was to learn he is... Then again, that could simply be his shtick.

PhotobucketNevertheless, Chase's nine stints as guest host of the show that launched his career - the last of these being in 1997 - are responsible for an untold amount of post-traumatic stress disorder among the members of the show's various casts, as graphically recounted in Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller. Chase actually came to blows with his replacement, Bill Murray, prior to his first appearance as guest host in Season Three; according to both of them, the feud has long since been resolved, as evidenced by their work together in Caddyshack.

Still, I've always tried to make the focus of this blog on the person's work, rather than the person; as far as this goes, Chase's work (and the fact that he's a rabid Democrat) more than make up for the rest. Caddyshack (1980), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), and Fletch (1985) were among my favourite films in high school, and although he continues to make appearances on television and in movies - often on behalf of prominent Democrats or environmental causes - his profile has never since been higher than it was in the fifteen years following the debut of SNL in October 1975.
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