Give Chevy Chase His Comeback & Chevy Will Give Us The Laughs We Need
He's still Chevy Chase and we're still not. What's so wrong with that?
Chase has found his way back into the headlines recently thanks to an article written by Geoff Edgers of The Washington Post titled "Chevy Chase Can't Change: The 74-year-old comedy star is sober, fit and ready to work. The problem is nobody wants to work with him."
The headline leaves no question as to the predicament Chase finds himself in these days. The good news is a 40-pound lighter Chevy is clean and sober after a recent battle with alcohol abuse. The bad news? He's apparently burned too many bridges for too long in the entertainment industry and now finds himself on the outside looking into a comedy world he was once king of.
Despite a history of well-publicized spats and disagreements, the most recent being his exit from the NBC sitcom "Community", Chase is not going to change his ways. He still speaks his mind. If there's something he doesn't like he says it. Take his opinion of the current lineup of Saturday Night Live for example: “First of all, between you and me and a lamppost, jeez, I don’t want to put down Lorne [Michaels] or the cast, but I’ll just say, maybe off the record, I’m amazed that Lorne has gone so low. I had to watch a little of it, and I just couldn’t f------ believe it. That means a whole generation of shitheads laughs at the worst f------ humor in the world, you know what I mean? How could you dare give that generation worse shit than they already have in their lives? It just drives me nuts.”
That's telling it like it is alright but Chase is not about to apologize for his brutal honesty, on the record or off. Not at all. He's set in his ways. He is an at-times politically incorrect man in a must-be politically correct world.
So is Chevy just an old dog who continues to chase his own tale? Is he is own worst enemy? Let me sum up my response to that question in the simplest way I can. My Dad has been in a nursing home for a couple of years now and anyone who has a loved one in a nursing home knows that, as hard as it is to see that person in a nursing home, it's 10 times as hard for the person who's there. It's not fun, simple as that. So what do you do for that person? You be there for them and you try like hell to keep their spirits up. What better way to lift someone's spirits than with good comedy?
About a month ago I bought a copy of Chase's 1985 movie "Fletch" and took it to my Dad a few days later. "Fletch" is hands-down my all-time favorite comedy film and the first time I ever saw it was when my Dad took me to see it when it hit theaters back in '85. I've memorized every brilliant one-liner Chase delivers in this movie and have seen it a thousand times. I popped it in my Dad's DVD player and we watched it from start to finish. There I was with my Dad, both of us laughing out loud for the entire 98 minutes just as we did 33 years ago in the movie theater. Honestly, it was the biggest laugh I've heard from my father in years. That's all I need to think about when deciding whether Chevy Chase deserves a comeback or not.
How many Chevy Chase movies have you had the same experience with? How many laughs have the "Vacation" movies brought you? How about "Caddyshack", "Spies Like Us" and "Three Amigos"? Oh and Chase was also an original cast member of a groundbreaking show called "Saturday Night Live".
Charlie Chaplin once said, "Humor heightens our sense of survival and preserves our sanity". The world is always in need of a good laugh and Chevy Chase is still the best man for the job.