TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)
|Also Known As:||Cornelius Crane Chase||Died:|
|Born:||October 8, 1943||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||New York City, New York, USA||Profession:||comedian, actor, comedy writer, theatrical producer, musician, counselor, truck driver, tennis pro, teacher|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
acting chops.Chase revisited his old stomping ground to make a guest appearance on "Weekend Update" in 2007, and later that year guest-starred in two episodes of ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" (2006-2011) as a former love interest of Sally Field's character. His return to the spotlight also included a villainous recurring run as a software magnate on the NBC spy comedy, "Chuck" (NBC, 2007- ) and a guest starring voice-over alongside old friend Dan Aykroyd in the "Family Guy" (Fox, 1999-2002; 2005- ) episode "Spies Reminiscent of Us," a send-up of the pair's 1985 buddy comedy. In 2009, Chase debuted as a fulltime primetime player when he was cast on NBC's "Community" (2009- ), a well-received sitcom set at a community college in which Chase offered an expectedly genius portrayal of an aging corporate tycoon who goes back to college. Though not a big hit, "Community" attracted a consistent enough audience to keep the show on the air. Just as it seemed that his career was on the mend, Chase was once again the focal point of controversy, this time after a long-simmering feud between him and series creator Dan Harmon came to the fore. According to reports, Chase had walked off the set during filming of the...
Chase revisited his old stomping ground to make a guest appearance on "Weekend Update" in 2007, and later that year guest-starred in two episodes of ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" (2006-2011) as a former love interest of Sally Field's character. His return to the spotlight also included a villainous recurring run as a software magnate on the NBC spy comedy, "Chuck" (NBC, 2007- ) and a guest starring voice-over alongside old friend Dan Aykroyd in the "Family Guy" (Fox, 1999-2002; 2005- ) episode "Spies Reminiscent of Us," a send-up of the pair's 1985 buddy comedy. In 2009, Chase debuted as a fulltime primetime player when he was cast on NBC's "Community" (2009- ), a well-received sitcom set at a community college in which Chase offered an expectedly genius portrayal of an aging corporate tycoon who goes back to college. Though not a big hit, "Community" attracted a consistent enough audience to keep the show on the air. Just as it seemed that his career was on the mend, Chase was once again the focal point of controversy, this time after a long-simmering feud between him and series creator Dan Harmon came to the fore. According to reports, Chase had walked off the set during filming of the season finale, which prompted Harmon to publicly chastise him at the wrap party with chants of "F*ck you, Chevy Chase!" in front of the actor¿s family. Chase then left a profanity-laced voicemail on Harmon¿s phone, which the executive producer played for a small crowd gathered to hear him speak at a comic book store. Audio of the event leaked onto the Internet and caused a stir big enough that eventually Harmon apologized on his blog.like Old Times" (1980), followed by the dismal "Wizard of Oz" Munchkin farce, "Under the Rainbow" (1981) opposite Carrie Fisher. Undaunted by brutal "Rainbow" reviews, Chase jumped into his next film, "Modern Problems" (1981). Playing an air traffic controller who, after coming into contact with nuclear waste, gains telekinetic powers, Chase and the film drew middling reviews. Adding insult to injury, Chase had been nearly electrocuted while filming a stunt, an incident which, along with the end of his marriage prior to filming, sent the actor into a period of deep depression. Back with a vengeance only two years later, the new and improved Chase found himself the hilarious center of yet another modern comedy classic, "National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983). As the well-meaning but clueless husband and father, Clark Griswold, Chase nailed every fumbling scene, whether awkwardly skinny-dipping with Christie Brinkley or falling asleep while driving his family across country to Wally World. The picture cemented Chase as a go-to comic and spawned three sequels of varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, he followed his Griswold immortality with the highly forgettable and critically lambasted comedy, "Deal of the Century" (1983).
Chase rebounded from the sting of "Deal of the Century" by crafting another memorable persona, the title character in the hit 1985 comedy, "Fletch." Despite the character's proclivity for accents and disguises and getting himself into and out of jams, Chase played the character remarkably straight, and made famous another slew of imminently quotable lines, including "Do you have the Beatles' White Album? Never mind, just get me a glass of hot fat. And bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia while you're out there." By the mid to late 1980s, Chase was on such a hot streak that even such middling films as "National Lampoon's European Vacation," (1985), "Spies Like Us" (1985) and "!Three Amigos!" (1986) were moneymakers. Chase later remarked that donning a sombrero alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short for "Amigos!" was the most fun he had ever had making a film. He also appeared in the video for the 1986 Paul Simon hit single, "You Can Call Me Al." The comic simply goofed off while lip-synching the song, much to the mock chagrin of Simon. Something simple simply worked and fans snapped up the single and voted the video to the top of MTV's countdowns. At the peak of his career, in 1987 and 1988, Chase continued his hot streak by hosting the prestigious Academy Awards.
Unfortunately, the next few years began the downward slide. Chase starred in the unfunny "Funny Farm," (1988) about a struggling urban writer and his wife who move to the country, followed by sequels to three of his previous hits; first, the critical bomb "Caddyshack II" (1988), followed by the modestly successful, "Fletch Lives!" (1989), and finally, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," (1989). Although a minor hit, the latter film grew more popular as the years went by, becoming a twisted kind of "It's a Wonderful Life"-style required holiday viewing. But after the poor box office showings of "Nothing But Trouble" (1991) ¿ a fiasco co-starring Demi Moore that was so bad, it defied description ¿ and director John Carpenter's quirky "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" (1992) which tried to harken back to his earlier leading man roles ¿ Chase's career began to seriously flounder, never to recover his Eighties foothold.
This sad shift in fame and fortunes culminated in the now legendarily short-lived 1993 talk show, "The Chevy Chase Show," which, essentially, put a final nail in Chase's career coffin. Up against David Letterman during his rejuvenation at CBS, and Conan O'Brien in his early days at NBC, Chase on Fox was already one show too many. But Chase himself was given scathing reviews, and he often appeared ill-at-ease live on camera. While the show included some highly original comic set pieces, the show failed to draw name guests and an audience, and was cancelled after just five weeks. Because of this very public failure, Chase and his talk show became not only the butt of many jokes, but a cautionary tale to anyone who thought that humor was the only necessary skill to host a successful late night talk show. As expected, Chase had a tough time recovering from the critical drubbing of his talk show. In fact, it spilled over to his film career as well, leading to appearances in a number of mediocre family-friendly comedies such as "Cops and Robbersons," (1994), "Man of the House" (1995) and "Vegas Vacation," (1997). Adding fuel to the fire, that same year, he appeared as a guest host on "SNL" but rumors again persisted that he treated cast and crew poorly and was not welcome back. He did make a cameo appearance again, however, in 1999.
With each year, things seemed to go from bad to worse for the comic legend. Another career misstep occurred when Chase turned down the lead role in the dark Best Picture Oscar winner, "American Beauty" (1999) ¿ a part which earned Kevin Spacey an Academy Award ¿ opting instead to focus on family films and small comedies like "Dirty Work" (1998) and "Snow Day" (2000). In 2002, he took part in Comedy Central's "New York Friar's Club Roast of Chevy Chase," where comics ¿ many of whom were born after his "SNL" heyday ¿ ripped into him for everything from his failed late night foray to his reportedly boorish reputation. It was, by all accounts, the least funny, most uncomfortable roast Comedy Central ever televised. Despite the career setbacks, he continued to work, albeit, in small parts like a high school principal in the Jack Black comedy "Orange County" (2002) or in small films like the Naomi Watts indie, "Ellie Parker" (2005). He also contributed his voice-over talents to a series of animated films, including "Karate Dog" (2004), "Doogal" (2006) and "Goose on the Loose" (2006). But after what seemed to fans like a lifetime of self-imposed exile from mainstream projects, the multi-talented Chase received a big welcome back for his return to television in a 2006 episode of "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010). The torn-from-the-headlines storyline about a movie star arrested for drunk driving while uttering racial slurs ¿ i.e., Mel Gibson ¿ garnered a fair amount of publicity and showcased Chase's impressive
Filmographyclose complete filmography
CAST: (feature film)
Milestones close milestones
Named Man of the Year (1992) by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest undergraduate dramatic group.
"Nobody prepares you for what happens when you get famous, and I didn't handle it well," says Chase. "I'm older now. And a big crybaby."---Chevy Chase to EW, August 13, 2004.
Companions close complete companion listing
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute