Why is Chevy Chase Disliked in Hollywood?
There are countless universal and accepted truths in this world—the sun is hot and the earth revolves around it, water is tasteless, and Chevy Chase may just be in the running for being the most disliked actor in Hollywood. Over the years, many people have come forward with evidence to back that last item. Still, it raises the question was Chevy Chase always this unlikeable? And where did it all start?
A founding father
Chevy Chase actually had a good start. He was among Satuday Night Live’s original cast together with John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman and the star of a few beloved franchises—before they hit a dead end—like the National Lampoon’s Vacation series and the Fletch movies. He was, of course, most recently a part of the ensemble of NBC’s cult classic Community. So, what gives?
Well, for starters, Chase has suffered from several health issues through the years. After sustaining a back injury on the set of SNL, he found himself dependent on prescription painkillers before finally deciding to check himself into the Betty Ford Center back in 1986. He would also again seek treatment in 2016, this time at the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center, which according to his publicist was for a “tuneup” with regards to long-standing alcohol dependency.
Unfortunately, these personal issues aren’t the sole factor as to how he gained his not-so-good reputation.
“Difficult to work with”
If Chevy Chase were a Sim, he’d definitely have the “Inappropriate” trait. In fact, his all too dry and sarcastic remarks have more often than not, bordered on crude, unnecessary, and just textbook offensive. His sustained track record for bad behavior doesn’t just extend to saying horrible things, though. From inciting fistfights to walking out on sets, Chase has dug a pretty deep hole for himself.
During his tenure on SNL, he almost came into blows with Bill Murray after insulting the latter’s physical appearance, stating that Murray’s “face was so filled with pockmarks that it looked like the ideal landing spot for Neil Armstrong.” When asked about Murray in a 2010 interview with Esquire, Chase had this to say: “Billy Murray and I came to fisticuffs, but we never really ended up hitting each other. We tried, but Belushi got in the middle and we both ended up hitting John. And if anybody deserved to be slapped in the forehead it was John, for instigating it all.”
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg, if you can believe it. Terry Sweeney, SNL’s very first openly gay performer, once shared that in 1985, Chase floated the idea of making him the subject of a sketch that involved AIDS. Published in the 2014 book Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests, Sweeney said that Chase told him by saying, “I’ve got an idea for a sketch for you. How about we say you have AIDS, and we weigh you every week?”
During that same year, he also managed to gain the ire of Robert Downey, Jr. after deciding to take a dig at his father. Chase reportedly said, “Didn’t your father used to be a successful director? Whatever happened to him? Boy, he sure died, you know, he sure went to hell.”
And the endless tasteless comments and jokes aren’t just contained during the ‘80s. In a 2018 interview with The Washington Post, he expressed his distaste toward SNL’s current sketches: “I had to watch a little of it, and I just couldn’t f—ing believe it. That means a whole generation of s—heads laughs at the worst f—ing humor in the world. You know what I mean? How could you dare give that generation worse s— than they already have in their lives? It just drives me nuts.”
A little hypocritical to brand an entire generation’s humor as “the worst,” considering that his definition includes making light of a serious and life-threatening health condition, methinks.
Anyway, the comment did not go unnoticed, with Pete Davidson swooping in and calling Chase a racist during a guest appearance on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show—which brings us to the topping of this crappy piece of cake.
Everything the entire cast of Community has said about Chase could probably have a separate post altogether, but their accounts and all the things that have gone out about the show behind the scenes since it wrapped have been … bad. There was his feud with showrunner Dan Harmon, which led to Chase walking out on the set during the last day of filming of the show’s third season and a volatile exchange of words between the two. He’d also leave Harmon a voicemail laced with profanity, which later on, would be leaked. Chase put up the defense that he’d stormed off because there wasn’t a script that day, although other accounts claim that there was one but Chase just didn’t find it funny.
All that, unfortunately, is nothing in comparison to what Donald Glover And Yvette Nicole Brown had to endure during filming. He’d once reportedly told Glover in particular, “People think you’re funnier because you’re black.” This comes on top of reports that he’d also used slurs while on set, in the presence of both Glover and Brown.
Glover, however, has since opted to take an entirely different route in response to everything Chase has thrown.
“I just saw Chevy as fighting time. A true artist has to be okay with his reign being over. I can’t help him if he’s thrashing in the water. But I know there’s a human in there somewhere,” the singer-actor said in an interview with The New Yorker. The statement lines up with Harmon’s observation that Chase was most likely jealous of Glover’s talent and his accounts of personally apologizing on Chase’s behalf, to which Glover had always consistently approached in a calm and collected manner.
All this being said, one has to ask, what does Chevy Chase have to say for himself?
Well, he remains unapologetic.
“I guess you’d have to ask them. I don’t give a crap! I am who I am. And I like … who I am. I don’t care. And it’s part of me that I don’t care. And I’ve thought about that a lot. And I don’t know what to tell you, man. I just don’t care.”
I think that speaks for itself.
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