Chevy Chase: A Brief History of the Legendary Comedian

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By David

Real Name:Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase
Birthday:October 8, 1943
Net Worth$50 million
Height:192 cm
Occupation:American Comedian, Actor, Writer

Chevy Chase is an American comedian, actor, and writer who has made a significant contribution to the entertainment industry. Born on October 8, 1943, in Lower Manhattan, New York, Chase started his career as a comedy writer for the Smothers Brothers and National Lampoon in the 1970s. He gained widespread recognition as a cast member of the first season of Saturday Night Live (SNL), where his recurring Weekend Update segment became a staple of the show.

Chase’s career took off after SNL, and he went on to star in several successful films, including Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Three Amigos. He also starred in the popular TV series Community and had a recurring role on the hit show The Office. In addition to his acting career, Chase has also worked as a writer and producer, and he has hosted several award shows, including the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards.

Despite his success, Chase has had his share of controversies over the years. He has been known to clash with co-stars and directors, and he has been accused of making inappropriate comments and behavior on set. However, his contributions to the entertainment industry cannot be denied, and he remains a beloved figure to many fans.

Early Life and Career

Cornelius Crane Chase

Chevy Chase, born Cornelius Crane Chase, on October 8, 1943, in New York City, had a privileged upbringing as the son of a prominent Manhattan book editor and a concert pianist. Chase’s parents divorced when he was four years old, and his father remarried into the Folgers coffee family, while his mother remarried twice. As a child, Chase spent his summers at Castle Hill, the Cranes’ summer estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Writer

Chase started his career as a writer, working for various publications such as The National Lampoon, a satirical magazine. He was a member of the magazine’s original writing staff and contributed to its radio and stage shows. Chase’s writing style was known for its irreverent, absurdist humor that often poked fun at American culture, politics, and celebrities.

National Lampoon

Chase’s work with The National Lampoon led to his rise in popularity, and he became a regular cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). On SNL, Chase showcased his trademark deadpan delivery and skill at physical comedy. He also created some of the show’s most memorable characters, such as the bumbling news anchor, Weekend Update, and the clumsy spy, Gerald Ford.

Chase left SNL after one season to pursue a career in film, which led to starring roles in hit comedies such as Caddyshack, Fletch, and National Lampoon’s Vacation. His success in film cemented his status as one of the most popular comedians of the 1980s.

In conclusion, Chevy Chase’s early life and career were marked by his privileged upbringing, his irreverent writing style, and his rise to fame through his work with The National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live.

Television Stardom

Chevy Chase’s career in television began with his role in the first season of Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 1975. He quickly became a breakout star of the show, thanks in part to his recurring Weekend Update segment, which became a staple of the show.

Saturday Night Live

During his time on SNL, Chase became known for his impersonations of political figures, including President Gerald Ford. His portrayal of Ford, which often involved physical comedy and stumbling around, became one of his most iconic performances on the show.

Gerald Ford Impersonation

Chase’s impersonation of Ford was so popular that it even caught the attention of the President himself. In 1976, Ford invited Chase to the White House to perform his impersonation for him and the First Lady. Chase’s performance was well-received, and he later described the experience as one of the highlights of his career.

Community Series

In recent years, Chase has continued to work in television, most notably on the popular series Community. He played the role of Pierce Hawthorne, a wealthy and eccentric businessman who enrolls in a community college. While his time on the show was not without controversy, Chase’s performance was widely praised by critics and fans alike.

Overall, Chevy Chase’s career in television has spanned several decades and has included some of the most iconic performances in the history of the medium. From his early days on SNL to his more recent work on Community, Chase has proven himself to be a versatile and talented performer.

Film Career

Chevy Chase has had a successful career in film, starring in a number of popular comedies. Here are some of his most notable roles.

Breakout Role in Caddyshack

Chase’s breakout role was in the 1980 film Caddyshack, in which he played the character of Ty Webb. The film was a huge success and is now considered a comedy classic. Chase’s deadpan delivery and comedic timing helped make the film a hit.

Fletch Series

Chase also starred in the Fletch series of films, playing the character of Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher. The first film, simply titled Fletch, was released in 1985 and was a box office success. A sequel, Fletch Lives, was released in 1989. While not as successful as the first film, Fletch Lives still managed to make a profit.

Vacation Franchise

Chase is perhaps best known for his role as Clark Griswold in the Vacation franchise of films. The first film, National Lampoon’s Vacation, was released in 1983 and was a huge success. Chase reprised his role in three sequels: European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, and Vegas Vacation. The films were all successful, with Christmas Vacation becoming a holiday classic.

Other Notable Films

Chase has also starred in a number of other notable films throughout his career. In 1985, he starred in Spies Like Us, a comedy about two bumbling CIA agents. He also starred in the 1991 film Nothing But Trouble, which was a critical and commercial failure. In 1992, he starred in Memoirs of an Invisible Man, a sci-fi comedy that received mixed reviews. Chase’s most recent film role was in the 2002 film Hero, in which he played the character of Burt Shlubb.

Overall, Chevy Chase has had a successful film career, starring in a number of popular comedies. His deadpan delivery and comedic timing have made him a beloved figure in the world of comedy.

Comedic Style and Legacy

Influence on Comedy

Chevy Chase’s comedic style was characterized by his deadpan delivery and his ability to improvise. He was a trailblazer in the world of comedy, and his work on Saturday Night Live helped to shape the landscape of modern humor. His influence can be seen in the work of many comedians who have followed in his footsteps, including Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler.

Musical Endeavors

In addition to his work in comedy, Chevy Chase has also dabbled in music. He played the drums for the band The Leather Canary, which was featured on an episode of Saturday Night Live. He also sang the title song for the film “Caddyshack II.”

Collaborations and Recurring Themes

Chevy Chase has worked with a number of other comedians throughout his career, including Steve Martin and Martin Short in the film “Three Amigos.” He has also worked with director Harold Ramis on a number of films, including “Caddyshack” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Throughout his career, Chevy Chase has returned to certain comedic themes, such as his portrayal of the bumbling, yet lovable character.

Overall, Chevy Chase’s comedic legacy is one of innovation and influence. His unique style of humor continues to inspire and entertain audiences today, and his contributions to the world of comedy will not be forgotten.

Personal Life

Memoirs

Chevy Chase, born Cornelius Crane Chase on October 8, 1943, in New York City, has had a long and eventful career in the entertainment industry. He has acted in numerous films and TV shows, written for various productions, and even hosted his talk show. However, he is perhaps best known for his role as Clark Griswold in the National Lampoon’s Vacation film series.

In 1992, Chevy Chase published his memoir, “The Memoirs of an Invisible Man,” which was later adapted into a film of the same name. The book describes his experiences while making the film, as well as his struggles with addiction and his personal life.

Interests and Hobbies

Chevy Chase has always been a fan of music and has played the drums in various bands over the years. He also enjoys playing golf and has participated in various celebrity golf tournaments. Additionally, he is an avid reader and has been known to collect rare books.

In his personal life, Chevy Chase has been married three times and has three daughters. His first marriage was to Susan Hewitt, and they were married from 1973 to 1976. He then married Jacqueline Carlin in 1985, and they divorced in 1996. Finally, he married Jayni Luke in 1982, and they have been together ever since.

Despite his success in the entertainment industry, Chevy Chase has had his fair share of personal struggles. He has struggled with addiction and has been to rehab several times over the years. Additionally, he has had a contentious relationship with some of his former co-stars, including Bill Murray and Dan Harmon, the creator of the TV show “Community.”

Later Work and Guest Appearances

Television Guest Roles

After the success of “Saturday Night Live” and his film career, Chevy Chase continued to make guest appearances on television shows. In 2006, he guest-starred in two episodes of ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” as a former flame of Sally Field’s character. He also made appearances on “Law & Order” and “Chuck.” In 2014, he appeared in an episode of “Hot in Cleveland” as a love interest for Betty White’s character.

Voice Acting and Animation

Chevy Chase has also lent his voice to various animated shows and movies. He voiced the character of Clark Griswold in the animated television series “The National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” in 1989. He also voiced the character of Elliot in the animated movie “Doogal” in 2006. In addition, he voiced the character of Chase in the animated show “Family Guy” in 2014.

Chase also appeared in several movies during the 1990s and 2000s. In 1994, he starred in “Cops and Robbersons” and “Man of the House.” In 1998, he appeared in “Dirty Work” and in 2002, he appeared in “Orange County.” Chase has continued to work in the entertainment industry, and his contributions to comedy and film have made him a beloved figure in popular culture.

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