What Ever Happened to the Funniest Man in America, Chevy Chase?

As time has gone by, multiple damaging stories have surfaced about Chevy Chase and his alleged difficult behavior. The once-named “funniest man in America” is no longer beloved in the eyes of his co-stars. The media has also been unkind to the actor. But the question is: does the 76-year-old deserve the reputation he’s been getting?

Fletch - 1984, Chevy Chase
Fletch – 1984, Chevy Chase. Photo By Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

Comedian Marc Maron described an appearance he made at a comedy club as “bizarre.” (And that was the nicer part of his rant). But heckling Chase has become pretty common. He’s been called “difficult,” a “monster,” and has been accused of making racial cracks.

His Departure from SNL Was a Sign

Chase had a one-year contract with Saturday Night Live. After he won two Emmys for his writing and acting, he just upped and left the show mid-way through its second season. Why? He said he wanted to take some time to think about what he wanted to do.

'Good Morning Britain' TV show, London, UK - 12 Jan 2018, Chevy Chase
‘Good Morning Britain’ TV show, London, UK – 12 Jan 2018, Chevy Chase. Photo By Steve Meddle/ITV/Shutterstock

Apparently, many cast members were devastated and even annoyed by his departure. They saw it as a betrayal and a sign of egomania. Chase eventually returned to SNL, but as a host. Chase and Bill Murray reportedly got into a brawl off-stage when Chase was hosting. Will Ferrell, whom everybody just loves, said Chase was the worst host to work with.

A Community Controversy

Chase was part of the comedy series Community, which began in 2009. His initial performance was well-received, but apparently, the series creator Dan Harmon had it in for Chase from the beginning. Each one admitted to feuding over creative differences, including script issues. Chase complained the show was not funny enough.

Chevy Chase with family
Chevy Chase with family. Tribeca Film Festival Premiere of DOG YEARS, New York, USA – 22 Apr 2017. Photo By Patrick Lewis/Starpix/Shutterstock

Chase allegedly walked off the show’s set in the final days of production. Following a major back-and-forth duel with Harmon, Chase started drinking and, according to his daughter, the glasses of wine turned to bottles, to vodka. He was later diagnosed with alcohol cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscles from alcohol abuse.

In response to all the hate in the media, Chase said, “I’ve gotten to a place where it doesn’t really matter what I write or say. Because it’s only an instant of an instant of my life.”

The (Not So) Excellent Adventure of Bill and Ted

The Most “Mahvelous” Facts About Billy Crystal’s Life

Barbara Hershey Went Under the Knife for Beaches

It’s Showtime! All the Inside Secrets About Beetlejuice

Death Becomes Her Had Some Hidden Gems

The Dapper Detective Behind Dirty Harry and Frank Bullitt