He’s long had a reputation for being difficult, arrogant, and downright mean, and now Chevy Chase is sounding off on all the things he hates about “Saturday Night Live”. As it turns out, there’s a lot he doesn’t like.
Among his lengthy list of grievances is the way the current cast say “Live from New York” to introduce each episode.
“I mean it just gets so bad and it seems like some guys are out there just to be the guy who says, ‘Live from New York,’ and then does it poorly,” he says during an appearance on “Norm Macdonald Has A Show” on Netflix. “Anyway, that’s not nice of me to say, but…f*** ’em.”
Of course, Chase seems to think he nailed the line pretty well during his tenure on the show in the early days of “SNL”, but soon after his departure in 1976, he claims the show went “downhill.”
“I’d have to say, that after the first two years, it went downhill,” Chase says in a lengthy profile in The Washington Post. “Why am I saying that? Because I was in it? I guess. That’s a horrible thing to say. But certainly, I never had more fun. I really loved it and enjoyed it. I didn’t see the same fun thing happening to the cast the next year.”
“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***ing believe it,” he continues.
Though “SNL” is entering its 43rd season, Chase isn’t impressed that the sketch comedy series has been around for generations.
“That means a whole generation of s***heads laughs at the worst f***ing humour 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,” the 74-year-old says.
But it’s not just the current iteration of the cast that Chase takes umbrage with. He also has few kind words for some of the now-famous faces that have graced the stage in the last 20 years.
On Will Ferrell: “Just not funny. Makes $25 million a picture.”
On Tina Fey: “I liked Tina. I didn’t see what all the folderol was about. She was good.”
On Kristen Wiig: “I liked her a lot. She had two things going for her. She had clear-cut chops, and she was pretty, too. But what happened to her? Where did she go?”
And Chase had a racially charged comment about former castmember Eddie Murphy: “I thought Eddie Murphy was funny. Gumby. I found that funny and people loved that… Stevie Wonder, he did well. It’s not that hard, for Christ’s sake. Your skin’s the same colour. You just put on some sunglasses and do this.”
Throughout his mostly negative interview, Chase did have a few good words about some of his fellow “SNL” alums, including the late Gilda Radner, Dana Carvey, and Dan Aykroyd, but showrunner Lorne Michaels seems to take the brunt of his ire, especially after Michaels told him he was “too old” to return as a host.
“It’s like denying that I was the guy who made this show really go that first year,” he says. “It’s like taking all that away from me.” Despite his animosity to everything modern-day “SNL” stands for, according to Chase, he’d do it all again… I can’t tell you, to be up there, on that stage, doing that stuff. Oh, God, it was fun. I’ll tell you, I’d do it again in a minute,” he ends.
“SNL” alum Taran Killam weighed in on Chase’s remarks.
“It’s at best uneven,” Killam told Fox News at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Saturday. “I think for comedy to stay important and relevant it needs to evolve and it needs to change over time, so I certainly understand if the comedy that [Chase has] been watching since he left is not to his liking, but I certainly don’t disagree that it hasn’t been as good since the first two seasons or that first one season he was on because I own that box DVD set.”
“The tricky thing about ‘SNL’ is, unless you participate in it, it’s really hard to explain how difficult, and complicated, and chaotic the process can be,” he said. “But as soon as you’re on the inside, you understand how miraculous it is that the show even gets put together and airs on time. So, I give the show all the credit in the world for trying to adapt and change.… I think any show that’s been on for 44 seasons now and still has people tuning in is probably doing more things right than wrong.”
“SNL” will premiere on Sept. 29 on Global with host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West.