Chevy Chase

Biography: Born on October 8, 1943, in New York City, Cornelius Crane Chase became known as "Chevy" when his grandmother nicknamed him after Chevy Chase, the wealthy Maryland community. The 6'4" future writer and actor was valedictorian of his high school class before attending Bard College, where he earned a B.A. in English. With a pre-celebrity resume as varied as any (tennis pro, truck driver, bartender), Chase spent his twenties as a comedy writer for such outlets as the Smothers Brothers and National Lampoon, the latter of which eventually led to a lucrative franchise of Vacation movies. Chase's first stint as a performer was with the New York comedy video workshop Channel One, which evolved into the 1974 film Groove Tube. This afforded Chase the necessary exposure to be hired by Lorne Michaels for the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975.

Initially hired on as a writer, Chase soon began appearing in front of the camera as the anchor of the popular "Weekend Update" segment
Born on October 8, 1943, in New York City, Cornelius Crane Chase became known as "Chevy" when his grandmother nicknamed him after Chevy Chase, the wealthy Maryland community. The 6'4" future writer and actor was valedictorian of his high school class before attending Bard College, where he earned a B.A. in English. With a pre-celebrity resume as varied as any (tennis pro, truck driver, bartender), Chase spent his twenties as a comedy writer for such outlets as the Smothers Brothers and National Lampoon, the latter of which eventually led to a lucrative franchise of Vacation movies. Chase's first stint as a performer was with the New York comedy video workshop Channel One, which evolved into the 1974 film Groove Tube. This afforded Chase the necessary exposure to be hired by Lorne Michaels for the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975.

Initially hired on as a writer, Chase soon began appearing in front of the camera as the anchor of the popular "Weekend Update" segment of the ensemble variety show. With the catchphrase opening "Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not," and aided by his bumbling impersonation of President Gerald Ford, the actor quickly assumed breakout status, earning Emmys for both his writing and acting. He left after a single season to pursue film opportunities, but did not really strike gold until Caddyshack (1980), in which he played a rich golf pro who oozed confidence and a dry sarcastic wit three steps ahead of anyone else. These would become Chase's trademarks.

During the filming of his next project, Modern Problems (1981), Chase was nearly electrocuted when a gag involving landing lights attached to his body short-circuited. The experience sunk him into a deep depression. But he recovered his stride in 1983 with the release of National Lampoon's Vacation, the first of four in an eventual series of epic misadventures of the Griswold family (European Vacation [1985], Christmas Vacation [1989], Vegas Vacation [1997]). As daffy father Clark, Chase turned the film into a huge hit, harnessing a likable befuddlement that kept the series going even as the sequels were increasingly less well received and tiresomely slapstick.

Chase's other big hit came in 1985, when he starred as the title character in Fletch, the film widely considered the actor's best and most complimentary of his sharp talent for wordplay. As an undercover newspaper reporter with a quick answer -- not to mention a goofy disguise -- for every situation, Chase created a classic comic hero with a genius for confusing his adversaries. He reprised the role in the lesser sequel Fletch Lives (1989).

Chase achieved moderate success by pairing with other Saturday Night Live alums in the mixed-bag comedies Spies Like Us (1985) and Three Amigos! (1986); though these had dedicated fans, they didn't achieve the critical praise of Fletch,/i> or Vacation. Despite an all-star cast, Caddyshack II (1988) went nowhere, and by the beginning of the 1990s, Chase had slipped from his status as a reliable comedic performer. Such well-documented failures as Nothing But Trouble, (1991) and Cops and Robbersons (1994) became his crosses to bear during a decade that also saw the colossal failure of his Fox comeback variety show, which was canceled two months after it premiered in 1993. Chase was also arrested for drunk driving in 1995, just one incident in a career sometimes checkered by drug and alcohol abuse.

In later years, Chase has preferred family oriented films, starring in such features as Man of the House (1995) (opposite Jonathan Taylor Thomas) and the kiddie-on-holiday flick Snow Day (2000). This stance prompted Chase to turn down the comeback-worthy role that won Kevin Spacey an Oscar in American Beauty (1999); had he accepted, it might have resulted in a very different film. As Chase's work has shifted more to the supporting role variety, including Dirty Work (1998) and Orange County (2002), he has seemed more comfortable.
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Chevy Chase's Scores

Average career score: 77
Highest Metascore: 86 Community: Season 2
Lowest Metascore: 69 Community: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
4 tv reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
69 Community: Season 4 Feb 7, 2013 Pierce Hawthorne 7.0
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 38 Sep 15, 2012 Himself 7.7
82 Community: Season 3 Sep 22, 2011 Pierce Hawthorne 8.9
86 Community: Season 2 Sep 23, 2010 Pierce Hawthorne 9.1
69 Community: Season 1 Sep 17, 2009 Pierce Hawthorne 8.8
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 33 Sep 29, 2007 Himself tbd
tbd Late Show with David Letterman: Season 14 Aug 28, 2006 Guest tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 30 Oct 2, 2004 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 27 Sep 29, 2001 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 26 Oct 7, 2000 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 25 Sep 26, 1999 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 24 Sep 26, 1998 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 23 Sep 27, 1997 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 22 Sep 28, 1996 Himself tbd
tbd Late Show with David Letterman: Season 4 Sep 2, 1996 Guest tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 21 Sep 30, 1995 Himself tbd
tbd Late Show with David Letterman: Season 3 Sep 4, 1995 Guest tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 20 Sep 24, 1994 Himself tbd
tbd Late Show with David Letterman: Season 2 Aug 29, 1994 Guest 10
tbd Late Show with David Letterman: Season 1 Aug 30, 1993 Guest 6.3
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 18 Sep 26, 1992 Himself tbd
tbd The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Season 30 Oct 1, 1991 Guest 1.0
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 17 Sep 28, 1991 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 16 Sep 29, 1990 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 15 Sep 24, 1989 Himself 10
tbd The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Season 27 Oct 10, 1988 Guest tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 14 Oct 8, 1988 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 12 Oct 11, 1986 Himself tbd
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 11 Nov 9, 1985 Himself 10
tbd Saturday Night Live: Season 10 Oct 6, 1984 Himself / Himself 10