Chevy Chase doesn’t really care what you think of him.
The legendary actor and comedian, 78, told CBS Sunday Morning that he’s not particularly concerned about reports that he’s difficult to work with.
CBS correspondent Jim Axelrod asked Chase about allegations about his behavior, including from Chase’s former co-stars on the NBC series Communitywhich he left in 2012. Show creator Dan Harmon and star Donald Glover both alleged in a 2018 New Yorker interview that Chase made “racist” cracks during production of the hit show.
“Chevy was the first to realize how immensely gifted Donald was, and the way he expressed his jealousy was to try to throw Donald off,” Harmon told the New Yorker† “I remember apologizing to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy’s non-PC verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don’t even worry about it.’”
Glover recognized the same aggressions in Chase.
“I just saw Chevy as fighting time — a true artist has to be OK 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 — he’s almost too human,” Glover said in the piece. In response, Chase told the publication, “I am saddened to hear that Donald perceived me in that light.”
In the present day, Chase, who did not reunite with his former co-stars for a virtual table read for charity in 2020, seems to be uninterested in their criticism.
“When you read that stuff — ‘Chevy’s been a jerk’ — are those unfounded cheap shots?” Axelrod asked Chase.
“I guess you’d have to ask them. I don’t give a crap!” he laughed. “I am who I am. And I like where, 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.”
Chase’s personal life hasn’t been without significant upheaval in recent years. A year ago, he suffered a near-fatal heart failure and was hospitalized for nearly five weeks. When asked how he’s feeling, he replied in his classic deadpan manner.
“Oh, we removed it. Didn’t need it. It’s much better now,” Chase replied with a straight face.
The interview also delved into Chase’s past, which wasn’t without complication. While he had a close relationship with his father, Chase’s stepfather was abusive to both Chevy and his mother.
“Yeah, hey hit. I was afraid all the time growing up. And I still have a lot of that fear in me. So, in a sense it did shape my path, yeah. It sort of made me want to take those people out,” he shared. “Bullies — I hated bullies.”
Like many comedians, Chase’s challenging upbringing fueled his comedy career.
“Yeah. I think if you speak to many comedians they’ll say, ‘The pain, the fear,” he said. “It comes from their childhood somewhere, you know?”
He went on to thrive at Saturday Night Live† particularly as the host of “Weekend Update.” He ended up leaving in Season 2 for a successful career in film, which included films like fletch† The Three Amigos and the National Lampoon’s Vacation series. But in regards to how he feels about SNL these days, Chase doesn’t mind chiming in. When asked what he thinks of the legendary late-night sketch show, Chase jokingly replied that it “stinks,” before adding, “No, I’m not serious.” However, it wouldn’t be the first time he spoke out about the series in a negative light. In 2018, he sounded off about the program.
“First of all, between you and me and a lamppost, jeez, I don’t want to put down Lorne [Michaels] or the cast,” Chase told the Washington Post, Xdigitalnews Entertainment previously reported. “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 continued, saying “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.”