Chevy was known to be a practical joker in his youth, and has verified the urban legend that he was expelled from boarding school for harboring a cow in his fourth floor room, although his former roommate David Felson asserted in an interview that he...
The Leather Canary
After graduating college from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, he played drums with the college band The Leather Canary, headed by school friends Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. Chase has called the group "a bad jazz band"; Becker and F...
Avoiding the draft
He initially had intentions of going to medical school after he graduated college, but decided against it. This made him subject to the military draft. However, he was able to convince his draft board he deserved a 4-F classification by "falsely clai...
No! I had Bill tied up with a phone cord, so he can't swing a golf club at me anymore, hahaha! He invites me to play golf with him, but he's so good, I don't even see him after the first hole - he's usually WAY at the 9th hole, too far for me to catch up!
I think he's remarkable - and by the way, I just St. Vincent with Billy in it, and I thought That's an Oscar caliber performance, really great. So it's nice to see his growth, and it's nice not to have to smell his breath.
Actually they did, back in 1976 or 1977? They gave me the keys and re-named the city after me. A big proclamation, signed....That's when I was coming off of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and was quite famous, at that time, you know. It was fun.
Mom is not around any more, so I won't get to ask her, but she was the adopted daughter of Cornelius Crane, which as you know is the first two things on my birth certificate was "Cornelius Crane Chevy Chase." So Chevy's really my name, but the point I'm making is that mom's relationship to her father and also to Captain John Parker - her name was Kathleen Parker-Crane - so that goes WAY back in history - I don't know what the aristocratic thing is, but it's enough to say that Cornelius Crane left her nothing when he died, and he was an extremely rich man, but somehow when he got married again, to a Japanese lady who i never met, he left it all to the Zen buddhist society, and my mom was in a...
My favorite memory is Gilda eating EVERY KNOWN candy you could buy in a candy store - she LOVED that. And she also, I have to say, was a great, great physical comedian. one of the funniest things i ever saw was a scene with her and Belushi, they had known each other before at Second City, and in this particular sketch, he's directing her and a man in a movie, and something goes wrong with the man, his lines or something, John would yell "CUT!" and he'd go talk to the guy, but if anything went wrong with Gilda, he'd slap her as hard as he could, and she'd go plunging to the wall, and she'd make it look like she was hit with a brick...She was SO good at making you believe in Gilda, as a...
I loved making FLETCH. Probably was my second most favorite movie to make, just because I was allowed to make up so much of the dialogue. I can't even remember learning any dialogue! I was just given the right by Michael Ritchie, a terrific director who's passed away, I'm sad to say, but he let me just go. And that's why I had such a good time doing it, and you know, looking back on that, I don't think I've ever been funnier in some ways!
Um, I think most of my fans are strange, really?
I met the second man on the moon - Buzz Aldrin - and he was laughing at my name, and I was laughing at his!
But we're both fans of each other.
That's pretty cool.
And of course, when I met John Cleese, I almost threw myself at him!
There was a time when I was on SNL that people were referring to me as "The American John Cleese" and I was always very flattered by that. But when I did meet him, it was terrific. We were about the same height, and we were both as annoyed as each other as we wanted to be.
OH MY GOSH. I think that there will never be anybody as funny as a standup, because he was so ACTIVE on the stage. And he did so many great impressions of real people, you know? Like the guy from the bar, all that stuff, and Richard and I were very good friends, I loved working with him, it enabled me to write one of the least attractive sketches on SNL, which was called "Job Application," in which I'm asking him a few questions as he's applied for a job, but all of my questions just break down into... what's the word? They all just become more and more racist, you know, and this is just a word association test Mr. Pryor or whatever your name is, so if I say "apple," you say "house," hahaha!...
Bill Evans (spells like it sounds), Thelonius Monk (spells like it sounds), Charles Mingus (spells like it sounds), Miles Davis, most of my favorites came out of the "Bebop" era in Jazz. I didn't listen to a lot of big band jazz, although Duke Elllington was a real genius, and when he wrote something it could be either played on a piano or by a big orchestra. I could go on forever talking about jazz, so just stop me there!
It was very taxing, because we didn't get to move around a lot, and we would work 15, 16 hours a day sometimes, and right into early Sunday morning. So it was not easy work. I can tell ya. It's tough to cover 8 people around a table without moving the camera, moving the camera, moving the lights, it takes FOREVER, and you have to do it over, and over, and make it look fresh, so if people realized that - it can be very taxing and very tough work.
It's very hard to choose.
Because I've enjoyed all of them, really!
There's a movie that never really did big in terms of its receipts, but it was called "Funny Farm," and in some ways, it may be my best performance. It was very real and very fun. I think it's because also it had the great director George Roy Hill. He directed me in that.
OH MY GOODNESS, that's a great question!
You know, we shot that in a town called Ouarzazate in the Sahara desert, just one long dirt road about 200 miles into the desert from Marrakech, and it was also a base for some of the fighting that was going on between the Morrocan army and others. And I had a Jeep, and I had to drive Danny into the desert to our set, and when we were done at the end of the day, we would have to drive back. And one time, Danny said "Hey look! Some Moroccan troops!" and took a camera out and took a photo and they SAW him - and they immediately jumped into the back of their truck and started chasing us! So I drove like a bat out of hell to this supposed hotel, and Dann...
My wife is a great cook, she does turkeys usually, actually all the time, actually! Heritage organic turkey! And I carve, which I've learned. And... sweet potato mallow, and stuffing... and cranberry sauce from scratch... my favorite part is the next day when I can just make turkey sandwiches for a week!
Well, my best memory is having worked with Harold Ramis, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year. He was also in GHOSTBUSTERS, but he directed me in CADDYSHACK and the original VACATION!
And he gave me the character of Clark Griswold.
And loved working with Eric Idle in EUROPEAN VACATION. When I was speaking what i thought was French to the waiter, and he was just making obscene... and working with Imogene Coca was great, because she really tied me into - and I'd worked with Sid Caesar too, but i really grew up on him, so it was terrific. I loved the scene, I think my favorite scene of all of 'em, is the scene between me and Jim Teach who's playing the motorcycle cop who stops my c...
There's a term for that that i learned in college - it became a term in college - for anybody who could get behind a professor, and make the strangest faces AT him without being seen BY him while he's talking to another student, and seeing if you could break up another student without getting caught.
It was "harshing."
And that's what i was doing on WEEKEND UPDATE, later, when they first did an editorial I believe, I would just back off a little bit and just start harshing her! Jane wouldn't be able to see it, she knew I was doing it, but she wouldn't let on. And she tried to catch me. And I would always wipe back to a straight face.
Let's see now... All I can think of is Billy Murray holding up that candy bar in the pool!
There was no scene that was written for me and Bill Murray together, where we're both in the same shot and had a scene, so we just sort of made it up as I was playing golf and he was running that tractor with all those big blades... oh wait, my wife was just reminding me that there was a scene inside the Caddy Shack itself, and I was playing some night golf to get ready for my big day the next day with Rodney Dangerfield, but in that scene - it was hilarious - we just did it, you know? We didn't write it, we just did it, haha!