My brother Brian was my first great influence. He made much of what I am possible. To this day, if I have a question about something ethical or about being an actor or entertainer or a person or something like that, he's a person who helped form me. Shooting scenes with him is delightful. The idea that the two of us get to entertain is a kick.
Ooof, still figuring the mom stuff out! The weird part is, when you grow up with something odd you just think everyone else has it the same way. Around 12 or 13 I realized something was wrong and spent less and less time at home. By the time I was 30 I got my ass into therapy and really figured it out. And yes, separating from her was a huge help. I recommend everyone get their ass into therapy if they feel something is off. It saved my life.
We were so different that people would see us and be like, “Y’all are brothers? I didn’t know you was brothers.” And Charlie was in gangs, and even now, Charlie’s like extra ultramacho – piranha, pit bulls, hatchets, axes, machetes. He has a black belt in karate. I got through a lot of school because the kids knew I was his brother, nobody was fucking with me. “You don’t fuck with Eddie, his brother will kill you.” Charlie was a really tough guy.
Growing up, it was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - I would read the whole C.S. Lewis series out loud to my kids. I was once reading to Zelda, and she said "don't do any voices. Just read it as yourself." So I did, I just read it straight, and she said "that's better."
Q: What was it like working with Jonathan Winters? I remember him being one of my father's favorite comedians and you were mine so we kind of bonded over Mork & Mindy in a slightly bizarre way.
A: It was a joy. I believe i said in the Academy Awards it was like dancing with Fred Astaire but it was even better than that, because being around him, he would perform for anybody. There was no audience too small. I think I once saw him do a cat for a beagle.
And I had the same experience watching the Tonight Show with my dad. Watching and laughing at Jonathan with my dad helped us become closer, very much so. My favorite Jonathan Winters one liner is "Have you ever undressed in front of a dog?"
Q: I know your brother is a huge Phish fan (he posts on a Phish message board I regularly post on) and I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the band
A: YES I know all about the PT board hahaha. I like a few Phish songs but I'm sure they're the lamest ones to real fans, because they're the radio songs! "Farmhouse" and another one I can't remember because I don't ever listen to Phish. :) But I like how into them their fans are and I respect my brother's taste in music!
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...
Zero, zero expectations - my mother - I've said this before. She wanted me to work in the post office. She wanted me to be a mailman because she thought, you know, I'd get a pension, and I'd be taken care of. I would have security. And that was her dream. That was the best-case scenario, that I would be a mailman.
They were quite stunned by it (laughter). When "Seinfeld" was the No. 1 show in the country, my mother would call me up and go, Larry, do they like you? Do they think you're doing a good job? Are they going to keep you? What do they say to you? Did they tell you you're good? She was very insecure.