Chevy Chase - Rotten Tomatoes

Chevy Chase



Chevy Chase is often considered one of the most likeable comedic personalities of his generation, even though the immediate popularity he achieved following a single season on Saturday Night Live never translated into more than a couple hit movies, and none after the 1980s. The prematurely balding, intelligent, fast-talking Chase created a couple classic characters, notably Irwin M. Fletcher (aka Fletch) and Vacation's Clark Griswold, but his career is often thought of as plagued by misfires and missed opportunities, rather than touched by comic brilliance.

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 resumé 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 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 check

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
87% Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
  • Actor
2015
26% Vacation
  • Clark Griswold
2015
51% Live From New York!
  • Actor
2015
14% Hot Tub Time Machine 2
  • Repairman
2015
No Score Yet Shelby
  • Grandpa Geoffrey
2014
36% Lovesick
  • Lester Horn
2014
No Score Yet Wishin' And Hopin'
  • Adult Felix
2014
No Score Yet Before I Sleep
  • Gravedigger
2013
14% Stay Cool
  • Principal Marshall
2011
No Score Yet Someplace With A Mountain
  • Narrator
2011
63% Hot Tub Time Machine
  • Repairman
2010
No Score Yet Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Gen. Antipode
2009
No Score Yet Not Another Not Another Movie
  • Max Storm
2009
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash '08
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Bad Meat
  • Congressman Bernard P. Greely
2008
No Score Yet Pete's A Pizza & More Great Kid Stories
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Cutlass
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet The Secret Policeman's Ball: The Ball in the Hall
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet The Secret Policeman's Ball
  • Actor
2006
3% Zoom
  • Dr. Grant
2006
43% Funny Money
  • Henry
2006
8% Doogal
  • Train
2006
No Score Yet Goose on the Loose
  • Actor
2006
51% Ellie Parker
  • Dennis
2005
No Score Yet Our Italian Husband
  • Paul Parmesan
2005
No Score Yet Live from New York: The First 5 Years of Saturday Night Live
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Karate Dog
  • Cho Cho
2004
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live 25 (SNL25: 25 Years of Laughs)
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Bitter Jester
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Chevy Chase
  • Actor
2002
46% Orange County
  • Principal Harbert
2002
No Score Yet Fighting for Freedom: Revolution & Civil War
  • Narrator
2002
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live - Presidential Bash 2000
  • Actor
2001
28% Snow Day
  • Tom
2000
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live: The Best of Steve Martin
  • Actor
1999
17% Dirty Work
  • Dr. Farthing
1998
13% Vegas Vacation
  • Clark Griswold
1997
8% Spy Hard
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet Tunnel Vision (Tunnelvision)
  • Himself
1995
14% Man of the House
  • Jack Sturges
1995
15% Cops And Robbersons
  • Norman Robberson
1994
37% Last Action Hero
  • Himself
1993
68% Hero
  • Deke
1992
21% Memoirs of an Invisible Man
  • Nick Halloway
1992
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live - Presidential Bash
  • Actor
1992
No Score Yet Megaville
  • Nick Halloway
1991
94% L.A. Story
  • Carlo Christopher
1991
9% Nothing but Trouble
  • Chris Thorne
1991
64% National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  • Clark Griswold
1989
37% Fletch Lives
  • Irwin M. Fletcher
1989
4% Caddyshack II
  • Ty Webb
1988
67% Funny Farm
  • Andy Farmer
1988
43% The Couch Trip
  • Condom Father
1988
No Score Yet Will Rogers: Look Back in Laughter
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet The Best Of Chevy Chase
  • Actor
1987
44% Three Amigos!
  • Dusty Bottoms
1986
35% Spies Like Us
  • Emmett Fitz-Hume
1985
91% Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird
  • Newscaster
1985
39% National Lampoon's European Vacation
  • Clark W. Griswald
1985
75% Fletch
  • Irwin `Fletch' Fletcher
1985
13% Deal of the Century
  • Eddie Muntz
1983
93% National Lampoon's Vacation
  • Clark Griswold
1983
No Score Yet Modern Problems
  • Max
1981
0% Under the Rainbow
  • Bruce Thorpe
1981
75% Seems Like Old Times
  • Nick
1980
75% Caddyshack
  • Ty Webb
1980
No Score Yet Oh Heavenly Dog
  • Browning
1980
No Score Yet Benji at Work
  • Actor
1980
76% Foul Play
  • Tony Carlson
1978
No Score Yet Paul Simon - The Paul Simon Special
  • Actor
1977
No Score Yet Pete's a Pizza
  • Actor
1976
13% The Groove Tube
  • The Fingers/Geritan/Four Leaf Clover
1974
No Score Yet Best of Saturday Night Live: The 70s
  • Actor
No Score Yet No More Aching Back! Dr. Root's 15-Minute-A-Day Program for a Healthy Back
  • Actor
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live - Best of Chevy Chase
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Brothers & Sisters
2006-2011
  • Stan Harris
No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
2009-2014
  • Guest
No Score Yet Law & Order
1990-2010
  • Mitch Carroll
No Score Yet Family Guy
1999
  • Voice
86% Community
2009-2015
  • Pierce Pierce Hawthorne
86% Chuck
2007-2012
  • Ted Roark
No Score Yet Hot in Cleveland
2010-2015
  • Ross
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest
  • Actor
  • Performer

Quotes from Chevy Chase's Characters