When it comes to comedy, the original cast members of Saturday Night Live are some of the most well-known comedians of the last forty-nine years. Dan Aykroyd, the late John Belushi, and Chevy Chase are names that Gen Xers grew up watching, and their comedy lives on.
Unfortunately, so do their ideals and worldviews, etched from the era in which they were born and raised. To this end, Chevy Chase has put the show Community on blast, opening up on Mark Maron's WTF Podcast about his sudden exit from the show in 2012.
On Set Issues
While Chase claims to have “all but forgotten about his contribution to the show,” his exit shocked those who enjoyed his character, millionaire Pierce Hawthorne. When asked about Community, he told Maron, “They wanted me. So, I said okay.”
While his conversation with Mark Maron was wide-ranging about his overall career, the topic of his firing from the NBC sitcom eventually came up. “I honestly felt the show wasn't funny enough for me, ultimately. I felt a little bit constrained.” Chase went on to add. “Everybody had their bits, and I thought they were all good. It just wasn't hard-hitting enough for me.”
Chase liked his character but wasn't keen on shooting so many scenes with his fellow co-stars. “I didn't mind the character. I just felt that it was… I felt happier being alone. I just didn't want to be surrounded by that table every day with those people. It was too much.”
Bigotry and Racism in Real Life
While Chase played a bigot as Hawthorne, his attitude, jealousy, and overall nastiness on set made his scenes much more difficult for everyone to enjoy.
Community creator Dan Harmon eventually fired Chase in 2012 after 83 episodes when he used a racial slur on set. “I remember apologizing to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy's non-P.C. verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don't even worry about it.'” It came as little surprise for his castmates, however. Donald Glover has been outspoken about Chase's inappropriate and difficult behavior while on set.
For his part, however, Chase seems unphased. “I don't think people really felt that way. I don't know what my reputation was among people. I just always assumed I was okay.”
Not The First Time
Chase, who has been critical of the current SNL cast, was also called out by Pete Davidson, who, adding some colorful language, said, “He's just a genuinely bad, racist person, and I don't like him. He's a putz.”
At 79, Chase may come from an era where people moved on easier and didn't worry about things they couldn't change, but for the experienced actor, none of this drama or what people think of him seems to matter a lot. He doesn't care.
“I am who I am. And I like 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.”
Lost in Translation
When multiple generations work on the same show or film, it's easy to pass things off as generational issues, but there is no gray area where racism is okay. There's no time, no circumstance where bigotry is pardonable At 79, Chevy Chase should be mature enough and experienced enough to know how to keep his personal opinions to himself as he grew up in the era of “If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.” It's a shame he isn't there yet.
Rebecca Holcomb is a mother of seven with extensive knowledge of lifestyle topics like family and parenting, food (especially cooking at home), book lists, and health and wellness, including natural remedies. As a former athlete, she utilizes walking and strength training to stay fit and combat stress. She loves to spend time reading, studying the Russo-Ukraine War, and learning about personal finance and politics. Rebecca has been a freelance writer for eleven years and a freelance journalist since 2018. Before joining the Wealth of Geeks Trending Topics team, she wrote for NickiSwift and TheThings.