Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase (born October 8, 1943) is an American comedian, actor, and writer. He was a member of the original cast of SNL, back then known as The Not Ready For Primetime Players. Chevy was groomed for stardom, being the first anchor of Weekend Update. Chevy left SNL the earliest of all the castmembers, little over one year after SNL's premiere in 1975. He is the first cast member to ever be banned from SNL.
Chase missed the second and third episodes of the second season, reportedly due to an injury sustained in the first episode. The injury was most likely a fabrication, as Chase could be clearly seen dancing at the end of the episode in which he was supposed to have been injured, which would have been impossible with a groin injury requiring hospitalization. His absences may have been, and in any event proved to be, an opportunity to see how the opening sketch and Weekend Update could function in his absence. He would return for another three episodes, before leaving for good.
Fight with Bill Murray
Chase is notorious for being difficult to others working on the show, an attribute that would eventually earn him a lifetime hosting ban (see below). When he returned to host for the first time in season 3, his attitude immediately angered Bill Murray, who had been hired to replace him the previous year. Words between the two turned to blows immediately before the beginning of the episode; marks can be seen on Chase's face as he does the opening sketch.
Chase returned eight times over the years to host the show, (9 if counted the promotional trailer of the October 31, 1981 episode.) but was notorious for his highly verbally abusive treatment of the cast and crew over the years. In 1985, for example, he suggested a sketch where openly gay cast member Terry Sweeney had AIDS, and the sketch showed viewers how much weight he lost every week.
When Chase returned to host the February 15, 1997 episode, his behavior caused him to be the 12th person banned from the show. During dress rehearsal, after a week of dishing out abuse to several cast members, he slapped Cheri Oteri in the back of the head. While he swore it was meant as a joke, a furious Will Ferrell complained to Lorne Michaels, who decided that it was the final straw. Chase is the only cast member banned so far, as well as the only member of the Five-Timers Club to have been banned.
While Chase was apparently banned from hosting the show, he has made several guest appearances since his ban, which suggests he be somewhat in Lorne Michael's good graces as he was not forced off set, but his ban has not been formally repealed, as was Elvis Costello's. Chase's guest appearances include:
- in the 1999 25th anniversary special
- cameoed in an episode hosted by Bill Murray in 1999
- cameoed in an episode hosetd by Seann William Scott in 2001
- he was interviewed for the 2005 special Live from New York: The First Five Years of Saturday Night Live
- did a segment of Weekend Update in 2007 in an episode hosted by Seth Rogen
- appeared twice in the March 9, 2013 episode hosted by Justin Timberlake: once in the introduction alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short, and again towards the end of the episode during the reunion of the Three Amigos
- appeared on the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special in 2015
He was also interviewed on the 101 most Infamous SNL moments on E!.
- October 11, 1975-November 27, 1976: Writer
- October 11, 1975-November 27, 1976: Not Ready For Primetime Player
- February 18, 1978: Host
- February 9, 1980: Host
- April 11, 1981: Host/Weekend Update Anchor
- October 31, 1981: Promotional Trailer, never appeared on the fully broadcasted episode.
- September 25, 1982: Host
- November 16, 1985: Host
- December 6, 1986: Host
- January 18, 1992: Host
- October 7, 1995: Host
- February 15, 1997: Host
|Weekend Update Anchor
(October 11, 1975— October 30, 1976)
Mark King, Bill Murray, Charles Rocket as Saturday Night NewsLine anchors
|Weekend Update Anchor (one episode)
(April 11, 1981— April 11, 1981)
Brian Doyle-Murray and Mary Gross as SNL Newsbreak anchors