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Chevy Chase

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I have not had what you’d call the best of luck when it comes to securing one-on-one time with Chevy Chase.

In the summer of 2009, when the cast of NBC’s yet-to-premiere series, “Community,” was in attendance for the TCA Press Tour, it’s no surprise that everyone wanted to talk to Chevy. I was able to secure a few minutes to talk to everyone else in the cast individually at some point prior to the show making its debut, either during the network’s all-star party or on the phone after I returned home, but Chevy remained elusive. At the party, he was forever surrounded by swarms of journalists, and although I slipped into the scrum long enough to hear a really awesome story about the poker parties that he used to attend at Johnny Carson’s house, he departed immediately thereafter, never to return. I tried to get him on the phone, but he never seemed to have an opening in his schedule. When the next TCA tour rolled around in January 2010, I was assured that I was finally going to get a few minutes with him, but I hadn’t even gotten through with my first question before others dived in and began peppering him with their own queries. Son of a…

Given this history, I didn’t hold out much hope this summer when I heard that Chevy would be turning up at a Sony’s TCA party. Perhaps it was the absence of a look of neediness, then, that caused his publicist to see me standing in Chevy’s vicinity and ask me if I was waiting to talk to him. I said, “Yes,” of course, and the next thing I knew, I was sitting on a couch, and Chevy was launching into a stumbling, bumbling routine in order to sit down next to me. What luck, eh?

Well, sort of.

As you’ll soon see, the interview wasn’t exactly a treasure trove of potential pull quotes…but, hey, at least now I can say that I sat on a couch and chatted with Chevy Chase for six minutes.

Sometimes, you just have to focus on the bigger picture

Chevy Chase: Hi, Will, how are you?

Bullz-Eye: Hi, Chevy. Good to see you. So have you started on Season 2 yet?

CC: Oh, yeah. I still have my make-up on, in fact. (Laughs)

BE: So you came straight here from the set?

 CC: Well, I went home and grabbed a jacket. But then I came here.

BE: So how far along are you, then?

CC: Second show. Second day of the second show. It’s pretty funny.

BE: Is it good to be back?

CC: (Long pause) Yeah. In a way. (Pauses again, then responds more enthusiastically) Yeah!

BE: Were you surprised at how quickly the show caught on?

CC: I didn’t know it had. Has it?

BE: My feeling is that it has.

Chevy ChaseCC: I don’t know. It’s back, anyway. It was picked up. But I don’t understand TV well enough to know what “picked up” really means. It could just mean, “We’ll give it another shot.” I don’t know.

BE: There were quite a few movie references scattered throughout the first season. Did you have any particular favorites?

CC: (Long pause) You mean on our show?

BE: (Laughs) Yeah!

CC: Oh, see, I’ve never watched our show, so my memory’s… (Pauses) Give me an example.

BE: Well, there’s the “Goodfellas”-inspired episode about the chicken in the cafeteria (“Contemporary American Poultry”)…

CC: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I liked that one. That was our…that was close to our last episode of the season. Yeah, I like that. (Silence)

BE: Um…I actually caught one of your ‘80s films on cable recently that I hadn’t seen in awhile: “Modern Problems.”

CC: Good God! Well, I always thought it stank, but some people liked it.

BE: I’ve always had a soft spot for it. Another one I liked from that era was “Deal of the Century.”

CC: Well, that was Billy Friedkin. And that should’ve done better. He kind of screwed up in post-production, I think. He had Bob Towne in there in the editing, and they changed the story a little. I think we shot a better movie than Bill put out that year. But he’s one of the great directors of all time, so what are going to do?

BE: Do you have some favorite projects that maybe didn’t get the love you thought they deserved?

CC: Oh, no. (Burst out laughing)

BE: No? All of them got what they deserved…?

CC: Oh, yeah. Everything I do gets what it deserves.

BE: How about “Bad Meat”?

CC: Oh, it got what it deserved. (Laughs) I did that for Scott, the guy who runs The Onion. He directed it. I finally said, “Scott, I’ve seen it now, and you really ought to…when a joke’s finished, you need to get out and move on.” He didn’t really edit it. It’s not his milieu. When a joke or a thing would happen, then there’d be a good minute more of…post-joke or something. (Shrugs) It was what it was. But I liked being in a movie called “Bad Meat.”

BE: If nothing else, you had great hair in that film.

CC: I haven’t seen it in…yeah, I think I had a wig or a hairpiece or something.

BE: Awhile back, you turned up on “Saturday Night Live” as a political commentator, but it never happened again. What happened?

CC: Well, I did it once, and then I got bored. (Laughs) And that was the end of it.

BE: Do you still like visiting the show once in awhile?

CC: Well, I haven’t been on it since then. I haven’t gotten a lot of calls asking me to host. On the other hand, he’s the executive producer of the show before us. You know, Amy Poehler’s show (“Parks and Recreation”). So maybe it’s competition…? I don’t know. But I love Lorne, and it doesn’t matter. I’d love to go back and host.

BE: Is there any talk of another “Vacation” movie? The last time you were here, I seem to recall you saying that there had been some talk.

CC: Well, it’s really hard to say in this atmosphere. The fact is, if the script is right, I’m sure (Warner Brothers president) Alan Horn would take notice. But I don’t think there has been one that’s right, and I’m not sure that he knows quite what to do about that, and I haven’t been pushing it, so…if it happens, it happens.

BE: Did you enjoy getting to work with Anthony Michael Hall again on “Community”?

CC: Oh, yeah. He looked the same to me. Just 25 years older.

BE: Since I’m getting the heave-ho from your publicist, I’ll just close by asking about some of your other favorite guest stars during the first season.

CC: I liked Jack Black. I thought he was pretty good.

BE: Are you a fan of his work?

CC: No. (Laughs) I’m kidding. Yeah, I like Jack.

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