[Comedy] How to piss off everyone you’ve ever met so badly…


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  1. I enjoyed Community and didn’t know anything about the drama on set until Pierce left and they had that episode where he made them do a lie detector test before giving them the stuff from his will. And that episode was funny and kinda heartfelt and I think it says a lot that Chevy Chase’s best character moment came when he wasn’t even on the show anymore.

  2. I do like the slight detour in to Randy Quaid’s insanity. Whatever producer saw that video, shrugged, and said “listen, we gotta fill air time somehow” is my hero.

  3. I like how he cried after realizing that no one liked him because he was so terrible and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing to improve his personality.

  4. I had known about Chevy’s heinous personality before, but that roast story was just enough to make me feel bad for the guy. For a few seconds at least. Great write up!

  5. Oh shit, all I had to read was the title and I am STRAPPED IN for this post.

    Edit: OP, this post was fluid, engaging, and notably funnier than Chevy Chase. Nice work.

  6. You know, I have to say thank you for this post just because this is the first time I fully read something like this without skipping a sentence or two.

  7. >If you read through that list of names and barely recognized anyone, you wouldn’t be alone.

    I…..I recognize like….literally everyone on that list.

  8. >During a stunt in Three Amigos, Chase made a joke about director John Landis’s lax safety precautions after his last film. The film in question? The Twilight Zone, where a stunt gone wrong killed a man and two children.

    While this is stupid to do this to the director of the film you’re working in, Landis (and I love his movies) deserved shit. He intentionally set up an incredibly dangerous stunt that didn’t just kill 3 people, it decapitated Morrow and one of the children, Le, and crushed the second child to death. Landis had broken child labor laws for the film shoot and was pushing to get the pyrotechnics and the helicopter to be closer together, setting up the accident. Then he *invited himself* to one of the funerals and gave a truly tone-deaf eulogy. He blamed everyone but himself. It was bad and I’m glad he got some static from *someone*, even if that was Chevy Chase.

    Behind the Bastards [did a two-parter on this](https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-behind-the-bastards-29236323/episode/part-one-the-twilight-zone-movie-97005743/) and I suggest listening to it.

    Again, stupid of Chase, but this was a case of two crap people and I’m of the “let them fight” mentality here.

  9. The more I learn about Chase, the more I feel like Dan Harmon didn’t even write Pierce on Community. Chase probably just showed up and yelled at the producers a bit until they let him on the show as himself.

    Great write up, OP! I’m shocked that someone can be such a universal asshole without a shred of decency that even comedians hate them.

  10. Landis almost certainly deserved it if you know about the really awful, lax safety standards on the Twilight Zone movie set – but that is definitely not a way to make friends with him.

  11. I remember the roasts from way before Comedy Central even existed. Dean Martin hosted them and Foster Brooks was a regular roaster. (Yeah, I really am old!) But there’s no doubting Chase earned every single comment.

  12. > a furious Will Ferrell

    I get the feeling that once you’ve unlocked this achievement, you have officially Big Messed Up

  13. Wow, that roast is depressing to the point that it could be a Twilight Zone episode. Imagine asking your friends to do a comedy show with you and discovering not that you have no friends but that you’ve alienated them so much they use the opportunity to humiliate you on national TV in the most painful soul crushing way they can.

  14. The Friar’s Club roasts had been televised earlier, starting in the 60s. Those were on broadcast TV, so the FCC language rules were in effect. The Comedy Central broadcasts were not nearly as tame as those earlier broadcasts.

  15. Side track – watch Will Ferrel’s episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. He is VERY different “in person” than the characters he plays. I’m not surprised at all he got Chase banned for hitting Cheri. Also, watch Ferrel & Molly Shannon’s Rose Parade coverage on Prime! They are so good together. (I thought it was Cheri on the Rose Parade but it’s Molly!)

    Great write up!! It seems his shitty personality has been getting more coverage the last few months; did something happen?

    I can’t even pick a best or most shocking part from this! Loraine Newman’s diary joke – amazing.

    I also highly recommend watching Only Murders In the Building with Steve Martin, Martin Short & Selena Gomez. After reading this I’m even happier Marten & Short are still finding success together!

    Edit- side track to the side track – Jerry Seinfeld really is a jerk in real life. The Seinfeld character is NOT a character.

  16. For context, it’s worth mentioning that his family is VERY old money. Like, Dutch colonists of Manhattan, listed in the New York Social Register, spent summers at his castle estate rich.

    He’s one of the worst examples of the attitude that develops among that much wealth and privilege.

  17. I never liked the CC roasts; just not my type of humor. But I watched CC a lot at the time, so naturally saw parts of them here or there. I remember seeing a good chunk of the Chevy Chase roast. My God that was awkward and painful to watch. I didn’t know at the time what a massive a-hole he was, I just knew he had a lot of movies Comedy Central ran a lot that I didn’t find at all funny (the next time I laugh at Fletch will be my first). But he looked devastated at that roast, and the presenters seemed to eschew any comedy for just vicious personal attacks.

  18. Im pretty sure I saw this back in the day. The one thing I remember is one of the roasters legit seemed like he didn’t know if Chevys name was pronounced Chevy with the ch as an S like the car or Chevy with the hard Ch sound like his name is actually pronounced, and after saying it wrong a few times actually asked him. I was only a teen at the time so maybe that was a joke/insult but it didn’t seem like it to me at the time. I remember thinking “how do you have someone up there who doesn’t even know how to say the dudes name?” Well I guess this explains it.

  19. I thought Lisa Lampanelli’s roast where she barely references Chevy was particularly clever in hitting his ego. The show is about him and she barely acknowledges him. (Unless, like you mentioned, some of it was edited out.)

  20. >(although Carson disliked Chase, and replied that “He couldn’t ad-lib a fart after a baked bean dinner”).

    Man is that a great line.

  21. BTW – Friars Club Roasts were previously televised as part of “The Kraft Music Hall” and then throughout the 70s on “The Dean Martin Show”. Plenty of episodes are available on Youtube.

  22. > Chevy “went on to claim he invented every funny thing that ever happened in the history of not just comedy, but also the known world”

    That’s not a very far-fetched claim, given that his entire life has been a massive joke.

  23. From the WaPo piece:

    >I thought Eddie Murphy was funny. Gumby. I found that funny and people loved that. . . . Stevie Wonder, he did well. [Pause.] It’s not that hard, for Christ’s sake. Your skin’s the same color. You just put on some sunglasses and do this.”

    How ever did Murphy pull off a Gumby skit when he’s not green?

    And people are supposed to believe Chase is not racist.

    ETA that the WaPo piece is an excellent read. I think Michael is right about Chase being caught up in generational shifts, but in many more ways than I think he intends.

  24. >Bill Murray (Chase’s replacement) was antagonistic towards him, telling Chase frankly that no one there liked him, leading to a shouting match.

    I haven’t read the whole write-up yet, but you missed the best insult ever. Murray was (IIRC) being held back from punching Chevy, and yelled at him, “Medium talent!”

  25. Just when I think I cannot be impressed with Stephen Colbert any more, I read about something like this. There’s probably a straight thematic line from his roast here to him doing basically the same thing to Bush.

  26. Knew Chase was a top shelf asshole.

    Had no idea this was the reason the Comedy Central roasts are all so dog shit terrible. They’re just mean. There is no humor. There’s nothing fun or smart about them.

  27. I’m glad to know he suffered through that roast but it was bitter-sweet knowing that in the end he was always going to be the same.

  28. I worked with him once in the mid seventies. It was one of the first HBO ‘standup’ concert shows, and Chevy was to introduce several stand up comedians at the Comedy Store on Sunset in Hollywood.

    I got word he wanted to talk to the engineer in charge, so I go to his dressing room, and there he is, sitting on the shitter, pants and tidy whities around his ankles, the door to the bathroom open. He’s grunting. The smell is not lovely.

    I panic a little, say “Oh, Jesus, I’m sorry!” (even though I’d done nothing wrong) and start to back out of the room. He demands I stay and talk to him. I say it’s making uncomfortable, I’ll come back. He then demands I stay. I leave anyway.

    Ten minutes later, I hear from the producer that Chase wants me fired. I ask “So, am I fired?” “Fuck no. I told him it wasn’t happening, you’re needed. He got angry. I don’t care.”

    Chase glowered at me every time he saw me after that, but we finished the show.

    Just an angry, awful man.

  29. Colbert was just brutal. Surgical and meticulous indeed. It’s rather disappointing that Chevy Chase didn’t come out of this as a better person, but I suppose it’s hard to change when you in your fifties.

  30. >The roastmaster (picked by Chase) was Paul Shaffer. The roasters were Todd Barry, Richard Belzer, Stephen Colbert, Beverly D’Angelo, Al Franken, Greg Giraldo, Lisa Lampanelli, Nathan Lane, Marc Maron, Steve Martin, Laraine Newman, Randy Quaid, Freddie Roman, and Martin Short.

    >Who the fuck are these guys?

    I mean… huge names in comedy circles… Like every last one of them is huge. The ones who aren’t are people who were in Vacation (Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid).

    But all those people are comedy giants.

  31. I remember reading the EW article about the roast back when it came out bad suddenly a lot of stuff about Chase started to make sense. I figured maybe he’d turn things around considering the tough self-reflection he exhibited in that article, but instead it’s been a twenty year slide into even deeper obscurity.