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Chevy Chase Says Doing 'Community' Was A Mistake, Reveals He Turned Down 'Ghostbusters,' 'Forrest Gump,' 'Animal House' & More

by Joe Cunningham
September 26, 2012 11:38 AM
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Oh Chevy Chase, you lovable asshole you. After coming to blows with Dan Harmon during the third season of “Community,” Chase is still around and Harmon isn’t – but before all that came to a head Chase gave an interview to the Huffington Post UK in February to promote the UK DVD release of the second season. It's being printed now as the show hits shelves and once again, his distaste for the comedy comes through loud and clear. During the course of the interview he says that deciding to do "Community" in the first place was “a big mistake.”

"I prefer movies because the money is better and certainly because you really know where you stand when you are making movies, and I have made a lot of them: 50 something, I don't know. The hours in this kind of show are not commensurate with the actual product," Chase candidly shared. "The hours are hideous, and it's still a sitcom on television, which is probably the lowest form of television. That's my feeling about it. I think the reason I have stuck around is because I love these kids, the cast - they are very good. It's not like I am working with the great innovators of all time, but at the same time, they are my friends..." 

It’s strange that Chase seems to bemoan the lack of creativity in situation comedies when he's working on possibly the most innovative one on television, and it sounds like he’s eager to be done with the NBC sitcom. “I will have some time off and I will be looking for a film, which I think will be my next thing, my next move,” says Chase, which suggests he’s counting down the days until his contract expires/the show is cancelled after it’s truncated fourth season. The only positive words about the show he seems to have are for Donald Glover, whose improvisation he deems “funny” – which coincidentally is a word he claims he would not use to describe current TV comedy darling Louis C.K but would extend to Albert Brooks, whom he would like to work with.

"I would love to do a movie with Albert Brooks; we're so different but I find him so funny, and I can be just as seemingly narcissistic as he comes off, the 'it's all about me' kind of thing. I think it would be a lot of fun," he said. "I don't know how or what type of movie or how that would go, but I always enjoy him because I think he's got a wide perspective on human behaviour that a lot of other comedians don't have, and quite frankly, there aren't too many comedians who make me laugh."

Aside from his contractually-obliged discussion of "Community," Chase had a few interesting things to say about some projects he claims to have turned down over the years. "I turned down 'Forrest Gump,' I turned down 'American Gigolo,' there are many films - like 'Ghostbusters' - that I turned down... the first one I did was 'Foul Play' with Goldie Hawn, but I turned down 'Animal House' - I turned that down. So all those I regret only because they made huge amounts of money and I would be very wealthy, but I don't regret working with Goldie, I don't regret the projects that I did do," he explained. "And at the time, I felt like I had lived 'Animal House,' I had been to college and high school, and believe me, 'Animal House' didn't come close to some of the things I was doing! That's the way I looked at it, rather than as an intelligent businessman. I'm not that way, I'm not very good about judging according to the pay."

While the mind reels at what could have been with a Chase-starring "American Gigolo," it seems his paycheck-first policy combined with a now notorious prickly attitude will keep him on the sidelines. A Chase and Brooks joint? Yeah, that could be cool, but we doubt it will ever happen.

"Community" returns for season four on October 19th.

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  • G. | October 13, 2012 8:11 AMReply

    Not really, just to make a point. Greets to all or some of the people at my company.

  • G. | October 13, 2012 8:08 AMReply

    "Innovative", a very sparkly word, impressive yes? I also call the people i just by coincidence have been forced to spend time with for a longer period of time "my social contacts" (behind there backs anyway), to them it's more, "be glad we haven't kicked you out yet, you fool" but it's just a subtle difference i think.

  • Dutch Engstrom | September 29, 2012 11:57 PMReply

    So, the man says that "Community," Louis CK and Dan Harmon are overrated, that the cast are actually nice people, Albert Brooks is a genius and movies are generally more time-worthy than TV shows. Chevy might not be too funny anymore, bu at least he speaks the truth...

  • Michael | September 27, 2012 8:06 AMReply

    Sorry, but the National Lampoon, Fletch and Fletch lives movies are all basically 2 hour sitcoms. Sorry Chevy Chase but comedy is comedy. Either it's intelligent and insightful comedy that tries to really say something while making your sides hurt, or it's lowbrow.

    All of those movies he was in during the 80's and 90's are basically situation comedy in a 2 hour package. The fact is that he's on the most unique show comedy-wise that is on television besides Louis C.K. shows just how little he actually cares about the product that he's making.

    Sounds like he simply doesn't want to put in the hours that T.V. forces you to do. Film shoots are laid back and not nearly as strenuous. It's just sad to hear this coming from a comic genius. I bet it makes the rest of the cast so happy to work with him every day.

    How much you want to bet that the show starts to go downhill without Harmon?

  • Who dat ninja | September 28, 2012 11:50 AM

    He probably has a much better idea of what goes into making a t.v. show or movie than you do. Your assessment of the National Lampoon and Fletch movies are your opinion, but hardly the definitive word.

  • sharom | September 27, 2012 2:16 AMReply

    dan harmon shold comeback to the show

  • Brad | September 27, 2012 6:04 AM

    I would like that as well but it is impossible for him to come back because he got fired.

  • JIM | September 26, 2012 11:00 PMReply


  • sh | September 26, 2012 11:54 PM


  • Sarah | September 26, 2012 9:27 PMReply

    If he doesnt like it he shouldn't of done the show in the first place, and he keeps talking about that obviously means he didn't get into acting because he wanted to be an actor, all these actors and musicians talk about how it's all about doing something they love about acting or about the music but what it really comes down to is money

  • Yod | September 26, 2012 11:41 PM

    "If he doesnt like it he shouldn't of done the show in the first place"

    Thanks genius. That is why he referred to it as a big mistake. Do you have any other bleedingly obvious insights to share with us?

  • JIM | September 26, 2012 9:22 PMReply


  • Brody | September 29, 2012 5:31 AM

    Unless your name is Harold Ramis, then it is hard to believe you. And if you are Mr. Ramis - you didn't write Forrest Gump.

  • Virginia | September 26, 2012 9:47 PM

    You lie! You did not!

  • Chaotica | September 26, 2012 8:27 PMReply

    Man, the guy just comes across as a such an asshole in just about everything he does. He had a few funny roles ages ago and this TV series is about the last thing he's done in...what, maybe ten years that anyone has heard of. I just see his comment about being able to 'seemingly' act narcissistic and I just laugh because he really wouldn't have to try. The backhanded 'compliment' about being friends, but not exactly working with innovators was a particular gem.

    The guy has no career left outside of side roles and he's going to shoot himself in the foot by ensuring nobody in TV wants to work with his pompous ass any more.

  • Kevin | September 26, 2012 7:34 PMReply

    I have watched every episode of Community. I often see people calling the show "innovative" -- please explain this in detail. I find nothing new, innovative, or refreshing about the show. In fact, the MAJORITY of episodes (50%+) do not even make me laugh a little bit. Maybe it's because I'm usually geared toward intelligent and sarcastic humor. But, yeah, I will keep watching the show because I find it mildly interesting. But it's not funny or special.

  • Brody | September 29, 2012 5:39 AM

    I just find it refreshing that the show doesn't use formulaic set-up/punchline that most other sitcoms use. The show tries some crazy things - some work and some dont. For example - the episode done entirely in claymation. I'm not sure what you mean by intelligent humor - but I do find the humor more intelligent than the standard sit-com. I will admit that it is terribly silly at times.

    But I also found the first season of Breaking Bad to be as or even more funny than most sitcoms. I also love Curb your Enthusiasm, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Parks and Rec.

  • Who day ninja | September 28, 2012 11:46 AM

    You have watched every episode of a show that you don't like? What a jackass.

  • lynn | September 27, 2012 2:23 PM

    I guess idiots will just be idiots.

  • Jess | September 27, 2012 12:29 AM

    I think there are many reasons why fans consider it innovative. For me personally, not only are the characters much more unique and diverse than on pretty much any comedy show I've seen to date (but that just may be because I'm young) but the writers focus on character development and relationship development over the comedic aspects, while still maintaining great humor. Take, for instance, Abed and Troy. In a typical comedy show, they would remain a dynamic duo there only to illicit laughs from the audience. However, they experience turbulence and their relationship grows, changes, and pans out more like a real relationship. And speaking of Abed, how recently have you seen a handicapped person of color in a protagonist in role in your average comedy? It has been alluded to that Abed has Aspberger's and he is not treated like an object to laugh at but rather a sympathetic, heroic, and yes, hilarious character. Those are just a few examples. More than anything, it relates to those in the nerd subculture. Rather than laughing AT "nerds" and making them feel further alienated from popular media, this show takes nerd culture seriously as a way to relate to its audience and make watchers feel less alone, rather than pointing and laughing at it like a show akin to The Big Bang Theory would do. See the Dungeons and Dragons episode for further examples. Really, what it comes down to is taste. It is intelligent humor because it relies on real, humanistic relationships, as well as absurd plot points and the occasional pop culture reference. I don't think people are calling it innovative necessarily because of the comedic aspect but because of its humanity and relatable-ness, which you don't often see in half hour comedies. That's just my opinion on the show, but then again, I love it. Sorry this is pretty jumbled.

  • Jen S. | September 26, 2012 8:07 PM

    I completely agree with everything you said. Occasionally it does make me laugh hard, but it mostly rides on the charm of the cast. The writing could be infinitely better, IMO. Just having the ingredients of cool/quirky/interesting storytelling, doesn't automatically make the jokes funny. I get every single cultural reference and off-the-wall idea of humor, but in the end it doesn't make me laugh much. And that being said, they could very easily lose Chevy Chase's character. He is the least funny and the least interesting.

  • Dave | September 26, 2012 7:58 PM

    What a dumb stupid dumb comment.

  • Whodatninja | September 26, 2012 7:21 PMReply

    With the exception of American Gigolo, I have read about him being offered every one of the movies he mentioned here years ago. Additionally I have an old magazine that listed him as the star of a proposed Jetsons live action film and Fletch 3 came so close to happening that it's listed as an actual credit in bio/filmography on DVDs in the late 90s. It's always interesting to think of what could have been casting wise. As for his attitude, he has always had a temper, and has always said things publicly most people would say only privately. I admire his talent and his comedic prowess, but I have to admit I would be very apprehensive of meeting him in real life.

  • Michael Pemulis | September 26, 2012 7:16 PMReply

    Prickly attitude? You did say Prickly, yes?

  • Herb Flynn | September 26, 2012 6:50 PMReply

    I wonder if he would have played Tim Matherson's role in ANIMAL HOUSE?

  • Jack | September 26, 2012 6:46 PMReply

    Lol, what a narcissistic whacko. I love his backhanded compliments to his so called "friends" on the show. This has to be a two decade long "I'm Still Here" type mockumentry. No mediocre person is this delusional into thinking they are above everyone else.

  • Jasmin | September 26, 2012 6:19 PMReply

    Lol. What a jerk.

  • Mark Ahuna | September 26, 2012 12:57 PMReply

    Chevy also turned down 33 reality TV shows, 25 Good Day LA appearances and a Flowmax advertisement.

  • ali | September 26, 2012 12:54 PMReply

    I don't believe Chevy Chase was offered American Gigolo or Forrest Gump.

  • Phil | September 27, 2012 10:07 AM

    Don't be an idiot. This is a blog article so you might want to consider that some of what he said was taken out of context or sensationalized for dramatic impact. He's a comedian. Do you honestly believe he would be offered the title role in either of those films? Do you maybe believe those were the only roles an actor could be offered? No supporting roles? So if someone says they were offered a role in a film they could ONLY be talking about the lead? The world is full of morons and guys like Chevy Chase have to wade through that idiocy everyday. Hard to believe after decades of dealing with imbeciles like the ones posting comments here he'd come off as an asshole.

  • Sharon | September 26, 2012 11:52 AMReply

    Alert : Stoker trailer. Looks good.

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