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.