Chevy Chase harsh on sitcoms, unimpressed by Louis C.K.

Chevy Chase says a sitcom is 'the lowest form of television' and, of people working today, 'Do I think anyone is funny?... the answer is not too many people.'

Diane Bondareff/Invision for Starky Foundation/AP
Chevy Chase (r., with Steve Martin) said he regretted passing on many film projects, including 'Ghostbusters.'

Chevy Chase has had a lot of disparaging words to say lately. Following his feud with Dan Harmon, the creator of Community, Chase hasn’t been able to say many praiseworthy things about the show. In fact, it seems like it’s very difficult to impress him anymore – at least in the comedy realm.

Sadly, the Saturday Night Live veteran and star of National Lampoon’s Vacation and Fletch continues the trend with some choice conversation topics including a negative opinion of sitcoms (in general), his lack of interest in Community, and even touches on a few projects he regrets passing on in his career.

Huffington Post UK (via THR) spoke with Chase, and the most prominent topic is, as expected, Community. After all, it’s the only project he’s currently working on, and more often than not, despite the show’s passionate fanbase, the actor continues to have disparaging things to say about the show. This time was no different as Chase didn’t just complain about the time commitment, he outright insulted the TV sitcom medium:

“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.”

Those are some harsh words for an actor who (arguably) didn’t have much going on before the comedy series came along. It’s one thing to not be a fan of where the series you’re starring in is headed, but it’s another to completely call-out sitcoms as a whole. At least he has respect for the people that he appears on screen with in each episode.

All right, so sitcoms aren’t necessarily Chase’s cup of tea. That’s fine. But what about the realm of stand-up comedy? That arena is something that Chase might be more open to talking about with kinder words. In the interview, Chase was asked about one of the most popular and respected comedians working today: Louis C.K. His response was lukewarm:

“Yes, I’ve seen Louis C.K. I wouldn’t in any way make a degrading remark about Louis C.K., but the question is do I think anyone is funny? And the answer is not too many people. He might fit right in there.”

As many readers know, Chase was a staple on Saturday Night Live decades ago, and is responsible for a number of fan-favorite skits. So the actor has to think some things are funny, right? If he’s not impressed by someone like Louis C.K., then who would Mr. Chase like to work with in the future? That honor goes to comedy veteran Albert Brooks, and Chase would love to do a movie with the Drive star (who will next be seen in This is 40 from Judd Apatow). Chase says:

“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 behavior that a lot of other comedians don’t have, and quite frankly, there aren’t too many comedians who make me laugh.”

At least Chase has an idea of his future after the seemingly inevitable cancellation of Community, but what about his past? Chase has plenty of projects that regrets turning down. Though, most of those regrets seem to stem from missing out on big paychecks – not the enjoyment of making a great film:

“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.”

Given all of the frustrations that he seems to have, a strong case could probably be made for Chase regretting his choice to do Community. Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine the Ghostbusters 3 writers would have been able to please Chase’s high bar for comedy. Then again, if his concern is a paycheck (as he seems to indicate), maybe he’d do the sequel in a heartbeat.

Frankly, hearing some of Chase’s comments is hard. Audiences have a lot of respect for the man who started with such a lucrative comedy career, but he doesn’t seem to really enjoy his place in the business anymore. Hopefully his next project is more akin to his comedic tastes so the actor and his fans can both be happy.

Ethan Anderton blogs at Screen Rant.

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