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Breaking Down the Most Painful Clip on YouTube: Four Minutes of “The Chevy Chase Show”

By Josh Kurp | Think Pieces | April 2, 2012 | Comments ()


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Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker gave it an "F" and wrote that it "managed only to give vulgarity a bad name." Time said "the only miracle about [it was] that the star was still showing his face on national TV by the end..." It was such an easy punch line that "Family Guy" made fun of it. Heck, there's only IMDb discussion about it.


I am, of course, referring to "The Chevy Chase Show," one of the most misguided series not only in late-night history, but TV in general. Full-length episodes are nearly impossible to find (sources tell me Chevy had them thrown into the ocean, along with all existing copies of Cops & Robbersons), but luckily, some clips have popped up on YouTube. In honor of Chevy's most recent blow-up, let's take a look at his most misguided career decision...yet. Here are a number of disjointed thoughts (in honor of the show itself) I had while watching it:

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A late night show is only as cool as its band, and Tom Scott (and his Hollywood Express) might be the whitest person ever. Which is to say, he's not hip. Why is his microphone so prominent? In this screencap, he resembles the (sadly) fictional offspring of Garrison Keillor and Andy Warhol. FUN FACT: Scott was also the bandleader on "The Pat Sajak Show," which lasted all of four months. I don't care if he did write the theme for "Lassie," never hire Tom Scott.

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We need to bring back the denim vest/jean shorts/boots look.

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I love how Goldie shows her appreciation of the band not by clapping, but by lifting her arms in the air and then connecting her hands, as if she were trying to catch a football but had terrible form. I would pay to see a movie called Terrible Form starring Goldie Hawn.

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"Doesn't it make you want to dance?" Goldie asked. Chevy's response: "...der..." Thirty seconds into the clip, it's not hard to see why he didn't make it in late night: the words stumble out of his mouth, and what does come out is barely coherent. He's more "nervous boy talking to a cute girl in middle school" than "competent late night host." Also, who decided live fish tank would be an acceptable background? I like to imagine that Chevy was very particular in choosing which fish would have the honor of swimming behind him. Do you think he named them? "Oh, hello, Fish Bill Murray"

/throws it into a pot of boiling water

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Is saying that Goldie Hawn has "12 children" a joke? Maybe Chevy knew that Kate Hudson would end up as awful as 12 shitty actresses put together, but I might be giving him a bit too much credit.

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0:45: Chevy tells his first joke of the interview. "I'm a mom." Classic Chevy.

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"One of your oldest, Ollie...Oliver...this is a little thing you don't know about, but I happen to know that it's his birthday today. I knew Ollie when he was two." Way to not sound like a pedophile, Chevy.

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Oliver, or as the pedophiles know him, Ollie, has some great seats. It looks like he's on the set of a different show, which was probably his birthday wish.

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Oliver's now on David Spade's passion project, "Rules of Engagement," so getting a birthday cake from Chevy -- while wearing a comically oversized blue sport coat, a la everyone in the early 1990s -- has actually been his career highlight so far. Also, watch the guy behind him and to the right. He looks so embarrassed to be an audience member for "The Chevy Chase Show."

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Ugh. Chevy is an extremely gifted physical comedian (most recently seen in the tag of the "Community" episode where he tries to stop the soft-serve ice cream machine), but he screws up the pratfall. He should have stumbled on the steps and THEN dropped the cake, not make it down the steps, walk a few paces, deliberately drop the cake, run on stage, run off stage, and hug Ollie. Can we rename "jumping the shark" to "dropping the cake"?

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3:00: This is when things get WEIRD. While a lame bar mitzvah version of "La Bamba" plays, Chevy and Goldie start dancing. It's such an obvious time-filler; there's no reason why even a minute of TV should be spent on these two jumping and shimmying -- and in Chevy's case, moving like a robot having a seizure -- and getting the entire audience in on the so-called "fun." Chevy even loses interest in his own talk show...during the first episode. The best thing that I can say about it is that Goldie looks really cute.

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I don't care if they were in Foul Play together -- why is Chevy giving Goldie a long smooch on the lips? They should have given a talk show to Barry Bostwick instead.

"The Chevy Chase Show" lasted five weeks.



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