Chevy Chase told CBS Sunday Morning this week that he “doesn’t give a crap” about headlines and former co-stars painting him as problematic on set. Chase’s behavior has been described by co-stars as racist, misogynistic and “horrific” over the years, but the “Saturday Night Live” veteran and comedy icon does not seem to care.
“I guess you’d have to ask them,” Chase responded when asked if stories about him being a “jerk” are unfounded. “I don’t give a crap. I am who I am. And I like who I am. I don’t care. And it’s part of me that I don’t care. And I’ve thought about that a lot. And I don’t know what to tell you, man. I just don’t care.”
Donald Glover, who starred opposite Chase in the NBC sitcom “Community,” told The New Yorker in 2018 that Chase repeatedly made racist jokes on set. According to the profile, Chase “often tried to disrupt” his scenes with Glover by making “racial cracks between takes,” one of which was the following: “People think you’re funnier because you’re Black.”
“Chevy was the first to realize how immensely gifted Donald was, and the way he expressed his jealousy was to try to throw Donald off,” “Community” creator Dan Harmon said at the time. “I remember apologizing to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy’s non-P.C. verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don’t even worry about it.’”
Glover interpreted Chase’s racist cracks as the comedian “thrashing in the water,” adding, “I just saw Chevy as fighting time—a true artist has to be ok with his reign being over. I can’t help him if he’s thrashing in the water. But I know there’s a human in there somewhere—he’s almost too human.”
Chase responded to Glover by saying he was “saddened to hear” he “perceived [him] in that light.”
“Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson called Chase “a fucking douchebag” in 2018 after Chase criticized the current “SNL” cast. Davidson added, “Fuck Chevy Chase. He’s just a genuinely bad, racist person and I don’t like him. He’s a putz.”
As Us Weekly notes, the 2002 book “Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live” includes several anecdotes about Chase’s problematic behavior. Will Ferrell called Chase “the worst host” after the latter’s February 1997 “SNL” appearance.
“I don’t know if he was on something or what, if he took too many back pills that day or something, but he was just kind of going around the room and systematically riffing,” Ferrell said. “When he got to one of our female writers, he made some reference like, ‘Maybe you can give me a handjob later.’ And I’ve never seen Lorne [Michaels] more embarrassed and red.”
Watch Chase’s full interview on CBS Sunday Morning in the video below.