Be it for being the first person to ever utter the words "live from New York, it's Saturday night!" on Saturday Night Live, or for playing America's favorite goofball dad Clark Griswold in the Vacation film franchise, Chevy Chase has earned his title of comedy legend in a career spanning over 50 years.
More recently, Chase has been in the headlines not for his reputation as a funny man, but rather for his reputation of being difficult to work with.
Rumors of his poor behavior behind the scenes began when he somewhat acrimoniously left the NBC series Community in 2012.
In a 2018 interview with The New Yorker, the show's creator Dan Harmon claimed Chase made racist jokes towards co-star Donald Glover during filming.
"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."
"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 corroborated Harmon's story in the same interview, believing it all may have been professional jealousy instead of Chase being overtly racist.
"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."
In the same interview, Chase expressed some regret Glover and Harmon perceived him in the manner they did, claiming he was "saddened" to be viewed by his former colleagues in such a way.
However, when the cast of Community reunited for a table read in 2020 to raise money for coronavirus relief, Chase declined to participate.
Today, Chase doesn't seem to care much at all what Glover, Harmon, or anybody thinks of him, as he told CBS Sunday Morning''s Jim Axelrod in a recent interview.
Axelrod began the interview asking how Chase was feeling roughly a year after a near fatal heart attack, leading to the 78-year-old star setting the tone in his trademark, deadpan manner.
"Oh, we removed it."
"Didn't need it. It's much better now."
Chase remained frank when Axlerod asked him about the rumors of his unruly behavior and bad reputation on the set of Community.
"I guess you'd have to ask them."
"I don't give a crap!"
'I am who I am. And I like where, 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'
What made his cavalier attitude towards the countless reports of his unruly behavior all the more striking, however, was Chase earlier revealed it was dealing with bullies as a child, particularly his abusive step-father, which eventually led him into his comedy career.
"I was afraid all the time growing up, and I still have a lot of that fear in me."
"So, in a sense it did shape my path, yeah."
"It sort of made me want to take those people out."
"Bullies—I hated bullies."
Chase has a legion of fans who shared their support in the comments section on YouTube.
"When he laughs in this interview, it takes 40 years off of his face. His laugh and smile are contagious as always. Flippin legend."-Rayfanz1
"He has ruffled a lot of film set and media feathers in his time, and his ego may still seem outsized, but he made many truly funny movies."- Her Aeolian Harp.
"He is getting close to 80 years old. I wish him the best. You're the man Chevy."- Hector Lopez.
"Legend, whether you like him or not, and regardless of all the stories. At his best, he was among the best. In my opinion. And made a good handful of stone cold classic films that wouldn’t have been classics without him."- Turns Out.
"Good or bad Chevy Chase is just who he is. As a kid growing up in the 80's loved him in the Vacation films and Fletch. Great interview. Oh, if you have not seen it check out Funny Farm. Quite an underrated film."- BE C.
"Thanks, CBS, for posting this. There is something so sweet and vulnerable about Chevy in this chapter of his life."
"It’s easy to see how some folks, particularly in 'the business' might not have the patience and respect needed to work with him. He is who he is, and part of who he is is a real son of a bitch."
"But that’s paper-thin. Underneath seems a warm, sweet guy, not to mention a comedic icon, who’s still very much alive."
"We could all do with some more Chevy in our lives."- Scott Reiburn.
"After a major heart attack, who can blame him for appearing to be so down and done with life. Still, a spectacular comic genius and actor. I have much respect for him."- Richard Fischer
"Love him or hate him, there are very few actors on planet Earth that have made their way into the hearts of the people like Chevy Chase."- the lonely ghost.
"The man makes good entertainment. He is an entertainer."
"Couldn't care less about the rest as long has whatever his off camera escapades are they are legal.
"Outside of that his life is none of my business. Just a guy who has a job everyone knows about."-LKNANML.
"He can have whatever attitude he wants...but I can watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation all year long and always laugh...Love ya Clark Griswold."- Tracey B.
Even with his near fatal heart-attack and his 80th birthday inching closer every day, Chase made it clear to Axelrod he has no intention to stop working any time soon.
He even hopes to possibly tackle the one type of role which has somehow evaded him over his lengthy career: "the wife."