Chevy Chase: Flushed Out with a Smile and a Handshake?

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Chevy Chase had a not-so-stellar moment on the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversay Show, according to the Washington Post.

Reporter Hank Steuver called the show a tribute to longevity, if nothing else. And the adorable first season sensation, Chevy, though a living presense from those glory days, appeared rather out of place here. Even confused. From WaPo:

On Sunday night, Chase, 71, appeared flushed out. The night was the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live,” and things got awkward. There was Carson Daly, a barrage of cameras and Chevy Chase, who seemed confused about where he was and what this was all about.

Daly asked whether Chase was surprised the show has been on for 40 years. “I left after the first year because I thought this isn’t going anywhere,” Chase said. “… I liked [hosting]. I liked it. But I missed it more for not being a part of the cast because I left after one year. I had reasons to leave. I’m sorry if I’m perspiring, but I just had to run through a gauntlet. But I liked it a lot, and I still like it.”

While other “SNL” cast members of Chase’s era — comedians like Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd — went on to become institutions, Chase never quite cashed in on his early promise. He was supposed to be the next coming of Carson. But instead, Chase turned in some popular early movies, then fizzled. There was lots of potential but not enough payout.

By way of explanation, Gawker solicited Bill Murray’s opinion. The still prolific actor said, “When you become famous, you’ve got like a year or two where you act like a real a–hole,” Gawker quoted Murray saying of Chase. “You can’t help yourself. It happens to everybody. You’ve got like two years to pull it together — or it’s permanent.”