If you’re a fan of comedy in any way, shape or form, I think it is safe to say that you’re familiar with Chevy Chase, one of the true kings of funniness. After watching Christmas Vacation with my family for the holidays, I wanted to do a little bit of research to learn more about this jokester.
For starters, Chevy’s name isn’t actually Chevy. It’s Cornelius.
“Cornelius Crane “Chevy” Chase (born October 8, 1943) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter and producer. Born into a prominent family, he had a variety of jobs before moving into comedy and started acting with National Lampoon. He became a key cast member in the first season of Saturday Night Live, where his recurring Weekend Update segment became a staple of the show. As both a performer and writer, he earned three Primetime Emmy Awards out of five nominations,” his Wikipedia page says.
Born in the lower Manhattan region of New York City, Chevy grew up in Woodstock, New York. He was expelled from Riverdale Country School but later graduated from Stockbridge School in 1962. He then attended Haverford College and later transferred to Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and studied pre-med and ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Prior to launching to fame thanks to Saturday Night Live, Chevy worked “as a cab driver, truck driver, motorcycle messenger, construction worker, waiter, busboy, fruit picker, produce manager in a supermarket, audio engineer, salesman in a wine store, and theater usher,” his Wikipedia page states.
I encourage anyone to check out this man’s biography as it really is fascinating. He endured emotional and physical abuse as a child, struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse, and entered a tremendous depression all while maintaining his goofy persona.
I firmly believe Mr. Chase is one of the funniest people to walk planet Earth, and while he may have his quirks (he is reportedly a bit of an asshole), I think he’s earned his reputation for being utterly hilarious.