Good evening. I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not.
When I was a little kid, Saturday Night Live was very new. TV was very limited in the late 70’s-early 80’s. Nothing like media is today. As I once told my daughter, if there was something on TV and you missed it, you just missed it. This is even pre-VCR’s, reruns were scarce.
Saturday Night Live was no exception. In fact, I don’t recall reruns of the show being a thing back then. Then again, I don’t remember a lot of things from being 8 years old.
My Dad was the kind of person who had high standards and expectations. But he also believed in allowing things that didn’t seem to cause any harm. Like ice cream anytime of day or, allowing his 12 year old daughter to dye her hair, even if the color was awful.
Another one of those things was letting me stay up late to watch SNL with him. Sometimes even against my mom’s wishes, I would sneak down to the TV with him to watch. He was a big fan. I became a big fan. We are big fans to this day. No fair weather SNL friends, in this family!
Later, came the comedy movies. My dad was a big John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd fan. Blues Brothers was a big thing in my life. Did you know there was a Blues Brother’s album from the movie? I did. We owned it. It was played often and I still know every lyric from every song on it.
Blues Brothers, Animal House, Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s (especially the ‘Vacation’ movies). Really, any of the later movies that spawned from the Not Ready For Prime Time Players, we became fans by proxy. One of the first adult books I read as a kid was a biography about John Belushi. That was an eye opener for a kid. I have since read all the others that were written about him, too.
In my living room sits an autographed bottle of Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka that my dad stood in the snow and cold to have signed for me. My family makes annual visits to John Belushi’s grave. My daughter had her first of many annual photos taken by his headstone when she had she just barely learned to walk.
Comedy is in my blood. An appreciation for it has always been part of my life and strongly tied to my family but most importantly, my father. In real life we are a dry, sarcastic bunch. We are all mostly very funny. We are also our own biggest fans of our own brand of snark.
So to this day, my favorite craft of all crafts is comedy. I imagine this will come up quite often in this blog because I have like, opinions man.
At any given time I am watching stand-up, watching movies featuring comedians, listening to podcasts by comedians or watching documentaries. And nothing gets me more excited than documentaries about comedy or comedians. The only way I could get more excited about a comedy doc is if for some reason there were a roundtable comedic discussion with some of my favorite comics that branched off into their mutual love of skin care and sheet masks. However, I won’t hold my breathe on that.
I love comedy for a bunch of reasons but I think mostly because it is so pure. There is truth in being able to say what is on your mind or the minds of others by framing it in a ‘joke’. And comedy can be about literally anything, so many possibilities. I also have extreme envy for the writing and development process. Had my high school guidance counselor told me I could be more than this list of 6 things, I would have loved to be a comedy writer as being a performer is probably not for me.
Plus there is the lifestyle. Not only do most comedians works for themselves for the most part, I cannot imagine more bliss than having my closest friends and colleagues being smart and funny people.
So, I will stop there for now. This has gotten a bit long already. Just know, this blog will also talk a lot about my favorite things related to comedy. And I will be sheet masking while doing so.