Presidential pratfall? Enough already!
Chevy Chase, who portrayed Gerald Ford as a klutz on “Saturday Night Live,” says he does not enjoy the renewed attention the ex-president’s death has brought him.
“I’m just a guy who made some fun of Gerald Ford in 1976, and I prefer to be left alone, really,” the 63-year-old comedian said last week from a Colorado ski resort where he had been skiing with his daughter.
Chase said he gets upset when people say that Ford “made” his career.
“The man who ‘made my career’ did not do ‘Fletch,’ did not do ‘Caddyshack,’ did not write for the Smothers Brothers before he wrote for ‘Saturday Night Live,’ did not write for 12 years before that and win Writers Guild awards,” he said.
“It’s that kind of thing that comes out in the press that perpetuates myths about me that are disgusting, that hurt my feelings, that hurt my family’s feelings.”
Chase and other original cast members of “Saturday Night Live” once relished the national publicity that the show’s irreverent comedy generated. But since Ford’s death at age 93 last week, Chase has declined interview requests from the nation’s top newspapers and TV news programs, which have repeatedly played excerpts of his old skits.
“He did not make my career,” said Chase, who spoke to Reuters twice by telephone. “If anything, I took his career and put it in the dumper, because I did not want him to be president of this country. That’s the way it really should be written.”
Chase said he later became friendly with Ford and called the Republican “a very, very sweet man.”
“He took my wife and I on a whole lovely trip through Grand Rapids to show us where he had been as a child and what not,” he said. “We kept in touch and he was just a terrific guy.”