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Chevy Chase dressed as Santa Clause
The Tangled Life Of Chevy Chase Explained
History - Science
Content Warning
This story contains discussions of child abuse.
Plumbing & Coffee
Chevy Chase’s mother, Cathalene, was the adopted daughter of Cornelius Crane, an heir to the Crane plumbing fortune. Yet, Chase didn't inherit that wealth.
After Chase’s parents divorced, his father — editor Ned Chase — got married again to Lyn Atha, a member of the Folger family who stood to inherit a fortune in coffee earnings.
Physically Abused
Chase suffered routine physical abuse at his mother’s hand as a child. He alleged that she’d awaken him at odd hours and then slap him in the face over and over.
Chase’s mother often locked him in a closet inexplicably. Following a reprimand at school, he was stuck in a basement for days and was given a water pitcher to use as a toilet.
Steely Dan
While attending Bard College in the mid-1960s, Chase, a drummer, befriended fellow students Donald Fagan and Walter Becker, later the core of jazz-rock group Steely Dan.
Chase quit the band before Fagan and Becker went on to bigger and better things with Steely Dan. Later in the ‘60s, Chase was a member of the rock band Chamaeleon Church.
Live From New York
Chase became a breakout star on the late-night sketch comedy show "NBC’s Saturday Night," later retitled "Saturday Night Live," which debuted in October 1975.
Chase’s appeal was due to his weekly showcase as the host of the "Weekend Update" satirical news segment where he often said the catchphrase, "I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not."
Sued By A Legend
Chase once mentioned he’d heard rumors that Hollywood icon Cary Grant was secretly homosexual and jokingly said, "What a gal!" but Grant didn’t think it was funny.
Grant sued Chase for slander, and sought $10 million in damages. The parties reached an agreement outside of the courtroom in 1982, with Chase paying Grant around $1 million.