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Chevy Chase Slammed Modern SNL With Some Brutally Honest Comments

As an actor and performer, Chevy Chase made a huge name for himself in the 1980s, during which he starred in comedy blockbusters like "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Fletch," and "Caddyshack." Before that, he was already garnering national attention as one of the original cast members of a little variety show known as "Saturday Night Live." Chase was the first person to announce "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!," and it was Chase who kicked off anchoring the Weekend Update, now a staple segment of "SNL." Through his dedication to bits such as a recurring pratfall dubbed "The Fall of the Week" and his iconic portrayal of late President Gerald Ford as a hilarious klutz, Chase captured the spotlight as a master of physical comedy and left a lasting impression on the show.

Over the years that have followed, "Saturday Night Live" has changed quite a bit. Lorne Michaels, the program's creator, left SNL in 1980 but has since returned as its showrunner. The list of recurring cast members, many of whom, like Chase, have gained new levels of stardom from their experience, has constantly shifted. Different production formats have been experimented with, and the humor itself continues to morph and evolve.

As someone who might be now considered a relic from the show's past, Chase has his own opinions on the direction "SNL" has taken. When asked to comment on its modern condition, he pulled no punches with a brutally honest response.

Chase thinks SNL has gone to rack and ruin

During an interview at his home with The Washington Post, Chevy Chase expressed explicit disappointment in the place that "Saturday Night Live" has reached. He said, "First of all, between you and me and a lamppost, jeez, I don't want to put down Lorne or the cast, but I'll just say, maybe off the record, I'm amazed that Lorne has gone so low. I had to watch a little of it, and I just couldn't f***ing believe it." As the publication noted, Chase didn't seem to register the microphone and tape recorder sitting openly in front of him.

When the show's level of viewership (in the millions) and current popularity were pointed out to Chase, the actor shrugged it all off. "That means a whole generation of shitheads laughs at the worst f***ing humor in the world," Chase said. "You know what I mean? How could you dare give that generation worse s*** than they already have in their lives? It just drives me nuts."

This speaks to a tension at the heart of the comedy star's declining reputation and notorious workplace drama. As "Saturday Night Live" — and so much of the comedy scene, in general — has changed over time, many would contend that Chevy Chase himself has not.