Chase was born into a New York City family, and his parents divorced when he was still a young kid. Chase admitted in the interview that part of the reason that he got into comedy was the pain and fear he went through in his childhood, which he also notes is true for a lot of comedians.
His father was a book editor who was friends with the likes of Truman Capote and Norman Mailer.
“While talking to Norman and Truman, he catches me in his eye, while they’re talking to him, and he suddenly does this-” Chase went on to mimic sticking your tongue out. “Come on! That’s just outrageous and funny.”
Unfortunately, while Chase’s relationship with his father was strong, he lived with his Mother, who re-married an abusive man. That’s where a lot of that pain and fear in his childhood came from. He’s talked about this before. Growing up, Chase had a lot of emotional struggles.
“I was fraught with fear and low self-esteem,” Chase wrote in his biography I’m Chevy Chase and You’re Not. “You’re inundated with those thoughts and those fears, and you learn nothing about how to organize your time and do your homework.”
Chevy Chase Shared Choice Words For Co-Stars Whove Accused Him of Bullying
As Chase continued to succeed in the industry, it started to come to light that he may not have been the nicest person on set. Multiple old co-stars have spoken up about his bullying behavior. He even developed quite a reputation for it.
Reports of this behavior date from SNL all the way to his time on Community.
“When you read that stuff — ‘Chevy’s been a jerk’ — are those unfounded cheap shots?” Chase was asked in the CBS Sunday Morning interview.
“I guess you’d have to ask them. I don’t give a crap!” he laughed. “I am who I am. And I like where, who I am. I don’t care. And it’s part of me that I don’t care. I’ve thought about that a lot. And I don’t know what to tell you, man. I just don’t care.”
Donald Glover, who experienced a brunt of the poor treatment on Community, which allegedly included comments about his race, explained Chevy Chase’s behavior.
“I just saw Chevy as fighting time — a true artist has to be OK with his reign being over. I can’t help him if he’s thrashing in the water. But I know there’s a human in there somewhere — he’s almost too human,” Glover said in 2018.