20 Anniversary of worst talk show ever

Voodoo Ben

You gotta wash your ass
Dec 5, 2010
8,235
6,581
293
#1
1993 was a great year for late-night television: In the span of a few weeks at the end of summer, "Late Show With David Letterman" and "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" debuted. Both shows would last for years ("Late Show" is still going), and the two hosts are revered as comedy kings.

But there was a third new late-night program at the time. "The Chevy Chase Show" premiered 20 years ago: September 7, 1993, on Fox. Many people (including Chase himself) would like to forget it ever existed, since it was the worst TV talk show in the history of everything.


Consider that Chase wasn't even Fox's first choice as host; they wanted Dolly Parton, but she declined. The scrappy young network was trying to get in the late-night game during a turbulent period — Jay Leno had taken over "The Tonight Show" the year before, after which Letterman moved to CBS.


Fox tapped Chase, paid him $3 million, spent money on renovating a theater in Los Angeles, and plastered giant posters of the former "Saturday Night Live" player everywhere. The network also promised advertisers over five million viewers per episode.

Yeah, that was a big mistake. The show ended up averaging less than three million viewers.

Entertainment Weekly gave the show an F, saying it "managed only to give vulgarity a bad name. Time magazine said, "Nervous and totally at sea, Chase tried everything, succeeded at nothing."

That's almost being kind

Then-chairman of Fox Broadcasting Lucie Salhany acknowledged, "The shows weren't good." Even guests sensed how uncomfortable Chase was. As Dennis Hopper said after appearing on the show, "God, he is so nervous. I feel sorry for him."

"The Chevy Chase Show" wasn't just bad; it was almost unbelievable. It's a miracle that Fox even let it run for five weeks before hitting the cancellation button. But before that, an emergency team of new writers, consultants, and executives floated ideas to save the sinking ship. Rumors swirled that Fox was eyeing Greg Kinnear (then the host of E!'s "Talk Soup") to take over and considering bringing in guest hosts like Richard Lewis and Sinbad.


The disaster was of such epic proportions that Fox hasn't attempted to put on another nightly late-night program since.

Years later, Chase tried to blame Fox executives for the disaster. As Entertainment Weekly noted in 2004, Chase wanted to model himself after his hero, Ernie Kovacs. He wanted the show to be a variety act filled with sketches and only the occasional guest. "The debut episode, for example, was supposed to have seen the host get bitten by a rattlesnake and nearly die within the first five minutes," the magazine wrote.

As Chase told Time, he had "an entirely different concept than what was pushed on me. I would never do it again."

From his mouth to the television gods' ears!
http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/-...atomy-of-a-late-night-disaster-190909520.html
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
22,543
13,852
608
Idaho
#2
I saw one of the shows, maybe two. He had a keyboard right beside the desk and for no discernible reason he would occasionally play the thing for a few seconds. He wasn't funny and in case he wasn't trying for funny, then he wasn't entertaining. I assume he was trying for that. I could be wrong.

Later he had a roast and everyone got to express their hatred for him. That was great.
 

WhiteHonkyDevil

El hombre de los moleculos!
Dec 8, 2004
10,928
959
628
Detroit, MI
#3
I saw one of the shows, maybe two. He had a keyboard right beside the desk and for no discernible reason he would occasionally play the thing for a few seconds. He wasn't funny and in case he wasn't trying for funny, then he wasn't entertaining. I assume he was trying for that. I could be wrong.

Later he had a roast and everyone got to express their hatred for him. That was great.
I read that he got really pissed about the roast. Also, he's just a fucking prick in real life.

I never saw the show, and don't remember even hearing about it until it was long over.

I definitely would have watched it, though.
 

Atomic Fireball

Well-Known Member
Donator
Jul 26, 2005
6,247
4,193
613
#4
I figgered the title must be referring to the Oprah Winfrey Show
 

Atomic Fireball

Well-Known Member
Donator
Jul 26, 2005
6,247
4,193
613
#5
A good thread would be who's considered a prick in show biz. Chevy would be near the top of the list - Bill Murray slugged him for ragging on him about his acne. Milton Berle, Arthur Godfrey, Kathy Lee Gifford, Johnny Carson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bruce Willis, Gregg Hughes, Danny Kaye, Madonna, Jerry Lewis, etc.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,442
2,154
818
Florida's Nature Coast
#6
Always heard that he was a prick to everyone in real life, just a total asshole in general.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
15,949
4,075
328
#7
You realize that The View is a talk show too, right?
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
28,036
2,765
673
Bronx, NY
#8
Just ask Dan Harmon about how much a prick Chevy Chase still is. Just when you thought the guy would have learned something from that roast and turn his career around, he goes and burns that bridge. Ruining a good show in the process.
 

VicVinegar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2012
1,578
636
163
#9
Just ask Dan Harmon about how much a prick Chevy Chase still is. Just when you thought the guy would have learned something from that roast and turn his career around, he goes and burns that bridge. Ruining a good show in the process.
That almost gives me some respect for Chevy. The show pulls his career out of the toilet and he tells the guy in charge to fuck himself.
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
28,036
2,765
673
Bronx, NY
#10
That almost gives me some respect for Chevy. The show pulls his career out of the toilet and he tells the guy in charge to fuck himself.
If Chase went on to do better things, you may have point. But instead he wound playing Clark Griswald again in a commercial for Old Navy.