Chase, 71, was part of the founding cast of the show that included Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris and John Belushi.
He played the handsome leading man type on the show, founded the Weekend Update segment, which still appears today, and starred in countless skits. His impression of Gerald Ford’s bumbling may have cost the President his re-election in 1976.
Chase was the first member of the original cast to leave the show in 1976 after his contract ended. He went on to star as leading man in nearly 50 movies, including his popular National Lampoon “Vacation” movies.
He has two films coming out this year, “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” in which he has a cameo as a repairman and another “Vacation” movie, in which he reprises his role as Clark Griswold.
Although Chase’s weight has fluctuated over the years, he’s never looked heavier. At 6-feet, 4-inches tall, he looks like he weighs close to 300 pounds. What’s more Chase is a heavy cigarette smoker.
On the “Today Show,” his breathing appeared labored and Chase seemed to have trouble catching his breath.
He jokingly regretted leaving “SNL” after his contract ran out. Had he known the show was going to be on 40 years later, “I wouldn’t have left,” he joked.
The original cast included some of the best comedic actors of a generation, and sadly we have lost original SNL stars like Gilda Radner to cancer and John Belushi to a drug overdose.
Let’s hope Chevy can get on top of his weight problem, or he may be the next to go.
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