While Chevy Chase is nowhere near the level of nomadic fame that fellow Saturday Night Live vet Bill Murray is currently using to his advantage, the guy still knows how to make his presence count. You won’t find him popping by Community as Pierce Hawthorne these days, but you might be lucky enough to find him lurking around the Internet, dropping facts on Reddit about his time on SNL.
A Reddit user recently posted Chase’s trademark Weekend Update catchphrase “Good evening, I’m Chevy Chase…and you’re not,” beneath a picture that someone else had posted of Chase in the late 1970s. Unbeknownst to assumedly anyone, Chase was making the rounds and decided to give some insight into the phrase that became so connected to him that it’s the title of his biography from Rena Fruchter. Here’s what he had to say about it.
’And you're not’ was derived from a Channel 5 NY news commentator named Roger Grimsby, who would open his news cast with ‘Good evening, I'm Roger Grimsby, and here now the news.’ I found it to be the strangest phrasing I'd ever heard and I never forgot it. Thusly, I said it totally spontaneously with that phrasing somewhere in the back of my mind. It was misread by the audience as a conceit and a take-off on various news anchormen. For some reason it got huge laughs and I stuck with it. But ultimately, I don't think I said it more than three or four times.
I guess this was the first and only time that audiences misunderstood something Chase said as being conceited. I'll be here all week, folks.
It’s admittedly been ages since I watched the first year-and-a-half of Saturday Night Live, when Chase first earned his breakout success, so I guess I never realized how few times he actually said “and you’re not.” Of course, it’s entirely possible that Chase himself is misremembering things, but I wouldn’t put it past him to stand around watching his old Weekend Updates while making dinner with regrets on his mind. Does he even make his own dinner? Somebody ask that on Reddit to see if he responds.
If you’re wondering what the aforementioned newscaster Roger Grimsby sounded like, check him out in the video below, which ends amusingly.
Chase returned to the Saturday Night Live stage for SNL40, where he uttered the “Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow,” portion of his Weekend Update signoff. I’m guessing there’s nothing too deep about the backstory to that part though.