Paul Simon and Chevy Chase are both getting a lot of press attention this week, but for extremely different reasons. Simon is wrapping up his Homeward Bound farewell tour with a series of emotional shows in New York, culminating with a blowout at Flushing Meadows Corona Park near his childhood home in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. His old friend Chevy, meanwhile, gave an interview to the Washington Post where he calls the current incarnation of Saturday Night Live “the worst fucking humor in the world” among many, many other things that are not exactly going to help him get his career back on track.
Chevy Chase and Paul Simon’s friendship goes back to the original season of Saturday Night Live in 1975. Chase was one of the most popular cast members on the show and Simon was a constant presence on the set, even taking over the second episode to reunite with Art Garfunkel and appear in many sketches. They shared many a late night out on the town with the rest of the Not Ready For Primetime Players.
A little more than a decade later, Simon shot a video for the Graceland single “You Can Call Me Al” on the set of SNL, but was unhappy with the result. A new version was cooked up by Lorne Michaels and director Gary Weiss featuring Simon and Chase lip-syncing the song. It’s a simple concept, but Chase — then at the peak of his movie-star fame — makes it hilarious by mugging for the camera and doing everything possible to steal the attention away Simon. For many children of the 1980s, it was their first exposure to both Simon and Chase.
VH1 put the video into heavy rotation and the song eventually reached Number 23 on the Hot 100. When Simon played a huge concert in New York’s Central Park in 1991, Chase joined him to recreate their iconic horn dance from the video. There’s no word on any special guests for Simon’s upcoming farewell concert, but we’d be a little surprised if Chevy came out for a repeat performance.
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