Sunday, March 26, 2006

eBay Alert! In memory of Chevy Chase...

Back in 1993, while producing the morning TV show, Good Day, New York, tabloid TV innovator JB Blunck (he invented A Current Affair’s signature “kachung” sound) was considered to produce The Chevy Chase Show. He didn’t get the gig, dodging a major career bullet, and went on to greater things like starting up the fX network. But along the way, he got a Chevy Chase jacket.

Now JB’s selling this piece of television history on eBay: A Chevy Chase Show crew jacket.

And what a memento! This is Smithsonian material-- up there with Archie Bunker's chair and Jon Stewart's 9/11 hankie.

Chevy Chase’s late night talk show was one of television’s greatest moments, up there with the OJ’s slow-speed chase and Magic Johnson’s first late-night hosting monologue, which was so incomprehensible that producers quickly handed over the duties to a white guy (think about that: the African American host opens the show, says hello, and then throws to a white guy to do his jokes because he can’t speak correctly).

The Chevy Chase Show was a glorious catastrophe, and a prime example of the stupidity of those who run the television industry, up there with giving Jane Pauley an afternoon talk show. They handed a late night celebrity talk show to an unhip, misanthropic, painkiller-abusing, pompous, and, as fans of Howard Stern’s show already knew, humourless jerk (and the idea of TV execs not tuning into Stern to gauge the comedy winds at the time was akin to Bush's morons not watching Katrina coverage on the cable channels).

We waited to watch. And Chevy more than lived up to expectations. The term “train wreck” did not do this show justice (we remember the set had a basketball court—he missed most every shot—and the host desk was equipped with an electric piano so he could play with the band). It was a very expensive turd that was dropped onscreen and flushed within five weeks.

(It would be a few years before Chase redeemed himself with Vegas Vacation, an unexpectedly hilarious and spectacular star-filled comedy with great turns by Jerry Weintraub, Bernie Yuman and Ethan Embry.)

The show is history. Gold. True TV greatness. And JB is selling an ultimate keepsake: His pitch: “…Five weeks of arguably the worst talk show ever put together. The star didn't want to be there, and ultimately, neither did the audience. But the tradition lives on in this ultra-rare crew jacket. Fox spared no expense, so this XL black parachute fabric jacket is nicely put together, unlike the namesake show. An embroidered logo, prominently positioned on the front left breast.
A hot pink faux-satin lining, festooned with more of those clever logos. An amazingly distasteful jacket appropriately paired with a tasteless show….”

Now, JB knows from comedy. He’s behind Hams, the new Internet joke contest that everyone’s been talking about.

He’s serious about the jacket. Only worn once or twice.

Bidding is underway.

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