Like my Buick that’s full of problems but still runs steady, Chevy Chase has checked himself into a Minnesota rehab facility for a “tune-up.” The comedian has a history of drug and alcohol issues, but this time his problem is either non-threatening, or he’s downplaying it.
“He is there for an alcohol-related tune-up because he wants to be the best he can be,” said his publicist. (LA Times)
This is not Chase’s first time in rehab. In 1986, he checked into the Betty Ford drug rehabilitation center for addiction to painkillers he was prescribed for back problems.
I conjecture that Chevy Chase is like many Americans who function with a substance dependance. Susceptible to bouts of drug and alcohol use that blur the line of control, but generally conscious of how habits affects him and those around him. Checking oneself into rehab for a “tune-up” is admitting you need help while buying yourself some independence.
When a high-profile celebrity checks into rehab, it’s always a dramatic crisis. The media races to verify the juiciest details in order to run the most sensationalized story without risking a libel suit, and the public jumps to conclusions faster than E! Network can put together an obituary montage just in case.
But in 2016, it’s not the wacky, skinny, social media celebrities we identify with… it’s comedians. It’s hard to take most celebrities seriously these days (see: meme culture). Ironically, comedians are the ones we take seriously when they make it a point to speak publicly. We know when they take the time to step out of character, something us up.
I’d love to see Chevy Chase become the Colin Kaepernick of drug problems. Checking into rehab is one thing, but talking to the public about it begins a conversation about addiction issues. He isn’t afraid to speak up about his addiction issues, even if he is making light of it. At 72 years old, why hold back? Good on Chevy. We could use a sensible warning from someone who knows the dangers of drug and alcohol use but seems to be in control.
Tried to make me go to Rehab, I said “Ok, sure.”
If only Amy Winehouse had Chevy Chase’s sense of humor.