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Chevy Chase re-joins the TV ‘Community’

Sitcoms are hard work! But the iconic actor is still glad he returned to the small screen.

After making a splash in the first season of “Saturday Night Live,” Chevy Chase left television to launch a successful movie career, at one point becoming one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. He’s also very popular in Europe, he insists. “Do you know I’m the Jerry Lewis of Sweden? It’s true,” Chase tells Metro. Now, he’s in his second season back on the small screen with “Community.” He plays Pierce, an out-to-lunch senior citizen returning to college. He sat with Metro to talk about his TV return and the legacy of “Saturday Night Live.”

What was it about “Community” that made you want to sign up?

It was totally the writing of the [first episode]. Otherwise, I would never have considered a sitcom. But it really made me laugh out loud, and I had never done anything like a sitcom. So I figured it’s just a half-hour show, so it should be very easy. Boy, was I wrong.

Why do you think the show has struck such a chord with audiences?

I guess the cast. It’s a terrific cast, and then of course, there’s me, a movie star. [Laughs] I’ve been around so long that it certainly doesn’t hurt to know a name that you’ve seen. I’m not really bragging — I’m just saying that I’m sure that doesn’t hurt.

Do you still watch “Saturday Night Live”?

I don’t watch it a lot anymore, but when I’m in New York sometimes I go. I’ve seen it over the years and it’s amazing because I started it, and that “Weekend Update” thing was just me and a desk. Now it’s like its own show. It doesn’t surprise me that kind of variety live show is going to last for a long time, because it’s known so well at this point, and all you have to do is have a lot of writers writing sketches. There are going to be bad shows and good shows, but it’s got its own built-in audience almost now.

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