Joel McHale Called Chevy Chase For His Blessing To Play Him In ‘A Futile And Stupid Gesture’

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Not to be confused with the eventual John Belushi biopic starring Emile Hirsch as the titular comedy legend and his main man Miles Teller (maybe) as Dan Aykroyd, A Futile and Stupid Gesture has put together an interesting cast of popular comics and unknown actors to tell the story of National Lampoon’s co-founder Douglas Kenney, who will be played by Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte. However, people probably shouldn’t get their hopes up for a laugh-a-second retelling and glamorization of the early days of some of comedy’s most beloved (and missed) stars. Joel McHale, who plays his former Community co-star Chavy Chase, assured reporters on Wednesday that “the movie’s not a joke.”

After speaking about his new CBS series The Great Indoors, McHale touched on everything from Star Wars: Detours to The X-Files, but most interestingly he laid out the creative process of playing a guy who isn’t only still alive, but is also a friend. A rather cantankerous one at that.

“I’m not playing Chevy as a caricature,” McHale said. “I am playing him as the white-hot superstar that he was in the ‘70s and went from a guy doing Lemmings sketches and radio sketches and playing drums to being the biggest star in America. That time in Chevy’s life, the movie honors it very well in the script. (Via /film)

McHale says he called Chase to get his blessing for the role, after he watched all of his old SNL sketches to get a better idea of who Chase was back then. As for the blessing, it sounds surprisingly simple.

“He was like, ‘Sounds great,’ ” McHale recalled. “We talked about Doug. In the phone call, he was very happy that they’re illuminating Doug’s life because he didn’t get enough credit. Mel Brooks, Monty Python and the National Lampoon, white comedy was changed forever starting in the ‘70s. Obviously people like Richard Pryor changed comedy for African-Americans.”

A Futile and Stupid Gesture also stars Jon Daly as Bill Murray, Seth Green as Christopher Guest, Paul Scheer as Paul Schaffer, Brian Huskey as John Landis, Jackie Tohn as Gilda Radner, Lonny Ross as Ivan Reitman, John Gemberling as John Belushi, Rick Glassman as Harold Ramis, Jack Andrew Cook as Dan Aykroyd, Erv Dahl as Rodney Dangerfield, and Hunter Paul as “Sketchy Party Guest.”

It’s a regular who’s who of “Who?” and “Oh, that guy.”