Actor, comedian and “I am who I am” proponent Chevy Chase has let it slip that he is suffering from memory loss related to heart failure in 2021. Appearing on a recent episode of Dana Carvey and David Spade’s Saturday Night Live-centric podcast “Fly on the Wall”, Chevy Chase’s abnormalities in speech and thought let it slip that he is suffering from memory loss.
About halfway through the episode, Chevy Chase tries to recall a story about Richard Pryor, who hosted Saturday Night Live early on. Chase fumbles the dates a bit before pausing and saying, “I’m trying to remember why I started that [story]…I have a little pain in my heart.”
At that point, Chase’s wife, Jane, interrupted the gang. “I should’ve told you this ahead of time. In February last year, Chevy had heart failure…Basically, he was rather out of it for a while. So he lost some memories–they’re kinda coming back, but…”
Memory issues with those that suffer heart failure is not uncommon. According to the National Library of Medicine, heart failure “adversely affects learning memory and delay recall, attention, executive function, psychomotor speed and working memory.”
Chevy Chase, who is now 79, demonstrated this numerous times throughout the episode, frequently starting stories that didn’t seem to have a defined end and failing to remember happenings that should have been clear. One example included the topic of the late Phil Hartman, to which Chase asked, “How did he die?” Not in an asshole Chevy Chase way, but in a matter-of-fact curiosity, despite Hartman’s murder being one of Hollywood’s most infamous homicides.
Still, Chase did have some occasionally good stories and fond thoughts on the early days of SNL, noting his admiration for the likes of Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner.