Friday, August 24, 2012

6 Degrees of Jack Kerouac: Chevy Chase

Daily Beat readers know that we occasionally play a game I call Six Degrees of Jack Kerouac, in which I make connections between Jack and other noteworthy people. So far we've done:

Kevin Nash (this entry includes the rules for the game)
Robert De Niro
Mickey Rourke (sort of)
Harry Houdini
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we are trying to determine the Kerouac number (according to the rules of my game) of actor Chevy Chase. Before reading farther, see if you can come up with a connection between Chase and Kerouac on your own.

Okay. Time's up.

Here's the scoop. Once upon a time there was an author named Gregory Mcdonald. He wrote the famous Fletch mystery novels, which became movies, and in which Chevy Chase plays the lead role.

So far so good. Now for the connection to Kerouac. Mcdonald wrote a famous piece for the Boston Globe in August 1968 titled, "Off the Road: The Celtic Twilight of Jack Kerouac," in which he describes an interview with Kerouac (including some bar-hopping in Lowell) fourteen months before Kerouac died in October 1969. I haven't been able to find the original Boston Globe piece on line, but you can find a reprint here and a couple of other places.

Here's the breakdown of Chevy's Kerouac number (see Kevin Nash entry above for rules):

1. Chevy Chase played Fletch on the big screen.
2. Fletch was created by Gregory Mcdonald.
3. Gregory Mcdonald published an interview with Jack Kerouac.

That means Chevy Chase's Kerouac number is 3.

P.S.  While we're on the subject of synchronicities, you will learn in Mcdonald's Kerouac interview that Jack's mom, Gabrielle (Memere), was born on the same month and day that Neal Cassady died: February 4. It's not easy to confirm Gabrielle's birthday on-line (when is someone going to write her bio?), but I triangulated Mcdonald's information with this site.

3 comments:

Carl Macki said...

I am surprised I did not turn up a connection between Edward Tinsley "Ned" Chase, the book editor and Chase's father, and Kerouac. Surely Ned and Jack must have met at some point in New York City, don't you think that?

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Wow, that would be another interesting connection!

john j dorfner said...

someone has too much time on their hands...
only joking. i like the game.