It's easy to take "The Chevy Chase National Humor Test. All you need is a soft lead pencil, a sense that the world is mad, nothing better to do for from seven minutes to three hours, depending on your reading rate, and a copy of this newspaper. If you do not have a copy of this newspaper, make reasonable facsimile out of four pounds of newsprint and a quart of black ink that, even when dry, still comes off all over your fingers.
If you do not have a sense that the world is mad, you can't have watched much television lately.
"The Chevy Chase National Humor Test" is a one-hour NBC special to be seen at 9 tonight on Channel 4. Which of the following best describes "The Chevy Chase National Humor Test"?
(A) A one-hour NBC special to be seen at 9 tonight on Channel 4.
(B) A festering sore on the diseased lip of broadcasting.
(C) Sheer hilarity from beginning to end, except for 57 minutes in the middle.
(D) A sparkling and uproarious hour of madcap comedic humor! A laugh riot! A romp! The entertainment experience of a lifetime!
(E) All of the above, more or less.
The correct answer is, "Anything but (d)."If you chose one of the other answers, you probably need more bran in your diet, and statistics show you have a weakness for wearing women's clothing which, if you are a woman, is all well and good.
Which of the following best describes Chevy Chase, the famous comedian?
(A) A comedian who is more famous than he deserves to be.
(B) A comedian who is not as famous as he used to be.
(C) A comedian who is not as funny as he used to be.
(D) A comedian who never was all that funny, come to think of it.
(E) A comedian who wouldn't know something funny if it were a live fish in his vest pocket.
(F) A poor man's Steve Martin.
(G) A poor man's Pinky Lee.
(H) A poor woman's poor man.
This time, the correct answer, like many of the mysteries of life, lies somewhere between the extremes of (A) (B) (C), and (D). It you picked ANY of the answers, you are overly assertive, given to aggression, should not drive or operate machinery, and prefer Stove Top Stuffing to potatoes. Also, you are under the delusion that all peanut butters taste the same.
At what point in the Chevy Chase special does it became painfully obvious that things are only going to get worse?
(A) During the "history of comedy," when two ancient Romans are called "Urithritis" and "Esophagus."
(B) At "The First National Funny Bank," in which a customer is given a "plastic vomit paperweight" with his purchase of Moms Mabley personalized checks.
(C) When guest star Martin Mull says, "Why don't we join me in my dressing room right now?"
(D) During the very first minute, when Chevy Chase falls down twice.
(E) When, in full possession of my faculties, I began to read this article and realized the writer was only in partial possession of his.
The correct answer is, "(G) Not on the first date."
Now, complete this sentence: "The Chevy Chase special looks as if it were edited. . ."
(A) With a meat ax.
(B) With a piece of meat.
(C) By the firm that designed the nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island.
(D) By the inventor of the childproof aspirin bottle.
(E) By Ray Charles.
The correct answer is "(R) By Chevy Chase's worst enemy." However, as with so many of the questions we must address ourselves to every day, one answer is pretty much as good as another.
Now for a bonus question. How do you decide what to watch on television each night
(A) By turning on the set and collapsing in a chair.
(B) By turning on the set, making sure the channel selector is on anything but a public TV station, and collapsing in a chair.
(C) By turning on the set and falling asleep.
(D) By consulting scintillating TV previews from a respected critic in a trusted family newspaper.
(E) What's "television?"
(F) What's "Stove Top Stuffing?"
The correct answer is "(G) None of your business." Now for the tiebreaker question: "Whatever happened to Chevy Chase?"
(A) He retained his contempt for prime-time network television but decided to go into prime-time network television anyway, because the money was good.
(B) He discovered it was more fun being very rich and not very funny than being very funny and not very rich.
(C) He realized that the public may not always be so gullible as to pay money for lousy movies like "Foul Play" so he'd better keep one foot in TV, contemptible though it may be.
(D) He learned the secret of happiness but refuses to share it with others.
(E) He learned the secret of unhappiness and insists on sharing it with everybody.
(F) Too much too soon.
(G) Not quite enough just a few minutes to late.
(H) Too little right on time.
(I) Almost just enough nearly right on time, but not quite, but only by a teencey-weencey bit.
(J) Oh, who the hell cares? I have better things to worry about.Gas is going up to a dollar a gallon. Jerry Brown is running for president. My blow dryer may be giving me cancer of the hair. And you want to know whatever happened to Chevy Chase? Who cares whatever happened to Chevy Chase? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? What IS the price of tea in China? I'll bet it isn't a dollar a gallon, boy. I'll bet it's more like 2 cents a cup. Now get out of here and leave me alone.
The correct answer is (J). Now, which of these gags do you think is the highlight of the Chevy Chase special?
(A) Chevy Chase falling down in his rollerskates.
(B) "Our Lady of That Was No Lady That Was My Wife Hospital."
(C) Chevy Chase falling down in a creek.
(D) A commercial for "GN - General National. Because we couldn't think of a better name."
(E) Chevy Chase falling down and giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a ventriloquist's dummy.
(F) The closing credits, especially the last closing credit.
(G) A brief clip of Richard M. Nixon, prior to his resignation speech, telling his photographer he doesn't want to be caught "pickin' my nose."
(H) The surprise appearance by Jacqueline Onassis near the end.
(I) Honey, I'm going to bed. Turn of the set before you come upstairs, okay?
The correct answer is "(J) Chevy who?" CAPTION: Pictures 1 through 4, Chevy Chase gets a pie in the face in a segment from tonight's "The Chevy Chase National Humor Test"; AP