Big Names, Big Flops II: Sega Game Gear, Chevy Chase Show

Big companies may have many successes that led to their size and wealth, but even the most titanic of corporations have stumbles—proving that even big names can have flops.

As Sega's Genesis and Nintendo's Super Nintendo battled it out for home video game console dominance in the 1990s, another gaming battle took place in the handheld market. To compete with the extremely successful Game Boy, Sega launched the Game Gear in 1991 in the United States. Unlike the Game Boy, the Game Gear had full-color graphics, and had a more horizontal arrangement. The system did have some notable titles, such as Disney platformers and many Sonic the Hedgehog games. However, despite that, the system featured a low battery life—four to five hours on six batteries compared to 30 hours on four batteries. The system did sell 11 million units, keeping it from being a complete failure, but this was about 10% of what Nintendo's Game Boy sold. Some Game Gear titles are now available to download for the Nintendo 3DS through its virtual console service.

Chevy Chase became known for starring on the first five years of the late-night variety show, Saturday Night Live. He would also star in hit feature films like Caddyshack. So, in 1993, Fox tried to compete in late-night talk shows with the Chevy Chase Show after a pitch to have Dolly Parton host one fell through. Converting a Hollywood theater to the Chevy Chase theater, the show launched to scathing reviews from some critics, and ratings that fell short of expectations. After just five weeks and twenty-five episodes, the show was canceled. This came just a few years after the flop of the Pat Sajak Show, which that host had left the daytime network version of Wheel of Fortune to host—perhaps ironically, Chevy Chase was the first guest on that show.


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