LORELAI: Just as Marty, aka Eve Harrington, shows up trying to take Dean’s job, Taylor’s ladder mysteriously disappears, suddenly making Dean invaluable no matter what fancy tricks Lon Chaney Junior over there pulls.
Lon Chaney Jr., stage name of Creighton Chaney (1906-1973), actor best known for playing the title character in the 1941 horror film, The Wolf Man. He was the son of Leonidas “Lon” Chaney (1883-1930), a star of silent film and one of the most versatile actors of all time. He was known as “The Man with a Thousand Faces”, due to his ability to completely transform his appearance with make-up.
Creighton Chaney felt overshadowed by his famous father, and Lon Chaney discouraged him from following him into show business. It was only after his father’s death that Creighton began acting in films, often in uncredited roles, or doing stunt work. By 1934 he had a leading role, and the next year was billed as Lon Chaney Jr; by 1942, Universal Studios usually insisted on him being credited as Lon Chaney.
Lorelai is suggesting that now Dean has gone, Marty will be slowly replacing him, just as Creighton Chaney gradually took over his father’s name. Of course, Lorelai isn’t really worried about Marty – all this talk is a replacement for her real fear, that Jess will replace Dean while he’s out of town. She seems to be trying to suggest to Rory that Dean in invaluable and irreplaceable.