Okay, now that title might be a bit of a freak out. Community isn’t necessarily in danger of being cancelled, but it certainly is in danger of losing Chevy Chase, who plays Pierce Hawthorne on the show. Some problems have arisen between Chase and Dan Harmon, who created and executive produces Community. Little known fact, he also wrote some of Scud: The Disposable Assassin, which has nothing to do with any of this. Anyways, lets get to what went down.
Here are the facts:
On the final day of shooting for season three, Chase stormed off the set before filming was completed. Soon after, at the wrap party, Harmon “got up and gave a ‘Fu*k you, Chevy’ speech in front of Chase and his wife and daughter, and encouraged the crew to join him in saying ‘fu*k you’ to the actor,” according to Deadline. Needless to say, Chase was humiliated and pissed (seriously, di*k move, Harmon), and he later called Harmon and left a very NSFW voicemail, which you can listen to here. Brief excerpt:
“I don’t get talked to like that by anybody, certainly not in front of my wife and daughter, you goddamn asshole, alcoholic, fat sh*t. You’re gonna live to be about 57, if you’re lucky, the way you eat. I have nothing to say to you except you can suck my co*k. Is that clear?”
Now I have to say that both parties have responsibility here, so I’m not picking sides. But listening to Chevy’s old-school burn filled voicemail is pretty much the sweetest thing I’ve heard in a while. And the saddest, because I certainly don’t want him to leave Community. Harmon apparently played the voicemail to a group of people, which ignited the fire. More from WarmingGlow :
Maggie Furlong of the Huffington Post interviewed Chase a few days before he walked off the set, and she caught him in a particularly critical and cranky mood:
“I have creative issues with this show. I always have. With my character, with how far you can take [Joel McHale’s] character…just to give him a long speech about the world at the end of every episode is so reminiscent. It’s like being relegated to hell and watching “Howdy Doody” for the rest of your life. It’s not particularly necessary, but that’s the way they do these things. I think it belies the very pretenses that his character, Jeff, has, that he’s giving these talks. They’re supposed to, in some way, be a little lesson to people who watch sitcoms…to that degree, I can’t stand sitcoms.”
So its obvious Chevy is not enjoying his role on Community as much as we are. Which isn’t actually a huge surprise, as nobody really expected to see him on the sitcom circuit in the first place. He talks a bit more in the article about the rest of the cast, specifically Alison Brie. You can check the link for more on that. Now Harmon did later apologize to the fans for airing the dirty laundry in public, but not really directed at Chevy.
It was in that [Los Angeles] venue, months ago, that I made the horrible, childish, self-obsessed, unaware, naive and unprofessional decision to play someone’s voicemail to me. He didn’t intend for 150 people to listen and giggle at it, and I didn’t intend for millions of people to read angry reports about it. I was doing what I always do, and always get in trouble for doing, and always pay a steep price for doing. I was thinking about myself and I was thinking about making people laugh. I was airing my dirty laundry for a chuckle…That was a dumb, unclassy, inconsiderate move on my part. I’m very sorry it’s reflecting poorly on the show. (Via)
So will Chevy walk? I mean, this isn’t the first time he’s been in this situation. He left SNL in ’76 to the dismay of his castmates, causing some bad blood between everybody. When he came back to host, he got in a fistfight with Bill Murray. Seriously. So obviously the ability to walk away from the project is obviously there. So how would that affect Community?
In my opinion, not that much. Sure, I don’t want to see him leave, but can the rest of the cast go on without him? Yes. When Community started Chevy added a certain level of legitimacy to a cast that was relatively unknown. Much like Danny DeVito on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, who came in later seasons to add that same level of legitimacy. But after 3 successful seasons and a dedicated fanbase that helped pull Community out of hiatus, I think the show will certainly survive without Pierce Hawthorne. But can he survive without it? Not to say that this is the end of Chevy Chase’s career, but has it reached a point where he may need Community more than Community needs him?
Nah. He’s Chevy Chase, and your not. He’ll be fine, Community will be fine, and we can all move forward amicably. If anything he can make a mint off writing sweet burns for the rest of his life. Take that, Harmon! Also, thank you for Community.
What do you think? Is Chevy/Pierce too valuable to the study group? Team Chase or Team Harmon? Sound off in the comments section below!