Exclusive: Community Casts Deadwood Actor 12 Years Chevy Chase's Junior as Pierce's Dad

NBC’s Community has cast an actor to play the presumed-dead dad of Chevy Chase’s Pierce — and he’s definitely not who anyone would expect to see as the patriarch.

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TVLine has learned exclusively that character actor Larry Cedar — who is arguably “best known” as opium addict/crook/card sharp Leon from HBO’s Deadwood, and happens to be 12 years younger than Chase — will portray Cornelius, the eldest Hawthorne, in an early Season 3 episode.

“We’re taking the Estelle Getty approach,” exec producer Dan Harmon jokes, referring of course to Golden Girls, where Bea Arthur was actually a bit older than her TV mom. “Instead of getting an actor who is actually old enough to be Pierce’s dad in real-life, we’re going to a younger actor who we can make feel old in different way.”

Pierce, who exited the Greendale study group in the second season finale, “is going to have no shortage of trials to overcome this season,” Harmon reveals. “Pierce is going to have an encounter with his father — who we may have thought was dead, but it turns out is still very much alive and very much a force in Pierce’s life — after he makes a decision with the Hawthorne Moist Towelettes company that his dad doesn’t approve of.”

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TVLine has also learned that actor Jerry Minor — who briefly popped up in the tag of last year’s season-ender as the janitor cleaning up the paintball war, and well as in Season 1 — will reappear in the same episode as Cedar. The Saturday Night Live/Carpoolers alum will once again play the Greendale custodian, who still sees real promise in Troy’s abilities as a plumber and tries to convince him to join the fold.

Community‘s third season launches Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8/7c on NBC.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mike says:

    FYI, Jerry Minor played (presumably) the same janitor in a season one episode, too: the one where Troy is the Good Will Hunting of plumbing.

    • Meredith says:

      Yeah, that whole Jerry Minor description feels like it was written by someone who’s never even seen the show.

      “…who this time sees real promise in Troy’s abilities as a plumber and tries to convince him to join the fold.”

      So Community is doing the EXACT same B or C story again?

  2. Evan Meadow says:

    Hopefully they’ll make sure to make Pierce’s father look exactly like Col Sanders.

    • Liz says:

      We spent the weekend watching most of the second season of Community with the commentaries and they really tell you a lot about where they want to go with the Pierce and his dad storyline. I’m excited to see it play out this season!

  3. Groucho says:

    Apropos of nothing much, Cedar’s picture here reminds me of William Schallert, who hilariously played much older than himself as Get Smart’s Admiral Hargrade. I suspect similar comic chops will be applied by Cedar.

  4. tomasher says:

    Wow, Larry Cedar of “Square One” on PBS fame!

  5. Tony D Lansdale says:

    Tomasher- nice square one tv mention. I thought I was only one who watched that show.

  6. nishtha says:

    wen its gonna start please it should also come on bbc or hbo or disney or disney xd not only on star world please please please community show rocks

  7. Jon says:

    As much as I loved Deadwood, Cedar is much better known to me for either the aforementioned SquareOne TV or the Mary Gross and Rebecca DeMornay vehicle Feds.

    I loved that movie when I was a kid. The 13 year old me had such a crush on Mary Gross. To be honest, It never really went away.

  8. ruby says:

    this does not make sense to me because in “introduction to statistics” didn’t pierce’s mom say on the phone when Pierce calls her using voice command by mistake “i saw your father’s ghost again.He’s still angry” so you can understand my confusion because seeing someone’s ghost implies he’s dead

  9. Nettie says:

    Many ex-wives refer to their ex-husbands as dead. Wishful thinking perhaps! Maybe he just took off with a stripper and had been living in Belize.

  10. satirex says:

    Chevy Chase is 67 years old; I suspect if you pinned them down, they would say Pierce is somewhat younger than that (like maybe early 50s). So in addition to aging the actor playing his father, he’s playing young–the fact the actor playing his father is younger than him isn’t really any big deal. It’s probably better than having Chevy play his own father, which is what has often been done in the past.

    • Rachael says:

      They actually identify him as 66 in the Dungeons and Dragons episode. So they’re playing him right on the nose.

      • satirex says:

        That surprises me….though the only reason CC’s real age doesn’t surprise me is the fact I’ve been watching him on TV for 35 years. Plus, it always seems kind of silly (to me) for people of retirement age to go to college. I realize we praise them for being young at heart and pursuing knowledge for its own sake, but I’ve always personally thought it was silly to take tests when you don’t have to.