Community's Joel McHale: 'I Literally Am Praying' That Dan Harmon Stays on As Showrunner

Joel McHale was on a plane when word broke that Community creator Dan Harmon might not be staying on as showrunner for Season 4. As such, when he disembarked, “My Twitter feed had about 500 ‘at’ (@) mentions” from followers curious about the unexpected wrinkle, he shares with TVLine. “I was like, ‘Oh, something must have happened.’ And it was that whole thing.”

Asked for a status report on Harmon’s possible exit – which the show boss has said has nothing to do with last month’s Chevy Chase brouhaha — McHale had nothing to report, but echoed the sentiment of many, deeming Harmon’s singular voice an impossible one to replace.

RELATED | NBC’s Fall Schedule Revealed: Community Is on the Move

“Dan’s the creator of the show, so to lose his voice would be pretty crazy,” McHale said. “He gave me the role of a lifetime, so it would be a very weird scenario [to continue] without him.” (On Sunday afternoon, NBC boss Robert Greenblatt told TVLine of the situation, “I think [Harmon] will be involved in the show to some degree.”)

“I pray that it works out well,” McHale said, looking to the future. “That sounds weird and vague, but I really do. I literally am praying.”

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41 Comments
  1. I don’t understand how the network could justify keeping Chevy and getting rid of Harmon, if it is in fact their choice. If Dan doesn’t want to be involved anymore, that would be tragic, but I’d accept his decision because as the creator he would do everything he could to make sure it stays awesome.

  2. Jake says:

    i dont understand is this Dan Harmon not wanting to be involved so hes leaving his own show or is this him being fired/let go?

  3. ScrubsGuy says:

    Is this payback on Harmon from NBC for the Chase debacle?

  4. John Berggren says:

    Harmon must stay.
    Harmon>Chase.

  5. Jacob says:

    Didn’t Dan say to stop bothering with rumors? As far as I’m concerned, this is a non-story until we hear otherwise.

  6. TV Gord says:

    Harmon and Chase both need to act like grownups and show up for work. It’s only another 13 shows, for goodness sake! Suck it up, gentlemen. Don’t ruin a great series by letting the final season fall into the hands of people who don’t know what to do with it.

    • Pixel says:

      Next isn’t the final season you know, at least not yet. It all depends on how next season plays out as with any show.

  7. Chase is right this season is not funny. The 1st season was one of the funniest season ever for a show. The 2nd season was very good, but the 3rd has blown

    • Michael says:

      Thank you for saying this, I have been saying it all season….Season 1 was one of my favorite seasons of any show ever…Two was good, but in a different way…More stand alone eps that were great, but less holding it together, but this season was like Harmon was trying to prove how far out he could take the show…hopefully he remembers he has all that talent and despite his trying the thrid season still had laughs thanks to the cast…

      • Joe says:

        Absolutely correct. can we have some somewhat believable episodes in the future?

        • sarcastic troll says:

          Joe, you don’t get the show. You will never get the show. Stop watching. The folks above your comment can not like the show or have favorite seasons all they want. But you just don’t get it.

          You are absolutely wrong. It’s not even a matter of opinion. If “somewhat believable” is what you think makes a good episode of Community you’re obviously a Big Bang Theory fan or something that wandered on to the wrong channel and now thinks he has an opinion.

          Just stop.

    • You’re a loon, this season was hilarious. My god the Law & Order episode alone was amazing but introduction of inspector spacetime, the evil doubles, the Pillow/Blanket Fight. Todd, Saving Garrett, Annie moving in, kiss from a rose… I could go on but i won’t. I didn’t even mention anything from last episode which was also hilarious.

      You are either not a real fan or a complete loon

      • Dosidos says:

        I don’t know that the Community “fans” really help the show. At this point, I hear more about Community fans than actual promotions for the show. This remark is typical of many comments I’ve seen and I imagine it’s off-putting to casual fans.

        • Don’t blame vocal fans for the lack of promotion from NBC. If you want more sound from the network, encourage them to say something about the show. Otherwise fans will continue to be the loudest voice because they’re the only voice to raise awareness of the show.

        • Angela says:

          I’m a huge fan of “Community” and I agree with you. The snobbery needs to stop. I thought there were some great moments in season 3 myself, but one is entitled to think otherwise.
          As for this story…from your mouth to God’s ears, Joel. Well said, here’s hoping it’s just a rumor and nothing more.

      • Jackie says:

        Spacial Jesus, you are so right. I had to watch the Law& Order episode three time, cause it was THAT GOOD! Come on people that episode alone was amazing! Spot on Law & Order. The people that say only season one and two were the good seasons, to you I say, you are friggen crazy. The show great better and better ever week!

  8. Damien6 says:

    Dan Harmon comes across as unstable. I doubt Chevy Chase figures into the issue for the network executives, more a matter of how un/reliable DH might be himself.

  9. CJ says:

    I’d prefer CC and DH to stay. The thought of the show not having Pierce is a bit…odd, but then not having the whole reason the show exists is even weirder. Idk.:(

  10. Michael B. says:

    Guys, it’s not about the chase/Harmon thing. Chase has ragged on it apparently since season 2, but will probably stay because he loves the cast and they like him.
    Harmon not staying may get the actors to phone it in, but this is probably a money cut dispute. Hell probably be back.

  11. KS says:

    When they say it’s not a Chevy Chase or Dan Harmon situation, I believe them. But I also believe he’s on the block potentially because he broadcast the fight and fed the media/gossip fire. That’s not responsible showrunnership.
    That said, I will be heartbroken if DH goes.

  12. Bob says:

    Looks like NBC is backing their old, old warhorse Chase. Wouldn’t be surprised if Lorne Michaels has a finger in this one. Greenblatt was hinting over the weekend that 30 Rock might not have its final season next year, only to stand up today and say it is. So what else is he fibbing about?

  13. I honestly in what Dan has said in several interview at comic-con, and Paleyfest, that 4th season he had wrote to be the close of the story he had written. So ending it this season wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    But reflecting on him saying this, it didn’t seem like he would willingly leave when he knows this could very well be the end of the series. It does seem like the corporate side is trying to push him out, from behind the scenes, as they often do.

    Also Dan never wanted Chase in the show, he was bullied by the network to put him in it, to which i have to say i’m glad they did. They write for Pierce the way chase actually is in real life which is funny. It’s obvious the network could bully him into leaving his own show, but i don’t think in the end it would be a good idea.

  14. nickp91 says:

    So to recap…
    Community got renwed
    Only for half a season
    Then it got moved to the Friday death slot
    And now it looks like the showrunner is out.

    • Brooke says:

      Eh, Chuck got a half-season renewal and moved to the Friday death slot, and then it picked up its back 9 and got renewed yet again for a final season.

      I’d rather be glad to have more instead of complaining that it isn’t enough.

      • SpyTV says:

        Chuck was moved to Fridays for it’s final 13 episodes, and was not picked up for it’s back 9 (although I certainly wish that were the case).

        • dalmations says:

          And for what it’s worth, networks move shows to Saturday to let them die. Friday is a night with lower expectations where networks would love a show to get decent ratings. They put a show there because they think it might survive, not to kill it.

          And realistically the best we can hope for at this point is NBC ordering extra episodes for the fourth season which will probably be the last.

  15. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Thanks, Joel, I appreciate you standing up for Dan Harmon. Sometimes showrunners can be replaced, but when it comes to brilliant writing minds like Dan Harmon, Matt Weiner, David Milch, etc., you just can’t have their shows air without them. It changes the entire dynamic of the show and it can’t possibly be the same wonderful thing that it was.

  16. Raksha says:

    NBC Britta’d it by not giving Community a full seson order, and it will MAJORLY Britta everything if they ask Dan Harmon to step down as a show runner.

  17. Captain Nice says:

    No reason why a pair of cuys who make more money in a week than most of do in a year, CAN”T ACT LIKE GROWNUPS.

  18. Andrew Falconer says:

    They could add Anthony Micheal Hall to the show if Chevy Chase leaves.

  19. John From Raleigh says:

    I could easily have this show without Chase but not without Dan. Dan is the heart and genius of the show. Concerning the best season, I love this current season. But is a show you have to watch and I mean watch. Not fold clothes, not talk on the phone, or read the internet at the same time. This is a smart well written show which demands your attention. The last 15 minutes of last week show was incredibly funny. I know the final three this Thursday will close out the show big this weekend.

  20. BrittaIsTheBest says:

    I don’t pray (I don’t believe in prayer), but I am willing to follow Joel McHale’s example. Dan Harmon IS the heart and soul and brains and everything of this very funny series. Dan Harmon IS Community. So let’s all get on our knees…

  21. WHATINTHEWORLD says:

    Dan Harmon was the heartbeat of Community. A fiercely creative genius of a heartbeat. He meticulously pushed the superb cast to great comedic heights making the show one of the most innovative and cerebrally funny programs on TV in a long time. I was hooked after viewing the first episode. Community soared to silly, rip roaring, quick-paced levels which made me laugh out loud many, many times. I watched some episodes repeatedly for that good-humor natural high only shows like Community can bring.

    Revealing to the world what bullying cowards they are, NBC and Sony collectively and viciously sucker punched a hole in Community’s chest and tore out its heart, the genius of Dan Harmon. A body cannot live without its heart. Community was brilliantly funny with Dan Harmon’s steady heartbeat keeping this great show alive. Now that its heartbeat is gone, this show will fast track to an inevitable, unwarranted and unnecessary demise. Thanks NBC and Sony for brutally butchering a superb show created by a genius. No wonder your network can’t rise above the gutter.

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