Video: Joel McHale Addresses Chevy Chase's Community Exit, Confirms N-Word Debacle

communityCommunity‘s Joel McHale is speaking out for the first time about Chevy Chase’s abrupt departure from the NBC comedy in November.

In an interview with Howard Stern Wednesday morning, McHale said Chase simply “didn’t want to be there,” adding that whenever he attempted to reason with his co-star “he would just try to fight me. He physically wanted to fight me.”

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McHale also confirmed that Chase did drop the N-word on set, an incident that set the stage for his exit. “You shouldn’t be throwing that around on the set,” he said. “[After] he said it, I said, ‘We are now at DEFCON 1.'”

Chase’s character, Pierce, will appear in roughly 10 episodes of Community‘s 13-episode fourth season, which bows this Thursday at 8/7c.

Press PLAY below to watch snippets of Stern’s Q&A with McHale.


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  1. Mark P says:

    I know I may be the only one, but I think Community would be different without Pierce. Everybody hates him, and Chevy seems to be really a hard man to be with, but still…. he’s part of the Greendale 7.

    • Sarah says:

      You’re definitely not the only one. I’m really sad to see him go.

    • dude says:

      Agreed. He’s always been one of the more entertaining ones in my opinion too.

    • Angela says:

      I agree. I hate it if anyone in the main cast of a show I like leaves, especially if it’s under not so nice of circumstances. It’ll be a bit weird to not see him around in the episodes where he isn’t part of the cast.
      Joel looks genuinely disappointed that things ended the way they did with Chevy, and I can’t say I blame him. I wish things had been able to get properly sorted out and the show didn’t have to have all this drama following it around.

    • kavyn says:

      I also agree with you. Pierce wasn’t my favourite but he played the villain role very well. Chang is great as his own character but he is not a good fit to replace Chevy in the Greendale 7. I hope they just make it the Greendale 6 and leave it at that.

    • HT says:

      I will definitely miss Pierce. But not Chevy.

    • TV Gord says:

      I cannot stand Chase, but he was great as Pierce. It’s too bad he couldn’t grow up enough to finish the season, but that’s perfectly consistent with who he is.

    • Allison says:

      Not me. I’ve always loved Community in spite of Pierce and because of everyone else. I love a good villain or foil and know they’re essential, but Pierce was not a good foil, in my opinion. He was obnoxious and ruined scenes and I couldn’t wait till he was off my screen. Good riddance!

  2. Alice says:

    Didn’t they get rid of Dan Harmon just to appease Chase? And now Chase is gone? Can we have Harmon back them, please!

    • ben says:

      One thing at a time, Alice. Community has to come back before Harmon does.

    • Kristina says:

      I think that is an assumption a lot of people made but I’m not sure there’s any truth to it. From what has been said by Dan Harmon himself among others, the network fired him, not because of conflict between him and Chevy Chase, but because of reasons that are to do with him. That said, I hope he’s able to come back; the cast seemed to like him.

    • canadian ninja says:

      Nobody was trying to “appease” Chevy. Harmon did’t get his contract extended because he was not interested in exec notes on the show or giving up creative control. Also for a low rated show that Sony was trying to sheperd into a larger syndication library – letting Harmon go was a quick way to cut costs and bring in more studio friendly showrunners.

    • Brooke says:

      Harmon pretty much admitted he was a terrible employee. I think his conflict with Chase was only a part of Harmon’s inability to work well with others.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      While I would love for this to happen, there’s no way it will. Dan has moved on. He’s already got two new pilots he’s doing for Fox and CBS.

  3. Matt says:

    It always makes me sad when I hear Chevy Chase is a gigantic douche. And it appears that he’s a gigantic douche an awful lot. He was given a great opportunity with Community and he pissed it away. Good riddance.

    • Mel says:

      Matt I completely agree, it makes me sad too. I grew up watching him on SNL and the Vacation movies, and always thought he was so talented. It’s unfortunate he is a crochety old man who bites the hand that feeds him. Some people just don’t realize how lucky they are.

  4. Katrinka says:

    Chevy Chase acts as if he was forced at gun point to be on “Community.” If you don’t want to be there, grow up & say “I quit.” Unlike most people, he does not need the job. The rest of the cast seems to get along very well, so put someone in there that can play nice.

  5. canadian ninja 2 says:

    Aus, Mchale looks like he’s joking about Chevy trying to fight hiim thing in the interview. Maybe your article could reflect that – for clarity.

  6. Alan says:

    chase never wanted to be there, he assumed when he was cast that he would be the main star but when he wasnt he went into a 4 year long sulk, im still not surprised he was kicked out eventually. and no harmon is not gone because they wanted to “appease” chase, he is gone because he is apparently hard to work with from an executives point of view and they wanted someone they could actually talk to and be treated like a human being

    • Chiana says:

      How could you possibly know that unless you were involved in the production end of things with the show? I’m sorry, but I believe Matt is the only “insider” here. I am one of the many Community fans that would love to see Dan back, even if it’s only to be involved in the series finale (which I hope won’t be for many more years). From all accounts, Dan is maddening, creative, uncompromising and willing to throw his own reputation and money behind a show he believed in. I could easily see him returning in some form or another. It all comes down to money. Recently saw Valerie Harper on the JProbst show, and she said that she is now friendly and has worked with the corporate suits she battled with in court after being fired from her own show in the nineties. (And won a big settlement against). It is certainly possible to throw personality aside, and regard these decisions as “just business.” As a former fan of CC, I don’t think he carries enough respect to overcome these moments of doucheness. Apparently he’s really satisfied with his latest choices anyway – he seemed to be happy in those cheesy National Lampoon’s Christmas parody in those Old Navy commericals. Can’t understand why he thinks that’s a greater career move than appearing in Community, but who can figure out old crazy white guys anyway?

      • Alan says:

        its fairly well know that harmon is not the easiest person to work with and absolutely hates having to work with tv executives. dont need to be an insider to know this.

        • Britta Unfiltered says:

          I guess I can’t speak for his professional relationships, but on a personal level, Dan is a very nice person. I got the pleasure of meeting him a week and a half ago at a show. It was definitely the highlight of my month. He is quite gracious, a very sweet guy, and really funny. He signed my Community season 3 DVD case and wrote “I love you!” on it which made me squee with delight when I read it. I think he is a good dude and a lot of people let the negative things they’ve read color their opinion on him.

      • Brooke says:

        “Maddening, creative, uncompromising” are not always the best mix of qualities for a person to have if they have to work well with others. Harmon’s admitted as much. It’s not really an insider secret, Harmon himself has spoken about it in the media since parting ways with the show.

  7. Mike says:

    I will miss Pierce, he was far from my favorite character but he was an important part if the cast, but I will not miss Chevy Chase and all of his drama, he caused way more problem than he is worth it seems. I just hope Community is still great this season.

  8. Babybop says:

    At least he quit instead of staying on and complaining about it! It will be strange to see him go… But somehow (*sniffle*) I don’t think that Community will be getting another season… So maybe it won’t even matter.

  9. Kevin says:

    Bill Murray is just as bad as Chase.

    • Ali says:

      I agree. They’re both egotistical and not that funny anymore. In their prime, yes, they were great, but that was quite a long time ago. I can’t stand Murray’s schtick at the celebrity golf tournaments. He’s just so annoying. Chase guested on “Chuck” a few years back and was not that great. Time to hang it up and if they both were wise and save their money they can fade away gracefully and enjoy the rest of their lives.

      • Someofthesefoolsneedtofadeaway says:

        I don’t know who keeps bringing up Bill Murray in some of these posts about Chevy, ( any disgruntled exes, fans, and their fight was years ago, get over it lol) but both of you need your eyes and ears checked, Bill, for any issues he has is STILL funny (google Letterman appearances). Ali, please you can’t stand his “shtick” funny it’s the only thing going at some of those uptight, boring golfing affairs there. Nothing like a nobody telling someone who did something with their lives to “hand it up.” While I don’t care for Chase, neither don’t have to do what we say, complete strangers at that.

  10. Teag says:

    Love Chevy Chase, love Pierce. Will be very sad to not see him if there’s a season 5. And I think there will be. Most NBC comedies are tanking, and Office and 30 Rock are finished.

    • Mike says:

      That kind of how I feel, I’m not gettin my hopes up, but NBC can’t cancel everything. Office, 30 Rock are done, Go On, New Normal are doing just as well Community without The Voice, 1600 Penn is doing worse or equal to Community, and Up all Night is being revamped and will probably be worse and I hope it gets cancelled. Park and Rec will be renewed it seems to be the highest rated comedy besides the Office.

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