IS CHEVY CHASE DROPPING OUT OF COMMUNITY?April 5th, 2012 | Posted by in Featured TV | Scoops | Television
Apparently behind the scenes on NBC’s hit show Community, the atmosphere is less pretend-college-comedy and more actual-high-school-drama. And we thought things seemed to be going so well! Despite a huge response from fans to bring the show back after its fall 2011-12 hiatus, and rave reviews upon its March 15th return to the Thursday night lineup, there’s been some major beef going on at Greendale Community College.
Tensions between co-star Chevy Chase and show creator/writer/ringleader Dan Harmon have been getting progressively worse and more public, spilling out onto the public and becoming internet fodder. If we are being honest, Chevy Chase was never rumored to be easy to work with. But he would not be the first talented actor to be notoriously difficult, and he certainly won’t be the last (or even the worst). This is the chance you take when you hire someone like that.
Allegedly he has stormed off the set more than once and the final straw that broke Dan Harmon’s back was when Chevy did this while filming of the season finale, without finishing some of his scenes. Team Chevy says this was due to the fact that there was no script to work from. Even if you do famously ad-lib a lot of the dialogue, I imagine that must be frustrating for an actor.
During the wrap party, Harmon then gave a nice, heart-warming speech to cast members and their families, the gist of which essentially boiled down to three words: F you, Chevy. He asked the group – which by the way included Chase’s wife and kids – to join him in raising a middle finger and saluting the actor. Classy. Chevy took to this about as well as you would expect, stormed out, and then left a profanity-laced voice-mail for Harmon. Which Harmon then played for a room of 150 people and, shockingly enough, it leaked onto the internet.
Faced with some pretty epic backlash, Harmon took to his blog Wednesday night and wrote a fairly long, definitely self deprecating apology…to the fans.
If you are having a hard time believing that this is the behavior of two adult men and not two 16-year-old girls, you are not alone. It’s been a he-said/he-said that initially left both sides looking like petulant children, with one of the funniest shows on TV (and its fans) caught in the middle. This kind of drama didn’t bode well for Community, a show which has not been green-lit for its 4th season yet by NBC. Was the apology meant to smooth things over and put up appearances for the network? Probably, so you can bet that below the surface, both guys are still pretty pissed. Especially Chevy, to whom, in his 5 paragraph mea culpa, Harmon never actually apologizes.
My question is: is this a case of life imitating art imitating life? At the end of season 2, Community’s main characters vote to kick Pierce (Chevy’s character) out of their study group/social circle. Why? Because he’s an impossibly difficult jackass. When the group ultimately says they want him back, he rejects them, citing that he wants no part of “whatever this is.”
So, is Harmon passive-aggressively (or aggressive-aggressively) trying to oust Chevy from his group? Will Chevy just say “to hell with whatever this is” and quit? Hopefully both of them will continue to take their cues from the show’s plot – season 3 saw Pierce back in the group, water under the bridge, everything A-OK. Fingers crossed.