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Chevy Chase Claims Community Just “Wasn’t Funny Enough” for Him

It was the comedy, not allegedly racist remarks he made about costar Donald Glover, that led to Chase’s departure from the series, Chase says.
Chevy Chase in Community
NBC/Getty Images

The breakup between Chevy Chase and Community, the NBC sitcom he starred on for four seasons until 2014, was very much mutual, according to the actor. When asked on a recent episode of WTF With Marc Maron about the series—85 episodes of which he appeared in—Chase replied, “Oh, I kind of forget about that.”

The 79-year-old, who played millionaire Pierce Hawthorne, continued: “I honestly felt the show wasn’t funny enough for me, ultimately. I felt a little bit constrained. Everybody had their bits, and I thought they were all good. It just wasn’t hard-hitting enough for me.” Chase went on to say that he “felt happier being alone” and “just didn’t want to be surrounded by that table, every day, with those people,” presumably meaning his costars Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash, and Yvette-Nicole Brown. “It was too much.”

Chase left during Community’s fourth season, after he allegedly made racist remarks toward Glover. His character was killed off in the fifth season. “Chevy was the first to realize how immensely gifted Donald was, and the way he expressed his jealousy was to try to throw Donald off,” series creator Dan Harmon told The New Yorker in 2018. “I remember apologizing to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy’s non-P.C. verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don’t even worry about it.’”

Glover added, “I just saw Chevy as fighting time—a true artist has to be OK with his reign being over. I can’t help him if he’s thrashing in the water. But I know there’s a human in there somewhere—he’s almost too human.” (“I could have said it,” Chase said to The Washington Post later that year, but then says what he said could’ve been misinterpreted. Last year, Chase told CBS Sunday Morning that he doesn’t “give a crap” about the discourse following his departure from the series. “I am who I am. And I like where—who I am. I don’t care. And it’s part of me that I don’t care.”)

When Maron asked Chase about his relationship with Harmon, he said, “I have no idea if we’re okay,” sharing that they have not seen each other since 2012. “I’ve never been not okay. He’s kind of a pisser. He’s angry. He called and said he was sorry. I love him now.” As for the notion that Chase is challenging to work alongside, he claimed, “I don’t think people really felt that way…I don’t know what my reputation was among people. I just always assumed I was okay.”

Suffice it to say that Chase will not be appearing in the upcoming Community movie headed to Peacock. When asked about a potential return at last year’s New York Comic Con, Harmon said: “I don’t even know if it’s legal for him to come back. That may be out of my hands. There may something I sign for with an insurance company.”