Community star Chevy Chase says sitcom ‘wasn’t funny enough’ and he was ‘happier being’ away from co-stars

Chevy Chase has issued a damning criticism of Community and his scenes with his former cast mates.

The former Saturday Night Live star, 79, played Pierce Hawthorne on the NBC sitcom, which ran for six seasons from 2009 to 2015.

Chase appeared as a main cast member in the first four seasons, returning for a guest role in the fifth.

Reflecting on the show in a new interview on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, Chase candidly said: “I honestly felt the show wasn’t funny enough for me, ultimately. I felt a little bit constrained.”

He continued: “Everybody had their bits, and I thought they were all good. It just wasn’t hard-hitting enough for me.”

According to Chase, however, he did not enjoy filming the many scenes that showed the main cast members, who played members of a study group, gathered around a table in the Glendale Community College library.

He said that while he “didn’t mind” his character, he “felt happier being alone”, stating: “I just didn’t want to be surrounded by that table, every day, with those people. It was too much.”

According to the sitcom’s creator Dan Harmon, Chase was the actor who would improvise the most. In 2012, it was reported that Chase allegedly used a racial slur on set while questioning a line of dialogue involving Black characters played by Donald Glover and Yvette Nicole Brown.

A source told The Hollywood Reporter at the time that Chase “apologised immediately”, and came to a mutual agreement with NBC to leave the show.

Six years later, in a 2018 interview with The New Yorker, the show’s creator Dan Harmon said Chase would try to disrupt Donald Glover’s scenes and “make racial cracks between takes” because he was “jealous” of his co-star’s talent.

Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne in ‘Community’ (NBC)
Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne in ‘Community’ (NBC)

“I remember apologising to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy’s non-PC verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don’t even worry about it,’” recalled Harmon, adding that Glover saw it as “fighting time”. Chase told the publication that he was “saddened to hear that Donald perceived me in that light”.

Speaking to Maron about whether he is on good terms with Harmon, Chevy said: “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him since then. I have no idea if we’re OK. I’ve never been not OK. He’s kind of a p***er. He was angry.”

It was announced in September 2023 that the long-promised Community the Movie is going ahead.

Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Jim Rash and Ken Jeong will all be returning for the film. It’s also believed that Glover will return as Troy Barnes. Chase is not attached to the project, and it’s unknown whether Brown will return as Shirley.