If you are wondering why you rarely see Chevy Chase doing press for “Community” — especially when compared to some of the other stars of the show — we may finally have an answer for you. Chase and show creator Dan Harmon are in the middle of a rather heated feud concerning the writing on the show as a whole and for the character of Pierce Hawthorne.
News of the rift between the two parties was first reported by Deadline, who claims that Chase has stormed off-set during a number of scenes during production of the third season, and this feud has been brewing really ever since the beginning of the show. Harmon himself has admitted to struggles with creating Pierce, mostly due to his attempts to take the character to a dark place during season 2, only to have to lighten him up again for season 3 after several protests from fans that no one would ever hang out with a character who exhibited such evil behavior.
As for what has made the feud even worse, you don’t have to look any further than an audio recording featuring Chase, who claims that he and Harmon had a heated argument at one point in front of the actor’s wife and daughter. (Be warned, as the audio contains strong language.) Chase also told The Huffington Post recently that he cannot see staying on the show for too much longer:
“It is what it is. I would like to see it go further. I think, if you know me and my humor over the years, you know that this is certainly not my kind of thing. I probably won’t be around that much longer, frankly.”
So can the show go on without Chase? Sure, but we really do think that Pierce brings an element to the group that would be sorely lost without him. What we’re mostly curious about is why he chose to sign on to what he calls a “sitcom” in the first place, in particular since he hates the medium to such a great degree. Is his character at times perplexing? Sure, but “Community” is as a whole a deconstruction of the sitcom, and there are far worse shows for Chase to be on other than what is arguably the funniest-show on TV.
Chase is seemingly under contract for a fourth season (at least this is the case for most series regulars), so Pierce will be around if NBC holds the actor and Harmon to their promise to carry this out. Thanks to some strong ratings (at least compared to other NBC shows of late) “Community” is also likely to be renewed for a season 4.
Are you baffled about this feud, especially since the show has helped Chase boost his profile for the first time in several years? We’re not looking to pass the blame on either he or Harmon without knowing the full story — we just hope that for the sake of comedy, the two are able to work something out.