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Joel McHale Jokes That NBC Benched 'Community' Because Chevy Chase Was Tired (VIDEO)

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Joel McHale and "Late Late Show" (Weeknights, 12:37 a.m. EST on CBS) host Craig Ferguson were celebrating the return of "Community" to the NBC primetime schedule, when Ferguson started to wonder exactly why it had been benched in the first place.

McHale joked that it was all because of his co-star Chevy Chase. "They just decided we needed a rest. Chevy hibernates during the winter so he goes into a snow cave ... and he comes out later."

Tongue firmly in cheek, McHale quipped that the veteran comic was doing fine after his long nap. "We just poked him with a huge stick and a needle. ... He's awake and now we're coming back."

The residents of Greendale won't have an easy ride though. "Community' has been scheduled opposite CBS powerhouse "The Big Bang Theory" and perennial ratings grabber "American Idol."

McHale shrugged off the competition: "We should be fine," he joked. "No big deal!"

"Community" premieres Thursday March 15 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" airs weeknights at 12:37 a.m. EST on CBS.

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Sitcom breaks back into lineup