iOS app Android app More

Is 'Community' Star Chevy Chase Quitting The Show? 'I Probably Won't Be Around That Much Longer'

Posted: Updated: 05/15/2012 3:20 pm

Chevy Chase
Is Chevy Chase leaving "Community"?

When the cast of "Community" tweets quotes and anecdotes asking "Pierce or Chevy?," it's not always easy to tell. Just like his "Community" alter ego, Pierce Hawthorne, star Chevy Chase doesn't always know how or when to edit himself.

On the heels of Deadline's report that Chase is in a feud with "Community" creator Dan Harmon -- and the airing of a profanity-laden voicemail Chase left Harmon (warning: very NSFW) after Harmon reportedly called Chase out for storming off the set and then gave him an unfiltered roast at the show's Season 3 wrap party -- here's some more insight into Chase's attitude about the fan-favorite show.

The last time I was on set, right before they wrapped production for Season 3, Chase was even more fired up than usual, going as far as saying, "I have creative issues with this show. I always have," before comparing elements of the show to "being relegated to hell and watching 'Howdy Doody' for the rest of your life." He then added: "I can't stand sitcoms," and declared, "I probably won't be around that much longer, frankly."

With the NBC sitcom still waiting to hear about its fate, and a possible Season 4 pickup that would take it into syndication, Chase's comments are oddly timed and certainly not indicative of how the rest of the "Community" cast and crew feels.

But they could also be the final straw with fans who've put up with Pierce's nonsense, bigotry and flat-out obnoxious behavior for so long because it was a small price to pay for more of the "Community" characters we love. Yes, his anti-TV and anti-"Community" statements might just make every "Community" fan anti-Pierce. And Chevy Chase seems OK with that.

What are you all shooting today? We hear it's another fun flashback episode.
I'm just doing the lines as best I can, doing whatever the director tells me. Apparently my flashback is so odd ... I can't really get a hold of it. On the other hand, if you look at the other actors in the same scene, I don't think they can get a hold of it either.

Do you have more fun playing Pierce the asshole or Pierce the bumbling old guy?
I've never really come to grips with it ... I don't think that anybody has. [Laughs.] Viewers, the writers, me. I think, just by being older, I'm supposed to be more of a curmudgeon.

Would you hang out with Pierce?
No. No! [Laughs.] Why would I? Part of the challenge of being in this is to not be anything like myself. No ... I'm funny. Pierce isn't funny.

But you know guys like Pierce, don't you?
No, I don't. Not that still have their teeth. No. I don't know guys like anybody in this sitcom, frankly. I think that the two white girls -- the two pretty, young girls, Alison [Brie] and Gillian [Jacobs] -- they're probably more like people that we can all understand. There are narcissistic elements to Joel [McHale]'s character, which come easily to him. [Laughs.] I don't think that there's anything that's unrealistic, but do I really know anybody like this? No.

I have creative issues with this show. I always have. With my character, with how far you can take [Joel McHale's] character ... just to give him a long speech about the world at the end of every episode is so reminiscent. It's like being relegated to hell and watching "Howdy Doody" for the rest of your life. It's not particularly necessary, but that's the way they do these things. I think it belies the very pretenses that his character, Jeff, has, that he's giving these talks. They're supposed to, in some way, be a little lesson to people who watch sitcoms ... to that degree, I can't stand sitcoms.

But we all love this show because it's not the typical sitcom.
I'm not really gonna buck you all up a lot and say that this is the one, the one that tells it innovatively. 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.

They can go farther, and maybe they will. It basically started off as what a community college might consist of. You might have a guy in his 60s and kids in their 20s -- that's the fact, and what can you do with them? There are many times when this doesn't seem like a community college at all. Particularly this year ... I think we've gone way south. And way north. It doesn't even appear to have anything to do with college. It's got its own secrets that reside in the creator of the show [Dan Harmon]. What does it mean, really? I think you could just as well take these people and put them in a bar every week, and have nothing to do with academics or anything else, and we'd still have the same basic interactions. The community college thing sort of went down the drain this year.

How would you change things, creatively?
I come from a much freer kind of performance thing, where I rely on my own improv and my own sense of humor. I would like to see every actor mine that vein and get in there and just go. And if they're funny, you'll see it -- if they're not, they shouldn't be doing it. I'm saying that I believe that all of these kids that I'm working with have the ability to go somewhere. I've seen it. I've not seen it a lot on this show.

I would say Alison stands out as a comedienne that nobody has seen yet. She's also just a great actress. I've given her my advice, which is, "Don't stay in television doing sitcoms. You're very pretty, you're young and I think that film is where you should be and that you could become a big movie star." Her response was, "I just did two movies." I didn't even know about it [laughs], but I was glad to hear that. I'm only talking as like a father figure. But I think that everybody at this table would agree that she seems to be more of an attraction you'd want to see in film, rather than just steadily in sitcoms until she just gets older and older.

What's wrong with sitcoms? As fans, we like getting to spend time with these characters and actors every week.
If what you do in life is perform to open up eyes and minds, to make people laugh, then it better damn well be new! It shouldn't be just a repetitious 'Hey, I'm still here!' For what purpose? You're getting all this exposure -- I've seen too much exposure of too many people who just stink. That's not what it's about. I don't think I'll be back on this show again, frankly, between you and me. Depends on what happens. We'll see. I think I've already given away about as much as I can as this character. This is the only time I've ever had to act every week in the same clothes and as the same character, and I don't find it particularly enlightening. It's not teaching anybody anything. If I can sneak in and get a laugh here or there, I'll do it, but for the most part, I'm sticking to the script, because that's what I've been asked to do.

OK, so if Pierce is gonna go, how do you think he should be killed off?
I have no idea what'll happen to Pierce. I may well be back next year as a teacher, or as a dean, or as a bum. I don't know. I have no idea what's going to happen to him, but if he were to die, I could think of many funny ways. One would be right in the middle of one of these [interviews].

Well it would've been easy to write Pierce out of the show at the end of last season when he quit the study group and stormed off ...
[Last season], no one had any idea whether I would or wouldn't come back, but who in God's name in this country would care?

We would! We. Are. Fans!


At that point, Chase tried to recover a bit, ending the chat on a more sentimental note. Chase admitted that the show's cast -- almost all of whom he'd called out individually for their talents -- has become like family to him. "That's why I'm here, because of them," he said. "They are my friends. They have become my family. I'm out here in this incredibly intellectual land of L.A., and thank God at least I have this family. I'm a New Yorker, and I live in the country. What this is is business. Thank God I have the right friends."

Although we're guessing after listening to that harsh voicemail that he's not counting Harmon in his "family."

What do you think, "Community" fans: Would you be sad or relieved to see Chevy Chase/Pierce Hawthorne go?


See the fates of all your favorite shows here:

Loading Slideshow...
  • "The Bachelor"

    <strong>"The Bachelor," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> You really think we've seen the last rose handed out? Not in a million years. ABC has already tapped their next "Bachelorette," and we know they'll have their eyes peeled for a hot rejected man from that spinoff to be the next "Bachelor."

  • "The Bachelorette"

    <strong>"The Bachelorette," ABC</strong> <br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Likely to be renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> "Bachelor" Brad's also-ran Emily Maynard is getting her turn as the rose giver for the seventh season of "The Bachelorette" this summer. As long as there are people willing to look for love on reality TV, this show will keep on trucking.

  • "Body of Proof"

    <strong>"Body of Proof," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> "Body of Proof" has been falling below its timeslot competitor, CBS's "Unforgettable," but it still draws a decent audience and its fans are very vocal. ABC has decided it deserves a third season.

  • "Castle"

    <strong>"Castle," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> This show's ratings have definitely suffered without "Dancing With the Stars" airing beforehand, but it is a consistent performer. And now that Castle and Beckett's relationship is evolving, a fifth season of "oh yes they will" is a no-brainer.

  • "Charlie's Angels"

    <strong>"Charlie's Angels," ABC</strong> <br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Not really a shock for anybody, but "Charlie's Angels" is cooked. Flimsy story, bad remake, questionable casting.

  • "Cougar Town"

    <strong>"Cougar Town," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed -- for TBS!<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> The Season 3 ratings weren't boosted much by holding this show until midseason, but ABC's wonky air schedule also didn't help ... which is why the news that TBS has picked up the show for a fourth season is huge. Cheers with your Big Carl!

  • "Dancing With the Stars"

    <strong>"Dancing With the Stars," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> "DWTS" may have lost its luster in the ratings, but if the viewers are still coming.

  • "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23"

    <strong>"Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> ABC's new bleep-worthy comedy starring Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker and James Van Der Beek is a funny one, and definitely embraces the quirk (Beek Jeans!), so we're excited to see what they do with a second season.

  • "Desperate Housewives"

    <strong>"Desperate Housewives," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> After countless deaths, murders, betrayals and natural disasters on Wisteria Lane over the show's eight seasons, the ladies of "Desperate Housewives" will say goodbye forever this May.

  • "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

    <strong>"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled <br /> <strong>Why:</strong> After a whopping nine seasons, the do-gooding show came to an end in January. But worry not, it will continue to have a few specials to make viewers cry tears of joy.

  • "GCB"

    <strong>"GCB," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> This "Desperate Housewives"-esque dramedy premiered to less than 8 million viewers, and the phenomenal cast (Kristin Chenoweth, Annie Potts, Leslie Bibb) couldn't bring in a Texas-sized audience, so ABC canceled it.

  • "Grey's Anatomy"

    <strong>"Grey's Anatomy," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Shonda Rhimes' medical drama is a ratings juggernaut, even in its eighth season, and with most of her <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/greys-anatomy-ellen-pompeo_n_1506113.html?ref=tv" target="_hplink">big stars signed on for more</a>, ABC gave the go-ahead for a ninth season.

  • "Happy Endings"

    <strong>"Happy Endings," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> This show is way too "ca-yute" to bubble it, and obviously someone high up at ABC agrees. After its first season was moved around and aired all out of order, the network still gave it another chance to find its audience in Season 2 ... and it has, and hopefully will continue to in Season 3.

  • "Last Man Standing"

    <strong>"Last Man Standing," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status: </strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Ratings for Tim Allen's return to sitcoms have been very strong, making it Tuesday's most-watched comedy. If you can beat "Glee" and "The Biggest Loser," a second season is a given.

  • "Man Up!"

    <strong>"Man Up!," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> ABC pulled the show after eight episodes.

  • "The Middle"

    <strong>"The Middle," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Now in its third season, "The Middle" is still holding onto its middle position in the ratings on Wednesday nights, and that seems just about right. It doesn't do "American Idol" or "Survivor" numbers, of course, but with over 7 million viewers, it's a strong comedy for the network that easily beats anything NBC is offering.

  • "Missing"

    <strong>"Missing," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Ashley Judd lead this drama about a former CIA agent whose son goes missing, kicking her back into action to find him. The series was only set to air 10 episodes, miniseries-style, with the potential for more, but a cancellation means that's all they're getting.

  • "Modern Family"

    <strong>"Modern Family," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> "Modern Family" remains ABC's biggest sitcom success story of the last decade, both in ratings and awards love. This critical darling is getting a fourth season of hijinks with the hilarious Pritchett-Dunphy clan.

  • "Once Upon A Time"

    <strong>"Once Upon A Time," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> "Once Upon a Time" has gotten praise for being one of the more family-friendly dramas on TV, and it's been pulling in close to 10 million viewers each week because of it. We're excited by the almost endless possibilities for new fairy tale-inspired stories to tackle in Season 2.

  • "Pan Am"

    <strong>"Pan Am," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Poor "Pan Am" just never quite took off. The series' vintage look actually worked against it, much like NBC's swiftly canceled "Playboy Club" -- guess when you're being compared to award-winning shows like "Mad Men," it makes it more than a little tough to live up to the hype.

  • "Private Practice"

    <strong>"Private Practice," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> "Private Practice" has never gotten "Grey's Anatomy"-level ratings, and things got shakier when ABC bumped it to Tuesday nights to make room for creator Shonda Rhimes' <em>other</em> new show, "Scandal," but they've given the show a sixth season order.

  • "Revenge"

    <strong>"Revenge," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> With a clever mix of drama, mystery and serious revenge-ing, this is hands down one of the most addictive new shows on TV, and we can't wait to see where they take things in Season 2.

  • "The River"

    <strong>"The River," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> The promise of "Paranormal Activity"-like scares each week quickly fizzled after this show premiered, along with the ratings. The first season's eight episodes came and went, and ABC has nixed any plans for more.

  • "Scandal"

    <strong>"Scandal," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Shonda Rhimes' latest show isn't about doctors at all -- and that's why we're glad it's sticking around. Kerry Washington is amazing as Olivia Pope, a Washington, D.C. fixer with a crack team of specialists helping make bad headlines vanish before they're ever written. Here's hoping for more than seven episodes in its second season.

  • "Shark Tank"

    <strong>"Shark Tank," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Now in its third season, this reality competition show is unlike any other on network TV and ABC is keeping it around for more for that very reason.

  • "Suburgatory"

    <strong>"Suburgatory," ABC</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> It's smart, quick and not too cute -- "Suburgatory" is consistently named the sitcom you should be watching, but probably aren't. The great cast makes this one a no-brainer, and the ratings have stayed pretty consistent, too. We're thrilled it's getting a second season to shine!

  • "Work It"

    <strong>"Work It," ABC</strong> <br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled <br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Let us count the ways ...

  • "2 Broke Girls"

    <strong>"2 Broke Girls," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why: </strong>At first, people balked at the racist supporting characters, but now it seems that audiences are all over "2 Broke Girls" -- it's ratings have seen a steady increase, and it won the People's Choice Award for Favorite New Comedy.

  • "A Gifted Man"

    <strong>"A Gifted Man," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why: </strong>"A Gifted Man's" total viewer numbers were OK for a Friday night, but a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic is especially bad for CBS. Another bad sign: star Patrick Wilson tweeted about the end: "I had a great time. Thanks to my fans. So happy it's done." And done it is.

  • "The Amazing Race"

    <strong>"The Amazing Race," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status: </strong>Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Voted the best reality show on TV several times (albeit years ago), "The Amazing Race" isn't going anywhere. Ratings have dropped a bit, but are still solid.

  • "The Big Bang Theory"

    <strong>"The Big Bang Theory," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Nothing seems to be able to make a dent in this show. With fantastic ratings (it beat "Idol"!) and a rabid following, we'll be seeing plenty more "Big Bang" before its run is over.

  • "Blue Bloods"

    <strong>"Blue Bloods," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed <br /> <strong>Why:</strong> The anchor of Friday nights on CBS, "Blue Bloods" has performed well, pulling in around 11 million viewers an episode. The show might not have the youngest audience, but it's still enough for CBS to keep it on the schedule.

  • "Criminal Minds"

    <strong>"Criminal Minds," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Paget Brewster might be checking out, but "Criminal Minds" is here to stay. In Season 7, the procedural is still a consistently strong ratings performer for CBS.

  • "CSI"

    <strong>"CSI," CBS</strong> <br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Whenever the time comes, the "CSI" mothership will end with a lot of fanfare, but not this year. With new faces Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue around, there is going to be at least one more season.<br />

  • "CSI: Miami"

    <strong>"CSI: Miami," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Out of the three (!) "CSI" programs on the air, "CSI: Miami" is the one to say goodbye first. The one-time ratings giant has been affected by football overruns (just as "The Good Wife" has) and "CSI: NY" has the edge in terms of total viewers, meaning a "Miami" sunset was inevitable. <br />

  • "CSI: NY"

    <strong>"CSI: NY," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Of the two "CSI" spinoffs, "CSI: NY" is the stronger -- pulling in more than 10 million viewers on a Friday night is no easy task -- and with "CSI: Miami" canceled, "CSI: NY's" renewal was a no-brainer.

  • "The Good Wife"

    <strong>"The Good Wife," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> This critical darling suffered after its move from Tuesdays to Sundays thanks to sports overruns. The viewers are frustrated, but given its strong cast and Emmy love, the show is still coming back for more.

  • "Hawaii Five-0"

    <strong>"Hawaii Five-0," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Despite the scheduling setback as Alex O'Loughlin seeks treatment, Season 2 is still doing well for CBS in a very competitive timeslot.<br />

  • "How To Be a Gentleman"

    <strong>"How To Be A Gentleman," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Not even having "The Big Bang Theory" as a lead-in could save this David Hornsby project, which only lasted three episodes.

  • "How I Met Your Mother"

    <strong>"How I Met Your Mother," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> CBS renewed "How I Met Your Mother" for two more seasons in March 2011, so fans can look forward to being strung along about the titular mother's identity for a bit longer.<br />

  • "The Mentalist"

    <strong>"The Mentalist," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Although the show hit a season ratings low in the middle of February, its fanbase and overall ratings were enough to have it return for another season.

  • "Mike & Molly"

    <strong>"Mike & Molly," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Thanks to an Emmy win and Oscar nomination, Melissa McCarthy is a Hollywood power player and CBS is keen to keep her around. Just look at the multiple pilots she has in the works as a behind the scenes player! "Mike & Molly" will be back for a third season.

  • "NCIS"

    <strong>"NCIS," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> The long-running procedural has become a ratings juggernaut at a time when most shows start shedding viewers. Season 10 is now happening.

  • "NCIS: Los Angeles"

    <strong>"NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong>Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> This show has gone up in the ratings over the last couple of years, and people can't get enough of L.L. Cool J and Chris O'Donnell.

  • "NYC 22"

    <strong>"NYC 22," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> This "Rookie Blue" clone from executive producer Robert DeNiro didn't really move the needle when it premiered midseason; CBS officially axed it with three episodes left to air.

  • "Person of Interest"

    <strong>"Person of Interest," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> With ratings matching juggernauts like "Grey's Anatomy" and fans popping up everywhere, we'll be seeing another season of "Person of Interest."

  • "Rob"

    <strong>"Rob," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Canceled<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> "Rob's" spot after ratings juggernaut "The Big Bang Theory" probably went a long way in helping it survive to see the end of its first season, but that's as far as it'll get.

  • "Rules of Engagement"

    <strong>"Rules of Engagement," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> This show has moved around so much it's hard to remember when it's on, and with six seasons under its belt it's had quite a nice run. Despite slipping ratings and the aforementioned constant switcheroos, there's still a future for "Rules of Engagement."

  • "Survivor"

    <strong>"Survivor," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status: </strong>Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Of <em>course</em> we have "Survivor" coming back for another season. Where else are we going to see petty squabbles and insane behavior on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world?

  • "Two and a Half Men"

    <strong>"Two and a Half Men," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> Despite a less-than-favorable critical response, the revamped "Two and a Half Men" keeps pulling in respectable numbers every week. Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones will all return for a Season 10.

  • "Undercover Boss"

    <strong>"Undercover Boss," CBS</strong><br /> <strong>Status:</strong> Renewed<br /> <strong>Why:</strong> The inherent addictiveness of this show has gone a long way in securing loyal viewers -- it has been on top of the ratings several times this season alone.

Related on HuffPost:

FOLLOW TV