When it was announced in November of 2012 that Chevy Chase, who plays the dumb-witted Pierce Hawthorne on “Community”, was leaving the show there were a lot of conflicting rumours going around detailing the reasons for his abrupt departure. Chase had previously had some very public problems with former showrunner Harmon on set but these are conflicted by a few testimonies from some coworkers. Alison Brie (Annie Edison) said that Chase’s departure from the show was” surprising more than anything” and David Guarascio and Moses Port, the new showrunners for “Community” denied ever having problems with the actor. “Chevy had a really great year here creatively, and the show's gonna miss him," Guarascio said. "The show, while being very out there sometimes, also has this grounded sensibility of what happens in life can happen in the show. And people move on and do other things, so I think the show could go on brilliantly without him.”
Contrary to anything that may have been said by others, “Community” star Joel McHale is speaking out for the first time about his experience working with Chase and his abrupt departure from the NBC comedy. According to McHale, who spoke yesterday morning on Howard Stern’s show, Chase simply “didn’t want to be there”. Chase was also apparently very aggressive towards McHale on set and McHale says that on multiple occasions Chase “would just try to fight me. He physically wanted to fight me.”
McHale went on to confirm the rumours that Chase had let drop the N-word while on set and that this incident was a motivating factor in his departure. “You shouldn’t be throwing that around on the set,” McHale said. “After he said it, I said, ‘We are now at DEFCON 1.’”
The fourth season of “Community” premieres this Thursday at 8/7c on NBC, and Chase will still appear in about 10 episodes of the 13 episode season.