Dan Harmon was unceremoniously dumped from his NBC comedy series “Community” after the end of last season, but he apparently bears no ill will toward the people who are keeping the series going. And for the first time, he’s discussing publicly the source of his feud with star Chevy Chase.
On Wednesday, Harmon participated in one of Reddit’s “IAma” Q&As;, in which people from various walks of life answer reader questions.
Of the dispute with Chase, which resulted in Harmon swearing at the star during the “Community” wrap party and playing angry voicemails from Chase in front of an audience, Harmon wrote:
“He refused to do the “tag” for the Digital Estate Planning episode (the 8 bit video game episode)... It was the most important part of the episode and possibly one of the most important moments of the season. I was very upset to hear that it wasn’t shot because someone didn’t feel like shooting it, especially since it was literally the last day of shooting, which meant we’d never be able to pick it up. I regret nothing about how upset I got. My job was to care about my show.”
As for why Chase declined to shoot that episode tag, Harmon writes, “The answer I heard from the people on set was that he didn’t think it was funny. After he realized how upset I was about it, he said things in voicemails like ‘there was no script’ (untrue) and ‘I have a weird relationship with the name Cornelius’ (dumb, he had no dialogue in the tag). The real answer, I believe, is that he wanted to go home because he was tired. He probably didn’t realize he was permanently damaging the episode by doing so because he often walked off set and then we would just pick up his shots later in the week. But this was the final shot of the season. The sets came down after he walked away. So this was the one time in three years that his personality caused unfixable damage to something I really held valuable.”
But despite how things ended, Harmon calls Chase’s interpretation of his character, Pierce Hawthorne, “unforgettable.”
As for the upcoming fourth season, being overseen by writers David Guarascio and Moses Port, Harmon is adopting a very calm, collected approach. Basically, he’s not going to say a thing about it.
“If people love it, then I’ll be able to safely watch it with an open, friendly heart, because the whole point is whatever makes the audience happy,” he writes. “If they say it’s good, it’s good, and I can watch it and even say it’s good.”