Community/former SNL star Chevy Chase isn’t exactly known as a man of tact or mincing words, as evidenced when Community creator Dan Harmon released voicemails earlier this year featuring Chase frothing that the beloved NBC comedy is “a mediocre f*****g sitcom” that “ain’t funny to me.” Rumor had it, though, that Chase and Harmon had recently buried the hatchet about the show. Not true, according to Vulture, who recently spoke the cantankerous comedian. Chase still hates Community, and finds his character only “moderately” funny, which is “beneath” him and his career.
Chase put it very bluntly when asked how he would change things on the consistently hilarious and critically beloved Community, in order to make things more amenable for him: “I’d make it funnier.”
That’s a pretty bold statement/dig against the show, which, while always struggling in the ratings, is seen as the critical successor to the wickedly brilliant comedy of Arrested Development. But to Chase, the highly-lauded writing in the series is simply beneath him and what he’s done in his career (perhaps he’s referring to such gems as Cops and Robbersons, Vegas Vacation, or Memoirs of an Invisible Man?):
I just don’t think the writing of that character reflects what I do comedically, and I love the people I work with. They’re all good kids, and they all do very well in their parts. But I don’t think anyone has a sense of what to do with me, so I got to play some gray-haired, biased, bigoted guy. I’ve been too funny in my life to have to play a character who’s … moderately funny.
Chase’s character is that of Pierce Hawthorne, an aging student at Greendale Community College, who has no personal filter to block his consistently racist and sexist ethos. Chase went on to state that the way to improve his character is “with my brand of humor. I’m not crazy about that character and I’m getting tired of playing him.”
Look, Chase was once a comedy legend. His groundbreaking work during the first season of Saturday Night Live, as well as his star turns in early slobs vs. snobs ‘80s films like Caddyshack and Fletch, established Chase as one of the most gifted comedians of his generation, and does allow him some cache in terms of determining what is funny. But this is also the same guy who thought Fletch Lives and Man of the House were really good ideas, and, frankly, it seems as if he’s criticizing a wholly different show than the one he’s starring in (which has also given his sagging career a much needed boost).
Chase also had little reassurance to give fans about the uncertain future of Community, as NBC has yet to renew the comedy for a fourth season: “I have no idea. I don’t even know if we’ll be picked up… Even if it had been picked up, I haven’t made a deal.”
Sigh. Stay classy, Chevy. Stay classy.
What do you think about Chase’s Community comments?