Chevy Chase’s voicemail to Community creator: ‘a**hole, alcoholic, fat sh*t, suck my…’


Community is back after a hiatus that had a lot of us fans worried that it would be canceled. The show is as clever and funny as ever, and thankfully it’s finally getting decent ratings. It just might be renewed for a fourth season.

Potential spoilers for Community
We’ve heard that a character is set to be killed off at the end of this season, and a lot of guesses center around lesser players, like Starburns, Leonard or Fat Neil. Well we just might have our answer in this new feud between Chevy Chase and Community creator Dan Harmon. This story is kind of epic, and to be fair to Chevy Chase, it points to Harmon as the responsible party, with Chase just defending himself. Apparently Chase walked off set on the final day of filming for season three, having taken offense at a lack of script. Then Harmon publicly chastised Chase at the season wrap party, giving a speech in which he told Chase to F off (in front of Chase’s wife and kid) and encouraging everyone to say “F you” to Chase. In response, Chase left Harmon an expletive-filled voicemail (audio is here and it’s definitely NSFW,) which Harmon played for his buddies, with someone leaking it online. Here’s Deadline’s explanation of what happened:

The chronology of the events, corroborated to me by multiple sources, involves Chase walking off the set of the show on the last day of shooting last month without filming one of his scenes, which reportedly was to close out the season finale. Then at the wrap party, Harmon got up and gave a “F*#% you, Chevy” speech in front of Chase and his wife and daughter, and encouraged the crew to join him in saying “f#&* you” to the actor. Chase left immediately and later left Harmon a profane-laden voice message, a portion of which found its way to the Web after Harmon played it in front of other people. Click here for audio. (Warning: foul language!) In the voice message, Chase addresses both his storming off the set, which he attributes to not getting the script beforehand, (some say it’s because he didn’t find the scene funny) and the wrap party incident.

People close to the matter told me they weren’t surprised by the feud, noting that Chase already had a reputation of being difficult before signing on for Community. (I hear it was NBC’s former boss Ben Silverman who championed Chase for the project and was instrumental in bringing him on board.) Word is Chase has stormed off the set of the NBC show in the middle of a scene a number of times and has also gotten into arguments with Community executive producers-directors Anthony and Joe Russo. There had been tension between Chase and Harmon, and with both of them described as “passionate” or “volatile,” depending who you talk to, a blowup was “inevitable,” one person said. Ironically, a recorded Chevy Chase phone call played a major role in another feud involving the Saturday Night Live alum, that with shock jock Howard Stern.

Since I posted the story yesterday, several people working on the show have come forward to confirm Chase’s version of the events. One noted that the show indeed was “suffering through a ‘non-script day’” when Chase walked off. Another claimed that most of the cast and crew members who attended the wrap party disapproved of Harmon’s behavior at the bash.

[From Deadline]

In that voicemail message, Chevy told Harmon to play it for everyone and he did. I love this show and I’m surprised that they’re having such bad infighting. Maybe that’s why they made Chevy’s character such a bumbling racist pain in the a** in the first place – they didn’t like him, they made him do more ridiculous things, and the rift deepened. I’ve only heard one interview with Harmon, on KCRW’s The Business in 2009, and he was outspoken about the issues of working for a major network vs. his previous gig on VH1 with The Sarah Silverman show, but he didn’t sound like a jerk or anything. He did do an interview with Forbes in which he admitted to being stubborn. “I’m tremendously arrogant…. I am absolutely and inherently self-destructive in that I am always making sure I’m doing what I want to do. I’ll cut off my nose to spite my face if I have to prove to myself that I have dignity and integrity.”

Maybe these are two people with big egos whom we’re watching bitch each other out publicly after they inevitably butted heads too many times. I enjoy Chevy’s character Pierce Hawthorne on Community, but I don’t think he makes or breaks the show. They probably wrote him in that way from the moment he gave anyone any grief.

Photo credit: NBC, FameFlynet and PRPhotos

 

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31 Responses to “Chevy Chase’s voicemail to Community creator: ‘a**hole, alcoholic, fat sh*t, suck my…’”

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  1. Ravensdaughter says:

    I think Chevy has had “issues” ever since he left SNL.

  2. Veruca says:

    Chevy Chase has always come across as a Class A A$$hole, but I can see his point about the wrap party treatment.

    Still, maybe if he’d been a little less arrogant it would’ve have never come to that.

    I do believe the show will be even funnier without him, though.

  3. apsutter says:

    No big surprise here. Chase is NOTORIOUSLY difficult and an a-hole. I bet there is a lot of tension that has built up the last 3 years. I wish they would get rid of Pierce. I’ve hated his character ever since they made him kind of evil. He’s the only cast member that is totally expendable. I wish they would cut Pierce and show more of the Dean!

  4. Gene Parmesan says:

    I think Pierce is funny and adds a nice dynamic to the group. Anyways i looove this show just glad its getting nice ratings finally againts big bang.
    #sixseasons and a movie

  5. The Truth Fairy says:

    I disagree. I think Chevy is an integral part of the cast and one of the highlights of the show. In fact he is the reason I first started watching Community. It is undisputed that Chevy is a master at physical comedy and he has great comedic timing. Many of today’s comedians look up to Chevy as one of the all time comedy greats and see him as an inspiration. He also helps to draw an audience from older generations who watched him on SNL.

    Dan Harmon has a history of fighting with people he works with and has been kicked off other shows. From what I’ve read he’s a raging alcoholic who gets so drunk he forgets to write the script and then gets super aggressive with co-workers.

    If anyone should go, it should be Dan Harmon. Keep the cast and bring in great writers and Community will be great again. If they keep Dan and lose Chevy, that will be the beginning of the end for Community.

    • Lee says:

      I honestly don’t think community could continue without Harmon. I get the impression he has a hand in pretty much every aspect of the show. Though I also agree that Pierce is integral to the group (in fact, I just watched the season 1 episode where they kicked him out of the group after he pants-ed Shirley and that was basically the moral; they need Pierce around as a foil and scapegoat).

      I’ve also read that Harmon is a hard-drinking task master who can be very difficult to work with and has been fired from shows before for his refusal to compromise. I just don’t think this show is one he can be fired from. And I would be very sad to lose his vision if they tried to do it without him.

      I’m not at all surprised that Chevy and Dan are butting heads considering they can both reportedly be giant @ssholes, but I do hope they can resolve their differences without taking the show down with them.

      I’m probably getting too meta about it (how appropriate), but I’ve read that Harmon has come to identify with Abed quite a lot and after writing the character, he realized he had a mild autism spectrum disorder as well. The Abed-Troy plots in the last few episodes seem to be pointing to the idea that Abed’s occasionally lacking social skills sometimes cause him to hurt others or simply behave in a petulant manner. Sounds just like Harmon. I think the quotes from him in this article are very revealing about the whole situation.

  6. Lantana says:

    I love Community. I hope this doesn’t screw things up.

  7. Toot says:

    Chevy may be a pain, but can you imagine someone giving you a “F-k You” speech and wanting others to join in and say “F-k You” to you? I have a bigger problem with the creator. That was just f-ked up.

  8. Jackie says:

    chevy seems like a real asshole to me. doesn’t he make trouble on every project.

  9. irishserra says:

    Aww, I will be disappointed to see Chevy go. I love Pierce Hawthorne’s character and like Gene Parmesan above, I think the character enhances the show. This is the first I’ve heard anything about Chevy being difficult to work with (I just never paid attention before) and if that’s true, that’s very sad.

    However, I just can’t excuse Harmon’s tacky and unprofessional behavior by fueling the flames of discord and by playing the voicemail aloud for all to hear. It’s low and demeans him in my eyes.

  10. bluhare says:

    Ick. Chevy Chase looks like a smug, arrogant ass, and from reading the comments, apparently behaves like one too. Never liked him.

    However, that Harmon guy doesn’t exactly look like a card you want to draw to either.

  11. gloaming says:

    The psycophants laughing during the taped conversation bug me more than the two main protagonist’s.
    How pathetic.

  12. Serena says:

    Im sorry I sould nott judge anyone buy looks….but Dan Harmon looks like the biggest douche EVER

  13. mln76 says:

    Chevy is an infamous A-hole but he’s got a right to be insulted by Harmon’s behavior.

  14. Kathy says:

    Humiliating his wife and daughter was completely over the line. It sounds like Chase atleast had the decency to, in most instances, address his issues with Harmon directly (walking off the set notwithstanding).

  15. jc126 says:

    For once, Team Chevy. He’s notoriously difficult, BUT this is the first I’ve heard of him being difficult on Community – and who can blame him?
    Also, it would be a mistake to get rid of his character, who is integral to the plot.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      ‘Pocket Full Of Hawthornes’ is stuck in my head.

      The character that popped into my mind first was John Goodman’s. His Troy obsessing is ripping people apart. Or I don’t know, maybe White Abed. Please don’t kill off Magnitude.

      Exactly. You get so used to hearing about Chase’s bad behaviour that any story involving professional strife makes your brain default to, ‘Well, duh-doi, what did you think would happen?’

      But this story is just low. What the hell was he playing at, taking their work-related battle and dragging it out in front of the man’s friends (it could happen), family and co-workers? And now it’s public? Streets Behind.

      Chevy Chase is Emperor Asshole, but I guess I just learned that Dan Harmon is a little bitch. Also, I didn’t know that he looked like a greasier, less hirsute version of Captain Lou Albano, so I’m learning all of the time.

      We just got this show back, why are you pitching it into the river?

      Two silly kids catfighting their way to nothing. Hollywood.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Argh, comment snafu.

        ‘Pocket Full Of Hawthornes’ is stuck in my head. No one on this show is expendable, in my opinion. Although they have managed to pull of something interesting vis-a-vis Annie and Britta. Remember season one Annie? She was a speed freak who fell out with her parents and was hopelessly in love the the football jock. Now she’s pretty much nothing else but a character that looks and acts like a baby hooker and is nothing outside of a Mary Sue still giving a guy almost twice her age grief for not marrying her after they kissed that one time two years ago. Please give this character something else to do besides be a tits delivery system who is fundamentally a better person than everyone else, apparently. About halfway through season one, a Christmas Miracle occurred and Britta got awesome.

        The character that popped into my mind first was John Goodman’s. His Troy obsessing is ripping people apart. Or I don’t know, maybe White Abed. Please don’t kill off Magnitude.

        Exactly. You get so used to hearing about Chase’s bad behaviour that any story involving professional strife makes your brain default to, ‘Well, duh-doi, what did you think would happen?’

        But this story is just low. What the hell was he playing at, taking their work-related battle and dragging it out in front of the man’s friends (it could happen), family and co-workers? And now it’s public? Streets Behind.

        Chevy Chase is Emperor Asshole, but I guess I just learned that Dan Harmon is a little bitch. Also, I didn’t know that he looked like a greasier, less hirsute version of Captain Lou Albano, so I’m learning all of the time.

        We just got this show back, why are you pitching it into the river?

        Two silly kids catfighting their way to nothing. Hollywood.

      • apsutter says:

        This is the best comment ever. I very much appreciate your Community knowledge and use of the phrases duh-doi and especially streets behind.

  16. The Other Katherine says:

    Well, nobody looks good in this.

    For me, Chevy brings a hell of a lot to the show, and I think they should make a real effort to keep him on even if he is a temperamental diva. Thing is, when you’re extremely good at what you do, and have been extremely successful in your career for a very long time, you do in fact earn the right to throw a little diva ‘tude around, as long as you’re not committing crimes and making your coworkers want to kill themselves. And Chevy Chase is an amazingly talented comedic actor, with great screen presence.

    And frankly, if I were turning up on set to find out that the script wasn’t ready for the last day of filming? When I’d been a successful industry professional for decades who’d already had a huge movie career? I’d pitch a shit fit too. And if the creator then doubled down on the unprofessionalism by insulting me in front of my family and the entire team for the show, I might well lose my cool and leave an expletive-filled voicemail for the interwebs to enjoy.

    I can easily believe the story about Harmon having alcohol issues. The non-sober alcoholics I’ve dealt with tend to fly WAY off the handle if you call them out on stuff they’ve failed to do as a result of their addictive behavior.

  17. lucy2 says:

    Pierce tripping out while dressed as the Beastmaster for Halloween was the moment I realized I loved the show. However, I think it could also work without him, if necessary.
    Chevy is notoriously difficult, but Harmon’s behavior crossed the line. You deal with problems like a professional adult, you don’t do what he did at a wrap party, in front of his family and friends, AND try to get everyone else to join in. That’s just wrong, and I’m sure was very uncomfortable for everyone there.

  18. anti says:

    It’s a win/win for CC. No one can criticize or insult him in front of his wife and daughter and if they do, “it’s in front of his family.”

  19. Zelda says:

    It’s a fairly open secret that the Pierce character is pretrty much Chevy himself. Obnoxious, self centered, insulting, small-minded, racist, inappropriate, and thinks he’s cool and adored even when he is paifully out of touch and unaware.

    Knowing that…

    Also, Pierce is by far my least favourite part of the show.

  20. Alexis says:

    People shouldn’t have to work with an asshole. But at the same time, I’d miss his character.

  21. kay says:

    He so reminds me of Douglas Reynholm, I can’t picture him doing anything other than dancing down the hallway singing “There’s someone at the door”.

  22. Anna says:

    I know this doesn’t excuse all of Chevy Chase’s behavior, but he has talked about being abused as a child, which for me, can certainly make some of his behavior more understandable.