Joel McHale Addresses Chevy Chase’s ‘Community’ Exit

McHale recalls Chase’s justification for using the N-word and almost fighting with him on the set.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

During the third season of “Community,” Chevy Chase and series creator, Dan Harmon publicly feuded over various issues; which may have helped hasten Harmon’s unwilling departure from the show. And from most accounts, Chase’s tenure during the fourth season was also tumultuous before Chase left the series for good.

On the Howard Stern show (via TVLine), “Community” star, Joel McHale was asked about Chase’s abrupt exit. And McHale bluntly stated that Chase “didn’t want to be there.” According to McHale, even his attempts to reason with Chase were met with hostility.  

“When I would try [to talk to Chase], he would just try to fight me,” explained McHale. “He physically wanted to fight me.”

In a widely reported incident, Chase used the N-word on the set while arguing with the producers; which upset his co-stars and the crew. When asked about that, McHale was forthcoming about what happened.

“He was protesting his character’s racism,” recalled McHale. “He didn’t like the way that Pierce was going… He had also said in the past that Richard Pryor said it was okay for [Chase] to call him that. He literally used that.” 

You shouldn’t be throwing that [word] around on the set,” continued McHale. “[After] he said it, I said, ‘We are now at DEFCON 1.’”

The excerpts from McHale’s appearance on The Howard Stern Show can be seen below.



“Community” Season 4 debuts Thursday, February 7 on NBC.