By the end of Community season 4, the oldest member of the study group will be gone. Chevy Chase, who has played Pierce Hawthorne throughout the comedy's run, is leaving the show.
This isn't the world's biggest surprise and it's hardly a death-knell for the perennially troubled Community
. Chase has hinted in the past that he was about to leave and has flat-out stated in interviews that he doesn't particularly like working in "the lowest form of television" (as quoted in a Huffington Post UK interview).
But this abrupt departure points to a mutual parting of ways. According to Deadline.com
(which first broke the story), Chevy Chase's departure is effective immediately. There are still a few episodes left to film in Community
season 4, but Chase will not be a part of them.
Why would Chevy Chase leave a critically beloved but low-rated show? There are several reasons.
One such reason is the rather public and embarrassing feud between Chase and Community
creator Dan Harmon during season 3. While both men were very, very guilty of bad behavior, Chase did leave a voicemail filled with profanity for Harmon. Of course that went public. Harmon's departure from Community
a short time later -- a decision from the production studio apparently unrelated to any feuds -- didn't exactly leave fans on the side of the actor.
Then, in October, production on Community
season 4 had to stop briefly due to a tirade from Chevy Chase about some offensive dialogue in a script. The loud and angry rant included the use the n-word as part of the protest.
Those close to the actor have reported that Chevy Chase has been frustrated and uncomfortable with his character for some time. Considering that the character of Pierce Hawthorne is a bigoted old idiot, this isn't too crazy.
There is no indication that Chase's departure will have much effect on Community
season 4, currently set to debut on February 7, 2013. Hey, maybe the departure of Pierce will finally make room for Chang...
Are you surprised that Chevy Chase would leave Community
? Do you think the show will be better or worse without him? Leave your comments below!(Images courtesy of NBC)