‘This Was Not A Prison Sentence’: Joel McHale Gets Real About Chevy Chase Saying He Didn’t Enjoy Working On Community

Chevy Chase and Joel McHale, pictured side by side, in Community.
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Television)

Since what we know about the Community movie still has us waiting for a release date and other components to fall into place, there’s one thing you can probably count on. Per series star Joel McHale’s previous comments, Chevy Chase almost definitely won’t be a part of the Community movie, and for some pretty good reasons that don't include his character, Pierce Hawthorne, being dead. Among them is the fact that Chase continues to badmouth the experience of making the NBC cult hit series, which McHale dug deeper into during a recent podcast appearance. 

Apparently, the Jeff Winger actor literally has a chapter in his memoir Thanks for the Money, which includes a detailed fold out on how to fist fight Chevy Chase. That revelation led to quite a bit of dishing the dirt during the Animal Control star’s visit to Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum, as the host was taken aback by stories of Community’s contentious production. That in turn led McHale to share his own reflections on Chase's view on making the series, which included the following: 

[Chevy] just did Marc Maron’s podcast, and it made all these headlines, because he was like, ‘I didn’t find the show funny and didn’t want to be there.’ And then my response is like, ‘Well, feeling’s mutual about how your attitude, and you didn’t have to be there.’ He’s like, ‘I didn’t want to be around the table with those people.’ … This was not a prison sentence. We were not conscripted into a war. You were being paid a lot of money and getting free food all day long. So you could just walk away.

The history of Chevy Chase’s feud with creator Dan Harmon probably was enough to keep the SNL vet away from the set of the long-promised Peacock original film. But if anyone was hoping that maybe this would be similar to that time Caddyshack ended Chase’s feud with Bill Murray, you can sadly keep dreaming.

Stories surrounding the later years of producing Community are no match for the one Joel McHale told about his first meeting with the comedy legend. Recalling his first brush with Chevy, Joel had this equally uplifting story to tell: 

When I first met him, I was like, ‘Hi, I’m Joel,’ and he was like, ‘Mhm.’ Like, ‘You know who I am.’

With more fuel to the speculative fires coming from Chevy Chase, former co-star Yvette Nicole Brown’s short, but sweet rebuttal of his cantankerous nature is even funnier to behold. While it would be nice to see the entire Community gang to get back together, if Mr. Chase really was having that lousy of a time on set, it’s probably best not to extend his sentence.

Community is currently streaming for those readers with a Hulu subscription to brush up on the funnier side of Greendale Community College. And while you’re at it, don’t forget that everything new on Hulu will include the Season 2 premiere of Animal Control, which is set to air on Fox at 9 PM ET on March 6th. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.