Chevy Chase leaving Community is a development many followers of the show predicted, but its timing could throw into question the future of the comedy adored by fans but faltering in ratings.
The news itself that Chevy Chase is leaving Community came on Wednesday, when Sony TV confirmed that the actor who portrays Pierce Hawthorne has left the show in the midst taping its fourth season. As Deadline noted, Chevy’s departure from Community is immediate, leaving the show to do some last-minute changes.
It hasn’t been released whether Chevy Chase’s departure from Community will be written in the show, which has been filmed out of order for season four. The season finale was one of the episodes already completed, so the show’s executives will have to decide whether to write his departure into the show or edit out his scenes entirely.
There had been rumors that Chevy Chase was leaving Community for months, fueled by his contentious relationship with the show’s creator, Dan Harmon. Chase had told HuffPost TV that he had “creative issues with this show. I always have.” He later compared elements of the show to “being relegated to hell and watching ‘Howdy Doody’ for the rest of your life.”
Chevy Chase has gone so far as to say he doesn’t find Community funny, telling HuffPost UK, “I just sort of hung around because I have three daughters and a wife, and I figured out I might as well make some bread, every week, so I can take care of them in the way they want … The hours are hideous, and it’s still a sitcom on television, which is probably the lowest form of television.”
Chevy Chase leaving Community may not be such a bad thing, HuffPost TV speculated. The death of Pierce Hawthorne could open new plot opportunities, and the loss of the tirades and racism that Chase brought to the show’s filming will take unwanted attention away from the show, the report noted.