Joel McHale Subtly Criticizes Chevy Chase: ‘I Don’t Think He Would Disagree With What I’m Saying’

From its inception in 2009, Community developed a cult following. The sitcom followed an ensemble cast attending a community college. The group of students varied widely, creating incredible humor. The series’ comedic attributes were aided by notable comedians, including Donald Glover, Chevy Chase, and Joel McHale. Although the series hasn’t aired new episodes in five years, the actors still reminisce on the show and their castmates. In particular, McHale has a lot to say about Chase, and it isn’t altogether complimentary.

(L-R) Joel McHale and Chevy Chase laughing, wearing boxing robes
(L-R) Joel McHale and Chevy Chase | Vivian Zink/Getty Images

Chase’s bad-boy reputation

Saturday Night Live debuted in 1975, starring what are now huge names, including Chevy Chase. His role brought him incredible fame and popularity even though he was only part of the cast for two seasons. The comedian went on to star in classic comedy movies like Caddyshack and the National Lampoon’s Vacation film series. Yet his time on SNL left a mark on his reputation.

Despite being a member of SNL’s original cast, Chase is banned from guest appearances after an altercation with Cheri Oteri. Will Ferrell reported Chase for smacking Oteri in the head during rehearsals. This was not the first time the comedian had gotten into physical altercations on set. During his first guest appearance after his departure, Chase threw punches at Bill Murray.

Pierce Hawthorne hit too close to home.

RELATED: ‘Community’ Star Joel McHale Admits He Cheated His Way Through College Due to His Disability

Chase’s reputation for having a hot temper and possessing an arrogant disposition have followed him throughout his career. It has been speculated that this is one of the reasons he did not like acting in Community. His character, Pierce Hawthorne, was an arrogant, brash millionaire who had no empathy for others. Despite the rumors, Chase took to his Instagram to say that he enjoyed playing Hawthorne. He claimed he was aware the character was similar to himself and sought to keep it that way. 

Although Chase claimed he liked playing Hawthorne in Community, his castmates do not agree. Justin Long recently interviewed McHale for his podcast, Life is Short With Justin Long (available on Wondery).  The podcast delved into a lot of different subjects, including McHale’s experience with hair restoration. Still, one of the lines of questioning that really stood out pertained to Community and Chase. 

Castmates chime in on Chase

It is important to note that McHale and Chase were not free of drama. Chase was reportedly difficult to work with. On numerous occasions, he would walk off set, claiming the script wasn’t funny enough. His castmates tried to cheer him up to no avail. In fact, McHale once punched Chase so hard that he had to go to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder. McHale claimed the physical altercations stemmed from Chase’s general unhappiness on set. The tumultuous relationship Chase had with the sitcom led him to leave after season 3. 

McHale did not feel Chase enjoyed his time on Community or his character and claimed, “I don’t think he would disagree [with me].” He went on to describe how Chase did not like his character saying, “He didn’t like his character at all. He would always talk about how his character was an a**hole.” The dislike of his character was not the only reason McHale speculated Chase was unhappy.

He explained that Chase did not like the long hours, and it wasn’t a secret. In fact, when Long asked how soon Chase would get ‘antsy,’ McHale replied, “Like 10 minutes in.” Although McHale tried to give Chase some leeway by pointing out he was older, thus having less energy, he didn’t leave the subject without a not so subtle jab. McHale closed the subject by stating, “Actors that work consistently and make really good money have platinum horseshoes stuck up their a**.”