Why Chevy Chase Isn’t in the ‘Community’ Reunion

Community is treating its fans with a cast reunion on May 18. But, comedy legend, Chevy Chase — who plays Pierce Hawthorne on the series — is not slated to appear. Here’s the reason why Chase isn’t in the new special. 

Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne on Community
Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne on Community | NBC

The cast of ‘Community’ to reunite

On May 18, the cast of Community will reunite for a virtual table read which will air on Sony Pictures Television’s Community Youtube page. The special will see the return of most of the main cast, including Joel McHale, Ken Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, and Jim Rash. 

Showrunner Dan Harmon will also join the cast to  answers fans’ questions after the reading of Season 5, Episode 4, “Cooperative Polygraphy.” The Mandalorian star, Pedro Pascal, will also appear on the special and take over the role of Pierce’s (Chevy Chase) lawyer, Mr. Stone.

The reunion special is meant to inspire fans to donate to José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen and Frontline Foods. Both charities provide fresh meals to healthcare workers and first responders that are working on frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sony Pictures Television will also donate to the organizations on behalf of Community

Chevy Chase’s history on ‘Community’

On Community, Chase played Pierce Hawthorne, a millionaire moist-towelette tycoon who joins the study group on their hilarious adventures. The actor was a part of the cast until the middle of Season 3, after which he made a few sporadic appearances. His final appearance was on Episode 1 of Season 5. 

According to Harmon, Chase would walk often walk off-set because he didn’t want to films scenes he didn’t think were funny. In a Reddit Q & A, the showrunner revealed that while he was filming “Digital Estate Planning,” Chase refused to shoot, and caused a rift in the show’s flow.

“The answer I heard from the people on set was that he didn’t think it was funny,” Harmon wrote in the Reddit thread.  “The real answer, I believe, is that he wanted to go home because he was tired. He probably didn’t realize he was permanently damaging the episode by doing so because he often walked off set and then we would just pick up his shots later in the week. But this was the final shot of the season — this was the one time in three years that his personality caused unfixable damage to something I really held valuable.”

Heading into Season 3, Chase told Huffington Post UK that joining Community was a “big mistake.” He noted the inconvenient shooting schedule but said he was only staying on the show because of his love for the cast. 

“The hours are hideous, and it’s still a sitcom on television, which is probably the lowest form of television,” Chase said. “That’s my feeling about it. I think the reason I have stuck around is because I love these kids, the cast – they are very good.”

Why Chevy Chase isn’t in the reunion special

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Harmon and Chase don’t seem to hold any grudges, at least not publicly. In fact, now that Community is on Netflix, Chase has been promoting and resharing photos from the show on his Instagram stories.  

It’s not clear if Chase was asked to join the reunion. But the script being read is from an episode his character isn’t in. The cast will do a table read of Season 5, Episode 4, “Cooperative Polygraph”— the episode in which the study group returns from Pierce’s funeral. Pierce is not featured in the episode at all, which is likely why Chase isn’t reading for it. 

His relationship with the show has been rocky, to say the least. But if Community ever gets the movie fans have been pining for, it would be great to see Chase return as Pierce in some capacity.