By JAKE COYLE
NEW YORK — A second voicemail message from Chevy Chase leaked online Tuesday, depicting a deep rift between the veteran comedian and the creators of his ratings-challenged NBC sitcom “Community.”
The show’s creator, Dan Harmon, played voicemails from Chase at a Los Angeles comedy show last year. They have since found their way on to the Internet, including a recording released Tuesday by Celebuzz.com.
In the voicemail, Chase calls “Community” a “mediocre sitcom” that “is not my kind of comedy.”
“It ain’t funny to me because I’m 67 years old and I’ve been doing this a long time,” Chase says. “I’ve been making a lot of people laugh, a lot better than this.”
Though the recordings left on Harmon’s phone appear to have taken place during the show’s second season, they reveal just how badly things have been for Chase and “Community.” The now-68-year-old “Fletch” and “National Lampoon” star was initially meant to be the most familiar face to the show, which has generally found critical acclaim and a cultish following.
But the airing of such squabbles adds another challenge to “Community,” which had its current third season delayed to midseason by NBC, and which faces an uphill battle for renewal. Last week’s Thursday night episode drew 3.1 million viewers, a series low.
NBC declined to comment. A representative for Chase said the actor was also declining.
Harmon last week wrote a lengthy apology on his Tumblr page for what he called a “horrible, childish, self-obsessed, unaware, naive and unprofessional decision to play someone’s voicemail to me.”
“I was airing my dirty laundry for a chuckle,” Harmon wrote. “That was a dumb, unclassy, inconsiderate move on my part. I’m very sorry it’s reflecting poorly on the show.”
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