NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – Chevy Chase is leaving “Community” after a rocky run on the NBC series.
The actor is leaving by mutual agreement with the show’s producers, a person close to the show told TheWrap. He will appear in most of the 13 episodes of the show’s upcoming fourth season, but not the final one or two episodes.
Chase had a very public feud with former showrunner Dan Harmon that included Harmon airing an angry rant by Chase. The situation hardly improved when new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio took over this season.
The original “Saturday Night Live” player reportedly used the N-word last month in an on-set rant complaining about the racism of his character, Pierce Hawthorne. Chase asked how far the character’s bigotry would go, and whether he would be forced to say the word. He later apologized.
Chase made little effort to hide his mixed feelings about the show, telling the Huffington Post in March, “I probably won’t be around that much longer, frankly.”
“I have creative issues with this show,” he said. “I always have. With my character, with how far you can take character … just to give him a long speech about the world at the end of every episode is so reminiscent. It’s like being relegated to hell and watching ‘Howdy Doody’ for the rest of your life. It’s not particularly necessary, but that’s the way they do these things. I think it belies the very pretenses that his character, Jeff, has, that he’s giving these talks. They’re supposed to, in some way, be a little lesson to people who watch sitcoms … to that degree, I can’t stand sitcoms. … I think, if you know me and my humor over the years, you know that this is certainly not my kind of thing.”
“Community” returns February 7.