After what must have been decades, Pierce Hawthorne is finally graduating from Greendale College: Deadline reports today that actor Chevy Chase is leaving NBC’s Community. Chase and the producers of the comedy have reached a mutual agreement, and his departure will be effective immediately. The bulk of season 4’s filming already wrapped up, meaning that Pierce will only be missing from the one or two episodes in the upcoming season that haven’t been filmed yet.
Chase has been very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the show, so frankly, him leaving doesn’t come as much of a surprise. In fact, he hinted that he wanted to leave the show in multiple instances last spring. In an interview with Huffington Post UK, Chase expressed his regrets about joining Community:
It was a big mistake! 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.”
More importantly, Chase has had a very public feud with creator and former showrunner Dan Harmon, who left the show at the end of season 3. He has also been prone to having outbursts on set, which include his use of the N-word last month in response to what Chase perceived to be offensive dialogue. Sources close to the actor have also revealed that Chase has grown increasingly frustrated with the trajectory his character, Pierce, has been following on the show.
While Chase’s frustrations with Pierce’s lack of character development are understandable, his attitude on set and lack of appreciation for the show are much less so. His departure this late into production likely won’t impact the new season too much, and Pierce has never been one of the most essential characters on the show, so I can’t say that I’m too sorry to see him go. However, it will be interesting to see how his absence will affect the storyline.
The fourth season of Community is set to premiere on February 7th.