Joel McHale is no stranger to Chevy Chase being, well, himself, so he’s taking the recent criticisms from the 80-year-old comedy legend and noted curmudgeon in stride.
“He stopped hurting my feelings in 2009,” McHale recently told PEOPLE when asked about comments Chase made last month on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast. When Maron steered the conversation toward Chase’s challenging experience on Community, Chase dismissed the show as “not funny enough” for his taste.
Chase expressed, “I felt somewhat confined by the comedy set at a community college. Everyone had their own style, and I thought they were all talented, but it just didn’t have the edge I was looking for.”
“I simply didn’t want to spend every day at that table with those people,” Chase revealed to Maron. “It was too much.”
McHale’s response was straightforward, “I was like, ‘Hey, no one was forcing you to stay.’ I mean, we weren’t obligated to be on that show,” he told PEOPLE. “But you know Chevy, that’s just Chevy being Chevy.”
Chase had portrayed the millionaire bigot Pierce Hawthorne for the first four seasons of Community but departed from the show after reportedly using a racial slur on set. In March 2018, former Community co-star Donald Glover shared in a New Yorker profile how Chase attempted to disrupt his scenes by making racially insensitive jokes between takes to throw him off.
The host of “The House of Villains” added, “I wrote about this in my book, but I was like, ‘Hey, the feeling’s mutual, bud.'”
And indeed, he did. In his 2016 memoir, “Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be,” McHale recounted tense encounters with Chase and the older comedian’s alleged use of racist terms and jokes about sexual assault. McHale has also discussed on several occasions an incident on set that led to him inadvertently dislocating Chase’s shoulder.
Hence, it comes as no surprise that Chase wasn’t extended an invitation for the upcoming Community movie, especially since his character was written out of the show when he left. McHale clarified this on Kelly Ripa’s “Let’s Talk Off Camera” podcast.
“Yeah, I don’t think so,” McHale responded when Ripa asked about Chase’s involvement in the movie. “We had no issues whatsoever when we were making the show,” he jokingly added.