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Leaked voicemails depict rift on 'Community'

Leaked voicemails depict rift on 'Community'

April 11th, 2012 by JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer in News

NEW YORK (AP) - 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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Online:

http://www.nbc.com/community

http://danharmon.tumblr.com