Chevy Chase is no longer a Human Being. Well, he’s still a human being, but he’s no longer a cast member on Community. Deadline reports that the actor has parted ways with the NBC sitcom, leaving a Pierce Hawthorne-sized hole in the “one or two episodes” of the show’s 13-episode fourth season that have yet to be shot. Chase’s departure is said to have come about by way of a “mutual agreement” with the production, which implies his character will be given a proper farewell—rather than, say, the remaining members of the Greendale Seven concluding that they all collectively imagined a sweet-but-racist old coot who had a unique bond with Annie, once roomed with Troy, and acted as a constant source of conflict for Jeff. (Not that it would be beyond the show to try such a setup for at least half an episode, before John Hodgman’s sham psychologist from “Curriculum Unavailable” emerges from behind a curtain and scrambles offscreen.) The timing of the announcement aside, Chase’s departure is hardly surprising: He’d publicly feuded with Community creator and former showrunner Dan Harmon, told a reporter he believed sitcoms “are the lowest form of television,” and caused a stir last month by uttering the N-word on-set while complaining about the increasingly bigoted attitude of his character. Still, he was allowed to coin the versatile phrase “streets ahead,” a cornerstone of the modern lexicon that can be used in statements like “NBC was so streets ahead for firing Dan Harmon rather than Chevy Chase” or “Community with Pierce Hawthorne? Now that’s streets ahead.”
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