Chevy Chase is leaving the NBC show "Community" after more than three years and following negative comments he made about the comedy series and reports of confrontations on and off the set.
The 69-year-old actor plays Pierce Hawthorne on the sitcom. The decision for him to leave was mutual and he is set to depart immediately, multiple sources confirmed to OTRC.com on Wednesday, November 21. Deadline reported most of the 13 episodes of the current fourth seasons have already been filmed and the actor will not appear in the ones that have not.
The veteran comedy actor, known more for his roles in films such as "The Three Amigos!," "Fletch" and the "Vacation" series, has not commented about the move and NBC has not issued a statement. No reason for his departure has been announced.
Chase had voiced his displeasure with "Community" in February, telling The Huffington Post: "I have creative issues with this show. I always have."
"Community" stars Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, a former lawyer who goes to Greendale Community College to get his bachelor's degree after it is discovered he lied about having one. Once there, he unwillingly becomes part of a study group that includes Donald Glover, Allison Brie, Danny Pudi, Brown, Gillian Jacobs and Chase.
"With my character, with how far you can take [Joel McHale's] character ... just to give him a long speech about the world at the end of every episode is so reminiscent," Chase told The Huffington Post. "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," he said.
Chase added that he would like to see "Community" "go further," saying: "I think, if you know me and my humor over the years, you know that this is certainly not my kind of thing. I probably won't be around that much longer, frankly."
Chase made headlines in March when a profanity-laced voice message he had left showrunner and creator Dan Harmon leaked online. He had recorded it in February and Harmon played it for the audience of his Los Angeles stand-up comedy show.
Harmon later apologized for playing it, but more details of what appeared to be a feud between himself and Chase began to be made public.
Deadline reported that Chase had walked off the set of "Community" on the last day of shooting in February without filming a key scene. Later, at the season 3 wrap party, Harmon gave a profanity-laced speech of his own, blasting Chase in front of his family. The actor left and then left Harmon the voice message.
Harmon later wrote about being unceremoniously fired from his position as the showrunner of the comedy series, which has struggled in the ratings despite having a large fan following online. Season 4 is set to premiere in early 2013.
Chase told the UK edition of The Huffington Post in February that agreeing to film a TV show was a "big mistake," that the "hours are hideous" and that sitcoms mark "the lowest form of television."
He said at the time that he will be looking for a film project.
Chase has two new movies coming out next year -- the comedy "Lovesick," which also stars Ali Larter and "Friends" alum Matt LeBlanc, and the drama film "Before I Sleep," which features Tom Sizemore, Eric Roberts and "Harry Potter" actress Bonnie Wright.
Pictured above: Chevy Chase and his wife talk to OTRC.com at Vanity Fair's Oscar after party on Feb. 26, 2012.)