HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 10: (l_R) Dan Harmon, Gillian Jacobs, and Ken Jeong arrive at the Vulture Festival Los Angeles 2019 Day 2 at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on November 10, 2019 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The Conversation That Got Dan Harmon Kicked Off Of Community
Creator of the popular sitcom “Community,” Dan Harmon was not an easy person to work with, leading to his dismissal after the show's third season. Harmon, an admitted heavy drinker, caused several problems on the show with his erratic behavior, such as hours of extended shoots due to last-minute page writing and his contentious relationship with a central cast member, Chevy Chase.
NBC fired Harmon after three seasons despite knowing that the show’s quality might suffer and Harmon believes it was due to one specific conversation. Jeff Winger had his insecurities explored throughout the series, but the idea of including his absentee father during the third season led to disagreement between Harmon and the studio.
Harmon said, “During season three we started breaking a story about bringing Jeff Winger's dad into the mix and I remember getting a phone call warning me not to make it too dark.” The creator didn’t want to do a story that “put a pep in your step” involving an estranged con-artist father leading to his response of “if you guys ever decide to fire me, you can do the version of a father story without me.”
The studio went ahead and included Jeff’s father in the following season after Moses Port and David Garacisco took over as showrunners, but they failed to capture the spirit of the show leading this season to be known as the “gas leak year.” Harmon eventually returned, but perhaps the father figure for Jeff was there all along in Chase’s Pierce Hawthorne.