Joel McHale in 'Community'

Joel McHale Nails His Chevy Chase Comeback

There are very few universal truths in life, and one of them is Chevy Chase is a jerk. (The other obviously being that girls really do just wanna have fun.) Now, this breaks my heart a little bit because I love one of Chase’s most well-known characters, Clark Griswold, from National Lampoon’s Vacation movies. It’s a hard fact to stomach, but it does make it easier when Chase’s jerkiness is displayed for all the world to see, time and time again. One of the more recent displays happened on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. Chase said that Community, the cult classic sitcom he appeared in until he was fired for a racist outburst, was not funny enough for him. Excuse me, what? You take that back right now!

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Naturally, when you’re insulting a beloved show that is no longer on the air, it means the people whose work you insulted get to lob insults right back at you. Them’s the breaks! Don’t start something if you don’t want to see how it ends, friends! Now, the thing about having a witty response is that, well, for many of us, it just doesn’t happen. How many times have you deployed a comeback and immediately regretted it when the perfect retort popped into your head a moment later? In an insult war, there simply are no do-overs. Well, Community co-start Joel McHale did not have such bad luck because I think his response is pretty hilarious. Per People:

Joel McHale is brushing off Chevy Chase’s recent digs about their former comedy series Community.

“He stopped hurting my feelings in 2009,” McHale, 51, who starred on the NBC and Yahoo! Screen series for six seasons from 2009 to 2015, quips to PEOPLE.

Perfect comeback. It’s self-aware, funny, and has the added bonus of letting Chase know that he doesn’t particularly matter to McHale. 10 out of 10, no notes.

McHale didn’t stop there, though:

Asked about those comments, McHale tells PEOPLE, “I was like, ‘Hey, no one was keeping you there.’ I mean, we weren’t sentenced to that show. It was like, ‘All right, you could have left if you really wanted that.’ But yeah, you know Chevy. That’s Chevy being Chevy.”

“I wrote about this in my book, but I was like, ‘Hey, the feeling’s mutual, bud,’ continues McHale.

The book McHale references is his 2016 memoir, Thanks for the Money: How To Use My Life Story To Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be. While he gets into his experiences with Chase quite a bit in the book, the following excerpt sums most of it up nicely:

My time alongside Chevy was alternately aggravating, bizarre, and disappointing. But it was also very illuminating. Because of my Chevy experience, I am thankful for the luck and opportunities that have graced my career, I am respectful of my costars, and I very rarely shout racial epithets anymore.

I guess in this instance, stars really are just like us. In the sense that they also have s***y co-workers who make them miserable and create a hostile work environment. Oh well, at least we still have Community on streaming, and hopefully at some point, in a new movie on Peacock.

(featured image: NBC Universal)

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Image of Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and reality TV in particular for six years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She is the co-host of the popular Bravo trivia podcast Bravo Replay, and her favorite Bravolebrity is Kate Chastain, and not because they have the same first name, but it helps.