4 Hit Comedies That Got Darker Behind-the-Scenes Faster Than You Can Say ‘The Other Two’

Dan Harmon + Chevy Chase = Uh-Oh
4 Hit Comedies That Got Darker Behind-the-Scenes Faster Than You Can Say ‘The Other Two’

You got to hand it to The Other Two. The Max comedy found a way to get progressively darker with each successive season, both on- and off-camera. (The TL;DR version: The show’s producers were accused of verbally abusing writers and overworking the crew, charges that led to the show’s cancelation after a critically acclaimed — and wretchedly dark — third season.) But The Other Two isn’t the only hit comedy to experience bile-inducing backstage drama. Here are four more funny favorites that were anything but lighthearted behind the scenes…

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Forget the 2000s version of the show, where a Roseanne Barr racist tweet got the titular star booted from the series. Things were miserable during the show’s initial run as well, with Barr changing writing staff as often as you or I change underwear. “Roseanne started screaming quite early,” says ABC Entertainment President Brandon Stoddard in the book We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy. “In general (stars) are not screaming in year one.”

Variety reported that Barr and her husband Tom Arnold bought numbered shirts for the show’s writers so Roseanne wouldn't have to learn their names: “Hey, Number 3, this joke is lousy!” While the duo initially passed off the shirts as a joke, Barr later admitted, “I wanted to strip them of their huge, colossal self-entitlement — ‘You’re just a cog in the wheel here! It’s not about you.’ I think they learned something from it.”  

Yeah, they learned they wanted to write on another show. 


Projects with Chevy Chase tend to veer off the rails at some point, and Community was no exception. According to show creator Dan Harmon, Chase was a “soloist” who wasn’t always comfortable playing in an ensemble. The show’s single-camera format meant long filming days, which Chase didn’t appreciate. All of that, of course, means nothing in comparison to Chase’s racist crap on the set, like telling Donald Glover, “People think you’re funnier because you’re Black.”

Another Chase “joke,” per Joel McHale in his book Thanks for the Money, involved telling a female cast member, “I want to kill you and then rape you.” It wasnt the first time that Chase punchlines had “a weird sense of menace.“ Throw in Harmon’s own combustible personality, which led to his departure from the show for Season Four, and you have a recipe for backstage heartburn. 

Rick and Morty

It’s tempting to conclude that Harmon is the running thread between these troubled shows, but it’s Harmon’s co-creator Justin Roiland who caused most of the angst on Rick and Morty. Domestic violence charges against Roiland (since dismissed for lack of evidence) led to Adult Swim cutting ties. 

But even before Roiland’s trouble with the law, things were rocky behind the scenes. Harmon and Roiland stopped speaking to each other for several seasons — Harmon’s strict storytelling rules made Roiland “surly, petulant, uncommunicative and grouchy, like he always wished he was doing something else,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Eventually, Roiland just stopped coming to the writers’ room altogether. In fact, several of the show’s writers say they’ve never met him.

Two and A Half Men

The public chaos during Charlie Sheen’s “Winning!” era reflected the behind-the-scenes mess on Two and a Half Men, as Sheen allegedly shot much of the show’s seventh and eighth seasons under the influence

Producer Chuck Lorre, a passive-aggressive master, aired this vanity card while Sheen was still on the show: “I exercise regularly. I eat moderate amounts of healthy food. I make sure to get plenty of rest. I see my doctor once a year, and my dentist twice a year. I floss every night. I’ve had chest X-rays, cardio stress tests, EKGs and colonoscopies. I see a psychologist and have a variety of hobbies to reduce stress. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I don’t have crazy, reckless sex with strangers. If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I’m gonna be really pissed.”

Sheen went on Alex Jones’ (!) radio show to fire back: “It’s nothing this side of deplorable that Chaim Levine — yeah that’s his real name — mistook this rock star for his exit strategy. I embarrassed him in front of his children by healing at a pace that his brain can’t process. Last time I checked, Chaim, I’ve spent the last decade turning your tin cans into gold. And this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write. Clearly, someone who believes he’s above the law. You’ve been warned, dude, bring it.”

Believe it or not, things got worse from there. No wonder Angus T. Jones doesn’t want to act anymore

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