Joel McHale’s ‘Advanced Horseplay’ Dislocated Chevy Chase’s Shoulder

‘It was advanced horseplay. And then it would always turn into sex’
Joel McHale’s ‘Advanced Horseplay’ Dislocated Chevy Chase’s Shoulder

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Some stories are so good that they bear repeated tellings. So I’m not blaming Michael Rosenbaum for using his Inside of You podcast to grill Joel McHale once again about his Community fisticuffs with Chevy Chase. Frankly, I just can’t get enough — and it’s way more interesting than hearing about whether Dan Harmon has the Community screenplay finished yet. (Almost! says Variety.) 

The topic was broached when Rosenbaum told his own Chase story. The podcaster/actor is friends with Beverly D’Angelo, Chase’s co-star in National Lampoon’s Vacation. The three were at the same venue for some reason and D’Angelo insisted on dragging Rosenbaum over for a picture. She introduced Rosenbaum because Chevy showed no signs of recognizing the guy even though he and Chase had met previously. After the awkward photo, Rosenbaum told the comic not to worry, “I’m very forgettable.” Chase’s charming response: “Don’t talk in my face.” 

“So you saw the good side of him,” McHale said. 

How terrible was Chase on Community? McHale devoted an entire chapter in his memoir Thanks For the Money to “fighting him, how to fight him. We have a foldout. We have a step-by-step on how to fight Chevy Chase.” 

Rosenbaum needed to hear more: Fistfight or verbal fight?

“Fists,” responded McHale. “Multiple times. I mean there was pushing and shoving. It was advanced horseplay. And then it would always turn into sex.”

McHale was kidding about the sex part. I think. At the very least, he says, “It wasn’t fun. I got in trouble one time because I injured him. I dislocated his shoulder.”

At least some of the beef between the entire cast and Chase can be traced to his appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in which he said A) Community wasn’t funny enough for him; B) the comedy wasn’t hard-hitting; and C) “I just didn’t want to be surrounded by that table, every day, with those people.”

McHale’s response: “Feeling’s mutual about your attitude and you didn't have to be there. I was like, ‘This was not a prison sentence. You were not conscripted into a war. You were being paid a lot of money and getting free food all day long. So you could just walk away.’”

The relationship was off on the wrong foot right from the beginning. McHale recalled meeting Chase for the first time when the Community cast came together. “I was like, ‘Hi, I’m Joel.’ And he was like, ‘Mmm-hmmm.’” As if to say, “You know who I am.” 

Rosenbaum had one final question: If McHale could go back in time, would he travel into the past to punch Chevy in the face? 

“No,” McHale replied. “I’d be sued.”


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