Throughout its six year run, Community had a loyal group of viewers who were passionate about the students at Greendale Community College. Though the show came to an end in 2015, new audiences are now discovering it for the first time through streaming services.
When Community began, The Soup host Joel McHale and SNL alum Chevy Chase were the two top names on the cast list — though the likes of Donald Glover and Alison Brie would soon become stars in their own right.
Chevy, who played Pierce Hawthorne, abruptly left the show after Season 4. Speculation surrounding his exit was soon rampant.
What happened to Pierce on Community? Read on for a refresher on how the character left the show, and the reported reason why Chevy Chase decided to exit.
What happened to Pierce on 'Community'?
Known for his sexist, racist, and off-kilter comments, Pierce's lack of ambition as the heir of a moist towelette empire made him one of the more unique students at Greendale. He began taking classes at the community college in 1999, but he struggled to complete his courses in a timely manner.
As an integral character in the early seasons, Pierce was the oldest student in the study group created by Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), and the group later tried to kick him out because of his behavior.
After opening up a sandwich shop with Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown) in Season 3 and attempting to make a mark for himself outside of his inheritance, Pierce finally got enough credits to graduate in the Season 4 finale.
Following his graduation, the character returned for a brief cameo in the Season 5 episode "Repilot" in the form of a hologram.
It was revealed that he was not allowed to be on the Greendale campus because of a secret court order, and that the quad had been renamed in his honor as the "Pierce Hawthorne Museum of Gender Sensitivity and Sexual Potency."
Just two episodes later, Shirley revealed the unfortunate news that Pierce had passed away, and that the circumstances surrounding his death were a bit fishy. His former study group mates had to take a lie detector test in order to prove that they had not killed Pierce.
While Pierce was gone from the show for good, his will had a lasting impact on the group. He left Shirley his timeshare in Florida. Troy (Donald Glover) received millions of dollars worth of shares in the moist towelette company, if he was willing to travel around the world on Pierce's boat, the Childish Tycoon (which was likely a reference to Donald soon leaving the show to focus on his music career as Childish Gambino).
Pierce also left behind his sperm in a canister for each member of the group in case someone from Greendale wanted to continue his legacy. As a final joke, it was revealed that filling the canisters was what caused his demise.
Why did Chevy Chase leave 'Community'?
While some actors leave popular series' to pursue other jobs, Chevy's 2012 exit from Community came with a lot of baggage. When his exit was confirmed, it was reported that his frequent disagreements with producers, including creator and showrunner Dan Harmon, contributed to his decision to leave.
Interestingly, Dan himself had been fired from the show after Season 3 because he was allegedly too difficult to work with.
Chevy didn't say much about leaving Community at the time, but it was rumored that he had disagreed with one storyline for his character, and that Dan had gotten into a verbal argument with him during the Season 3 wrap party. According to reports, Dan got some of the crew to shout expletives at Chevy once Season 3 concluded.
Dan even played nasty voicemails from Chevy in an episode of his podcast Harmontown.
The writer confirmed that he did feud with Chevy in a 2013 spread with The Hollywood Reporter. But, Chevy himself said that they had put their issues to the side.
"Dan and I are friends again. He's brilliant and can be very funny. The reason I wanted to do the show in the first place was Dan's writing," he told the outlet. "And I stand by that."
After Dan left the show, Chevy allegedly still struggled to agree with certain storylines on the show. It was reported that he used a racial slur following a disagreement when filming the Season 4 episode "Advanced Documentary Filmmaking," and he walked off set. Shortly thereafter, it was confirmed that he would leave the series.
Dan Harmon was later rehired for Season 5, and he worked on the show until it concluded after the sixth season.