Skip to content

Joel McHale Says He Dislocated Chevy Chase's Shoulder in an On-Set Fight

The Community co-stars feuded on and off the set.

Community is often regarded as one of the best sitcoms of the 2010s, and with good reason. The series is about a fast-talking lawyer who goes back to school and forms a study group, but it ended up expanding far beyond its basic premise. Vice once described Community as "one of the most inventive shows in TV history" thanks to its meta storylines and memorable characters. But while fans fell in love with the ragtag study group at Greendale Community College, star Joel McHale says the show didn't foster warm community behind-the-scenes.

RELATED: Chevy Chase Doesn't Regret "Community" Firing: "I Didn't Want to Be With Those People."

While McHale looks back on his Community years fondly, he's never been one to beat around the bush about the tension and on-set antics from co-star Chevy Chase. Chase starred on the series until its fifth season, when he transitioned to a guest role before exiting the show for good.

In a 2013 Larry King Now interview, McHale admitted "I danced the dance" to stay on Chase's good side, also pointing out that Chase was very vocal about wanting to disassociate himself from Community at the end of Season 3.

McHale also appeared on The Howard Stern Show, where he said that his attempts to soften Chase's moody behavior were often met with physical threats.

"When I would try, he would just try to fight me," McHale recalled. "He wanted to physically fight me."

McHale, for his part, clarified that he never felt as though the comedian's animosity was a reflection of their relationship—but rather that McHale just happened to be on the receiving end of Chase's growing disdain for the sitcom.

However, in a new interview, McHale elaborated on the moments where things got truly "contentious" between the two actors on set. At one point, a physical altercation landed Chase in the hospital.

On the Jan. 30 episode of Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You podcast, McHale reflected on his 2016 memoir, Thanks for the Money, in which he outlines "how to fight Chevy Chase."

The section may be tongue-in-cheek, but it came from a real place. When Rosenbaum asked if his on-set fighting with Chase ever turned physical, McHale said that it did—and more than once.

"It would get a little contentious," he said.

McHale went on to recall one altercation in particular that ended with him in trouble, and Chase with a serious injury.

"I got in trouble one time because I injured him. I dislocated his shoulder," he admitted.

RELATED: "SNL" Stars Make Rare Comment on "Awful" Chevy Chase & Bill Murray Fight.

McHale isn't the only one of his Community castmates who found Chase's on-set behavior unruly. In a 2018 interview with The New Yorker, Donald Glover said Chase would often make racial jabs in between takes, arguing that fans only liked Glover "because you're Black."

"Chevy was the first to realize how immensely gifted Donald was, and the way he expressed his jealousy was to try to throw Donald off. I remember apologizing to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy's non-P.C. verbiage," series creator Dan Harmon told the outlet.

Glover added, "I just saw Chevy as fighting time—a true artist has to be OK with his reign being over. I can't help him if he's thrashing in the water. But I know there's a human in there somewhere—he's almost too human."

Best Life reached out to Chase's representatives about the alleged on-set altercation, and will update this story with their response.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
Filed Under