One of the many things we learned from Community-creator Dan Harmon’s Reddit AMA was that his beef with Chevy Chase revolved around Chase’s unwillingness to film a scene involving a game designed by the Abed character (more on that later). Redditor Derferman of r/hawkthorne has now created a free game similar to the one we didn’t get to see at the end of the “Digital Estate Planning” episode of Community.
Here’s how Harmon described the game in the scene Chase refused to film:
The rumour mill says that Chevy Chase walked off set at the end of filming for Season 3 because he refused to do something. What did he refuse to do?
He refused to do the “tag” for the “Digital Estate Planning” episode (the 8 bit video game episode). In the scripted tag, Abed comes to Pierce with the thumb drive he took, and says “Pierce, I’ve been able to adjust some of the code for your Dad’s video game and I’ve made a version I think you might like better.” He puts the thumb drive into a laptop in front of Pierce. We cut to the laptop screen, where we see Pierce’s avatar on a front lawn with the giant floating head of Cornelius. Every time Pierce presses the space bar, his avatar throws a baseball to his father’s head, which gives him a thousand points and a “great job, son!” Pierce presses the space bar a few times, pauses, then leans over and embraces Abed and we fade to black. When Adam Countee pitched that tag, tears instantly rolled down my cheeks, and in point of fact, my eyes are getting watery describing it to you. It was the most important part of the episode and possibly one of the most important moments of the season. I was very upset to hear that it wasn’t shot because someone didn’t feel like shooting it, especially since it was literally the last day of shooting, which meant we’d never be able to pick it up. I regret nothing about how upset I got. My job was to care about my show.
Why did he refuse to do it?
The answer I heard from the people on set was that he didn’t think it was funny. After he realized how upset I was about it, he said things in voicemails like “there was no script” (untrue) and “I have a weird relationship with the name Cornelius” (dumb, he had no dialogue in the tag). The real answer, I believe, is that he wanted to go home because he was tired. He probably didn’t realize he was permanently damaging the episode by doing so because he often walked off set and then we would just pick up his shots later in the week. But this was the final shot of the season. The sets came down after he walked away. So this was the one time in three years that his personality caused unfixable damage to something I really held valuable.
Derferman created a great little version of the game and offered it up for free downloading. Each time the 8-bit version of Pierce throws the ball at his father Cornelius’ disembodied head, Cornelius says, “That’s my boy!” and Pierce scores 1000 points. At 4000 points, Pierce smiles. For the background music, Derferman chose the Britta-bot music from Community‘s stop-motion Christmas episode. It’s adorable.
Better yet, Community writer Megan Ganz said the game made her cry, and that she would show it to the cast and crew. She later posted that they all loved it, except for Chevy, whom she didn’t introduce to the game because she “Didn’t want to stir that pot.”
Chase might have something to say about that…
(H/T: Boing Boing)