In the Silicon Valley season four finale, Erlich Bachman is left in an opium den in Tibet by Gavin, who pays the owner enough money to keep him in a drug-induced haze for five years. It’s an oddly fitting way to write T.J. Miller, who announced weeks ago that this would be his final episode, off the Emmy-nominated comedy, and in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the self-proclaimed “hardest-working man in show business” made it clear he’s done.
“[HBO programming president] Casey [Bloys] called me and said, ‘Hey, when do we start season five? Just kidding. Listen, we love that you’re doing a special with us. I just wanted to check in.’ So I would love to work with them forever,” Miller said. “It’s just that I will never be on Silicon Valley again. That character, as you have seen, disappeared into the ether. And he did it at a time when no one was sick of him, when he had worn thin but not worn out.”
Throughout the wide-ranging interview, Miller is both complimentary (he calls Zach Woods the “greatest improviser alive,” and Martin Starr, “the deadpan comedian of our generation”) and in complete bridge-burning mode. Especially with executive producer and former-Seinfeld writer Alec Berg.
I think that HBO and Alec Berg, specifically, kind of thought — and I guess apparently Thomas Middleditch — I guess they thought, “Alright, maybe this is the end of the character. But like everything in the show, we’ll sort of solve this and then it’s back to normal.” And they just didn’t imagine that I would be in a position of being like, “I think that’s it.”… I don’t know how smart [Alec] is. He went to Harvard, and we all know those kids are f*cking idiots. That Crimson trash. Those comedy writers in Hollywood are f*cking Harvard graduates and that’s why they’re smug as a bug… I think that in television you usually have one element that is very challenging, very frustrating. It’s an obstacle, right? So you’re doing the best work that you can do. Alec was that for me, and I think I was that for Alec.