Community creator Dan Harmon’s full-speed, cross-country tour (one city per day) for his live podcast, “Harmontown,” stopped at Brooklyn’s Bell House Wednesday night, and his old friend Jason Sudeikis joined him and co-host Jeff Davis for nearly the whole show. But another old pal whom Harmon had contacted to cameo was a cryptic no-show: Chevy Chase. After Harmon and Sudeikis tried to decipher Chase’s odd response to the invite, they decided to do the next best thing to having him: crank-call him live.
It’s important to note something up front for those who don’t keep up with “Harmontown” and whose last memories of Harmon and Chase’s relationship were of leaked, angry, profanity-packed voice mails: Since both have left Community, their relationship seems to have become much less antagonistic now that it is no longer centered on Harmon delivering scripts to Chase that he does not deem funny.
Anyway, during the free-form show, Harmon recounted Chase’s confusing response to Harmon’s invite. “I texted him, ‘I’m doing my show in Brooklyn tomorrow night; are you in New York?’ and three hours later, he texted back the word country.”
The group then tried to figure out what this could mean. Asked Sudeikis, “How did he spell it? Was it two words or one word? Was he calling you a name?”
Said Davis, “Does he have a treasure map he’s gonna give you?” He then Curly’s Gold–ishly groaned in a dying voice: “Country … ”
Harmon: “Is that the password to deactivate his burglar alarm? Who was he mistaking me for?”
Sudeikis, imitating the cadences of a fast-talking investigator: “His last text was the word country. I want to know what this guy meant? Who was this guy? What did he mean to people? Country!”
To solve the mystery, Harmon dialed Chevy on speakerphone and put his mike to it. Alas, the call went to voice mail. As Chase’s voice played, Harmon urged Sudeikis to leave a message as Vice-President Joe Biden, one of his staple SNL impressions. “Hey, Chevy, it’s Joe Biden,” said Sudeikis. “I just want to say we thank you for being a great patriot, and have fun in the country. We hope the country you always want to go back to is America.”
Harmon hung up and conceded, “It’s a pretty low-stakes prank. We’re not exactly the Jerky Boys.” They then parsed the many flaws in this punking. One, as Sudeikis pointed out, he actually sounds nothing like Joe Biden. And two, Chase’s phone clearly identified Harmon as the caller. Or, as Harmon pointed out, he may be listed in Chase’s contacts as “Fat, drunk asshole.”
Harmon has called Chase before on his live podcast. On the January 4 show, he tried to get him to come on the show to play live Dungeons and Dragons, a staple of the show. “We’re the same person,” he said while he was dialing. “Both got fired from NBC. We have more in common than ever.” He got voice mail and in his message said, “I’m sorry it happened to you, too, and I love you, and I love your vagina … I’m sorry for everything, call me back.” He then explained to the audience, “Honestly, people don’t understand, we never really … he did that thing, and I hated him for it, and he was very difficult to work with. But that wasn’t why I got fired. He and I were peas in a pod, peas in a psychotic pod. The entire time all of that hullabaloo was happening, he and I were texting stupid vagina jokes to each other. He’s a child, like me. It’s fine, whatever.” On the following week’s show, he reported that Chase called him back the next day “and was very sweet and cool. He and I have always gotten along … kind of. I just hated working with him. I tell you, when it comes to understanding a person, eccch, God help me, I’ve never understood a man better. Just my time with him in the trailer, hearing him talk about how my show wasn’t funny … In between that stuff, though, he was saying things that I understood. ‘I know how you feel, I don’t want to die either. I want to punch God in the face and everyone who represents his sloppy work too. I deserve better than this, too.’ Honestly … I do use the term loosely, but I would call him a friend.”
The Brooklyn show will presumably go up today on iTunes, and “Harmontown” continues its breakneck tour across America through January 31. If you are lucky, he may rap while crowd-surfing in your city, as he did in Brooklyn last night.