Dan Harmon on Community's Cancellation: "Fans Have More Right to Be Upset Than I Do"

By Tim Surette

May 11, 2014

PORTLAND, ORE.—That's right, a dateline! I made it out to a recording of Harmontown this evening because Dan Harmon dropped by my fair city for the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, an annual event showcasing some of the best comedians in the country and their bajillion podcasts. And it figured to be a big Harmontown, given that Harmon's NBC series Community was canceled yesterday after five seasons, and Harmon has a history of expressing his opinion to the max. 

But of the 80-minute freeform discussion that spanned topics such topics as homeless people freezing in Wisconsin, being "anti-book," and mistaking discarded jelly donuts for used feminine-hygiene products, scant minutes were spent talking about Community. In fact, almost 30 minutes passed before Harmontown co-host Jeff Bryan Davis decided it was time to at least acknowledge Community's cancellation. 

"Dan you're burying the lede," Davis said after what may have been a full 20 minutes of talking about a near altercation in a bar the two experienced the night before. "Your show got canceled." That was followed, quite appropriately, with boos from the crowd. 

"I was on my way to LAX, and somebody from Sony called me," Harmon recalled. "Listen I—the fans of that show have more reason to be upset than I do. I can go create another show. And also I got paaaid. The people that are most devastated are people that put unpaid labor into the show. Like, 'I'm hash-tagging this, I'm getting a tattoo of this, I love this show,' they didn't get compensated for it. They had a relationship with the show." 

"The fact that [Community] is now done, how does that make you feel?" Davis asked. 

"It'll take weeks to sink in," Harmon said. 

And then it was back to praising Portland and talking about having lumberjack babies that will look like the lead singer of The Spin Doctors. 

Harmon, who was admittedly and obviously touched by alcohol (and in the wake of Community's cancellation, I don't blame him) spent much of the podcast freestyle rapping, and he spit some fire that was mostly about sodomizing my mother. But he did include a rhyme about going to Kickstarter to fund another season—so maybe there's hope? Of course, he also said he made love to my mother so hard that she had a hysterectomy, and I know for a fact that my mother has never had a hysterectomy, so who knows what's truth and what's fiction. 

The man I saw on stage was in a good mood; if you didn't know it, you wouldn't've guessed that he'd just had one of his pride and joys taken away from him. Harmon didn't speak ill of NBC, he didn't complain about scheduling or ratings, and he wasn't sad. He expressed sympathy for the show's fans, but based on his multiple mentions of making a new show, he appeared to be ready to move on.

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  • slipknot1485 May 12, 2014

    Community will be back! Mark my words.

  • TheBam711 May 12, 2014

    Shows come and go. Sometimes shows survive as long as they could, sometimes they end at the right time, sometimes they end way too soon...New shows come. Some are promising and last for a good amount. Some are really good and don't last for a long time. Some are just bad....It's okay...because my TV schedule is insane and some shows need to go to free up space. (though new/more shows take the spot all the time)...Community, Parks & Recreation, and Parenthood all had a good run. It's okay to let go. We don't need 10 seasons. Five or six seasons is enough. Seven seasons should be the max but I prefer shows to go to five seasons at most.
    Arrow, Person of Interest, and Hannibal were made after a few good shows got cancelled. That's okay because those shows are really good. All are surprisingly good. (I wasn't expecting to like them as much as I like them but really each week I'm like looking forward to those shows more than anything else and I watch a lot of TV.)

  • JT_Kirk May 11, 2014

    Also, it's so tragic about that asteroid that wiped out Greendale.

  • JT_Kirk May 11, 2014

    Sorry to hear about your mother, Tim. ;-)

  • efonsecajr May 11, 2014

    He should give some of that money back, we only got half a good season 5.

  • DesolaKazeem May 11, 2014

    The main thing I got from this is that Dan Harmon is an alcoholic

  • chuuuuck May 11, 2014

    Rick from his show is an alcoholic. Dan just likes a bev. There's a difference.

  • DavidJackson8 May 11, 2014

    Yes and no. On the one hand, I do think he can control it. On the other, he seems to drunk very often.

  • shimmerkopf May 11, 2014

    The main thing I get from this is that you do not know the meaning of the word "alcoholic". Look it up.

  • dude19 May 11, 2014

    Was surprised it didn't get a final season just because I wish it'd have gone out on a brighter note but in all honesty, this season wasn't the second coming people thought it would be and it'd never go out the way it's suppose to (with Troy).

  • tldemarco May 11, 2014

    While I am still holding out hope that we will get a sixth season, I would be content with getting #fiveseasonsandatrilogy?

  • dodge_hickey May 11, 2014

    Was thinking about it since they cancelled Community, if there is a chance of a 6th season I would love to see a epic film made out of claymation (like Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas).

  • Writerpatrick May 11, 2014

    I predict that Netflix will pick it up for a season to follow it with a movie.

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