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