All the Times ‘Community’ Slyly Referenced Chevy Chase’s Miserable Life

The End of ‘National Lampoonery’

In the Season Three premiere, Pierce has exiled himself from the study group — perhaps not coincidentally, Dean Pelton also proclaims that he is putting a stop to all “national lampoonery.”



Of course, Chase starred in a number of National Lampoon-branded Vacation movies and, prior to Saturday Night Live, was a part of the magazine’s expansion to live performance, which, incidentally, was dramatized in the movie A Futile and Stupid Gesture, featuring Jeff Winger himself, Joel McHale, as Chase.

Jeff Channels Ty Webb From ‘Caddyshack’

Using Chase’s own smarmy shtick against him, in the episode “Competitive Wine Tasting,” Pierce is at the receiving end of a put-down in which Jeff tells him not to sell himself “short,” followed by an insult.


This is a direct lift from a moment in Caddyshack, in which Chase’s character Ty Webb similarly sticks it to a stuffy judge.  

Chase Repeats His Spanish Greeting From ‘Fletch’

Making it abundantly clear that he doesn’t speak a word of Spanish, as the study group walks out of class in protest, Pierce mutters “Tierra de Fuego” to their new Spanish teacher as he exits. It’s a brief moment and so inconsequential that Netflix didn’t even bother to caption it. 


But the phrase, which is not a real Spanish saying, but rather an archipelago “at the southern extremity of South America,” is seemingly a shout-out to a similar moment in Chase’s classic Fletch

An Entire Plotline Was Meant to ‘Mirror’ a ‘Saturday Night Live’ Rumor

In the second season’s “Celebrity Pharmacology,” the gang is forced to stage an anti-drug play, with Troy and Abed dressed as honey bees, which is ultimately ruined by Pierce’s egomania and deep pockets.

According to Harmon, this whole storyline, right down to the bee costumes, was an effort to “mirror Chevy’s biography in a strange way,” specifically the time he returned to host SNL and was a giant asshole to everybody. As Harmon recalled, “That’s why there’s bee costumes involved because the legend is when Chevy returned to host Saturday Night Live in its second season, he and Bill Murray got into a fistfight backstage that a killer-bee-clad John Belushi had to break up and shove Chevy out for his monologue.” 

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