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Joel McHale: Chevy Chase Wanted to Fight Me (Video)

The "Community" star tells Howard Stern that his irascible former co-star was often ill-tempered on set and claims Richard Pryor gave him permission to use the N-word.

Joel McHale Chevy Chase Comedy Awards - H 2012
Getty Images

If Community does return for a fifth season, it doesn't seem like its stars will miss their now-departed castmate, Chevy Chase.

Chase's tumultuous run on the cult NBC sitcom became legend, his outbursts cataloged in set leaks and voicemail messages from the outset of the quirky comedy's run in 2009. His problems were primarily with the show's creator Dan Harmon, who left after three seasons, but as Joel McHale relayed to Howard Stern on Wednesday, tensions ran high with his co-stars too.

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"He didn't want to be there," McHale recalled. When Stern asked if he ever tried to cheer Chase up and tell him to be happy with his job, McHale explained that "when I would try, he would just try to fight me, physically fight me."

Last summer, McHale told David Letterman that he was taunted by Chase during a boxing scene and ended up accidentally separating Chase's shoulder.

Stern also asked McHale about an on-set incident in which Chase yelled the N-word, in protest of his character's racism.

"You shouldn't be throwing it around on set," he said. "It was one of the things on set where, he used it, and when he said it, I said, 'We are now on Defcon 1.' "

McHale continued, saying that Chase claimed Richard Pryor had given him permission to use that word.