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Joel McHale Talks 'Community' Renewal and Chevy Chase

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Apr 18, 2012 | 10:24pm EDT

ALTThough many members of the press had prepared several pointed questions for Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Jim Rash during Wednesday's NBC Summer Press Day, there was one major issue on everybody's mind: Chevy Chase's hateful voicemails to Community creator Dan Harmon. Chase's tirades have been circling around the interwebs for weeks, leading many fans to believe that Pierce Hawthorne will exit everyone's favorite study group next semester.

McHale answered reporters' questions with his signature McHale brand of dry, playful sarcasm, but he did offer up an honest bit of truth once the jokes were played through. "There's four voicemails coming out," McHale said. "That way you'll get a whole series. It's going to be a book on tape, and it's going to be read out loud by Samuel L. Jackson. He says [the show's writing is bad] every day. And we say, 'Well, it's not Karate Dog.'"

Everyone laughed of course -- McHale is always on point -- but even the king of acerbity knew he had to throw out some genuine crumbs. "In those voicemails he wasn't very happy, but he loves the cast," he said. "My guess is he'll be back. Let's get the pickup, and then we'll see what happens. I assume [he'll be back], if he gets the Bentley that he asked for.

As for that elusive season four pickup, Brown said she knows exactly as much as the show's fans do -- nothing. "Upfronts are in a month," she said. "We don't know until they tell us, and they haven't told us anything." But still, there's more than a glimmer of hope for another year at Greendale, as shows with higher ratings have not been picked up either. "None of the comedies have gotten picked up yet," McHale said. "So [maybe] NBC is going with zero comedies."

A no-comedy scenario would be absolutely absurd, but no less so than Rash's suggestion for a season four finale: "I guess [The Dean and Jeff Winger] should get married."

Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna

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