Dan Harmon Interviewed by Rolling Stone
The rebellious showrunner talks about the future of his metasitcom, why he’s just like Denzel Washington and his new project with “Arrested Development’s” Mitch Hurwitz
When Community showrunner Dan Harmon was axed from his metasitcom in 2012, it was the result of a showbiz shit-storm triggered at his oddball variety show “Harmontown.”
One night, in the black-box backroom of the Hollywood geek headquarters Meltdown Comics, Harmon shared voicemails in which Chevy Chase called him an “asshole, alcoholic fat shit” and invited him to “suck my cock.” He was kicked off Community after three seasons, forced to watch it rebooted with replacement directors. (He’d eventually be rehired back in June 2013, in time to head up the show’s fifth season.) Harmon had been booted from his baby, but nobody could touch his live show, which had quickly become the exiled comedy king’s weird new domain.
Premiering at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Neil Berkeley’s documentary Harmontown tells the story of what happened in between Harmon’s firing and rehiring, when the showrunner took his show on a cross-country tour with his co-hosts: the comically slick piano-man Jeff Davis, his girlfriend Erin McGathy, and the Hagrid-beard-bearing dungeon master Spencer Crittenden. “In each city, I got drunk and talked into a microphone,” he says. “I crowdsurfed pantless, drank moonshine, passed out.” The film is as perverse, uncensored, deeply nerdy, and spit-take hilarious as the man himself—and despite the brutal fights, drunken nights, and its subject’s almost ritualistic self-debasement, the doc, like Harmon, throbs with an absurd optimism.
At an outdoor Austin café, Harmon sipped three spicy tequila cocktails as he talked for two hours, explaining why his girlfriend is “not thrilled” by the film, why he’s exactly like Denzel Washington, and why he’s excited about a new comedy project with Arrested Development showrunner Mitch Hurwitz.Read More