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Dan Harmon on Rick And Morty: ‘It feels like I’m always referencing Hitchhiker’s Guide’

On 10, Sep 2015 | In Press & News | By

Harmontown is a 2014 feature documentary profiling the writer and showrunner Dan Harmon, as he tours his podcast of the same name around the US. In it, a murderer’s row of comic talent line up to pay their respects to the creator of the dazzlingly overwrought, criminally undervalued sitcom Community. Ben Stiller calls him “kind of a genius”. John Oliver, the British stand-up whom Harmon cast in a recurring guest role on Community, describes him as “a human hand-grenade with a predilection for pulling his own pin out”. Sarah Silverman, who headhunted Harmon to write for her own comedy series The Sarah Silverman Program, sums it up. “I’m his biggest fan,” she says. “And I fired him.”

A mercurial, wild-bearded, apparently abrasive 42-year-old from Wisconsin, Harmon is a total cult. While feuding with NBC, the exasperated network which fired him as Community showrunner after three seasons, then hastily wooed him back, Harmon publicly declared it was trying to “smother the show with a pillow”. It often seemed like the behind-the-scenes drama of the programme – which screened on EPG nosebleed channel Sony TV in the UK – was reaching a much wider audience than ever tuned in to the actual show. When Harmon clashed repeatedly with disgruntled cast member Chevy Chase, there was the additional pleasure of seeing industry commentators having to attribute “Dan Harmon Poops”, his now-dormant Tumblr, as their source for quotes. Harmon eventually admitted: “I’m a selfish baby and a rude asshole.”

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