No matter what show from which he’s fired, there’s one thing you have to give to Dan Harmon: He always keeps moving.
The on-again, off-again showrunner and creator of Yahoo Screen nee NBC’s cult hit Community had a little time on his hands at the end of the series’ third season. After butting heads with Sony executives, who produced the show, time and again over budgetary concerns and his very public feud with the show’s co-star Chevy Chase, Harmon was fired from the very sitcom he helped build from the ground up.
While Harmon was eventually hired back after the best-left-forgotten season four of the series, Dan had some hours to kill in between developing series like Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty. (Seriously, if you’re not watching Rick & Morty, you need to reexamine your life in a hard way.) Rather than sit on his ass and watch his creation morph into a Frankensteinian shade of its former self, Harmon hit the road with his “Harmontown” podcast, performing live for fans across the nation.
Documentarian Neil Berkeley (Beauty Is Embarrassing) hitched a ride on the “Harmontown” tour and captured the experience for his new documentary Harmontown, natch. Berkeley gets an opportunity to see Harmon at his rawest, which is saying something for the notoriously baldly honest Community creator and former writer for The Sarah Silverman Project. Further, Berkeley has the chance to sit down with Harmon’s past and present collaborators – including Joel McHale, Ken Jeong, and Alison Brie – to get their take on the writing machine with neuroses for cogs.
Watch the trailer:
If the trailer to the film is any indication, we should get a candid look at Harmon through both his ruminations and the interviews of who know him well. Comedian and producer Sarah Silverman’s quote in the trailer should attest to that: “I’m his biggest fan, and I fired him.”
I’m hoping that the film will examine why Harmon decided to take his podcast on the road in the first place, for reasons other than to stay busy. I imagine, and I’m just guessing, that the tour allowed the show’s creator to do some self-assessment after being ousted from Community. From interviews with the man, it seems like his reaction was akin to losing a child or being adrift at sea. I assume that connecting with fans during the tour served as a way to find a light in the storm and remember why he was in the entertainment business in the first place.
Harmontown is currently playing in select theaters and on VOD. Keep an eye on the official website for updates. You can also expect to see Community to return on its new home over at Yahoo! Screen toward the end of the year.
Jed Harris-Keith is a pop culture junkie, but insists he can stop whenever he wants. He currently resides in Camarillo, California, with his wife and their two bassets, Otto and Igor.