Community seems to have become a series we remember more by GIFs and breakout stars, especially as Donald Glover adds so many other iconic roles to his profile. Community itself outlasted him by a season and a half, but as creator Dan Harmon now admits, Glover’s exit was “the death of the show.”

Keep in mind that Community had any number of death knells, from Harmon’s own ouster and return to the series, to a last-minute renewal on Yahoo Screen. All the same, those final two seasons certainly felt like they were trying to fill the void left by Glover’s Troy Barnes, and Harmon tells The Hollywood Reporter in a lengthy profile of the new Han Solo star that the series never recovered from his absence:

You can’t tell that guy, ‘Oh, now this is the time you’re going to fail, so you should definitely not keep moving forward.’ Look at his ascent. If I were Donald Glover, I would try eating the moon, because we’re not so sure he can’t until he tries since everything he tries he succeeds at … I needed to convince myself that Donald leaving wasn’t the death of the show, but now that it’s all over, I think we can agree that it was.

It’s worth acknowledging that Season 5 made a meal of Glover’s exit and the impact on other characters, while additions like Jonathan Banks, Keith David and Paget Brewster kept the series relatively strong through its final days. There’s every chance Harmon gets the chance to revisit Community one last time (the “movie” part of its “six seasons” mantra remains unfilled), and Glover’s return was thought to form a central component of that.

Both Harmon and Glover are doing just fine in the meantime, but might Community have carried on if Troy stayed?

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