Showrunner Dan Harmon picks up the pieces and takes his podcast on the road.
Showrunner Dan Harmon picks up the pieces and takes his podcast on the road.

By Justin Rawana

Harmontown

Written/Directed by: Neil Berkeley
Featuring: Dan Harmon, Jeff Bryan Davis, Erin McGathy, and Spencer Crittenden

Against all odds and in affront to God, Chevy Chase, and Nielsen ratings, Community season six premieres next week on Yahoo Screen. To celebrate the return of everyone’s favourite Human Beings, Step On took a closer look at the man behind the paintballmarked madness.

In the dregs of January, 2013, Dan Harmon was between jobs. NBC canned him after three years as Community’s showrunner citing late scripts, oddball leadership style, and several heated clashes with his own writing staff over the show’s creative direction. Not one to sit on the comedic sidelines, however, Harmon decided to move on and capitalize on the best thing going for him: his wildly successful Harmontown podcast. He hired a film crew, rented an old Slayer tour bus, and hit the road for a live cross-country comedy tour.

Conan O’Brien’s career followed a similar trajectory in 2010 after his own NBC property cut him loose and his resulting documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop shares DNA with Harmon’s. Both docs feature comedians on the road doing what they do best – entertainment – whilst a deeper subplot about grappling with professional failure unfolds between the sets. Of the two, Harmon makes for the better documentary subject. A decade on a major network trained Conan into being his own censor but Harmon is game to discuss anything from his issues with alcohol to his most recent spat with his girlfriend. If bio-docs are measured in moments of naked honesty then Harmontown tops the list.

The day Conan gets blitzed on moonshine and falls into a table of hot-wings, on camera, please let me know. Available on Netflix (US and Canada), ITunes , and Amazon Instant Video

Each week, Step On writers have a movie night. This is the second in a new series.

 

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