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April 12, 2012 at 06:00 PM EDT

For a master class in how to handle a sensitive issue, I submit to you Joel McHale, host of The Soup and leading lad of NBC’s Community, which as you probably know is in the midst of a major he-said-he-said dramatic debacle between creator Dan Harmon and costar Chevy Chase.

During a stint as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on Live! With Kelly, McHale was asked to address the feud, and he hedged like a pro. (Watch the video here!) “It was over voice mails, so there’s been some awesome recorded messages from Chevy,” said McHale, who has been asked whether the dispute is real. “It’s impossible because there’s no way Chevy could figure out voice mail.” Charming, yes, but he doesn’t answer the question — flawless evasive joking!

“He hibernates for nine months out of the year, and when you wake someone up, they’re very disoriented,” joked McHale. “A lot of the time they don’t know what they’re saying.”

The rest of the cast has done an equally admirable job skirting the topic during interviews, but McHale added that the argument has kept Community in the news, which may help the struggling show nab a fourth season renewal by NBC. “We don’t have the fourth season pick-up,” he said, “so if this somehow helps, then yes, let’s hope that happens.”

If Chase declines to return to the show (as unsubstantiated rumors would have it) and the fallout leads to cancellation, the publicity may be for naught. What’s your take on the madness, PopWatchers?

Read more:

Chevy Chase’s angry ‘Community’ rant (and four other vicious voicemails)

Joel McHale and Alison Brie star in this comedy about a college study group—which has received second life on Yahoo.
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