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CCI: Community Cast and Crew Tease ‘Four Seasons and a Porno’

Joel McHale and Yvette Nicole Brown of "Community" (photos by Mark Cronan)

Following chants of “Six Seasons and a Movie,” moderator Michael Schneider introduced the enthusiastic audience at Comic-Con International to the cast and crew of NBC’s fan-favorite comedy Community.

Present were stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown and Alison Brie, executive producers Russ Krasnoff, David Guarascio and Moses Port, and writers Megan Ganz and Andy Bobrow.

“It’s all going to be OK, right?” Schneider asked, referring to the firing of Community creator and showrunner Dan Harmon.

“It’s all going to be OK,” Guarascio assured the crowd. “A couple months ago, we were like most of you, just huge fans of the show who thought it was one of the most special things on television. And suddenly now we’re here, helping to keep it going. The only thing we care about is keeping it this sort of weird, wonderful gem that its always been, and that’s just not going to change.”

Addressing the show’s renewal after a third season filled with uncertainty, McHale said, “There wouldn’t have been a Season 4 without you guys. Your flash mobs and fake beards, your blood sacrifices, and all those things culminated into the greatest fan base that there’s ever been, that any television show has ever had in the history of all television. So thank you. And if we do get canceled after 13 episodes, I blame you.”

Asked about the growing relationship between Jeff and Shirley, Brown replied, “Jeff and Shirley’s relationship kind of mirrors Joel and mine’s relationship. He teases me a lot, and I beat him at foosball — a lot.”

Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie

“She called me Tinkle Town before it was in the episode,” McHale said.

“That’s why it was in the script, because he pees himself,” Brown added.

“I’m totally incontinent, it’s so sad,” McHale grinned.

Continuing the discussion of the foosball episode, McHale said, “I hope there’s more anime in this season, because we could have never pulled that off physically. We could have tried, but we’d be dead. So in conclusion, we really like this relationship.”

“Joel, are you happy to work with me?” Brown said.

“For like two hours out of the day …” McHale replied.

“It’s a 16-hour day, guys,” Brown interrupted.

“Nick Kroll, who played the head of the Germans in that episode — e should have won an Oscar for that performance, McHale said. “He was amazing,”

“They might be coming back,” Ganz whispered in reference to the German foosball players. “Whoah, spoiler alert!” McHale and Brown yelled together.

Turning to the evolution of his character over the past season, McHale said, “When I look back at the episodes, I noticed that my character got accidentally high, a lot. … I hope that happens a lot more. And I think this is the first time that Jeff really likes the group, and cares about them. And now we’re going to meet his father.”

Pudi also addressed the friendship of Abed and Troy, which was put to the test in the third season. “It was really hard. He’s the best friend,” he said. I found it really interesting to explore them in a rift. It was the first time we got to see Troy and Abed not agree on something, because we’re used to seeing them say, ‘Let’s crab walk home,’ and them just doing it. The first time we tried to do that scene, where Donald [Glover] reached out to give me that high-five and Abed just kind of turns and leaves, that was the most heart-breaking 10 seconds of my life in the set of Community, because that is our thing. I thought it was cool. It was nice to see how these people interact in their home … and even though the Dreamatorium is down, there is still the Little Dreamatorium that Abed managed to keep for himself. It was a fun world to explore, although I am always happier to just do ‘Troy and Abed in the Morning.’”

The third season also found Annie moving in with Troy and Abed. “It was fascinating,” Brie said. “Over the three years, we’ve watched the devolution of Annie. She started uptight and scholarly and was very concerned with school. Then the second season she was just concerned with boys. And then in the third season … I think she’s lightened up a lot living with the boys, and is taking steps backwards in the land of maturity. But in a good way, I think.”

Britta, too, underwent changes last season, declaring a psychology major and attempting to diagnose everyone. “Britta is still the worst,” Jacobs said. She inadvertently helped some people. She accidentally gave Winger some good advice. I kind of helped Abed and was almost killed by him. … He came in with a bone saw and Allison and I were sitting there not doing anything, watching.”

Danny Pudi and Gillian Jacobs

“And then we just hugged it out,” Pudi added.

“I will say Season 3 had a lot of good hugs,” Jacobs concluded.

However, it also had a lot of deaths, including the apparent demise of Starburns.

“Yeah, and Jeff Winger kills Pierce’s father,” McHale said.

“The Glee Club is killed … and the darkest timeline … and John Goodman died,” Brown added.

“So it’s really you guys, and Breaking Bad, that are the two deadliest shows on television,” Schneider countered.

“Yeah, and we also had a meth lab explosion,” Brie said.

“And by the way, Gus Fring was a guest star,” Schneider said.

“Wow, it’s all coming together,” Pudi marveled.

Asked who Jeff is texting all the time, McHale replied, “I’m just composing texts. He’s not necessarily sending them. Jeff knows nobody. Or maybe it’s his hairdresser. I don’t think Jeff tweets, or maybe he does.”

“You did, because you lost all those followers because they don’t like Ben Sherman’s winter collection,” Ganz said.

Bobrow addressed the evolution of the “Pillows and Blankets” episode, explaining, “It was important to us to really explore the Abed and Troy relationship in a way that would be gutsy and true to the reality of the show, which is that Troy and Abed are wired differently and there are bound to be some changes in Troy that just aren’t going to happen in Abed. … It was somewhat of an inside joke because when we made that blanket fort in the ‘Conspiracy Theories’ episode originally we wanted a pillow fort and … there wasn’t the budget to spend the time to make the pillow fort.”

Asked about their favorite Season 3 episodes, Ganz said she loved creating the Law & Order spoof. “The first half is, like, Troy and Abed solve a murder, and then Shirley plays an amazing lieutenant to their cops,” she recalled. “And halfway through you get to transfer over and see Jeff and Annie be these amazing lawyers … and then there was a bit of Britta. Oh, and Chevy was … somewhere. It was a ton of fun.”

Port turned from last season to what fans can expect this fall. “It’s the senior year … that’s just going to give us an opportunity to explore some new relationships,” he said. “One of them might involve the Dean and Jeff. I’m just going to say they’re going to take a step forward. We’re going to see Pierce’s mansion and see the twisted world where he lives … the disturbing images you’ll see. We’re going to be going to an Inspector Space-time Convention, everyone’s going to go.”

As to whether they will graduate this year, McHale said, “Right, like you have so many friends who have graduated from community college in four years?” Port added that the show can continue with all the characters even if not all of them are in school.

Brown showed off the cover of the new DVD, which arrives Aug. 14. “It includes commentaries on every episode, and a gleeful ‘Community Christmas’ featurette, and also ‘This is War: Pillows vs. Blankets,’ and then deleted scenes, and over 20 minutes of outtakes,” she explained. “The outtakes get really crazy guys, that might be the best part of the DVD.”

Some outtakes were shown, including a scene where Annie raps a werewolf song with Shirley, Abed gets felt up, Pierce curses, and lots of flubs.

The panel then took a silly turn as Pudi and McHale performed the Christmas rap.

Jacobs brought things back to Earth by expressing her love for the fans, “You are so awesome,” she said. “You are the reason we are sitting here right now, and that we’re coming back for a fourth season. … We love everything piece of fan art that you send us online, how we love the videos that you make for us on YouTube, the flash mobs, the online organizing, the art show in L.A. … I’m getting goose bumps just talking about how much we appreciate you guys. Thank you once again. We may not win Emmys or even get nominated for them, but we win every single online poll, and that is because of you guys and your tireless dedication. That kind of dedication to the show, I hope you see that from us in the show … we try to make the show as detailed and reward your viewership, and sprinkle Easter eggs in there, and we focus on prop continuity … and we just want to thank you guys for us coming back for a fourth season.”

Guarascio then showed a short fan video, including displays of fan art, clips from other shows talking about Community, interviews with the cast, and other items all thanking the fans.

Asked about Britta and Troy, Jacobs said, “I don’t know anything about writing a television show. I think it’s a very delicate line these guys walk … and not sending us down the line to a relationship show. I leave it to these capable hands.”

“The sparks might turn into a little bit of fire,” Babrow added.

Responding to a request to perform his Batman impression, Pudi said in a raspy voice, “Thank you, fans. Thank you, Comic-Con. Four seasons and a porno. Six seasons and a movie. Abed is Batman now.”

Questioned about Evil Abed, Pudi said, “I like to assess a season based on what I wore, like Dean Pelton did, and this season it was all about fake facial hair.”

Asked how the Beetlejuice gag developed over the course of the show, Ganz said, “I just walked in one day and said Dan are you aware that we’ve said ‘Beetlejuice’ on the show two times, we should be careful. So we thought we should say it a third time in the Halloween episode, as someone walks by in a Beetlejuice costume. And props to the fans because we thought there is absolutely no way anyone will put this together and within a few days they had a YouTube thing going around, and it was amazing. I will say that it is because of the show, all the writers and the actors, that the layering that happens like that will always be a part of the show … that sort of rewarding your viewership will always happen, with more and more layers every year.”

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Comments

  • Jack

    Alison Brie, with one ‘l’ :)

  • Flyinghigherenator

    …and two awesome boobs

  • edge007

    Not to mention the monkey named after them.