“Community” will finally premiere its fourth season on Thursday, February 7th at 8PM on NBC!
Order is restored on Thursday as cult comedy Community returns to its 8 PM slot. The much-delayed fourth season of Community will premiere February 7.
Troy and Abed do their best to explain the upcoming season premiere of Community.
The cast of “Community” picked up the EWwy award for “Best Comedy Series” this year!
After finishing second in 2010 and 2011, Community finally nabs its first EWwy for Best Comedy with the largest margin of victory in any category this year: 8,933 votes separated it from runner-up Parks and Recreation.
Community — 49.06%
Parks and Recreation — 20.58%
How I Met Your Mother — 15.03%
Louie — 7.90%
Happy Endings — 7.44%
As if free health care, all-you-can-eat poutine and a Tim Hortons on every corner weren’t reason enough to want to drop everything and visit the Great White North, Netflix Canada recently announced that COMMUNITY seasons one thru three are now available for streaming in their entirety. How do we know this you ask, well aside from being a longtime Netflix Canada subscriber (DAMAGES FTW!), we recently had the pleasure of chatting one-on-two with series stars Gillian Jacobs and Yvette Nicole Brown, who were only too happy to dish about their favorite episodes, behind-the-scenes antics and what life is like at Greendale in a post Dan Harmon world.
With COMMUNITY now available on Netflix Canada, is there a specific episodes, or a favorite one that you’d recommend newbies start with?
Yvette Nicole Brown: Since Netflix Canada is streaming all three seasons, I would suggest that you start at season one, wouldn’t you say Gillian?
Gillian Jacobs: I think our first stand out episode would be Halloween season one.
YNB: Yes! I also think the paintball episode would be a good choice. If you’re trying to introduce someone new to the show I would show them the paintball one or Halloween, but if you’re trying to experience the show for yourself, I would go for the pilot and take a ride.
What about in terms of your character’s specifically?
YNB: I really loved the Halloween episode, because it’s the one where I worked with Gillian for the first time.
GJ: I think Jeff and Shirley season one.
YNB: Really, you think? Alright, we’ll go with Jeff and Shirley, the gossip episode.
Unlike many actors who shall remain nameless, both of you seem to really know your show inside and out. Do you watch it?
GJ: Totally! I’ve seen every episode of the show.
YNB: I’ve seen every episode, some episodes more than once because I’m also a fan of the show. Especially if it’s a scene that I’m not in I tend to watch more than the ones I’m in because we weren’t there when it was taped and I’m a fan of these people and want to see how they brought it to life.
GJ: I remember this moment in season one where Donald [Glover] went, “I think you know I have a thing for butt stuff,” which was a scene that neither one of us was in and I just remember watching that over and over and over, it made me laugh so hard. It was so unexpected because it wasn’t in the script, it was just an improv that Donald had done.
The show has such an amazing track record when it comes to fans picking up on things that take on a life of their own (See: Pulling a ‘Britta,’ Streets ahead, #sixseasonsandamovie). Can you as an actor to read the script and predict what things will have a second life online?
GJ: I don’t know if you can predict it. THere are certainly things that we as a cast have fallen in love with that we repeat to each other endlessly that I don’t think are any fan’s favorite. In season one, Shirley said, “I’m gonna die by a werewolf.”
YNB: We made a song.
GJ: Before the rap, we were the only people saying it.
YNB: We’ve been doing it since season one.
GJ: And it wasn’t anything the fans knew about or ever caught on. We also love to say Jim’s [Rash] lines over and over again, “Oh Jeffrey,” or “Save a dance for Jeffery,” it’s just this thing that amuses us on set.
Moving on to the awkward portion of this interview, how does Dan Harmon’s exit affect the show’s fourth season? One imagines that things must be different when a showrunner with a vision as unique as Harmons is no longer steering the ship.
GJ: They changed all the character names, we don’t go to community college anymore…
YNB: [Laughs] That’s the best answer I’ve ever heard!
GJ: It’s all of our intention — and this includes the new writers, returning writers, cast and crew — to keep the show true to what Dan Harmon created and what he would want. We have the utmost respect for him and it’s no ones intention to change it. Dan is not writing the episodes anymore so that is inherently going to make it different but I don’t think the show is betraying itself or moving away from what it was that people loved about it. We love the show as much as the fans do so we would never want to participate in the betrayal of COMMUNITY. We want nothing more than continue to give you quality episodes of television so that’s all of our fervent goal and desire.
One thing that the show has not “Britta’d” this season is the guest stars with Malcolm Mcdowell, Matt Lucas and Tricia Helfer already confirmed.
GJ: We haven’t worked with Matt Lucas or Tricia Helfer yet but Malcolm Mcdowell is lovely.
YNB: He’s a legend.
GJ: Very funny.
YNB: And very approachable. You would think that someone who is that famous, British, proper, would be standoffish. But he’s not, he’s just a silly fun man.
GJ: We’re very comfortable joking around him.
What surprises can you let slip about the upcoming fourth season?
YNB: We see Pierce’s mansion in the season opener, a Halloween episode and it’s a sight to behold. We’re also going to meet Jeff’s father, it hasn’t happened yet but we’re going to meet him. There’s also some Britta/Troy developments… picture that… instagram?!
YNB: That was a reach.
Speaking of social media, is it fair to say that Twitter has played a fairly substantial role in keeping COMMUNITY on the air?
GJ: Yeah definitely. It’s a way for us to directly communicate with the fans, for them to communicate with us and I think they also used it to rally amongst each other to support the show.
YNB: They’re very organized.
GJ: I think seeing things from our show trending as the episode is airing has been not only good for the network and studio but for us as well. It makes us feel so incredibly good when we see that happen because we’re not a ratings blockbuster. And not just Twitter, but Tumblr, Reddit, we’re very much a show of the internet. All these things have really embraced the show and helped spread the word.
Does it ever weird you out that a fan can grab any frame of your show and turn it into an animated GIF that will live on the internet in perpetuity?
GJ: This is not nearly the raciest thing I’ve been a part of so any GIF fans are going to make of me on COMMUNITY is tame compared to films I’ve done! What’s strange though is that how things have changed over the course of our career. You used to feel like you did something, it existed in time and maybe there’s an image of it somewhere, but now it’s instantaneous.
YNB: It’s forever now, it’s a video, a remix, a GIF, a meme, the creativity of the people that watch the show baffles me to this day. There’s a lot of ways they can use their gifts and they choose to use them to draw us and make videos, posters, fan art, my mind can’t wrap my head around it, it’s amazing.
Is there anything in particular you’d like to see for your characters this season?
GJ: I’d like to see Britta continue to work her therapy skills on people’s minds. I enjoy her unconventional approach to the art of therapy. Also, anytime she gets to make a fool of herself, I’m really happy.
YNB: I’d like to see Shirley continue with her sandwich shop. I’d like to see more of [Shirley's Husband] Malcolm-Jamal Warner, for creative and personal reasons (Kidding!) And if anyone graduates this year I kind of hope it’s Shirley. I think it would be nice to realize that Shirley has actually been studying all these years, never opened a book mind you, she’s a savant!
And finally, since you’re here to promote COMMUNITY on Netflix Canada, what’s in your queue?
YNB: I just started watching…
GJ: TEEN WOLF… TEEN WITCH [Laughs]
YNB: Shut Up! I just started watching BREAKING BAD, on Sunday I started watching when I should have been packing for this trip… just one more episdoe… it was so good. Also, FAMILY GUY, those two on Netflix I’m all over every single episode from start to finish.
Community is often at its best when dealing in high-concept humor. (Think Law & Order parody, Ken Burns homage, or the 8-bit video game episode.) But as you’ll see in this exclusive excerpt from the season-three gag reel, the Greendale gang is not opposed to leaning on the poop-puke-fart trifecta to score lowbrow laughs. Donald Glover even Method vomits. Get the rest of the bloopers, deleted scenes, cast and crew commentary, and making-of featurettes on the Community: Complete Third Season DVD set, due out August 14.
At Comic-Con a couple of weeks back, I was among a group of reporters who sat down for round table interviews with Community cast members Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown and Alison Brie, shortly before they went onstage for their panel at the convention.
This was the first time the Community crew were doing major press for the show since Dan Harmon was removed as showrunner, amongst a cloud of fan disappointment. So when McHale spoke to us, one of the reporters kicked things off with the core question: Can Community still be Community without Dan Harmon?
Said McHale, “Well, I sure hope so. It’s been a very odd time because Dan created the show and gave me the job of a lifetime. It’s definitely a time of transition. I worked with the new showrunners [David Guarascio and Moses Port] on The IT Crowd pilot way back in 2007. So I know that those guys are really good guys – and a lot of the writers are back. Boy, I hope so.”
Asked what changes we might see on the show, which doesn’t go back into production until August, McHale replied, “We’re going to mostly speak in Spanish because Telemundo is so huge now. Uniforms, school uniforms. It will no longer be at a community college, it will be on the deck of the Starship Enterprise. No, I don’t know. I have not seen any of the scripts. It’s not like I know, ‘Oh, this year we’re going to steal a submarine.’ I don’t know those sorts of things. I do know that we’re going to meet Jeff’s father. I’m just hoping for a lot more duets with the dean.”
Jacobs said the cast had been assured the series would maintain the same spirit it’s always had, noting, “We’re all still here, and I’m really glad that [Community writers] Megan Ganz, Andy Bobrow, Steve Basilone and Annie Mebane are back. I feel like all those people wrote some of the fans’ favorite episodes. Obviously, the show never would have been the show without Dan Harmon, and we’re so grateful for him.”
Pudi said he felt the show could still maintain the same sprit, “because we have each other. That’s been the thing. We’ve spent seven zillion hours working together over the last three years. So we know we’ve got our bits. We’ve got our bits, and we have our energies. We’re excited to be working at 4am and picking each other’s noses. I think that that’s still there, right?” Replied Jacobs, “As long as you’re there to pick my nose, everything is going to be fine.”
Said Brown, “The vibe’s going to be exactly the same because we’re the same. Nothing’s changed. We bring our love with us. Whoever joins the party, it’s more love to go around. It’s not a bad thing. I saw Dan Harmon at our art show, and Dan was like, ‘If you talk to anybody, can you tell everybody that I’m okay? You can tell everybody to relax and just know that life is good.’ He created a beautiful show. He’s still friends with everybody. It’s not bad, guys. We’re all right!”
The morning of Community’s Comic-Con panel was the first time the cast had spoken in person to their new showrunners, but Brie said, “They seem cool. They’re such big fans of the show, and they’re so excited to work on the show. I like to think, because our show pushes boundaries so much, that anyone who would come to work on the show is doing that because they’re excited to push those boundaries in a similar way.”
As far as what she’d like to see in the coming season, Brie remarked, “That’s such a hard question because I feel like we’ve done so much. I lean more towards action stuff, but then we kind of got to live that dream. I always want to get in on more of the Troy and Abed stuff, but then I got to do a whole Dreamatorium episode with Danny. So that dream was kind of fulfilled. But Troy wasn’t around, so maybe some good Troy and Abed shenanigans.”
She also added, “I want to spoof the horror genre because I love horror movies, but they terrify me. I can’t see a ton of them. I loved working on Scream 4, and I always felt like it would be cool to do a nod to a really good horror movie.”
This caused Brown to remark, “I’m nervous, though! The black people die early [in horror movies].” When Brie told her, “We’re going to turn that on its head! This is Community!,” Brown replied, “All right, all right. That’s me and Donald [Glover’s] scene; we’ll die together. That would be good.”
When the subject of new romances was brought up to Jacobs (who noted Britta is “the most sexually active person at Greendale”), I couldn’t resist joking about a Britta/Leonard hook-up. Exclaimed Jacobs, “Ooooh! I would like a Leonard/Britta storyline! I love Richard Erdman a little too much, so that would probably be unrequited love if Britta became obsessed with Leonard. I mean, we know that I already made out with Star-Burns. That was a discovery for me in Season 3.”
Community is famous for its theme and parody episodes, and Jacobs said she’d love to see one styled after a daytime soap. As for Pudi, he remarked, “I’ve always wanted to do a black-and-white episode, or something in a different language, too. Just a whole episode in a different language.”
Speaking about the show’s move to Friday nights, McHale said, “With the way people have watched Community and with the way television is going, you guys probably know that our DVR numbers are terrific. So in that sense, it shouldn’t affect that. I hope with the way that television is going that we are part of that trend and that we will be the highest rated show in the history of Friday nights, even over Fantasy Island and Love Boat — no, that was Saturday nights. But I hope it works.” Referencing the series Community now leads into, McHale added, “We’re so similar to Grimm that I think people will be like, ‘I can’t even tell the difference between these shows!’”
As for Community’s loyal fanbase, McHale remarked, “The fan support is unreal. I think it’s unprecedented the way our fans came together and got the fire fueled. They wanted the show back when it was put on hiatus, and they have been in support. When people walk up to me wearing the Abed beard for no reason on the street, I’ll be like, ‘Were you at an event?’ ‘Nope!’ It makes me emotional. I’ve never seen anything like it. The art show, the flash mobs, the sing-alongs, the shipper videos, the websites, the online campaigns — all those things, I’m in their debt. As I’ve said in a number of interviews, everyone’s said that it’s a cult following. Nope, it’s a cult. It’s a real cult. They made a blood sacrifice last week. So I could not be more happy about it.”
Community: Season 4 premieres Friday, October 19th on NBC.
This morning, the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards were announced and “Community” has been nominated for “Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series”!
Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
Community, Remedial Chaos Theory
Parks And Recreation, The Debate
Parks And Recreation, Win, Lose, Or Draw
You can now watch the entire panel with the cast and crew of “Community” at this year’s Comic-Con as well as an interview with Gillian Jacobs!
Community is one of the best comedies on television. But this offseason saw upheaval in the departure of Creator/Executive Producer Dan Harmon. They were so unsure about a return that the last episode of the third season could act as a series finale. Still, a fervent fan base has given the quirky show a fourth season, even if it comes with a move to Fridays. The first table read is set for August 6th with shooting to begin August 13th. Five of the cast sat down to talk about the upcoming season, the departure and the bit of plot they could share (the appearance of Jeff’s dad).
Gillian Jacobs (Britta Perry)/Danny Pudi (Abed Nadir)
The banter was in full effect when asked what class the study group would be taking together in season four.
Jacobs, “Oh, we know, but I don’t know that we should tell you.”
Pudi, “Spoiler alert. It’s a very important class.”
Jacobs, “The most important class of them all…”
Pudi, “Some would say.”
Jacobs, “They gave us a couple hints about the season and Danny was in the can. So he missed it.”
Jacobs feels that at this point, Britta is probably leading a psych class, probably a TA even.
They both met the new showrunners today. “Our show is unexpected, it’s always been unexpected. We’ve never known what’s happening, so it’s not like we’re shocked anymore by anything. Didn’t know in season two or three what would happen.”
Jacobs thinks that moving in with Troy may have been a misdirect. “I don’t know if I was moving in with Troy or just helping him move. There are always googly eyes. ["Googly eyes is pure comedy," added Pudi.] Haven’t you ever helped a friend move that you had a crush on, but you weren’t actually moving in with them or dating them? It’s really fun to move heavy furniture for a person who doesn’t want to date you… That you have a crush on.”
In terms of a Troy and Abed in the Morning spinoff from the hilarious end of episode tags, Pudi said “that would be fun, but that’s not going to happen. Beyond two minutes, there’s nothing in that show.” Jacobs added, “I think also sometimes, with things that fans love, the amount that they’re getting it in is the perfect amount. Those tags are genius and I feel like Dan Harmon and Community took full advantage of the tag and turned them into a little art form.” Pudi then concluded, “We really embrace our thirty seconds at the end of every episode and make it’s a self-contained thirty seconds of full, crazy expression.”
Check out the “Best of Season 3″ and Gag Reel from the “Community” season 3!