Although Gillian Jacobs’ character on NBC’s “Community” is still struggling to find a career that speaks to her after stabs at being an anarchist, a foot model and a waitress, the 30-year-old actress always knew exactly what she wanted to do.
“Professional babysitter,” said Jacobs, laughing. Much like her character Britta Perry, Jacobs is a bit of a joker.
“I knew actor. That was it,” she quickly added.
But babysitting did play a very important role in the actress’ life. Beginning in elementary school, Jacobs established a reputation as a star babysitter in and around Pittsburgh, where she was born and raised.
“College is expensive, I always knew that and I wanted to make money, partially to spend a little of it here and there but primarily for a college savings fund,” said Jacobs.
She charged $10 an hour and used the time to hone her acting skills.
“Playtime was always a time to work on actor skills and pretending,” said Jacobs.
Which is why it came as no surprise that Jacobs was a constant at the Pittsburgh Public Theater.
And just like her acting, the babysitting continued through her high school and college years and beyond. “It was good money and a great chance to stay sharp,” added Jacobs. “If you can entertain kids for hours, you’re on the right track.”
Jacobs can be seen on “Community,” which is in its fourth season on NBC.
Community star Gillian Jacobs, 30, stopped by PARADE’s offices to dish on her not-so conventional college experience, why she wasn’t allowed to watch TV growing up, and her hilarious castmates. The actress, who plays Greendale Community College student Britta Perry on the hit NBC sitcom (now in its fourth season), also revealed that the laughing continues long after the cameras stop rolling.
“We plan dinners together, and we’re always emailing and texting each other — especially after an episode airs. I’ll text Danny Pudi to tell him ‘great job in that scene,’ or ‘I loved you in that.’ It’s a very supportive group!” Jacobs says.
What’s the first information you consume in the morning?
I go to New York magazine’s Daily Intel blog. Then The New York Times, obviously; Gawker, Jezebel and Twitter. And sometimes I look at really weird Tumblr pages.
What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?
I am a public radio addict, so KPCC or KCRW.
What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?
KPCC. I very rarely listen to music in my car—a lot of people make fun of me for it. But sometimes I listen to music on YouTube. I’m like a teenager.
Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?
I go through spurts. I find that when I’m working a lot, I mostly DVR stuff. RuPaul’s Drag Race is a can’t-miss. Then I watch Top Chef—I was very happy about the return of Kristen—The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Portlandia. And I’ve been watching House of Cards on Netflix—my friend Beau Willimon adapted it for the U.S. I didn’t own a TV until a couple of years ago, so I used to have to watch my own show on Hulu.
Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?
I just got a book called The Tell-Tale Brain by this neurologist named V. S. Ramachandran. It’s basically about how, in the last 15 years, they’ve made these huge leaps and bounds in learning about neurology.
Which is more nutritious: print or Web?
I love print, but when I lived in New York, it was so much more readily available because there was inevitably a newsstand or a bodega where I could buy a newspaper or magazine. In Los Angeles, sometimes it’s hard to find a magazine stand, let alone one that has the magazine that you want. So I find that the longer I live in L.A., the more digitally I consume.
Give us the skinny on your favorite app.
Right now, it’s Vine. I have taken to it like a fish to water. I don’t really know how to use iMovie or do any kind of real editing, so it’s great to have something that allows you to do it in a really easy, idiot-proof way. It’s really fun.
What’s your biggest digital indulgence?
I’m spending way too much time test running my Vine videos. I’ll go into a room and close the door and be in there for an hour workshopping a Vine video that I never even post. So that’s probably a huge time suck.
It seems like every actor on Community has side projects going on, from rap careers to other TV series. What are you up to when you’re not shooting the show?
I do a voice on the Nickelodeon cartoon version of Monsters vs. Aliens, and I’m doing a Web series for Yahoo called Tiny Commando with Ed Helms and Zach Levi. And I’m making good progress in my way around the podcast-sphere.
Unlike the self-righteous former anarchist she plays on NBC’s meta-comedy Community, Gillian Jacobs maintains a pretty tame lifestyle, heavy on mom-friendly tunes and early bedtimes. But she’s got an eclectic musical past. Jacobs rang up SPIN from Los Angeles, where she is currently working on the show’s fourth season, to reveal the soundtrack to her life.
What was the last concert you attended?
I saw Wilco at the Wiltern [in Los Angeles] a couple of months ago and they were awesome. I love Wilco. I don’t go to concerts often, so I’ll probably be giving you the dorkiest answers ever. I impressed my mom recently because she heard of Big Freedia and sissy bounce on NPR and she asked if I knew about it. I told her I had been to a Freedia show and it blew her mind! When you can impress your mom by saying you’ve been to someone’s concert you know you’re pretty lame.
What was the first concert you went to?
When I was in junior high my aunt offered me tickets to a Sarah McLachlan concert and I was scared to go because I was afraid that people would be doing drugs. So I turned them down. Then I decided I could make it through a Barenaked Ladies show. I remember wearing overalls and it being very uncomfortable.
Growing up, did your parents object to anything you listened to?
There were definitely bands and musicians I liked that drove my mother insane. I probably liked them all the more for it! Björk drove my mom nuts. What I listened to was actually pretty mom-friendly for the most part. I wasn’t very rebellious.
Do you remember what you were listening to the first time you smoked pot?
I’ve never smoked pot in my life.
Yes, seriously. See, I told you I’d give the lamest answers! This is going to be one palette-cleanser of an interview.
Well, how about the song you associate with your first kiss?
Oh, God. He was like, a fundamentalist Christian during middle school. He was really into Christian ska at the time. So yes, I associate my first kiss with Christian ska.
Was there skanking afterwards?
That’s the dance with the kind of kicks and throwing your arms back and forth? No skanking — just getting down with some ska for the Lord.
If you were to curate a festival, who would be on the bill?
It would be a weird festival that I would make sure was over early at night. I love Robyn and definitely some Stevie Wonder. Probably Wilco and I’d put Donald Glover [a.k.a., her Community costar Childish Gambino] in there. Oh, and I’d have a Pharcyde reunion and everything would be wrapped up by 7 p.m.
Speaking of co-workers, who has musical taste similar to yours on-set?
Definitely Danny Pudi. Sometimes we go in his trailer and listen to ’90s rap, especially when our energy levels are really dipping. We’ll put on Biggie or N.W.A or Public Enemy. It’s just us two, dancing and rapping.
Whose music has helped you over a breakup?
I used to like to make myself sad so I would listen to Bill Callahan as Smog. I listen to a lot of Smog and Robyn. “Dancing on My Own” is actually a really sad song! It has totally made me cry.
Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
Probably something like Dolly Parton, even though she’s got crazy range and I have none. I’d do “Jolene” so everyone could sing along and cover the fact that I have a terrible voice.
What song would you want played at your funeral?
That’s a real tough question. I think some Philip Glass. It’s a bit unexpected, so it would stun people out of being sad and they’d just pay attention to the music!
Attention Greendale students: Community is finally back! This week, the series returns to NBC’s Thursday primetime line-up for the first time since May 2012. To get us even more psyched for the long-delayed season premiere, study group members Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs called us up to chat about their senior year, Britta and Annie’s evolving friendship, and why they can’t help reading fan-written Community porn.
TWoP: You finished filming the season a while ago now. Are you excited that people are finally going to be able to see it?
Alison Brie: Yeah, we’re so full of anticipation. I’m glad the day is finally here because we’ve been waiting so long to see these episodes. So I’m really excited and I feel like everybody is really excited.
TWoP: Certainly the fanbase is going crazy.
Alison: Absolutely! And the fans are the only reason we’re on the air. It’s always been popular online, but the thing that’s only started happening this year for me is that I’ve been out in public and people have come up to me and been like, “One more week!” That’s all they say, and I’m like “Yeah!” And we have a little moment. It’s really cool.
TWoP: It’s a good thing you know what they’re talking about. That sentence could go a number of different ways.
Gillian: Yeah, “One more week… till you die!” [Laughs]
TWoP: It’s been fun to watch how Britta and Annie’s friendship has evolved over the course of the show. Has that been equally enjoyable for you both to play?
Gillian: I like that it flipped at a certain point and Annie started mentoring Britta.
Allison: Yeah, it’s always been a sisterly relationship. It was a bit competitive at first with Jeff, but we got that out of the way very quickly and then it was always Annie looking up to Britta. And now it’s flipped around and it’s like, “Maybe I can give her some advice.”
Gillian: Yeah, it took Annie a little too long to realize that Britta didn’t know what the hell was going on. I really enjoyed the “Blade” episode last season where she was calling me a lying junkie and locking me in her bedroom. And it’s interesting to see that dynamic play out this season with Britta joining the Troy/Abed/Annie household sometimes.
TWoP: Community is a big target for ‘shippers, who have paired up pretty much every study group partner at this point. Have you ever seen any Annie/Britta shipping?
Alison: Oh yeah.
Gillian: Yeah, definitely. Alison and I did a photo shoot for GQ that probably prompted a lot of that shipping. I think we’ve seen every possible fan combination. Donald [Glover] sent me some fan porn of Troy and Britta that someone had sent to him.
Alison: I saw some with Troy and Abed.
TWoP: So you do read Community fan fic?
Alison: Just the porn. [Laughs]
Gillian: I read enough to know what it was and then I was like, “Oh my!”
Alison: I just saw pictures! Mine was like pornographic cartoons.
Gillian: Oh, mine was a written-out thing. I just scanned it.
TWoP: Maybe someone can go through and change all the names, publish it and it can become the next 50 Shades of Grey.
Gillian: Yup — Seven Shades of Weird.
TWoP: Are there any Season 4 episodes that you’re really excited for fans to see?
Alison: The Halloween episode is really cool. It has a kind of Scooby-Doo vibe and people who know the study group know that kind of clicks nicely with our dynamic already. It makes a lot of sense to have us in a Scooby-Doo situation. We go to Pierce’s mansion and everything is super-weird and very ’80s. That was really fun. I also love the finale that we shot this season. It’s kind of going to tap into some of that darkest timeline stuff and things that the fans who have been watching from the show from the beginning will really love. So stick through all 13 episodes, guys! You can make it.
TWoP: It’s it weird to think that viewers will be watching the Halloween episode five months after Halloween?
Alison: I think it makes it extra special! [Laughs] It just gives everybody another chance to celebrate those holidays that we love so much.
Gillian: Once again, we’re the most unique show on television! We’re celebrating Halloween in March.
TWoP: Obviously there were some major changes that occurred during the off season. How difficult was it to get back into the groove when you came back to start Season 4?
Alison: Once you get all of us into a room, it’s pretty much the same. It just takes a couple seconds. For us as a group, our dynamic hasn’t really changed. We feel like we have these other brothers and sisters now. Day in and day out, Season 4 was still long hours and it was still weird and it was still Community.
TWoP: The chemistry amongst the cast has always been so great to watch. Do you guys spend a lot of time hanging out together off-set?
Alison: We definitely try to see each other as much as possible. It’s tough, because during filming, you see each other every single day for hours and hours and know every detail about each other’s lives. And then when we break, everyone has other stuff going on, which is great, but everyone’s busy with their own things and we don’t see each other as much as we would like.
Gillian: We do get some good email chains and mass group texts going. I think that it’s always strange for us to not be shooting, because you sort of mark the time of the year by the season of Community. Like, we’d normally be shooting right now. I drove by the Paramount lot yesterday and it felt pretty weird to be driving by and not pulling inside to go to set.
TWoP: Have you heard whether or not the show has been picked up for another season or are you still in the dark?
In Unison: Yeah…
Gillian: It might not be until May that we know what’s going on.
Alison: But we love being in the dark. It’s where we live. It’s our natural state of being. We’re the Mole People of television.
TWoP: Besides Community, what are some of your other favorite shows on the air right now?
Gillian: RuPaul’s Drag Race!
Alison: I love Girls. And I loved, loved, loved 30 Rock.
Gillian: Yeah, I cried at the finale. I was weeping and made people feel weird.
Alison: I cried at the finale, too!
Gillian: Also, that 30 Rock finale spoke to us as actors on Community in such a specific way. It wasn’t intended to, but all the stuff about being on a show that’s maybe underwatched, but means so much to the people on it rang true. I was crying. I was sobbing.
Alison: Me too. I didn’t cry until the end and then it kind of hit me and I tried to hide it.
Gillian: That scene with Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan in the strip club killed me. And of course it was in a strip club!
TWoP: So you weren’t like “Great, that show is finally over. Now we’re definitely getting that timeslot!”
In Unison: No!
Gillian: That was the show I was obsessed with before Community. I couldn’t wait for it every week and I quoted it constantly.
Alison: I feel like 30 Rock and The Office were part of what made me excited to book a show that was going to be on Thursday nights on NBC. Those were the things I was looking up to and thinking, “Oh my God… we’re going to be like that show.”
TWoP: Speaking of Girls, were you excited to watch Donald’s guest spot?
Gillian: Definitely! I couldn’t watch that sex scene though.
Alison: Oh my God! I feel like I knew it was going to happen and was still so shocked!
Gillian: Yeah, it was like “There he is! Oh my! They’re naked and they’re doing it. Okay!” I closed my eyes.
Alison: I didn’t. I rewound it and watched it like, three times. [Laughs]
The critically acclaimed “Community” is a smart, exuberant half-hour comedy series about a tight-knit study group at Greendale Community College. At the center of the group is Jeff Winger (Joel McHale, “The Soup”), a fast-talking lawyer whose degree has been revoked. With some help from his fellow classmates, Winger forms a study group who eventually learn more about themselves than their course work.
Also among the series stars who comprise the group are comedy legend Chevy Chase (“Fletch”) as Pierce, a successful businessman whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom; Gillian Jacobs (“Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World”) as Britta, the 20-something dropout with something to prove; Yvette Nicole Brown (“Rules of Engagement”) as Shirley, a sassy middle-aged divorcée; Danny Pudi (“Greek”) as Abed, a pop culture junkie; Alison Brie (“Mad Men”) as Annie, a high-strung perfectionist; Donald Glover (“30 Rock”) as Troy, a former high school football star trying to find his way and Ken Jeong (“The Hangover Part II”) as Chang, the group’s former Spanish professor — turned student. Greendale’s fearless leader is Dean Pelton (Jim Rash, “That 70s Show”), an ultra-efficient yet slightly neurotic administrator, whose penchant for dressing in costume is well-documented.
After the dramatic paintball conclusion of season two, season three finds the group tackling a new set of challenges including a tough-as-nails biology teacher, Professor Kane, played by Michael K. Williams (HBO’s “The Wire”) and Chang’s questionable appointment to campus security. Dean Pelton meets his match in Vice Dean Laybourne (John Goodman), the distinguished head of the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair Annex, whileTroyand Abed also decide to share an apartment together, which creates new challenges for their friendship.
“Community” was created by Dan Harmon (“The Sarah Silverman Program”) who serves as executive producer with Russ Krasnoff (“The Soloist”), Joe Russo (“Arrested Development”), Anthony Russo (“Arrested Development”), Garrett Donovan (“Scrubs”), Neil Goldman (“Scrubs”) and Gary Foster (“The Soloist”). The series is a Krasnoff Foster Entertainment, Harmonious Claptrap, Russo Brothers production, Universal Media Studios production in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Murtz Jaffer interviews Community’s Gillian Jacobs on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at the Hazelton Hotel as part of Netflix Canada’s announcement that all three seasons are now available on Netflix.com. We talk about the AfterEllen poll with her and co-star Alison Brie being nominated for best not-real lesbian couple, Britta’s romance with Troy, how Community will change with Dan Harmon’s departure and what to expect in the upcoming fourth season which premieres October 19 on Citytv.
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.
Yvette Nicole Brown and Gillian Jacobs, Stars of “Community” You can catch up with the latest episodes of Community on Netflix and don?t forget to catch the brand new season this fall right here on Citytv.
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.