How is Joel McHale going to balance hosting E!'s The Soup, his stand-up comedy gigs and starring in his own NBC comedy, Community?
"I take a lot of uppers and downers," Joel joked at this morning's Community panel at the Television Critics Association press tour. "No, I go in basically one long night, but the whole week I'm helping to edit the script and writing jokes." Though, he said, he doesn't get to actually watch as many shows as before. "I'm gonna miss Rock of Love Bus. What is Bret Michaels gonna do next?"
Joel and the Community crew took the TCA stage by storm this morning, chatting about their new Thursday-night show as well as about recently added castmember Ken Jeong (yes, real-life doctor turned beloved Judd Apatow muse) and Chevy Chase wanting to get it on with cutie Alison Brie? What?!
Since Joel is a part of Community, you know there just had to be some Ryan Seacrest jokes in the mix today. Referring to a joke in the pilot where he is confused with said E! bigwig, Joel was happy to give full credit to fellow community college student Donald Glover (Troy).
"That Seacrest joke—Donald came up with that as an improv," he said. Donald played along, "I honestly thought he was Ryan Seacrest."
All jokes aside, there are some seriously kickass guest stars coming up, starting with The Daily Show's John Oliver, who plays the hilariously flawed dean of Greendale Community College in the pilot episode.
How often will we see him throughout the first season? Show runner Dan Harmon sang his praises, promising, "John Oliver will be back as much as humanly possible because we love him. I can tell you for certain that he'll be in two episodes in the first 12. We would love to have him in as many as possible."
The pilot revolves around Joel's character, Jeff, forming a fake Spanish study group—cue Ken's entrance in episode two as, get this, Senor Chang, an Asian Spanish teacher. "I play a professor with a chip on his shoulder. My character is definitely self-conscious about being an Asian teaching Spanish, and he feels the need to sporadically have outbursts about it." As for his own Spanish, Ken joked, "I can go to any Baja Fresh and order a veggie burrito, so I have that resource to drop back on. "
How can we forget to mention Chevy Chase's triumphant return to television. "I never thought that I would be involved in a situation comedy until I read the script. I was delighted to go in and say, 'Please hire me.' I'm serious," he stated humbly. But in typical Chevy fashion, he went on: "Every one of these kids are really fine actors, and we're just hoping that, for instance, Alison [Brie] will put out a bit more." Obviously, lots of uncomfortable laughter followed.
And if you're still not convinced that Community is right for you, all of you Watch With Kristin readers take note: When asked if these characters will experience much growth through the first 12 episodes, the cast broke into Lost joke mode.
"We will get off the island at one point," promised Joel. Ken even jumped in, saying, "We'll come in contact with the 'other' community."
So there you have it. Check back soon for more on our new fave with exclusives from other Community members, including Donald and character actress, Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley).
Are you as stoked for Community as we are? Hit the comments below.